Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 7 : Hidden Predator

The biggest bull shark ever recorded was caught in South Africa, in a river. Was this monsterous freshwater catch a horrifying fluke, or are there more shark giants prowling this river? Jeremy Wade heads to South Africa to see if he can land a monster!

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 6 : Rift Valley Killer

Jeremy Wade is on a quest to Africa's Rift Valley to explore the roots of fishing and the monsters these first fishermen faced. It's a dangerous place, filled with killer crocs, hippos and warring gangs, but at its heart is a worthy prize: the Mputa, aka Nile perch, Africa's largest freshwater fish.

Lates niloticus

Maximum Length: Up to 6 feet
Maximum Weight: Over 500 pounds

An Invasive Giant: The Nile perch is an important food fish in Africa and a prized catch for sport fishermen, but the species is also a massive environmental nightmare. In fact, the Nile perch is massive in more ways than one. It's a giant among fishes, reaching a length of up to 6 feet and a weight of more than 500 pounds. Anything that big eats a lot, and when misguided humans have introduced the Nile perch into new aquatic ecosystems (most notably, Lake Victoria in East Africa), it has caused catastrophic declines among native fish populations. The Nile perch is now common in the Nile, Chad, Senegal, Volta and Congo river basins, and has been ranked by conservationists as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species.

It's Big and It's Hungry: The Nile perch is silver with a blue tinge and has a distinctive set of big black eyes with bright yellow outer rings. It can live in any freshwater body, but it prefers warm tropical waters. The female Nile perch tends to be bigger than the male, but they're both pretty hefty fish. The species is a versatile predator; a Nile perch will eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks and fish. It gobbles down bigger and bigger prey as it grows in size. When it's not eating, the Nile perch passes the time by making more Nile perch — a lot more. Breeding and spawning peak from March to June, and a female will produce an average of 9 million offspring (most of which don't make it to maturity). The eggs take just 20 hours to hatch. Nile perch reach sexual maturity at about three years of age, and they can live for as long as 16 years.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Nile Perch: "The main flow of the river was racing from right to left. If a big fish got in this, and I didn't stop it, it would empty my reel and break me off. There was no way to follow it along the bank and it would be madness to jump in the water — not just because of the current, but also because of the crocodiles."

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 5 : Alaskan Horror

Extreme angler Jeremy Wade searches for the lethal lake monster of native legend that's been dragging people down to an icy grave for centuries. He ends up landing the largest fish he's ever caught, but is this the monster?

Acipenser transmontanus

Maximum Length: Up to 20 feet
Maximum Weight: Over 1,800 pounds

An Evolutionary Throwback: The biggest, baddest sturgeon of them all is the white sturgeon, which is the largest and most primitive freshwater fish in North America. The white sturgeon has been around for at least 100 million years, which would have qualified it to star in the movie "Jurassic Park." The biggest one on record stretched more than 20 feet in length and weighed almost 1,800 pounds. The white sturgeon is found in North American coastal waters from Alaska to Baja California, and in freshwater bodies as far inland as Montana. It is gray or brownish in color, with a pale underbelly.

Old Man of the Sea: In addition to its bony armor and cartilage skeleton, it has a notochord, a primitive precursor to the backbone, which is found in only one other animal, the equally atavistic lamprey. It lacks teeth, gets by with poor eyes and depends largely on its sense of smell to scrutinize its murky underwater environment. White sturgeon feed mostly on smaller fish, but less imposing species of sturgeon dine on small crustaceans, mollusks and even insects, using the species' tubular, stretchy, vacuum sweeper mouth to suck food from the sea bottom. White sturgeons spend most of their time in the ocean but swim up rivers to spawn. They're the real old men of the sea — the oldest on record lived to be 104.

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 4 : Congo Killer

Jeremy Wade travels to one of the few rivers left on earth that will still test a fisherman. The Congo, a river steeped in legends... and soaked in violence. One spirit in particular is said to lure fishermen from their boats to their death.

Chrysichthys cranchii

Maximum Length: Up to 5 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 300 pounds

A True Goliath: Chrysichthys cranchii, which is called the "kamba" in the Congo, is a pretty big fellow. lists its maximum length as around 5 feet, with a top weight of nearly 300 pounds, and there's a semi-credible report of one that topped out a foot longer and 100 pounds heavier. It's one of 59 members of the family Claroteidae, a clan that also includes the giraffe catfish and the African big eye catfish, both of which have more charismatic monikers. Depending on what country you're in and what language you speak, the kamba is also known as the kanzema, kokuni, the manora or the tshirima.

