Bites at Animal Planet


25 Feb

Massive, 280-Pound Wels Catfish Caught in Italy

Just when you thought we’ve seen all the catfish in the world, this behemoth makes its way out of the water and into the news.

Fisherman Dino Ferrari poses with the wels catfish he caught in Italy's Po Delta region.

While fishing in Italy’s Po Delta, Dino Ferrari caught a massive wels catfish, weighing in at 280 pounds and measuring 8 feet, 8 inches in length.

It is believed that Ferrari’s catch could break the record for biggest catfish ever caught with a humble rod and line, according to the Daily Mail.

Continue reading >

7 Jan

Salmon is King in 'Alaska: Battle on the Bay'

Alaska BoB 2 days
Jade Hoiby works onboard the Jesse N, captained by her uncle Vince Hoiby. (Photo Credit: Animal Planet)

As we’ve witnessed in shows like River Monsters and Off the Hook, fishing incites fire and passion in anyone looking for a big catch.

The same can be said about our new Animal Planet series, Alaska: Battle on the Bay. In it, we’ll follow five boat captains and their crews as they try to make it rich off of fishing for sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where 44 million fish migrate every year.

Get to know them a little better:

Capt. Taran White (The Thunder) is a young brash Bristol Bay native with the fastest boat on the water.

Capt. Luke Swab (The Jimmy Jeff) is a laid-back Detroit native with a fixer-upper vessel that might slow him down.

Capt. Vince Hoiby (The Jesse N) is a long-time veteran with the patience and knowledge to hit it big on the bay.

Capt. Tom Walsh (The Intruder) is a fiery Irishman with a hot temper and a greenhorn crew.

Capt. Leonard Ferrigno (The Deborah Renee) is a family man with his sons on board. But that won’t stop him from using his boat as a battering ram to get what he wants.

Salmon fishing in Bristol Bay isn’t just about the money. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game depends on commercial fishermen to harvest 70 percent of the salmon each season to prevent overpopulation. Without controlled fishing, the sockeye would die due to overcrowding, damaging Bristol Bay’s fragile ecosystem in the process.

Which boat will come out with the most fish at the end of the short season? You’ll have to watch the show to find out! Alaska: Battle on the Bay premieres Thursday, January 8 at 10/9c.

Check out a SNEAK PEEK of the show and visit the Alaska: BoB website for more!

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27 Aug

Giant Grouper Takes Down Shark With One Bite


That's one for the grouper!

Friends in Florida were in for a shock while fishing off the coast of Bonita Spring, FL this month. While reeling in a black tip shark, a goliath grouper jumped out of nowhere and took the predator in its mouth.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the video posted to YouTube by user Gimbb14:

Some may find it surprising that a fish could attack a shark, but as we’ve seen on River Monsters, groupers aren’t ones to be messed with. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, goliath grouper (like the one in the video) can grow beyond eight feet and weigh as much as 800 pounds. And while shark isn’t on its usual menu, crustaceans, stingrays, octopus and young sea turtles are, making the fish a revered predator in the water.

Interested in learning more about groupers? Take a look at some video from River Monsters

15 Jul

Testicle-Biting, 'Ball Cutter' Pacu Fish Caught in Michigan Lake

A Michigan woman caught a 14-inch pacu, a "testicle-biting" native of South America and relative of the piranha, in Lake St. Clair last week. 

Last summer, pacu were caught off the coast of Sweden as well. The fish has been dubbed the "ball-cutter" per its reputation of attacking human testicles.

Our own angler Jeremy Wade caught this "nutcracker fish"  when he investigated reports of two men who died from severe hemmoraging after being castrated by something in the water. His search took him to Papua New Guinea. Watch his report: 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week's catch by Holley Luft on July 9.  Officials believe the fish may have been dumped in the lake once it became too large for a private aquarium. Pacu can grow to be up to 55 pounds and 3 feet in length in the wild — and could become too aggressive as well for your home tank.

