River Monsters – Season 4 Episode 4 – Asian Slayer
Jeremy once again heads to India to visit the same rivers he caught the Monster Goonch catfish from in previous seasons. He is on the hunt for another supposed man eater. He begins his journey by visiting a friend he hasn’t seen in 30 years to ask about the fish he is searching for.
He has heard a story of a spear fisherman who became the hunted as a supposed killer fish attacked him and had to be cut off of him. Jeremy wants to get line into the water right away, without wasting anytime he tries his hand at fly fishing in a shallow river. After some initial troubles he begins to find some success, not catching fish but merely getting it into the water. Fly fishing takes a lot of practice to get right. He does end up hooking a fish with his fly but it is not the fish he is after. However it is a very rare fish, a Golden Mahseer. He states they can reach 90lbs and that the one he landed is a mere baby compared to catches of his past.
The smaller Golden Mahseer he caught on a fly.
Jeremy holding a much larger Mahseer he caught years back.
Jeremy then moves onto a new area to speak with some local fisherman but only one will speak to him about the supposed killer fish. He tells Jeremy of another story of a boy who was searching for worms in the shallows. A large predatory fish attacked the boy as he waded around in the shallow water. As the boy removed his hand from the water the fish was hanging on, his mother had to pry the fishes jaws open to remove it. What was the attacker you ask? It was the Wallago Attu catfish also known as the Mulley, Latchi, Sareng and Tapah. It can reach 6’ long and 100lbs. They are equipped with banks of razor sharp teeth and a strong muscular body. The man tells Jeremy the Hindu people believe this fish is untouchable. The local fishermen ask Jeremy not to fish for this local legend, as it has a religious taboo that surrounds it. Jeremy has to speak with a local holy man to get his facts straight on the Sareng. According to the holy man the fish eats “dead people”, this is because in this area of the world they dump burned corpses in the river. So these fish *could* eat the people, but I am not sure he had any actual proof. The holy man also claims the Sareng takes the human souls to the gods to be reincarnated. He says it is a sin to kill the fish and trying to catch one will bring nothing but bad luck.
A visit to the fish market is once again in order; he wants to see if he can find a Sareng but is not successful. He is told another story of a Sareng by the men who work at the fish market. A man who was pulling in his fishing lines for the day caught a Sareng. While pulling it in the fish was spooked, it pulled him into the water and he was unable to get back to shore. His body was discovered the next day.
After no success in India, Jeremy is forced to try a new place in Thailand. He tries his luck in a freshwater lake that has been stocked with all sorts of giant fish from around the globe. He claims there are more River Monsters in this lake than anywhere else in the world. He catches fish after fish but no Sareng unfortunately. He did catch a lot of monsters though, including an Asian Redtail Catfish and a South American Redtail Catfish. He also catches an extremely rare Chinese Mahseer and a good size Mekong Giant Catfish.
Jeremy holding the extremely rare Chinese Mahseer he caught while fishing for the Wallago Attu.
Jeremy Wade admiring a hefty South American Redtail Catfish.
Back in India Jeremy is still on the hunt for a Sareng. He hopes to bring himself some luck by visiting a temple that is dedicated to the river gods. After his visit to the temple he ventures back to the river and he finally has a bite, it’s definitely a monster. However, just moments later the fish cuts the line and is gone in a flash. Unfortunately Jeremy will have to come back another time to catch his Wallago Attu aka Sareng Catfish.
If you would like more information on the Sareng Catfish or see photos of one just click here.