River Monsters – Season 6 : Episode 1 “Amazon Apocalypse”

River Monsters : Season 6 has officially begun after a 2 hour premiere episode. Jeremy investigates the sinking of the Sobral Santos which sinks in the Amazon with hundreds of people on board. Many passengers were gone without a trace, no one really knows what happened to all the people. There are an estimated 50-300 people missing, with roughly the same number surviving the ordeal. Jeremy explains there are lots of River Monsters and one could be responsible. He wants to unconver what is behind the Amazon Apocalypse.

 He finds and speaks to people who recovered the wreckage, also a boat captain from the area. It took a crane to get the boat out and lots of bodies were inside still. Most with flesh missing, except the hands. It was a huge loss of life. 430 to 630 people were estimated to be on board with around 180 survivors according to these reports. However that report is lost. Some were found as they floated up days later. 50-300 people are never seen again.
If it was a river monster – it has a combined death total of more than all past Monsters combined. He is told people struggling by the dock disappeared but it was pitch black at the time, so no one saw what took them down. A diver went down and found a large big thing swimming in the water but refused to go back in. Day break exposed lots of bodies on shore. There are about 3,000 fish alone in the Amazon, so it’s hard to say what could eat so much. The dark water in this narrow, deep and turbulent spot could be home to a number of monsters. At the time a neighboring fish market on Obidos dumped fish waste into the river here, which could have made this spot a top hunting ground of the biggest fish the River has seen.


Jeremy begins to catch small fish for bait then catches a very small Red Bellied Piranha. He continues to catch nothing but Red Bellies, so he moves spots to try and avoid them. The people on the dock say a huge caiman was by the dock last year. 15-18′ claimed but such a huge size is doubtful. When flood season comes big fish and Caiman have the ability to roam areas they cannot in the dry season.

Jeremy then talks to survivor of caiman attack. The man had to jab his thumb in the eye of the Caiman to break free but he lived. Some people found him and put his mud covered intestines back inside him then carried him away. That is so disgusting by the way, how terrible. They say the infection took year to really clear up. He tries to catch a Caiman at night but instead catches a good sized Piraiba catfish seen below.


He then finds some locals who caught a large Caiman recently. It is about 13.5′ long and 500lbs. It is also blind in one eye. He feeds it a pig and fights the Caiman for it, you can guess who won. A scientist says this area is not an area there would be many Caiman and they are not really a suspect.

He then visits graves of the victims. It is unknown how many are buried there but it is estimated at around 200. Most identities are unknown as well. He also talks with more survivors of the ordeal, a lot of interesting sides of this story are presented.
As with many episodes of River Monsters he visits a fish market where he shows a Niger Catfish, Silver Arowana and a 5′ long Arapaima which was from a fish farm. He ends up at a tackle store which has a large mounted Bull Shark that came in from a fishing boat years ago. One also attacked a woman in the eighties but the Bull Shark isn’t common, so they are off the list as well. He learns the Boto (a river dolphin) is mean and one man thinks it could be responsible. Some people refuse to get in water with them. Jeremy swims with the Boto, around 6-8 of them actually and no attacks on him occur.  So he marks them off the list too.
Jeremy then makes a fish trap and baits it with mammal meat to see what kind of fish he ends up with. It catches some small Catfish and Candiru. Some more stories are told by locals, this time of a Catfish attacking a man in the water and trying to pull him under. So he goes off to fish for catfish in the Amazon once again. He ends up catching a massive Black Piranha seen below. It was 17″ long, 19″ around and 6.5lbs, the biggest Jeremy has ever caught.
He then goes on to catch what seemed like dozens of Red Tailed catfish, some pretty large such as the one pictured below. I would have liked to see a bit more of this footage, maybe they will use some later in the season.
He is also fishing at night which he says he doesn’t usually do in case he were to have a problem. It is much more risky in such a place. The episode finishes with Jeremy Wade hooking into a large Piraiba catfish, a nice finish to cap off the show. As he pulls the hook out the Piraiba grabs his arm with force. Despite a lack of teeth the abrasive pads and strength of the Piraiba are enough to scrape his arm enough to bleed. No harm done though, he lets the fish go and that is that. He explains that it was likely multiple fish responsible for the carnage at the Sobral Santos wreck site.
Piraiba Catfish

It was a great premiere episode but as usual I could do with more fishing and less talking. I know there is a story to tell but for a 2 hour show there wasn’t a whole lot of fishing shown. It was really interesting though, as usual they do a good job telling the story.

1 Comment

  • Turtle Tan says:

    I think the reason why this episode doesn’t have much fishing is because the some of the contenders are not fishes.

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