The Mystery Fish: Sadly, there's not a wealth of research data available about the kamba catfish. But we can tell you that its skull and teeth were once used as sacred objects in initiation rituals by the Lega people of the southeastern Congo, for whom it traditionally was an important food source. Like other claroteids, the brown and black fish has a moderately elongated body and four pairs of barbels (barbels resemble a cat's whiskers), along with dorsal and pectoral fins with strong spines.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Kamba Catfish: "Just sitting in a wobbly dugout without falling out is a challenge in itself. Then you've got to stand up on the slippery deck and deploy the multi-hook lines. This requires the utmost concentration if you're not to get a hook stuck in your hand or foot."

Heterobranchus longifilis

Maximum Length: Nearly 5 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 121 pounds

Southern Africa's Biggest: Heterobranchus longifilis, known in much of Africa as the vundu but also called the cur, lenda, certa, sampa and other names, is the biggest freshwater species in southern Africa. The vundu likes deep water and generally comes up at night to feed on fish, small vertebrates, and carcasses and offal that villagers throw in the water. But it is voracious enough to boldly forage around big sport fishing boats in Egypt's Lake Nasser. Its length makes it an impressive-looking catch for sport fishermen.

Long and Lean: The vundu catfish is long and muscular, but not a heavyweight like the kamba. (If you're a pro basketball fan, think of Pau Gasol or Yao Ming, as opposed to Shaquille O'Neal.) It has a long, broad head, a broadly rounded snout, and superolateral (high and to the side) eyes, with wide tooth plates and a well-developed suprabranchial organ for breathing air. Reportedly, it can survive out of water for long periods of time. Its body is olive brown on the dorsal surface, with a light-brown or off-white underbelly. The vundu can live for up to 12 years.

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 3 : Killer Snakehead

Angler Jeremy Wade sets his sights on an aggressive Far Eastern predator that's now invading America's backyards. Accused of homicide, and said to breathe air and crawl on land, the snakehead is a monster that sounds more like a gangster than a fish.

Channa micropeltes

Maximum Length: Up to nearly 6 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 66 pounds

Extreme Aggression: As long as a full-grown person and weighing as much as a 5-year-old child, the giant snakehead is not only the largest member of the snakehead gang, but also the most violent. In Southeast Asia, there are stories of this fish attacking people unprovoked, especially during the breeding season. Giant snakehead parents aggressively guard their spawn, which is unusual for a fish. The father corrals and guides the fry while the mother patrols at a distance, ready to voraciously attack anything that looks like a threat — even something as large as a person.

U.S. Invasion: The giant snakehead has been sporadically sighted in U.S. waterways from Maine to Arkansas. Given its extremely aggressive nature and willingness to attack people, this is a huge cause for concern for the United States. The government is spending millions to fight this and other invasive snakehead species, mainly the northern and bullseye snakehead species, which have a much stronger foothold. These fish will eat anything that comes close — fish, frogs, lizards, rats, small ducks, snakes and even other snakeheads — and are causing massive environmental damage wherever they're found. They have no predators in the United States and, alarmingly, a female snakehead can produce over 100,000 young in a year.

A Monstrous Fish: There are around 30 different species of snakehead, ranging from the tropical Africa to the Far East and Russia. All are predators with streamlined bodies, sharp teeth and a reputation for extreme aggression. Snakeheads are also air-breathers. The fish will come to the surface, lift its head up, grab a mouthful of air and then submerge. The oxygen diffuses directly into a dense network of blood vessels encircling its swim bladder, an organ that doubles as a simple lung in snakeheads. This allows the fish to survive in stagnant areas where oxygen levels are low. It can even walk on land, using its soft pectorals to drag itself to new locations. It's said a snakehead can survive out of water for up to 4 days.

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 2 : Death Ray

Jeremy Wade heads to the Mekong River in Thailand in search of one of the world's largest, most terrifying river fish: the giant freshwater stingray. Armed with a venomous, 10-inch barbed tail, this 700-pound monster tests Jeremy to his physical limit.

