Angling explorer Jeremy Wade was at Bristol Aquarium on Thursday, November 17th to officially launch his new book ‘River Monsters’.
Based on the award-winning television series of the same name, the book is Jeremy’s first-hand account of travelling the world in search of the planet’s most extraordinary freshwater fish – including man-eating catfish, bullsharks, giant eels and super-piranhas.
Originally from Suffolk, Jeremy, 53, now lives just outside Bath and has a degree in zoology from Bristol University.
“I don’t see myself as a particularly expert angler, but what I am able to do is get into the kinds of places where outsiders don’t normally go, with enough energy left to put a line in the water,” he said.
“Teaming up with local fishermen is vital to success, and what’s great about this approach is that you get to see beneath the surface of diverse human cultures too,” he added.
His first overseas trip was to the mountain rivers of India in 1982, and since then he has increasingly spent his time tracking down large and little-known fish in rivers around the world – particularly in the Congo and Amazon rainforests.
During his career he has achieved a number of notable ‘firsts’. These include filming a large mystery creature in an Amazon lake, dubbed ‘the Amazon Nessie’ by BBC Wildlife magazine, and getting the first underwater footage with cameraman Rick Rosenthal of the ‘Giant Devil Catfish’ in India.
In between catching fish, he has also caught malaria, been detained as a suspected spy, narrowly escaped drowning, been threatened at gunpoint, and survived a plane crash.
Bristol Aquarium’s David Waines said: “It was great to have a chance to meet up with Jeremy and to listen to some of his amazing stories.
“Our curator was particularly fascinated to hear about his experiences with some of the truly giant fish of the Amazon – and fortunately for us he left his fishing rod at home!” he added.