River Monsters is a highly entertaining ‘extreme fishing’ show. It is presented by Jeremy Wade – an extreme angler he is paid to travel to exotic parts of the world to catch the biggest freshwater fish that the planet has to offer (best job ever?). There have been five series to date with more episodes planned in the future. Wade usually begins by explaining the myths and legends about a species of fish that is considered a ‘river monster.’ These myths are usually far fetched and it is Wade’s job to separate the fact from fiction. While most episodes have over-the-top titles such as ‘Demon Fish’, ‘The Mutilator’, ‘Death Ray’, ‘Flesh Ripper’, and ‘Chainsaw Predator’ this is a well-balanced show in which Wade finds out information from local people and carries out research into the species he is targeting. The locations and fish that are caught are all impressive – six-foot long Nile perch are caught in Egypt, goliath tigerfish in the Congo and the largetooth sawfish in Australia. In one of the best episodes a 700lb giant freshwater sting ray is caught in Thailand, which springs a real surprise once it is landed. It is always nice to see that Wade returns the fish alive whenever possible.
This is very much a series for a general audience, as only minor attention is paid to the rod, reels and equipment used – people with an interest in angling may wish to know more about this. However, this is a minor criticism and river monsters is a very good programme, which sheds light on the size and aggressiveness of some of the freshwater fish that are found around the world, and Wade is excellent at conveying the excitement of fishing for such amazing species.
River Monsters is available on Amazon here.