'River Monsters' Host Tries New York Luck

River Monsters: The Waiting Game

The anglers used small fish and blood worms as bait.

"What's the take like?" Wade asked.

"Like a ton of bricks," Chaffo replied. "It's going to pull straight to the bottom."

And then they ... well ... they wait. Something all fishermen, Wade included, are all too familiar with.

On a trip on the Congo River to catch the ruthless, six-foot, 100-pound Goliath Riger fish, Wade waited for three weeks.

It wasn't until after visiting a witch doctor that Wade finally landed one of the fearsome fish.

Wade said that when he's shooting, a lot of time can pass just waiting.

"We could be filming for say two-and-a-half weeks," Wade said. "Normally fish don't respond on cue. You've got to hang around for a bit. ... It's a bit like looking for the Yeti or the Loch Ness monster, but you actually do get to see it."

Chaffo was pretty encouraging that the pair would get something any minute. In fact, the minutes started dragging into hours. At least that was plenty of time for Wade to talk about how he got into fishing.

River Monsters: Memorable Catches

"Well, it started with fishing in a river near my home in England," he said. "When I started I was 7 or 8. Then I sort of fished intensively throughout my teens and early 20s, you know, probably too much for my own good. I mean it was a bit obsessive.

"I think it's quite similar to a gambler," he said. "It's never going to be totally predictable, and you're always left thinking, if I just go tomorrow I'm going to get a bigger fish."

And Wade remembers all of those big and bigger fish that he has caught, with a sort of fondness -- and a hint of pride.

"This payara," he said. "Various other names, one is vampire fish because it's got these fangs, but they're on the lower jaw so you've got two long fangs on the lower jaw. And they are so long, that when it closes its mouth, they actually recess inside its head."

Then there was the alligator gar.

"Now that was in Texas on the Trinity River, and I think that's a very good example of how something can be right under your nose and you don't even know it's there," Wade said. "A lot of people, you know, living in Houston, have no idea these things are in their river."

Once, Wade even allowed himself to be the bait.

He jumped into a pool full of piranhas.

"If piranhas aren't hungry you can swim with them," he said. "Now, being television, my director said, 'On that shoot, well, you've got to demonstrate that, it's television, it's not radio, it's not a book. I got in the water, OK, I'm in the water -- can I get out now?"

And Then at Last...

Four hours later, we assure Wade, who has a plane to catch, that he shouldn't worry about catching a fish in the East River -- he should leave whenever he wants to. But that, of course, is not an option. He didn't want to give up.

And after six hours they landed a beautiful striped bass.

"Not bad for the East River, huh?" Chaffo said.

"I was starting to think you were making this up, that there weren't any fish in this river," Wade said. "This is actually the first one of these I've seen in the flesh."

And then he threw it back.

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