National Geographic Channel’s series Hooked returns with several new episodes detailing intriguing — and sometimes terrifying — encounters in megafishing, beginning with a two-night event this Sunday and Monday.
Hooked: Extreme Angling —Oct. 18 at 9pm ET/PT. Meet daring anglers who use a variety of nontraditional methods to hook the biggest, baddest sea creatures. In Australia, see a marine biologist and his team lasso an injured — and angry — sand tiger shark with a 6-foot hook lodged in its throat, and then perform on-the-spot emergency surgery to save its life. Then, an expert angler in the Seychelles literally dives off a cliff into treacherous rocky surf to catch a giant trevally, a fish that can grow to bathtub proportions. Next, a daredevil California fisherman has a face-to-face showdown with a massive thresher shark … from his surfboard. And, a man swim-wrestles a huge bass in the open water of the Atlantic with nothing but some snorkel gear and his trusty fishing pole.
Hooked: Monster Fish of Australia — Oct. 19 at 10pm ET/PT. Fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic explorer Dr. Zeb Hogan continues his scientific quest to preserve the world’s biggest freshwater fish. As part of his Megafishes Project, Zeb heads to the Australian outback on an expedition to find the elusive and highly endangered sawfish, which appears to be a combination of a shark, stingray and chainsaw that can grow over 20 feet long. Together with local scientists, Zeb embarks on a dangerous journey 150 miles up the Fitzroy River, encountering saltwater crocodiles, bull sharks and giant stingrays along the way, as they seek to tag, study and protect this bizarre-looking predator that is nearly extinct in the rest of the world.
Hooked: Monster Hauls — Oct. 26 at 10pm ET/PT. Take a look at some of Hooked‘s most amazing catches and the unusual methods anglers use to wrangle record-breaking fish. Two anglers on North America’s Fraser River come face-to-face with a prehistoric goliath — a white sturgeon over 11 feet long; in Panama, another fishing team battles a monster marlin over 1,200 pounds and hatches an impromptu, daring plan to tag and release it safely; fighting a goliath grouper from a small boat, another angler’s adrenaline is pumped to the max as he reels in the 7-foot-long, 500-pound beast; and finally, a showdown takes place when a mako shark charges a boat, and the hunter becomes the hunted.
Hooked: Monster Fish of America — Nov. 2 at 10pm ET/PT. Zeb Hogan goes in search of North America’s prehistoric river monsters: the white sturgeon. Many of the fish Zeb encounters on his trip are not only bigger than he is, but have lived the better part of a century. To find them, he travels to the Pacific Northwest and teams up with scientists, divers, fishermen and a Native American tribe who are all trying to figure out why the white sturgeon is disappearing and whether dams may be putting these monster fish in danger. Finally, Zeb hooks exactly what he’s been searching for — a 250-pound, 8 1/2-foot sturgeon … but he may be in for the fish fight of his life.
Hooked: Return of the Monster Fish — Nov. 9 at 10pm ET/PT. In this “best-of” special, see some of Hooked‘s most extreme encounters between man and megafish. First, it’s off to Oklahoma to follow legendary “noodler” Lee McFarlin as he grabs a catfish barehanded. Then, off the coast of Virginia, fishermen struggle with a giant stingray, a venomous hidden hunter that can reach the size of an office cubicle. On a small Italian island, local fishermen tackle and wrestle tuna barehanded by the boatload. And finally, in the southeastern United States, fishermen come face-to-face with the long, broad snout and daggerlike teeth of the alligator gar, a bizarre swamp creature that can grow over 6 feet long and survive out of water for two hours.
© Peter McLeod