The gooseﬁsh has been described as mostly mouth with a tail attached. A member of the Lophiidae family of deep-sea anglerfish, this ugly, bottom-dwelling species of temperate waters is not a targeted gamefish but is occasionally caught by deep-water bottom anglers. More than two dozen species of anglerﬁsh exist worldwide, with the American goosefish the largest among them.
IdentificationThe American goosefish is dark brown, with a mottling of dark spots and blotches. It has almost armlike pectoral fins located about midway in its greatly flattened body. Small gill openings are just behind them. The head is extremely large for its body size, and the mouth is cavernous, ﬁlled with sharp, curved teeth and opening upward.
On the tip of the first spine is a flap of flesh that serves as a lure for attracting small fish within grasping range of the mouth. If the prey comes close enough, the goosefish opens its huge mouth and sucks its victim inside.