I found “River Monsters;” which airs on Animal Planet Sunday nights at 10 p.m. I was flicking channels because I was having trouble falling asleep.
I’m not a great fan of fishing shows. Lots of commentary and little action; I’m just saying. But this is no ordinary fishing show. Jeremy Wade, the star, is an “extreme angler”. I have no idea what that means. He is an educated biologist and travel writer. He grew up in the United Kingdom and started fishing young…from about two years old from what I can figure.
Ladies, he is also a rather nice, mature looking man with a deep, throaty British accent…just in case you are interested.
In 1982, inspired by a magazine article about fishing for mahseer, he went to India. Fishing for these huge water dwellers is quite the tourist industry in India. Who knew? The record thus far is a 76 pound mahseer fish caught in 1975. So, what do you do with such a big fish? Treat it with respect…do do do do…ba bump…giggle.
Jeremy also fishes in the Congo and on the Amazon River. In 1992 he published ‘Somewhere Down the Crazy River’. He searched for a rare animal and it was the subject of a British television show, “Jungle Hooks”. The series gained popularity.
Jeremy points out that although fresh water resources like lakes and rivers cover only 1% of the Earth’s waters, we know little about the creatures living in them. Many of these waterways are hard to access.
Last week, he veered from his usual haunts overseas to go “noodling” in Oklahoma. You have not seen anything till you see this sport. I’m just saying. Jeremy joined a crew angling for the grand prize of capturing the heaviest load.
They find water holes and pipes in tributaries, streams and rivers where gigantic cat fish lay their eggs. One of the team goes legs first into the hole, as bait, to draw out the catfish. They attack (the fish that is).
The noodler’s partner tries to grab the jaw, once the big fish chomps down. Or maybe the noodler does, but then he would surely drown. It was intense to watch and I was traumatized.
All hope not to die while fighting to haul the catch to the surface. These monsters spin and pull at the noodler’s limbs and are so strong, they can take off a leg in fighting mode. The other guy(s) on the team is there to keep the “noodler” from drowning and losing a body part, as the trophy tries to drag him underwater. Sounds like fun, huh? This guy actually volunteered to try this activity. Jeremy’s team landed up winning, having caught three catfish weighing in collectively at a total of 153 pounds.
Jeremy travels world-wide, searching for local lore about River Monsters, and sets out to find the odd fish, gator or monster. There are some huge ugly water dwellers around and they put up a fight. This guy can’t be married.
Even the website is neat. Just for fun, you can go to http://animal.discovery.com/tv/river-monsters/game/ and play a fishing game. Seriously. It’s kind of like Pac Man, with a bait bucket.
I can’t imagine Jeremy’s kids, if he has any, going out with their dad fishing. The things he reels in are big enough to eat small children in one neat bite. You just have to check out this show once, for yuks…or if it turns you on, I mean, it’s on Sunday nights. I checked last night just for research purposes.
There are stranger things in the water and earth than you and I could imagine.