Bruce Ajari: TV’s ‘River Monsters’ features interesting twist on fishing | SierraSun.com
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Bruce Ajari: TV’s ‘River Monsters’ features interesting twist on fishing

Bruce Ajari
Gone Fishin'

While watching some television this past weekend I stumbled on a promotion for a new television show on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on the Animal Planet station. The show is called “River Monsters.” Why do I mention this show? It’s a fishing show with an interesting twist.

The host, Jeremy Wade, goes to various rivers all over the world to unravel the mysteries behind some legends about man-eating fish and to catch them with hook and line.

One such tale involves a tour bus that crashed into the Amazon River and Piranhas supposedly ate the crash victims. The show goes on destination to find out if these tales are fact or fiction and to catch the legendary fish of the region.

Here’s how the show’s website describes the host.

“Jeremy Wade is a biologist, extreme angler and writer specializing in travel and natural history. He is best known for using fishing as a means to look beneath the surface of human life in remote places, notably the Congo and the Amazon. Having grown up in rural Suffolk in the United Kingdom, he studied zoology at Bristol University and went on to teach biology at a grammar school in Kent.

Wade started fishing on the Suffolk Stour and went on to fish stillwaters for carp and catfish. At 16, he was the youngest member of the British Carp Study Group. In his early twenties, however, he hung up his rods, an antisocial response to overcrowded British lakes. In 1982, inspired by a magazine article about fishing for mahseer, he went to India. He has been fishing all over the world ever since.

Since then he has made expeditions to Southeast Asia, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), the People’s Republic of Congo (now Republic of …), India (again) and the Amazon. During these journeys he caught malaria, was arrested for spying, narrowly escaped drowning and survived a plane crash. In between, he has worked as a tour leader, motorcycle dispatch rider, supply teacher, art tutor, translator (Portuguese-English), public relations consultant, dishwasher and newspaper reporter. For a while he was senior copywriter at an advertising agency until the excitement became too much.

In 1992 he published “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” (written with Paul Boote). This recounts the rediscovery of the Indian mahseer and the goliath tigerfish of the Congo and is considered to be one of the classics of angling literature. But his knack for finding rare creatures isn’t limited to fish. In 1994, scientists were mystified by an animal he photographed in an Amazon lake. Sent out by the BBC Natural History Unit the following year, he succeeded in filming it after a five-week stakeout. Since then he has pursued another Amazon myth ” the giant arapaima ” the subject of his 2002 British television series, “JUNGLE HOOKS.” His 2006 series, “JUNGLE HOOKS: INDIA,” also features an underwater creature not seen before on television.”

He sounds like quite an interesting character. Anyone interested in seeing big fish caught should find this show an interesting one to watch.

” Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.


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