Tonight COLD RIVER CASH premieres on Animal Planet, and it is like no other outdoors reality show you’ve seen thus far: It’s focus is eels.
Yes, that’s right, eels.
Eel fishing is legal in Maine, and it is the state’s second-largest revenue stream, producing approximately $40 million last year alone! But, catching eels is slippery, fast—and dangerous. It is also not a year-round occupation, with only two months of the year being legal for catching eels. Plus, only 400 are allowed licenses! But, for those who do it right, eel fishing has the potential to become COLD RIVER CASH.
Eel season begins in March. On COLD RIVER CASH, three teams will be working around the clock to find the prime fishing holes, protect their territory, and just get as many eels as they possibly can. After all, when eels can bring up to $2,000/pound, you want to pull in as many pounds as possible! Why so high? Demand in Asia—meaning these fisherman could actually bring in HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS in that two-month window, but only if they can find the honey holes.
Who are the teams?
- The Eelinators: Hailing from Brunswick, Maine, this team, consisting of brothers Dana and Chris Hole and lifelong best friend, Ken Cornelison, brought in a staggering six figures by the end of the previous eel-fishing season. This year, these macho guys are fishing hard to surpass that amount and crush the competition. Last season, the team’s success was based on warmer temperature; this season, the fishermen are plagued by an unusually colder climate, so can they really count on beating the odds this go round?
- The Grinders: Led by family man Chad Jordan, this team from Hebron, Maine, also includes Chad’s brother, Justin Jordan, new member and son C.J. Jordan and friend Lester Toothaker, whose odd, trademark bray of a laugh and elaborate schemes to catch eel always bring levity to the competition. In the fishing world, grinding means sticking to one particular fishing hole for long, consecutive hours, and this team definitely lives up to its name. Other fishermen think grinding is an ineffective method, but it’s this team’s strategy. As Lester always says, “If you can’t find them, grind them.”
- The Maineiacs: Another family team, father and son Lee and Jason Leavitt, along with Jason’s brother-in-law, Mike Bradley, represent Scarborough, Maine. Unlike the Grinders, this team constantly moves around to find the best fishing spot and often ends up in the most unconventional places. Lee, or ‘Old Man Leavitt,’ is the eccentric and opinionated patriarch of the group and constantly drives the rest of the team insane. He is a stubborn, old-fashioned fisherman who spent most his life on a fishing boat and a determined non-conformist who has unconventional ideas where to find the most eels. Should the younger guys go against their own guts and listen to ‘Old Man Leavitt’ at the risk of losing their entire savings?
Tune in tonight, Thursday, January 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and meet the men of COLD RIVER CASH on Animal Planet.
Image: Animal Planet