The Ultimate Monster Fish: The Frankenfish Snakehead

With a moniker like Frankenfish, it is not surprising that the eerie snakehead fish slithered its way up Zeb Hogan’s list of Monster Fish on tonight’s episode.  These fish originally come from Thailand, where they are a popular food due to their abundance, but their hunting grounds are no longer limited to just Southeast Asia.  Many snakefish were released in the United States because freeing animals such as fish, turtles and birds as a form of prayer is a practice among some people in Asian countries.  Since then, they have started to take over the canals and swamps of Florida as a deadly invasive species with no known-predators.  This ferocious and tenacious fish has even been the villain in horror films in which they terrorize neighborhoods and attack humans, events which are inspired by true stories and encounters with the animal.  For Zeb, however, this monster is not just part of a B-Rated horror flick with fleeing villagers; he came up close and personal with Frankenfish, and he insists that they are true Monster Fish:

 

“I’m on a quest to find out what makes the snakehead the ultimate Monster Fish!”

intro
Rachaburi, Thailand: Holding a giant snakehead firmly in his hands, Zeb Hogan is happy to catch a wild snakehead in Rachaburi, a western province of Thailand.
(Photography by NGT / Singha Quansuwan)

 

“The snakehead doesn’t chase prey; it hides, waiting to ambush it and that’s a definite monster trait.  Just like a killer croc stalking its prey at the river’s edge. The snakehead hides in weedy undergrowth and waits for prey to swim past before it explodes forward and attacks. It looks fearsome, it’s aggressive, and it ambushes prey. It’s really living up to its reputation.”

A snakehead lurking near the grassy canal floor, waiting for its next meal to cross its path.
(Photography by NGT)

 

“The gaping mouth, large snake-like scales and numerous razor-sharp teeth means the snakehead definitely looks like a monster fish.”

open-wide
Tamarac, Florida, USA: An air-breathing torpedo-shaped fish, Bullesyes snakehead has a large mouth with a strong jaw and sharp teeth.
(Photography by NGT / Singha Quansuwan)

 

“Fierce aggression is a clear monster quality and it’s easy to see the snakehead’s monster-sized attitude.”

hooked
A snakefish is not very happy about taking a fisherman’s bait in a canal in Florida, and it is about to put up a monster-sized fight.
(Photography by NGT)

 

“The places that [they live] are kind of weird, right in town, right next to people’s houses, right next to roads. We’re in a very, very urban environment. Snakeheads do not need a pristine environment to survive. And that’s another sign of a true Monster Fish.”

down-and-dirty
Suphanburi, Thailand: After running around mud, Zeb Hogan happily holds up a striped snakehead he catches at a snakehead farm. Striped snakehead is popular food in Thailand.
(Photography by NGT / Singha Quansuwan)

 

“Snakeheads evolved the ability to breathe not only underwater, but also above the water via rudimentary lungs that sit above their gills. This means they can stay out of the water for several days but only if they stay moist.”

air
A snakefish coming up to the surface of the water to breathe.

 

“I’ve witnessed even more monster attributes, but I still haven’t seen the big one out there: the giant snakehead. It’s the most ravenous and even rumored to attack humans.”

feet
Zeb Hogan gets into a tank of giant snakefish to see if any decide to make a snack out of his toes.
(Photography by NGT)

 

Tune in tonight Monday, July 28 at 9P on NatGeo WILD to find out more reasons why Zeb thinks that snakeheads’ teeth, powerful jaws, aggressive nature, and ability to take whole chunks of flesh of other fish make them the ultimate Monster Fish!

Comments

  1. Stevet
    Cali
    August 1, 2014, 9:36 pm

    I am really disappointed about the experience of the host. He not a very good fisherman. Why not pick someone with more experience.

    T

  2. Ulrik
    Denmark
    September 14, 2014, 3:19 am

    The Giant Snakehead is an amazing animal.