River Monsters is a wildly successful program on Animal Planet featuring biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade. The show follows Wade as he travels to various locations around the world seeking out the truths behind the deaths of humans believed to have been caused by large predatory fish or other types of aquatic creatures. His investigative tools are a rod and reel. Wade travels to the locations of the deaths and casts a line out into the often times murky waters to see if he can catch the killer and pull it from its unseen aquatic home into the light of day for the rest of the world to see and prove the tales of death to be true.
The key difference between this monster show and all the others is that Wade actually catches the monsters. We actually get to see the creatures responsible for the death and often consumption of humans. There’s none of the shaky camera work at night with a shadow running by, or an unidentifiable animal noise, or a clearly fake foot print, the way all the other shows portray their evidence for their “monsters”.
We actually get to see catfish large enough to swallow an adult human, or at the very least drag a person to their death. We see how packs of piranha and eels can strip a carcass in minutes. We see the giant and powerful arapaima, a fish responsible to causing Wade permanent heart damage, and we see the goliath tiger fish which has teeth as impressive as any shark.
Sometimes the monsters are huge, other times they are tiny such as the candiru asu, which bores into people and animals alike and consumes them from the inside, and the candiru which has swam up a man’s most intimate of parts. And if you thought that was only a myth, you’ll see that it’s not because the actual person it happened to is interviewed as is the doctor that perform the operation to remove it. And if that’s not enough proof you get to see video from the actual operation and lastly the actual fish that was removed.
Not only does Jeremy pursue fish species that are said to have killed humans, the areas he fishes for them in can be even more dangerous. The threat of hippo and crocodile attack is a very real threat in many episodes with survivors of such attacks making brief appearances. During his fishing expeditions, Jeremy survived a plane crash, he survived a nearly fatal bought of malaria, he was detained as a suspected spy and he’s been held at gun point. The show takes viewers all over the world to such places, as Alaska, The Congo, The Amazon, Brazil, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Loch Ness and Chernobyl.
In all, I feel that River Monsters is a great show for both anglers and non-anglers. For many, it’s a chance to see true giants caught on rod and reel, and witness what fishing is like for those who depend on it for survival. Since watching River Monsters, I appreciate the fishing gear that I have and ability to go fishing for leisure instead of survival, and I’m always thankful that I don’t have to worry about crocodiles. I highly recommend River Monsters to any angler.