Bites at Animal Planet

River Monsters

28 May

Monstrous, 552-Pound Goliath Grouper Caught by Kayak Fisherman (VIDEO)

One EXTREMELY ecstatic Florida man reeled in the catch of a lifetime -- and, aboard a kayak no less!  That's right -- he caught a massive, 552-pound Goliath grouper, a fish so monstrous, it snapped his fishing rod. Check out the video: 

The grouper was caught in Sanibel, Fla., by Jon Black of the Crazy Lure Bait & Tackle Shop.  Black was sitting in his kayak when he felt a pretty strong tug at the end of his line -- little did he realize, he was about to reel in this massive beast!

Photo: YouTube image


Black and his bait shop urge on their Facebook page however not to attempt catching such large fish from a kayak as it can prove dangerous. The grouper was released back into the water shortly after it was caught - after some momentous photo opps, of course. 

Captain Ben Chancey and Crazy Lure's owner, Captain Jonathan Black went kayak fishing for major goliaths today, which to...

Posted by Crazy Lure Bait & Tackle Shop on Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Dig into our archives and waatch more impressive grouper catches with Jeremy Wade on River Monsters:

Continue reading >

22 May

The Helicoprion: 'It Doesn’t Get More Badass Than a Big Buzzsaw for a Lower Jaw'

RIVER MONSTERS PREHISTORIC TERROR: JURASSIC SIZED premieres Monday, May 25, at 8/7c.   Find out more about the BADASS Helicoprion in an exclusive feature with the leading experts on the species, below.

Illustration Credit: Ray Troll 2013

Five years ago in the invertebrate paleontology collection in the basement of the Idaho Museum of Natural History, a student of Idaho University Professor Leif Tapanila, Jesse Pruitt, was searching for an undergraduate research project when he stumbled upon the Helicoprion fossil. 

The spiral rock had been an anomaly for over a century, with scientists trying to figure out what was buried beneath its surface. Without the technology of today, however, most fell short, only being able to interpret the fossil for face value. 

But with the help of CT scans and a lot of manual labor, Tapanila and Pruitt along with four other scientists and Alaskan artist Ray Troll, who Tapanila calls "the world expert on Helicroprions," uncovered the age-old mystery.

Together they solved how its jaw works, what its function was and where exactly the whorl, spiral of teeth, were placed in the mouths of these 275 million-year-old sharks. 

So ladies and gents, I give you, the Helicoprion.


The ancient shark lived nearly 275 million years ago, with a body of up to 25 feet long and a jaw stretching two to two and a half feet. And, inside of that jaw, sat a deadly set of teeth.

But its 130 to 150 teeth didn't go from left to right like those of a normal jaw, no, these teeth spiraled outward from the inside.

A human, like many other animals, sheds its teeth, but the Helicoprion keeps every tooth its ever grown. In the center of the diagram are its baby teeth and on the outside are the newer teeth it has created, holding a lifetime of teeth! Tapanila says Helicoprions are "married to these teeth forever." 

Helicoprion jaw

But the shark has a "storage problem," said Leif Tapanila, leader of the Helicoprion research team, because it can't shed its teeth. So instead, it "wraps its bigger newer formed teeth around the smaller teeth," hence the spiral.

Continue reading >

17 May

Like to Fish? Show Off Your #ReelMonster Catch on TV

Tune in tonight at 9/8c for a killer episode of River Monsters. Then stick around for an Aftershow with Jeremy Wade featuring selections of our audience photos posted to #ReelMonster.
Get the full story in our Facebook post embedded below.

Do you like to fish? Then post a picture of your catch to either Instagram, Twitter or the River Monsters Facebook page...

Posted by Animal Planet on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Preview tonight's episode with this highlight of an underwater encounter with a huge crocodile.

7 May

Concerns Raised After Cancerous Tumor Found on Susquehanna River Fish

Tests Confirm Rare Cancer Findingin Susquehanna River Smallmouth Bass SampleWILKES-BARRE, Pa. (May 4) – The...

Posted by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on Monday, May 4, 2015

Questions about the safety of fish in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River have been a topic of concern after a smallmouth bass caught last November tested positive for a large cancerous tumor. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) claims that the finding is an extremely rare occurrence, according to the Tech Times.

The fish caught in November was the only one found with a tumor like this, however, executive director of the PFBC John Arway believes that the finding is enough to suggest that the river may be impaired and that other fish could be in danger. Apparently, the organization has been concerned about the river's health after other smallmouth bass have been found with various lesions since 2005.

