Updated April 11, 2013, 11:38am CT
“I realize there will come a point at which my searching must come to an end — once I’ve found every river monster and all the world’s underwater mysteries are solved,” says biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet‘s best-performing series in its history, in a release announcing the premiere of River Monsters Season 5. “That time hasn’t come; [River Monsters Season 5] continues to drive my quest to reveal the fascinating mysteries of the deep.”
Premiering April 7 and airing Sundays, River Monsters Season 5 certainly brings Jeremy Wade to some interesting places. Along with some of the more traditional dangers fans have grown accustomed to him facing — such as squaring off with piranha and other denizens of Central and South American lakes and rivers — this season Jeremy Wade will also be tracking down legendary mutant fish in the nuclear wastelands of Russia’s Chernobyl, and, in a two-hour season finale, will be on a quest for perhaps the most famous freshwater cryptid ever — Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.
Here is the episode lineup for River Monsters Season 5 (all times ET/PT), with episodic info from Animal Planet:
Face Ripper — April 7, 9pm: In the River Monsters Season 5 premiere, Jeremy Wade investigates a horrific death in a Bolivian river. In an area crawling with cocaine smugglers, he treks through the dangerous jungle to discover the freshwater beast that ripped a manâ€™s face to shreds. Wade is astonished when one of his oldest adversaries proves him wrong â€“ but will he already be in too deep to learn a new lesson?
Atomic Assassin — April 14, 9pm: After venturing to over 20 countries in search of monster fish, Jeremy Wade is setting off for his creepiest mission yet. Stories of grisly attacks in a remote rural corner of Ukraine take him on a search for an elusive lake monster, but the centuries-old trail lands him at an unlikely location: the site of the worst nuclear accident in human history â€“ Chernobyl. In a race against time, can Wade uncover the mutant fish legends are made of, or will the dangerous radiation leave him with no choice but to cut his quest short?
Killer Torpedo — April 21, 9pm: In the heart of Central America, in a land known for drug smuggling and remote jungle waterways, lurks a man-sized killer. Tales of a creature that weighs in at some 300 pounds and measures 8 feet long strikes fear in the heart of all who dare to travel these waters. This beast is said to leap into local boats and cause fatal injuries to the people inside them. The quest for this underwater giant will drive Jeremy Wade to his breaking point and beyond as he must relearn everything he knows about fishing in order to catch this elusive Nicaraguan river monster.
American Killers (encore) — April 28, 9pm: In this encore of a River Monsters Season 4 episode, Jeremy Wade treks across the United States in search of deadly river monsters living in our nationâ€™s waterways, from the popular Indian River Lagoon in Florida, where unsuspecting water enthusiasts are faced with what could become a modern day â€śJaws,â€ť to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where underwater hunters have reached man-eating proportions and devoured the bodies of numerous drowned vacationers.
Colombian Slasher — May 5, 9pm: Colombia can be a dangerous country â€“ known for drug smuggling, remote jungles and hostage-bearing rebels. When a honeymoon leaves a bride dragged to her death in the Amazon, few think a river monster could be to blame. But Jeremy Wade uses a crucial piece of evidence to concoct a hypothesis on the brideâ€™s death. Can he prove a little-known method of killing took this womanâ€™s life and reveal the true horror behind an already tragic story? To complete the puzzle, Wade pushes himself and his gear to the brink in a one-of-a-kind jungle quest.
Vampires of the Deep — May 12, 9pm: Embarking on a grueling mission in search of the most ancient river monsters heâ€™s ever encountered, Jeremy Wade heads stateside. The journey will take him to Vermont, along the Canadian/United States border, to a vast and brooding lake that hides a dark history. Then Wade ventures cross-country and into the heart of a thundering waterfall in the Oregon. For Native Americans itâ€™s a sacred home to underwater spirits, but recently something has risen up from the murky depths to attack swimmers. Local stories on both sides of the country paint a nightmarish picture of an invasion of primordial bloodsuckers.
Year of Beasts — May 19, 9pm: This recap episode looks at Jeremy Wade’s most hair-raising encounters during River Monsters Season 5.
Legend of Loch Ness — May 27, 8pm: A special Monday broadcast (on Memorial Day), this is the two-hourÂ River MonstersÂ Season 5 finale. For more than 30 years as a professional angler, Jeremy Wade has gone head to head with the worldâ€™s most legendary river monsters. All but one â€“ the Loch Ness Monster. He remains reluctant to take on this quest, as many others have failed to unlock the true identity of the creature behind this legend. Wade will take viewers along on his odyssey, from the depths of Scotlandâ€™s Loch Ness to the volcanoes of Iceland and waters of Norway, to track down the worldâ€™s most famous water-dwelling monster.
River Monsters Season 5 airs Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on Animal Planet beginning April 7.
Credit: Animal Planet