Hooked!

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 10 May, 8.30pm

Uncover the incredible tale behind a baffling mystery of exotic aquatic invaders. Asian Carp infiltrate America’s greatest waterway, annihilating everything in their path. Their appetites are insatiable, spawning… scary. These alien invaders don’t belong – but now, with the power to destroy the eco-system, they must be stopped. How did they get here? Where are they going? And what are scientists and anglers doing to fight back?

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 19 April, 8.30pm

In the world of ferocious, flesh-eating fish, legends have described man-eating freshwater monsters… ravenous piranha, the fierce Wels catfish and recently, one other elusive river monster: the Goonch. Otherwise known as the Devil Catfish, this legendary fighter is rumoured to have developed a taste for live human flesh by feeding on the burnt bodies of funeral pyres. Now, one extreme angler is determined to find out what is myth and what is real. Embarking on a daring expedition, adventure angler Jakub Vágner is on a quest to come face to face with a monster Devil Catfish… in the flesh.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 11 January, 8.30pm

Meet daring anglers who use a variety of untraditional methods to hook the biggest, baddest sea creatures. In Australia, a marine biologist and his team lasso an injured – and angry – sand tiger shark with a six foot hook lodged in its throat, and then perform on-the-spot emergency surgery to save its life. Then, meet up with an expert angler in the Seychelles who literally dives off a cliff into treacherous rocky surf to catch a giant trevally, a fish that can grow to bathtub proportions. Next, follow a daredevil Californian fisherman in a face-to-face showdown with a massive thresher shark… from his surfboard. And watch a man swim-wrestle a huge bass in the open water of the Atlantic with nothing but some snorkel gear and his trusty fishing pole.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 9 November, 8.30pm

In the world of monster fish these leaping leviathans take flight to the next level. Travel to fishing hotspots all over the world in search of airborne warriors. Battling His Majesty the Black Marlin in Panama, wrangling a Silver King on a fly in Puerto Rico, chasing the highflying predator the Mako Shark and diving deep into shark infested waters to tag a giant Pacific Manta Ray. Take fishing to the extreme as men fight to the finish against highflying odds to land these fleet-of-fin beasts.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 26 October, 8.30pm

It’s the astounding world of monster fish with monster teeth. Sporting mega-mouthfuls of razor-sharp weapons – they chomp, shred, slash and slice. What began with the prehistoric, 40-ton Megalodon – with teeth the size of meat cleavers – lives on today in toothy super-species, from sharks to Brazil’s mysterious Payara, otherwise known as “Vampire Fish”. Reeling them in is a knockdown, no-holds-barred fight to the finish. And one intrepid ichthyologist’s Amazon expedition to study them is the ultimate adventure.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Monday 12 October, 8.30pm

Brian Harkin and Matt Watson show remarkable determination in a fight with a whopper dogtooth tuna. Then, Martin Arostegui goes after a world record lemon shark and decides to take on an even bigger challenge: fishing for big sharks with a fly rod. Next, it’s an arapaima showdown when angler Keith Purton battles a scaly, armoured behemoth. In the Gulf of Mexico, a teenager gets down-and-dirty with the Silver King – a titanic, thrashing tarpon. Finally, pro-fisherman Jair Rigotti chases a lifelong obsession – hooking a giant piraiba and enduring the battle to tell the tale. Awed by their speed, size and strength, encounters with these amazing monster fish help us understand and protect them to ensure they forever rule our planet’s waters.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Friday 9 October, 7.30pm

Titanic beasts that defy the imagination; mysterious and mammoth, they rule the underwater depths. Fearsome kings of the food chain, they have almost no natural enemies; limitless in their capacity to get even bigger. To encounter these goliaths face-to-face, we must meet them on their turf. In New Zealand, Matt Watson and his team set out on a dangerous assignment. Working for the department of conservation, they plan to retrieve a live DNA sample – from a great white shark. Watch how they come face to face with one of the ocean’s most feared and fabled alpha predators. These colossal killers are smarter than we think. See how great whites detach their jaws and devour thirty pounds of flesh at a time.

New Zealander Matt Watson and his team are on the hunt for ravenous flesh-eating carnivores, fish with human-like teeth, stingrays the size of buffalo and the conservationists on a mission to protect them — see the amazing encounters of man and megafish…

“The biggest fish we’ve seen! A real-life Loch Ness monster.”
— Zeb Hogan, fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer

Whether for science or sport, encountering the sheer power and size of the world’s biggest fish is nothing short of awe-inspiring. National Geographic Channel brings the excitement of monster fishing home on Mondays at 7.30pm from 5 October with the new series: Hooked!

Journey across the globe to see the most extreme encounters in megafishing and the groundbreaking research being done to protect these fish. New Zealand’s Matt Watson and a team of avid anglers and scientists track, bait, catch and release fish of extraordinary proportions. Then, in select episodes, fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Zeb Hogan continues his five-year-long mission to help preserve the world’s biggest freshwater fish.

From a colossal squid weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds to a stingray almost 12 feet long, each adrenaline-filled episode examines the environmental challenges these megafish face — from climate change to pollution to overfishing. Some of these Goliath fish have been around since the dinosaurs and now, like their predecessors, they face extinction. With each capture, conservationists and biologists can study these amazing creatures and begin the dialogue needed to analyse their sometimes dire situation and debate possible solutions.

As producer/filmmaker Dean Johnson says, “Most of the species I film won’t be on this planet in the next 50 years, and each time I look through the viewfinder I realise the images we are capturing will be telling a story that others may never have the opportunity to see.”