English biologist Jeremy Wade hails from England, but that's hardly where you'll often find him. As the host of the Discovery Channel show River Monsters, Wade usually spends his time in the world's greatest rivers hunting for the world's most ferocious, biggest, fishes. And nope, we ain't talking about bangus or tilapia.
Wade is the world's most fearless fisherman, and in the sixth season of River Monsters, he'll once again prove just that. In the new six-part series, Wade once again dives straight into the heart of the Amazon with the ultimate mission of catching the mythical man-eating "Lau Lau"—a fish he's been trying to hunt down for two decades now. It is simply that elusive, and is rumored to grow so monstrous that Wade simply hasn't been able to say, "To hell with it, I'll fish for goldfish instead."
A brave man, Jeremy is. And so, in an interview shared to us by Discovery Channel, we get a clue as to how the mind of a mad fisherman—the modern-day equivalent of that dude who caught Moby Dick—works!
FHM: How long have you been hunting River Monsters and what about it fascinates you?
Jeremy Wade: I have been doing this for the past thirty years, fishing for evidence to piece together the stories behind mysterious freshwater deaths, tracking down perpetrators wherever they’re hiding. Over the years, I’ve learned that behind stories of fantastical thesis, there’s often a real flesh and blood creature. When I hear about people disappearing from the same small remote area of jungle, you have my full attention.
And then the fish said, "Do I look like I eat meat? I'm a vegetarian"
In the latest season of River Monsters, I head back to the Amazon, a place that holds endless mysteries for me, and over the course of a whole year, I went further and deeper into more remote and unknown river monsters territory than ever before. I've heard a report of a brutal, underwater mutilation that happened in an instant; a cruel cut that severed a young man's prospects. But I knew that investigating in the Amazon isn't going to be easy.
You have gone to different freshwater sites around the world, why did you decide to come back to the Amazon?
It’s a river that has mesmerized me with its split personality. One moment it can sustain you, then in the blink of an eye it can transform into something deadly. I’ve seen injuries inflicted by many underwater assailants. The Amazon rainforest covers tropical South America in a cloak of vegetation so immense it would smother more than two-thirds of the mainland U.S. The scale of the mighty river that cuts through its heart is so vast, it's almost impossible to comprehend.
To put it in some kind of perspective, the amount of water flowing through the Amazon is greater than the flow of the Ganges, Congo, Yangtze, Mississippi, and Nile combined. These tropical waters are so prolific that the concentration of fish species is 10,000 times that of the ocean. These include some very real river monsters. When you think of all the aquatic predators patrolling these watery highways, it makes navigating these rivers a bit like driving a convertible through a lion enclosure.
Yup, his lion enclosure analogy sounds just about right
We heard that you've been searching for the man-eating fish Lau-lau for about twenty years now. How was this excursion different from your last tries?
These creatures are very notorious and very hard to find. Leads have gone cold in the past but this time, I discovered a site within the rainforests of Guyana which I suspected held the key to their mysterious location. Like you said, I have been searching for twenty years and this time, I didn’t want to come back until I caught one.