Himantura chaophraya

Maximum Length: Up to 16.5 feet
Maximum Width: Up to 6½ feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 1,200 pounds

A Saucer-Shaped Giant: Shaped like a flying saucer, the giant freshwater stingray is said to be over 16 feet long and over 6 feet wide. Some sources put its weight at well over a thousand pounds. If these measurements are true, it would make the giant stingray the world's largest freshwater fish. First described by science a mere 20 years ago, this freshwater monster inhabits the dark, muddy river bottoms of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia (it's unclear whether it ever ventures into the ocean).

Wish You Were Dead: In the Amazon, freshwater stingrays are called "wish-you-were-dead-fish" because of their agonizingly painful stings. But Amazon stingrays are relatively small compared to this Southeast Asian giant. When a stingray strikes, its barb creates a very deep puncture wound, usually to the foot or lower leg but sometimes higher up. As well as the immediate wound, the stingray injects extraordinarily painful venom into the flesh; this create the very long-lasting effect of tissue necrosis.

Barb of Death: The stingray's stinger, or barb, sits on top of its tail. In giant freshwater stingrays, the barb can measure up to 8 inches from base to tip. The fish can whip it over its back, a bit like a scorpion, or whip it around to either side. It has a wickedly sharp point and grooves running underneath that deliver venom from a gland at the base of the tale. These grooves also make it a more efficient stabbing weapon, much like a bayonet or combat knife. In addition, the barb has serrations along the edge; the barb may go in cleanly, but it makes a mess when pulled out, ripping flesh and spreading poison as it's withdrawn.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Giant Freshwater Stingray: "The main challenge with the giant freshwater stingray is its immense size, coupled with its flat shape, which sticks to the bottom like a huge sucker. So when you hook into one, it's like trying to pull the plug out of the river. This dictates the use of very strong gear.

Guideline River Monsters Season 2 Episode 1 : Demon Fish

Jeremy Wade journeys to the infamous Congo River in Africa in search of the world's most ferocious fish. This supernatural monster predator pushes Jeremy to his physical and mental limit. It requires all of his skills and the help of a witch doctor.

Hydrocynus goliath

Maximum Length: Up to 5 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 154 pounds

A True Goliath: When your name is "Goliath," you'd better be one humongous, ferocious creature, and the goliath tigerfish definitely lives up to its moniker. A native of the Congo River basin, the Lualaba River, Lake Upemba and Lake Tanganyika in Africa, it's the largest member of the tigerfish clan, a genus of fierce predators with protruding, daggerlike teeth. The biggest one on record was nearly 5 feet long and weighed 154 pounds, the equivalent of a super-welterweight prizefighter. And it outclasses other African game fish in speed and power.

No Fear: Locals say it's the only fish that doesn't fear the crocodile and that it actually eats smaller ones. It's also been known to attack humans in rare instances. It's so lightning quick and forceful that not only will it snap an angler's line, but it will sometimes make off with his or her tackle. No wonder one fishing safari promoter requires clients read a cautionary treatise on the goliath before agreeing to a fishing trip.

Slice and Dice: The goliath tigerfish likes turbulent waters, where fish who are less powerful swimmers struggle against the current, rendering them vulnerable to attack. It has excellent eyesight and the ability to sense low-frequency vibrations emitted by prey. It generally circles the unlucky fish before striking with the brutality of a piranha. The goliath has been known to pounce on a 60-pound catfish and literally slice it in half. Scary, huh? The goliath's lifespan in the wild is uncertain, but they've lasted 10 to 15 years in captivity.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Goliath Tigerfish: "(The goliath tigerfish) can take a bait and spit it out so fast from its bony mouth, that it is exceptionally difficult to hook. Most fish that take a bait will escape, often after just a few seconds. And if you've been waiting hours or days for a take, that is such a demoralizing experience."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 7 : Freshwater Shark

No fish inspires the same terror as the shark. A creature with an insatiable hunger for brutal violence. But at least these killers are confined to the oceans. Or are they? Expert angler Jeremy Wade investigates the deadly bull shark.

