Stand back, he bites: British fisherman grapples with ferocious 'giant piranha'... which has been known to eat CROCODILES
By Richard James
British angler Jeremy Wade looks understandably anxious as he grapples with this ferocious-looking 'giant piranha'.
The 52-year-old caught the aptly-named goliath tigerfish during a fishing expedition up the Congo River in Africa.
The brave fisherman was forced to hold the fish at arms-length for fear of being bitten by its razor-sharp teeth while posing with it for the camera.
Careful: Jeremy Wade bravely poses with the 5ft long goliath tigerfish caught during an expedition up the River Congo in Africa
The goliath tigerfish is one of the most fearsome freshwater fish in the world and said to be a much bigger and deadlier version of the piranha.
The giant fish has 32 teeth that are of similar size to those of a great white shark and has been known to attack humans and even crocodiles.
It has only ever been caught by a handful of fishermen due to the danger it poses and the fact its habitat is notoriously hard to reach.
Wade, the host of ITV's River Monsters show, said he took extra care when reeling in this specimen, which weighed more than 100lbs and was 5ft long.
The TV programme looks into mythical reports from around the world of humans being attacked by unknown monsters from the deep before the British host sets out to find and catch the suspect.
Commenting on the goliath tigerfish, Wade said: 'This fish is no tench. It is, for all intents and purposes, a giant piranha. It is quite a beast.
Open wide: The ferocious 'giant piranha' was caught during the filiming of ITV's River Monsters
Wade spent eight days trying to land the fish and said he returned it to the river soon afterwards
'The teeth on it are incredibly sharp and are about the same length as a great white shark.
'It also has an extremely powerful bite and has been known to consume prey the same size as itself, attack people and take pieces out of crocodiles.
'It is thought that these fish attack in a reflex response to a sudden movement or splash.
'It is very rare to catch one, especially by an outsider because they are found in such a remote and difficult location to get to. There are no guides or lodges on that part of the Congo River.'
Wade revealed he used a sizable catfish as bait for the tigerfish and a 200lbs rod and line.
He said he also took care to stand back from it until it was safely in his landing net.
'It is a very dangerous fish to handle. If you aren't careful it could easily take your finger off or worse,' he added.
Wade, who spent eight days trying to land the fish, said he returned it to the river soon afterwards.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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