Fish biologist Zeb Hogan is not after one, but two Monster Fish on tonight’s episode River Jaws. He travels to the Land Down Under to track down both a bull shark and a speartooth shark. This is no small task considering each of these species offers their own sizeable challenges. The bull shark is incredibly aggressive, known to attack humans, and can reach lengths equivalent to a small car. On the other hand, the speartooth is an elusive animal; an adult has never been positively identified, and even some experienced fishermen in Australia have never heard of them. In the land where everything can kill you, Zeb decides to go after a creature with a bad attitude and another that is the stuff of legends. The challenges he faces along the way are numerous, ranging from bad luck to bad catches:
A Monster Fish tracker with a fear of sharks…on a shark hunt? That’s Zeb!
“I have this innate fear of sharks that I’ve had ever since I was a kid, but part of my fear is very rational, because working with sharks is dangerous.”
That does not look like a bull shark…
“Even though I’m here to find a big bull shark, I’ve never seen a hammerhead before. My whole life, I’ve always wanted to see a hammerhead, so this is great for me!”
Blazing temperatures melt away Zeb’s concentration.
“Not hot yet? You mean later today it’s going to get hotter?”
Looking for a bull shark, coming up with a bull ray.
“That was a surprise! I mean the weight of that thing. We felt it, as we were pulling up this, the line, I don’t think either of us had any idea it was going to be a bull ray. That was a big, big fish … I mean that ray could have been five hundred pounds! You know I love rays, so catching that ray, it was unexpected.”
The fisherman catches a touch of sea sickness.
“The boat’s just going up and down, up and down. I’m just feeling seasick. The more I concentrate, the sicker I feel; and the sicker I feel, the harder it is to concentrate.”
Another, scalier fisherman in the area creates some competition.
“I mean, you never really know what’s going on underneath the water in this part of the world. Could be a fifteen-foot croc twenty feet off the boat scaring away all the other fish … Saltwater crocs: largest reptile on Earth, and one of the only animals that will actually stalk and attack humans.”
Zeb pairs up with a couple enthusiastic, if a bit wacky, local fishermen.
“The next thing I know the guys are out fishing for bait, but there’s no way I’m joining them on a metal boat in an electrical storm … I don’t know these guys, and they do seem a little crazy. I’m not that excited to get out on a boat with them in a river full of crocs in a huge storm.”
Be sure to tune in tonight, Monday August 11th, at 9p on NatGeo WILD to watch Zeb track down two sharks while catching everything from monster bull rays to sea sickness!