Carcharhinus leucas

Maximum Length: Over 13 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 700 pounds

A Freshwater Nightmare: The bull shark is a river monster of nightmares — it is a sea creature that can tolerate fresh water, allowing it to travel far up rivers and close to contact with humans. Its tendency to dwell in shallow coastal waters and rivers ranging from the Atlantic to the Indian to the Pacific Ocean, coupled with its unpredictable and aggressive behavior, lead many scientists to label it as the species responsible for the majority of shark attacks on humans. Visit our bull shark safety guide to learn how to stay safe in salt and fresh water.

Bad to the Bone: The bull shark gets its name from its stocky build, its broad snout and its aggressive nature. It is known to make sharp, unpredictable bursts of speed and often utilizes the "bump and bite" technique to capture prey, during which it first head-butts prey before attacking. Bull sharks have been known to attack large animals, including one account of an attack on a racehorse in Queensland, Australia. They regularly prey on dolphins, other sharks, and have proven themselves more than willing to attack humans — sometimes simply out of curiosity. Their speed, strength and agility — not to mention sharp, heavily serrated teeth — make such attacks potentially deadly.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Bull Shark: "We had to put the fish back alive, so I used a circle hook with a crushed down barb. Circle hooks tend to lodge in the corner of the mouth where they are easier to remove, which is a very big consideration when you're fishing for sharks."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 6 : Amazon Flesh Eaters

A man swallowed whole by a fish. A body eaten alive from within. Another penetrated in a most unnatural fashion. Yet more with multiple stab wounds. Jeremy Wade is in pursuit of some of the Amazon's most notorious flesh eaters.

Candiru asu

Maximum Length: Up to 6 inches

The Amazon's Most Feared Fish: The Candiru is a terrifying fish, even when stacked up against its fellow river monsters of the Amazon. But this parasitic freshwater catfish does not instill fear by way of its monstrous size. On the contrary, it's small, eel-like and so translucent that it can be nearly impossible to spot in the water, which makes it even more terrifying. Some claim this fish is the most feared in the entire Amazon region, and the fear stems from the fact that it has a knack for finding open orifices and working its way inside. Once inside another organism, the Candiru feeds on its host's blood, becoming increasingly swollen. The Candiru is the star of an urban legend — which turns out to be true — of a man who was urinating in the Amazon River when a 6-inch Candiru swam up his urine stream into his penis. The fish remained there for days, until a surgeon was able to remove it.

The Most Horrific Candiru: Perhaps the most horrifying Candiru species of all is the Candiru asu. This small catfish is a voracious parasite. It uses its circular mouth and sharp teeth to bite flesh and then enter organisms, leaving behind a wound that looks uncannily like a bullet hole. The Candiru asu proceeds to feed on the organs, literally eating its victim from inside. Human corpses have been discovered in the Amazon filled with more than 100 of these river monsters. Scientists and coroners have determined that the victims may have even been alive and simply incapacitated when the Candiru asu struck.

In Jeremy Wade's Words: "The candiru usually targets a big fish as its host, drinking blood from its gills, but occasionally they make mistakes. This has resulted in one of the most infamous legends to emerge from the Amazon: a man urinating in the river who has a fish swim up his penis."

Brachyplatystoma filamentosum

Maximum Length: Up to 9-½ feet
Maximum Weight: Over 500 pounds

The Amazon's Largest Catfish: The piraiba boasts the title of largest catfish in the Amazon River, and it has a sordid reputation for biting off more than it can chew (or, in this case, swallow). The piraiba's massive mouth can measure more than 40 centimeters (nearly 16 inches) across. Fishermen have found monkeys, large birds, cats, dogs and even other catfish inside of these massive animals, indicating that the piraiba happily scavenges dead creatures in the water.

Maneater or Misunderstood? One particularly gruesome tale recounts that a fisherman dove down to untangle a net and never emerged from the water. His fellow fishermen found his body hours later when a giant piraiba floated to the surface in distress. Only the fisherman's legs were visible, protruding from the piraiba's mouth. Fishermen in the Amazon respect the piraiba as a worthy adversary, noting that the powerful piraiba can drown a wrestling fisherman by dragging him to the bottom of the river. Still, power and a notoriously voracious appetite do not necessarily make the piraiba a river monster prone to attacking and preying on live humans.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Piraiba Catfish: "This one folded the rod over in characteristic style, headed for the middle of the river, then hung deep and refused to come up. Unlike red-tailed catfish, piraiba don't head for snags. I like to think this is their supreme arrogant confidence in their strength, but it's probably just species programming."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 5 : Amazon Assassins

In the darkest depths of the Amazon lurks a dinosaur. Legends tell of an evil spirit inhabiting an enormous fish. Taller than a man, it is covered in scales and crushes its prey with a tongue made of bone. Jeremy Wade encounters the legendary arapaima.

