Most people aren’t interested in the slithery, prehistoric seeming creatures lurking in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Jeremy Wade isn’t most people. For six seasons, Wade has used his expertise as a freshwater detective, biologist and extreme angler to showcase some of the most terrifying aquatic abominations you can imagine on Animal Planet’s River Monsters.
Now in its seventh season, the show has Wade questing after a host of heinous creatures, like charting the path of an eel-like monster that is responsible for people vanishing into thin air. He even uses himself as bait to test the theory that sharks won’t attack a human if unprovoked—maybe he could have just trusted that one.
We chatted with Wade to see what else is in store this season, plus what’s one essential he won’t go into the water without.
What’s different about this season of River Monsters?
This season we go a little bit further into saltwater and also spend a bit more time under the water. I encounter a creature that you normally wouldn’t want to go anywhere near.
What river monster has vexed you the most? What’s the river monster you think scared fans the most?
I think the answer to both these questions is the same; it’s the Goliath Tigerfish. To catch a big one took me 25 years, and to this day, this is the fish that gets the biggest reaction out of viewers.
How did you get interested in these types of creatures? You’ve had a very storied career, how did River Monsters come about?
I started fishing when I was a young boy, seven or eight years old. Like many fisherman, I then got interested in catching bigger and bigger fish. This inevitably ends up with you hunting predators (fish that eat other fish), except in my case, when I ran out of predators at home, I went searching in other far, far parts of the world.
What is your advice for amateur river monster hunters?
It’s almost like don’t do it, it could consume your life.
What’s the one thing you won’t go into the water without?
My swimming shorts!
When you do get to watch TV, what are some of your favorite shows?
Because I’m away from home for half the year, I don’t get to watch very much TV. When I am at home, my base is the UK. It’s been so long since I’ve been home, I can’t remember what I watch!
Don’t miss the Season 7 premiere of River Monsters on Sunday, April 5 at 9/8c on Animal Planet (Ch. 282).