Despite the findings, The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to do more tests before qualifying the river as impaired.

According to the article, the Pennsylvania Department of Health states that while fish with carcinoma have not been found to harm humans, they discourage consumption of fish with any visible masses, lesions or sores.

Watch this video of Jeremy Wade catching another type of bass:

6 May

Fisherman Reels In Piranha In Arkansas Lake

A fisherman got the surprise of his life when he reeled in one very unexpected monster on the end of his line. State officials confirmed his catch to be a piranha, caught in Lake Bentonville, Arkansas.

Roger Headley believed the fish to be a perch on initial inspection. But, after a near miss with its razor sharp teeth, he realized this was another more aggressive little beast.

“When I went to take the hook out, he opened up his mouth and tried to bite me," Headley told KNWA Fox 24. "I about messed my pants."  You can watch the full interview here:

Local authorities believe the fish was most likely dumped by pet owners.  It is illegal in Arkansas to do so with certain exotic fish, including piranhas.

See photos of the captured fish:


Continue reading >

29 Apr

Local Man Lands Largest Fish Ever Caught in Oklahoma - and the Bragging Rights That Go With it

Snagged from Lake Texoma, this 8 ft. alligator gar weighed 254 pounds with a girth of 44 inches and is the largest fish...

Posted by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This fisherman will have boasting rights for years to come! Paul Easley managed to wrangle the biggest fish ever caught in Oklahoma history last Thursday.

The unique fish, an alligator gar, weighed in at 254 pounds, was 8 feet long, and had a girth of 44 inches. According to NewsOK, the fish are long-lived with minimal spawning opportunities. Easley caught the fish in Lake Texoma.

Learn more about the catch from the news article or on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Facebook page.

Watch Jeremy Wade land a giant alligator gar himself:

Watch Jeremy's favorite River Monsters episodes this Sunday at 7/6c, then tune in for an all-new episode at 9/8c!

Monster Week starts Sunday, May 17, at 9/8c!

29 Apr

Goliath Grouper Caught off Florida Coast (VIDEO)

A Goliath catch was made off the coast of Sanibel Island, Fla., last week.

A couple fishing on the coast reeled in a 300-pound grouper, then returned the fish back to the ocean, according to WFMY News 2. For more on the story, watch the video above or check out the news article.

Learn how to catch a Goliath tigerfish with Jeremy Wade in the video below:

Want to see more monster catches? Tune into River Monsters, Sundays at 9/8c!

23 Apr

What Are Jeremy Wade's Favorite River Monsters Episodes?

Ever wonder if Jeremy has favorite moments from the series?

Well, find out this Sunday -- tune in for a marathon of his most favorite episodes ever, starting at 1 p.m. ET! And, at 9 p.m., stay tuned for an all-new premiere, Alaska's Cold Water Killer, when he treks far north in search of a beast that's been blamed for vanishing fishermen all along the vast coastline. 

Check the TV Schedule for the full line-up >>


In the meantime, what are YOUR favorite River Monsters moments? Watch our countdown with Jeremy of the top fan favorite videos on




Betty Chu is a Digital Media Executive Producer for Follow her on Twitter @beddychew or Facebook.


21 Apr

Search for the Loch Ness Monster With Google

Screengrab from

If you head to Google today, you might be surprised at the big find featured in their Doodle: Nessie the Loch Ness Monster!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.54.13 AM

Google is celebrating the 81st anniversary of when the first photo of the elusive sea monster "Nessie" was taken. On April 19, 1934, Col. Robert Wilson captured a grainy, black and white photograph of what many have claimed to be a serpent-like creature rising out of the Scotland waters, according to ABC News.

Want to search for Nessie yourself? Google Maps has created an underwater streetview app that let's you comb through the Loch Ness waters in search of the elusive creature yourself.

Want to learn more about the Loch Ness Monster? Check out this River Monsters clip below:

17 Apr

Bull Shark Makes Unexpected Visit in a Florida Backyard (VIDEO)

If you look in your backyard, chances are you'll see some birds, perhaps some squirrels - depending on what region you live in. But here's one thing we didn't think would show up in a backyard - and likely these residents in Bonita Springs, Fla., didn't either.

According to the Irish Examiner, bull sharks have been showing up in canals right in the backyard of several residents. According to NBC-2, the sharks keep returning to the water because people are throwing leftover bait in the water.

Check out Jeremy reeling in a bull shark in a freshwater river:

Tune in for a brand-new episode of River Monsters this Sunday at 9/8c!

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