Arapaima gigas

Maximum Length: Up to 10 feet
Maximum Weight: Over 400 pounds

A Living Fossil Fish: The arapaima is a true prehistoric river monster, with the fossil record showing that it has roamed the waters of the Amazon River since the Jurassic age. This massive fish — the largest fish in the world's largest river — has long inspired the imagination of local Amazonian people. According to legend, Pirarucu, the disrespectful and taunting son of an Amazon chief, was struck down to the depths of the river by the gods. He became the arapaima, and Brazilians still refer to the fish as Pirarucu.

Dinosaur of the Deep: This air breathing, scaled, "dinosaur of the deep" is naturally predatory and will eat any fish that crosses its path, as well as birds floating on the water. The Arapaima uses its bony tongue to crush prey against the roof of its mouth before swallowing. It's unclear whether the fish's aggression extends to humans, but it is established fact that this enormous creature can — and will — jump high out of the water when trapped or netted. This behavior makes it plausible to imagine a fisherman being struck and knocked unconscious by a frantic arapaima.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Arapaima: "If (an arapaima) makes a big splash when surfacing, you've already spooked it. It wants to get back down quickly. Sometimes just a canoe paddled across the lake is enough. So you're looking for fish quietly bulging at the surface, then putting your bait where you've located them."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 4 : European Maneater

Wade travels to Germany where he meets victims of a beast that has been raising its snout above the surface of freshwaters in Europe for the past 700 years. We discover that the Wels catfish is an aggressive predator of man eating proportions.

Silurus glanis

Maximum Length: Up to 10 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 330 pounds

Vicious and Voracious: The wels catfish is defined by a long, scaleless body; a broad, flat head; and an extremely wide mouth containing rows of small, sandpaper-like teeth — hundreds of them. It also has two sets of barbels (whisker-like organs) on the upper and lower jaw, which help the fish hunt its prey in the murky waters of large lakes and slow-flowing rivers across Europe. The wels catfish is an adept hunter, first using its pectoral fins to create a disorienting eddy and then taking advantage of its vast, vacuum-like mouth to suck prey in and swallow it whole.

Maneater or Misunderstood? Tales of man-eating wels catfish date back as far as the 15th century, but 2008 saw a spate of attacks in Lake Schlachtensee outside of Berlin. Many believe the attacker to be a 5-foot wels catfish. These fish have been caught in Russia with human remains in their stomachs, but most experts suspect the victims were already drowned before being swallowed. Still, the wels catfish can exhibit aggressive behavior during its mating season, making it plausible that this monster fish could be responsible for attacks against humans that venture into its territory.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Wels Catfish: "Because the water level has been raised by the dams, there are lots of sunken snags, so allowing the fish to run is not an option. But nobody's told the catfish that, and this one charged out into the current and almost pulled me over. It's then a long, drawn-out tug o' war, digging my heels into the slippery bank..."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 3 : Alligator gar

In the deep South is a fish reputed to have committed a series of violent attacks on humans. This creature is said to be as vicious as a shark and big as a 'gator. Extreme angler Jeremy Wade heads to Texas to reveal the truth about the alligator gar.

Atractosteus spatula

Maximum Length: Up to 10 feet
Maximum Weight: Up to 350-400 pounds

Alligator, Fish or Both? The alligator gar — an ancient fish that has existed for 100 million years — roams the rivers, streams and bayous of the southeastern United States. It gets its name from its alligator-like snout and its double row of dagger sharp teeth. Unlike most of its close relatives, the alligator gar can breathe air and survive above water for up to two hours. Its body is covered in an armor plating of diamond-shaped, enamel-coated ganoid scales, and it's been said that this shining armor can produce sparks when struck by an axe.

