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Jeremy Wade: All About the "River Monster" Host and Freshwater Detective

Jeremy Wade
Getty Images: Suhaimi Abdullah/Contributor

Jeremy Wade is one part biologist and two parts fisherman extraordinaire.

Jeremy Wade has become a household name for those of us who love the outdoor sporting life. He is all at once an expert in biology, world traveler, and he is an astute angler of epic proportions. He was born Jeremy John Wade in Ipswich, Suffolk, England in 1956 where he ultimately earned a degree in zoology from Bristol University.

He worked for some time as a biology teacher in the United Kingdom and is known for being fluent in Portuguese, which he studied during the many years spent fishing in Brazil, and also speaks French and Spanish.

As you can imagine Wade spent his early years growing up with a love for fishing, finding some success doing so. He then had the desire to then find more and better places to do just that.

Basically, he's just like the rest of us.

More About Jeremy Wade

According to the Jeremy Wade/UK website, "Jeremy Wade has spent nearly 40 years traveling to the world's remoter rivers. Since first setting out in 1982 (on an Ariana Afghan DC-10 bound for India) he has been arrested for spying in southeast Asia, caught cerebral malaria in the Congo, and survived a plane crash in the Amazon."

Yes, fishing is that important.

The list of his amazing freshwater fish catches is as long as your arm and reads like a who's who of everything we ever wanted to catch: giant goonch (catfish) from India, arapaima, piranha, and piraiba from the Amazon, goliath tigerfish in the Congo, alligator gar and white sturgeon from US waters, giant freshwater stingrays in Thailand, Argentina and Colombia, freshwater sawfish from Australia, monster wels catfish from Spain and Italy, a 150-pound tarpon on fly gear in Nicaragua, and two 500-pound bull sharks caught from a river in South Africa.

As you have come to expect, Wade is very humble and unassuming saying, "I don't really see myself as an explorer," he says. "All that hacking with machetes and dragging dugout canoes through swamps is just the journey to work. And I'm not a particularly expert angler. My background is just getting into the kinds of places where outsiders don't normally go, with enough physical and mental energy left to put a line in the water."

And that's exactly why the rest of us everyday anglers respect him so much.

River Monsters

River Monsters debuted in 2008, ending in 2017. It follows the adventures of extreme angler Jeremy Wade as he searches for fish that are at the source of rumors and legends. Most of these are the result of legends which themselves become reenactments to introduce the story.

At the time of its debut, it became Animal Planet's most popular show.

What started as a basic program about an alleged freshwater man-eater in the mountain rivers of India, River Monsters went down in television lore as network's most watched show for nine straight seasons.

Maybe the best selling point for both anglers and laymen was in the fact that each episode started with a fisherman's tale of a mythical beast swimming somewhere in the waters of some locale around the world and finishes with the revelation of the real-life creature responsible.

It was great in that it both spoke to the myth and proved or disproved of it by the time the episode was over.

Other Jeremy Wade Shows

Fortunately, we got a few other additions to Wade's filmography that showcased more of the legend's adventures over the years.

  • Jungle Hooks (2002)
  • Mighty Rivers (2018)
  • River Monsters (9 consecutive seasons)
  • Dark Waters (2019 to present)

Dark Waters is the newest TV series brought to us by the world's favorite fishing guru. A year in the making, and filmed in diverse locations around the world, it follows Jeremy's investigations of lake monsters, disappearing giants, and a fish that came back from the brink.

Jeremy Wade Books

Wade is not just a TV host though. He is also an accomplished writer and his books are great for anglers who love adventure.

  • How to Think Like a Fish
  • River Monsters
  • Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Jeremy Wade Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, (and there's no verification of this) "Jeremy Wade is a British biologist, television presenter, extreme angler and writer who has a net worth of $2 million. Jeremy Wade has earned his net worth as an author and for his appearance on the television series River Monsters produced by Icon films."

He has written three books, starred and hosted in four television series, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, and BBC Wildlife magazine.

He even had a bit part in the film Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys.

Why We Love Jeremy Wade

This lifelong angling guru and explorer of the mysteries of the deep was born as a simple man near a river in Suffolk, England. He may have gone from a young man who loved to fish before receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent, but once he found him as host Jeremy Wade of our favorite TV show, he became like one of us.

The sea lamprey expert now has a new series that will explore various legends such as Loch Ness and other underwater mysteries, but to us he is just biologist Jeremy Wade, the fisherman who would rather wet a line first, and then teach us about natural history after the day is done.

We all have our priorities, and we can all respect that kind of angling attitude.

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NEXT: TOP 10 MYSTERY CREATURES OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS

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Jeremy Wade: All About the "River Monster" Host and Freshwater Detective