In other words ... maybe NOT get a pacu for the house.

Watch Jeremy Wade's How to Catch a River Monster digital series and learn how he caught the ball-cutter:

Continue reading >

15 Jul

Untold Stories of the ER: Snapping Turtle Latches on and Won't Let Go

Our friends over at Discovery Fit & Health shared this crazy video with us from Untold Stories of the ER.

Patient Bo was noodling for catfish (just like our friends on Hillbilly Handfishin'!) when a 25-pound alligator snapping turtle latched onto his neck. Shouldn't be a problem to remove it, right?

Wrong. If the doctor harms or, worse, kills the turtle during removal, the catfishers risk serving jailtime according to the game warden who accompanied the group to the emergency room. Not to mention that pesky little detail of how strong the turtle is and the fact that it can hold its breath for an extended period of time.

Check out the video above, then watch some more awesome turtle videos.

19 Jun

Father & Son Reel in Giant, Record-Breaking White Sturgeon


When Ron Jarvis and his son Paul traveled from Atlanta, Ga., to British Columbia for a father-son fishing trip, little did they know they were about to make the record books.  On the first day of their three-day excursion along the Fraser River, the duo caught one of the largest white sturgeon ever reeled in.

While it may be common for people to hook one of these giant fish, winning what can be an hour-long battle to reel the monster in is where people often fall short.  Sturgeons are the largest freshwater fish that can be found in North America and are said to live for over 100 years and grow to be over 1,500 lbs. However, after over an hour of work, 19-year-old Paul Jarvis succeeded in reeling in the beast which was over 11 feet long, and approximately 882 lbs.

Continue reading >

5 Jun

River Monsters: Jeremy Wade Swims with Manatees, Offers Snacks

Now that Season 6 of River Monsters has wrapped, our intrepid angler and biologist Jeremy Wade continues his world travels, sharing his monster fishing tales and marine expertise. 

Last month, he stopped by the River Safari aquarium in Singapore where he dove with manatees, fed them some treats and swam alongside one of their captive arapaimas in River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest.


Continue reading >

16 May

Florida Fishermen Catch Pregnant Hammerhead, Deliver 20 Shark Pups

Fishermen in Venice, Fla., reeled in a large Hammerhead shark that turned out to be pregnant. The mama shark had a large bite mark wound on her side through which they could see babies, popping their heads out and trying to wiggle free.

The men continued to pull her to shore and deliver 20 baby shark pups:

What the group clearly may have not known is that the Hammerhead shark is an endangered species and should be cut from the line and released if caught.

Continue reading >

16 May

Jumping Crocodiles Offer Strong Reminder to Never Get in the Water Again

8rk74In further evidence supporting our decision to never enter the water again, this video of amazing crocodiles leaping majestically out of the water to catch some meat on a fishing line proves that these chomping beauties aren't creatures to be messed with.

The video, from Northern Territory, Australian Outback YouTube channel shows how you can get up close and personal with the crocodiles (in a safe, smart manner, of course). Check it out.

As for us? With all of our Monster Week research, we'll stick to dry land, thanks. Check out more reasons to never get back in the water - including this piranha whose teeth can bite through steel:

Tune in for a brand new Monster Week - starting THIS Sunday at 9PM E/P

(with specials premiering at 8PM E/P too!)

14 May

British Boy Makes Monstrous Catfish Catch


We've seen monstrous catfish catches on Hillbilly Handfishin' and River Monsters, but a British boy caught what many believe is the biggest living freshwater fish in Britain - a 122 pound, 7-foot long catfish.

Fourteen-year-old Will Sutton struggled with the catfish for 45 minutes and eventually was able to bring the fish to shore with the help of his uncle.

They weighed the fish and Sutton got his picture taken with it, then, with the help of his uncle, they released the fish back into the water. A monster catch with a happy ending.

Take a look at a fishing trip that had a not-so-nice of an ending, then tune in for more Monster Week starting THIS SUNDAY at 9PM E/P!


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