The Devil Fish: The alligator gar stands accused of vicious human attacks, most notably at Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. A New Orleans newspaper once published an article contending that the alligator gar is more dangerous to human life than the "man-eater shark." But little evidence exists to suggest that this fish is actually aggressive towards humans, raising the question of whether the alligator gar has been wrongly accused of attacks perpetrated by an animal with a real track record of violence — the American alligator.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Alligator Gar: "You'd think such a toothy predator would be straightforward to hook. But tightening into a confident run will just bring your bait back. The front part of a gar's snout is like its shopping cart, somewhere to keep its food until later. Or think of a dog, taking a bone back to its crate..."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 2 : Killer Catfish

Extreme angler Jeremy Wade searches for the goonch — a potentially huge, man-eating species of catfish in the foothills of the Himalayas. It's the biggest and toughest challenge he's ever faced.

Bagarius yarelli

Maximum Length: Up to 6 feet
Maximum Weight: Over 150 pounds

Maneater or Misunderstood? The goonch catfish, much like its other catfish relatives, can grow to an enormous size and weight. But unlike others, this river monster makes its home in the Great Kali River running between India and Nepal, a stretch of water that is often used to dispose of funeral pyres after Hindu funeral rites. Theory contends that the goonch has long scavenged the half-burned human corpses from these funeral pyres. This diet may have helped the goonch — or at least a few members of the species — grow to unusually huge proportions. It may also have led the goonch to develop a taste for human flesh, which may now be fueling frightening attacks on live humans.

Reports of Attacks on Humans: The goonch stands accused of a number of human attacks, including the death of an 18-year-old Nepali in 2008, who was dragged down into the river by what witnesses described as an "elongated pig." Two similar attacks were reported in 1988.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Goonch Catfish: "Having caught some goonch before, I knew their tactics on the end of a line. They don't throw themselves dramatically out of the water and tire themselves out, like a 'sporting' fish. They just hunker down and let the current flow over their huge flat head and wing-like pectoral fins, practically gluing themselves to the bottom."

Guideline River Monsters Season 1 Episode 1 : Piranha

In 1976 a packed coach crashed into the Amazon killing 39 people. When the bodies were pulled out, some had been so viciously mutilated by piranhas they could only be identified by their clothes. Extreme angler Jeremy Wade investigates the piranha.

Subfamily: Serrasalminae

Average Length: From 6 to 10 inches
Maximum Length: Up to 18 inches

Tiny But Terrifying: Piranhas may be the smallest of the river monsters to roam the world's freshwaters, but don't be fooled by their size. The mouth of a piranha, no matter how tiny, is packed with sharp, triangular teeth that are tailor-made for puncturing and tearing the flesh of prey. This fish, working in large packs, can strip away meat down to the bone in a matter of minutes. Locals in the Amazon region often use piranha teeth to make tools and weapons.

Roosevelt's Role in Their Reputation: Piranhas are infamous for having a voracious appetite and an almost frenzied eating style, but some say tales of the piranha feeding frenzy were only exported worldwide after a stunt produced for the benefit of Teddy Roosevelt's visit to the Amazon. As the story goes, locals wanted to provide a good show for the avid sportsman, so they stocked a portion of the river with hordes of starving piranhas. Then they threw a cow into the mass of hungry fish, which quickly devoured it down to the bone.

Maneater or Misunderstood? Some scientists claim that piranhas have an undeserved reputation for brutality and only travel in packs for protection against larger predators. But there is considerable anecdotal evidence — such as the story of a child falling into the river during the dry season and being devoured alive by piranhas — that provides a compelling reason to view piranhas as truly dangerous river monsters.

Jeremy Wade's Tips for Catching Black Piranha: "On this occasion I was using liver, but bits of fish or meat are equally good. It's not delicate fishing. Instead of being quiet, I whisked the water with the rod tip to mimic the sound of something thrashing on the surface. Another trick used by the locals is to plop the bait repeatedly on the surface, the harder the better."

List Episode Of River Monster

Season Episode Episode
1 1 Piranha Red-bellied
piranha, Black Piranha, Amazon River Dolphin, Payara, Cuiu-Cuiu catfish
1 2 Killer
catfish, Mugger crocodile
1 3 Alligator
gar, American Alligator
1 4 European
1 5 Amazon
Suburí catfish
1 6 Amazon
catfish, Jaú catfish, Redtail catfish, Candiru,
Candiru-Acù, Payara
1 7 Freshwater
shark, Queensland grouper
2 1 Demon
2 2 Death
freshwater stingray, Mekong giant catfish, Siamese giant carp
2 3 Killer
snakehead, Bullseye snakehead, Silver carp
2 4 Congo
Catfish, Vundu, African lungfish
2 5 Alaskan
sturgeon, Northern pike, Sockeye salmon, Grizzly Bea
2 6 Rift
Valley Killer
Perch, Semutundu catfish, Tilapia, Nile crocodile, Hippopotamus
2 7 Hidden

