I have never been the biggest fan of Jeremy Wade’s show “River Monsters.” It’s not that it isn’t entertaining, but I’m sorry, I largely find a lot of the stories that go along with his epic hunts to be hogwash. Most of the fish he catches are not really monsters in my opinion, and some of the claims he makes about the sizes certain species are known to reach would be shot down by reputable guides in an instant. I heard these shoot-downs in person during a trip last year to the Columbia River, where Wade claimed sturgeon frequently hit the 20-foot mark. Regardless, Wade takes himself pretty seriously and travels the globe with some serious tackle. So pardon me if I snicker a bit at the new “River Monsters” line of gear from South Bend.
I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t be a jerk, Joe. This stuff is geared toward kids.” Some of it is, and if it gets kids interested in fishing, that’s totally rad. But not all of it will be shelved next to the Spiderman rods at the Wally World. Take, for example, the MonsterCatfish Spin Combo, featuring a heavy-action glass rod and reel with over-sized rollers, or the Monster Catfish Spincast Combo, featuring a reel with a “dual-power handle.” That stuff sounds advanced for 8-year-old Timmy up the street.
So here’s what would make me watch more “River Monsters” this season: Instead of Jeremy Wade loading dugout canoes with Shimano Tiagras and top-shelf Mustad hooks, let’s see what kind of damage he can do with the gear that has his name on it. I want to see him yank a three-eyed, four-fanged, Goliath monkey-goat fish out of some Egyptian backwater with one of his Adventure Gear Combos (which come pre-spooled with mono, by the way) and only use whatever lures come in the Deluxe Adventure Kit. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch?