River Monsters – Season 4 Episode 3 recap “Invisible Executioner” (Now with video)

Here we are already at episode 3 of River Monsters, season 4. In this episode Jeremy travels to the Zambezi river in Zambia, Africa to hunt for a potential man eater. He must travel down boat crushing rapids to reach the areas he wants to fish. A trip in a helicopter to view the area from overhead is taken to see what kind of rapids he must contend with.  He takes off in a small yellow boat, rowing down the river.

He stops to cast a line in to see what kind of fish might live in the area he is at. He reels in a tiny catfish, like 7″ long or so. He jokes that deep water doesn’t mean big fish. He calls it a Brown Squeaker catfish.

After speaking with a local man about a snake like fish he wonders ever more what fish this could possibly be. Another trip to the water, this time he tries his luck in a turbulent part of the river. He gets a bite but the fish is another Tiger Fish, just like he caught last week. He does not think it is what the locals described. He fished for another day with no bites.

A local man tells the story of man who put his line in the water and tied the end to his leg. He assumed it would wake him if he got a bite.  It instead pulled the poor man into the water and he drown. The man tells him the fish he believes who drug his friend in was a python like fish. The man then gives Jeremy a half fish half snake amulet to wear, it will protect him from the river gods he is told.

Jeremy now heads to the Kariba Dam to fish, it is a spot he believes will hold some real River Monsters. A large storm comes in and holds up his travel. He has to find a place to stay over for the night but his boat is being battered by waves. After finding salvation on a shore overnight he again speaks to some locals. They describe a giant scary fish, again calling it different names. After a visit to a fish market he finds they have none for sale by those names. He finally ends up speaking with a proper eye witness. A man named Vernon has seen one of the fish he is searching for. He even gives it a proper ID, the Vundu. The largest freshwater fish in Southern Africa. The scientific name of the Vundu Catfish is Heterobranchus longifilis and it can reach around 6′ long and 150lbs.  It has extra long barbels used to hunt in the murky water. Vernon claims to have seen one twice the size of the normal estimates.

He is fishing once again, still on the hunt for the Vundu. Only to end up catching another Tiger Fish. He leaves a line out and catches a sharp tooth catfish, a smaller cousin of the Vundu.

SharpTooth Catfish

Jeremy now puts out a long line baited with cubes of soap, it sounds strange but the local people do it. So he gives it a shot but before he can finish he learns a great bit of news, he has been granted one day access to fish below the Kariba Dam by the Government. He heads to the Dam to see what lurks in the depths, said to be 300′ deep. A monster fish grabs his line, he fights for a while, the fish trying to go straight down. After a tense battle he gets the fish in and finally it is a Vundu. While it is not 6′ long Monster Vundu he wanted it is still huge, looking at least 3′ long. His mission is once again complete, he has caught his River Monster.

Vundu Catfish up close

Jeremy Wade with the Vundu Catfish, holding up his half snake half fish amulet he was given earlier in his journey as protection from the river gods.

Update – Here is the video of Jeremy Wade catching the Vundu catfish pictured above.

And one more clip, this time of the Sharp Tooth Catfish we mentioned above


Leave a Comment