About River Monster

Last April, extreme angler and biologist Jeremy Wade searched the world for legendary and flesh-eating freshwater fish with the debut of River Monsters on Animal Planet, pulling in monster-sized ratings. From tiny piranha that can tear apart humans in the Amazon to large killer catfish in India that feed on dead bodies, Jeremy has seen it all... or has he?

This year, viewers will take a dive into another terrific seven episodes as River Monsters returns for a new season on the Discovery Channel. Jeremy travels to Southeast Asia to track what some believe is the world's largest freshwater fish — the giant freshwater stingray. This UFO-shaped marine monstrosity is said to measure about 16-feet long and 7-feet across, and weighs approximately 1,200 pounds. But what's really killer is that its got an 18-inch barbed, bayonet-like tail that could whip extremely painful venom through an unfortunate passerby — though that doesn't stop Jeremy from hunting this mysterious monster.

Jeremy's adventures will continue to take him all over the world to solve freshwater fish mysteries in such locations as the Congo, Thailand, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, Alaska and even Florida to try to capture some amazing creatures and tell their tales. There's the freshwater fish that can grow as long as a whale, a species of shark that lives in fresh water 100 miles from the sea, and a fish with teeth as big as a lion's as well as other creatures and moments captured on film for the first time.

This season, expect to be reeled in as Jeremy tries to prove the authenticity of Alaska's native legendary monster that's fabled to drag people from their boats into an icy grave. Ride along as Jeremy "wades" through the Zambezi River for the bull shark and travels to Southeast Asia for the giant snakehead and to the Congo River for the goliath tigerfish.

"Freshwater is probably the last frontier of wildlife filmmaking," says Jeremy Wade. "Even big-budget film expeditions to rainforests and mountains regularly miss the spectacular underwater inhabitants. So even in the 21st century, there are genuine mysteries to be solved and discoveries to be made in rivers and ultimately shown to the outside world. 'Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it's not fish they are after,' wrote renowned American literary master Henry David Thoreau. In a sense, this is true of all the viewers who have tuned in to River Monsters. It's the adventure... the thrill... the extreme risk... and the 'moment of discovery' that people crave."

Introduction to River Monsters

River Monsters is a television series on Animal Planet hosted by Jeremy Wade
uncovers some of the world's most unusual fish and produced by Icon Films of Bristol, UK. The first season aired from 5 April to 17 May, 2009.
A second season began airing on 25 April, 2010.
Learn how to catch a river monster, catch up on Jeremy's latest adventures and
learn more about the strangest, most dangerous and most elusive beasts of the world's rivers and lakes.

River Monsters travels worldwide with host, biologist and extreme angler
Jeremy Wade to explore freshwater mysteries and local folklore, possibly debunk these myths and track down these harrowing tales.
The show has taken viewers to Germany, Australia, India, Brazil, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, The Republic of Congo, and Texas.

In the first season, Wade's weekly quest had him in search of Piranha, Alligator gar, Wels catfish, Goonch catfish, Bull shark, Piraiba/Candiru, and Arapaima,
all supposedly deadly creatures shrouded with mystery.
The show also focuses on explaining the creature's feeding habits.

Rebroadcasts of the episodes with captions showing behind the scenes commentary
from the host about the particular episode can also be seen on both Animal Planet and
(as of March 28, 2010) on Discovery Channel, these episodes going by the title "River Monsters: Unhooked".



Bill, Jim, and Scott were at a convention together and were
sharing a large suite on the top of a 75 story sky scraper.
After a long day of meetings they were shocked to hear that the
elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb
75 flights of stairs to get to their room.
Bill said to Jim and Scott, let's break the monotony of this unpleasant
task by concentrating on something interesting.
I'll tell jokes for 25 flights, and Jim can sing songs for 25 flights,
and Scott can tell sad stories the rest of the way.
At the 26th floor Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing.
At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories.
"I will tell my saddest story first," he said.
"I left the room key in the car!"