NatGeo's 'Hooked' Returns With a Special 2-Night Premiere

Hooked kicks off the new season with a special two-night event starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, October 18, and Monday, October 19, 2009, before returning to its regular day and time of Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

(WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCTOBER 9, 2009)  Lurking in the murky depths of our oceans, rivers and lakes are some of the most mind-boggling and gargantuan fish in the world.  This fall, the National Geographic Channel (NGC)'s popular Hooked series returns with an awe-inspiring look at some of the biggest catches and the unusual methods anglers use to reel them in.  We'll journey across the globe to see the most intriguing and sometimes terrifying encounters in megafishing, and the groundbreaking research being done to protect these monsters of the deep.

In each episode, we follow avid anglers and scientists in the most extreme tests of man versus behemoth, pushing the limits of experience, luck and survival to the breaking point as they track, bait, catch and release fish of extraordinary proportions.  In some episodes, we join fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Zeb Hogan on his five-year study to help preserve the world's biggest freshwater fish.  "I'm on a mission to discover why these monsters are disappearing ... before it's too late," he says. 

From the peculiar creature that looks like a combination of a stingray, shark and chainsaw to the prehistoric river monster of North America that is dangerously close to extinction, each adrenaline-filled episode examines the environmental challenges these megafish face -- including climate change, pollution and overfishing.  Some of these goliath fish have been around since the dinosaurs, now they face potential annihilation in our modern age.  With each capture, conservationists and biologists are unraveling the web of mystery surrounding these elusive creatures and uncovering the keys to protecting their future.

Premiere episodes include:

Sunday, October 18, 2009, at 9 PM ET/PT
Meet daring anglers who use a variety of nontraditional methods to hook the biggest, baddest sea creatures.  We'll travel to Australia to see a marine biologist and his team lasso an injured
-- and angry -- sand tiger shark with a 6-foot hook lodged in its throat, and then perform on-the-spot emergency surgery to save its life.  Then, we meet up with an expert angler in the Seychelles who literally dives off a cliff into treacherous rocky surf to catch a giant trevally, a fish that can grow to bathtub proportions.  Next, we follow a daredevil California fisherman in a face-to-face showdown with a massive thresher shark ... from his surfboard!  And we watch a man swim-wrestle a huge bass in the open water of the Atlantic with nothing but some snorkel gear and his trusty fishing pole.

Monday, October 19, 2009, at 10 PM ET/PT
Join fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Zeb Hogan in his scientific quest to preserve the world's biggest freshwater fish.  As part of his Megafishes Project, Zeb heads to the Australian outback on an expedition to find the elusive and highly endangered sawfish, which appears to be a combination of a shark, stingray and chainsaw that can grow over 20 feet long.  Together with local scientists, Zeb embarks on a dangerous journey 150 miles up the Fitzroy River, encountering saltwater crocodiles, bull sharks and giant stingrays along the way, as they seek to tag, study and protect this bizarre-looking predator that is nearly extinct in the rest of the world. 

Monday, October 26, 2009, at 10 PM ET/PT
Take a look at some of Hooked's most amazing catches and the unusual methods anglers use to wrangle record-breaking fish.  We witness how two anglers on North America's Fraser River come face-to-face with a prehistoric goliath
-- a white sturgeon over 11 feet long.  In Panama, another fishing team battles a monster marlin over 1,200 pounds and hatches an impromptu, daring plan to tag and release it safely.  Fighting a goliath grouper from a small boat, another angler's adrenaline is pumped to the max as he reels in the 7-foot-long, 500-pound beast.  And finally, we witness a heart-pounding showdown when the ocean's speed demon alpha predator -- the mako shark -- charges the boat, and the hunter becomes the hunted! 


Monday, November 2, 2009, at 10 PM ET/PT
Dr. Zeb Hogan goes in search of North America's prehistoric river monsters:  the white sturgeon.  Many of the fish Zeb encounters on his trip are not only bigger than he is, but have lived the better part of a century.  To find them, he'll travel to the Pacific Northwest and team up with scientists, divers, fishermen and a Native American tribe who are all trying to figure out why the white sturgeon is disappearing and whether dams may be putting these monster fish in danger.  Finally, Zeb hooks exactly what he's been searching for
-- a 250-pound, 8 1/2-foot sturgeon ... but he may be in for the fish fight of his life.

-press release

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