The Monster master

Wade with guide Rovin Alvin holding an Arapaima in the Caiman pond on River Rewa, Guyana – one of these rammed him in the chest and caused him serious injury 12 years ago

Jeremy Wade, star of Discovery’s “River Monsters” was in Singapore to promote its 6th season, and we netted an interview with the Monster master

Jeremy Wade, the sun-kissed star of Discovery’s popular series “River Monsters”, came to Singapore as part of his “River Monsters Live in Asia” tour.

Jeremy paid a visit to our very own River Safari and took the chance to meet and greet his biggest fans and fishing enthusiasts.

He mesmerised us with some of the most spine-tingling stories of his adventures.

What else have you been busy with, Jeremy?

In the time that I’ve been filming “River Monsters”, there has not really been time for anything else at all.

I was looking to do a bit of fishing back home just for fun and last year I went once. I have got two young nephews, about 12 and nine, and one night I did get a chance to go with them.

What was the strangest moment on the job?

A fish called the Goonch catfish. Just the appearance of that fish when I finally caught it… Fresh water fish tend to look very different. They tend to be very ugly, quite hideous looking.

How did you closest brush with death go?

I suppose the most serious injury I have was from an Arapaima. About 12 years ago one of these rammed me in the chest.

It was not a particularly big Arapaima but I was in pain for a couple of weeks. I can only imagine what a bigger one could have done to me.

What scares you the most?

Many of the types of fish scare me. In some ways fear helps because it makes you pay attention.

I find electric eels particularly scary; it is the one fish that I will not touch.

I have industrial rubber gloves designed for people who work on power lines when I have to deal with electric eels.

With which creature was your greatest battle?

The Goliath Tiger Fish. The first time I went to the Congo rain forest was 25 years ago. I caught nothing. The second time I was there, I caught nothing.

It took me 25 years to get a big one; the challenges don’t come much more difficult than that.

Jeremy Wade’s new six-part series features his continuing adventures hunting down the deadliest of River Monsters all around the world.

“River Monsters” Season 6 premieres on Jul 8 at 9pm on Discovery Channel, StarHub TV Ch 422.

By Basil Lee