Adventure Outdoors Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 80

JEREMY WADE AO: Your show, River Monsters, has gotten an astonishing number of viewers. What, in your opinion, has people so intrigued by these monsters beneath the surface? JW: Lots of reasons, some of which we half-realized at the start and others which have only become apparent as we went along. First, most of these creatures are predators, and everybody is hard-wired to be interested in predators. We’re descended from ancestors who paid attention to predators. Then there’s just the appearance of some of them. In clear sea water most fish look like fish, quite pretty mostly, but in murky fresh water there’s no point being good looking. So you have these toothy things covered with tentacles, many of which most people never knew existed. They look prehistoric, and we’re all fascinated by that, especially kids -- and we have lots of kids watching the show. Then many of these fish, for all their ugliness, are actually misunderstood -- they don’t intentionally go after people (see above). There’s also the detective-story element; you want to stick around to find out whodunit. And there’s the nice twist of the perpetrator being released, which most viewers understand and appreciate. AO: What would you recommend to fishermen out there as far as baiting techniques go? Is there a trick to catching fish in freshwater? JW: For technique, I’d always say keep it as simple as possible. In fresh water remember that eyesight plays a limited role. Fish might use their eyes at close range, but they also find prey by picking up vibration and smell. Think like a fish, using all your senses. AO: What is the weirdest type of fish/water creature that you’ve ever eaten? JW: The weirdest fish I’ve eaten was probably a lamprey, but it actually tasted rather like mackerel. Not bad. AO: Is there any creature out there in the world that you believe exists, but that you were never able to find or catch? JW: Hmm, that might spoil the surprise for a possible future episode.... AO: Your book, Somewhere Down the Crazy River (1992), is considered to be one of the highest-ranking classics among angling literature. Do you have any plans for new literary works in the future? AO: Is it safe to assume that we will be seeing a lot more from Jeremy Wade? JW: I have since written a book that goes more into the background of the TV series: River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones that Didn’t Get Away (Da Capo 2011). I have plans for a couple of other books, but at the moment the filmmaking is taking up all my time. JW: WE KEEP FINDING INTERESTING MATERIAL AND FOR THIS YEAR AT LEAST I KNOW THAT RIVER MONSTERS WILL KEEP ME BUSY. 78 Summer 2016 Adventure Outdoors