Vet lands dream TV opportunity

Angler Jo Stephenson is currently appearing on the BBC's Earth's Wildest Waters: The Big Fish.

Angler Jo Stephenson is currently appearing on the BBC's Earth's Wildest Waters: The Big Fish. - Credit: Su Anderson

A globetrotting Suffolk vet is angling for attention on her worldwide voyage to fish Earth’s Wildest Waters.

Earth's Wildest Waters: The Big Fish. Episode Two, Cuba. The seven anglers await their first Cuban challenge, fishing for...

Earth's Wildest Waters: The Big Fish. Episode Two, Cuba. The seven anglers await their first Cuban challenge, fishing for bonefish on the vast salt flats. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: BBC/Channel X North/Treasure Trove/Lola Entertainment

Jo Stephenson has audiences hooked on the six-part BBC Two show, which follows a group of challengers facing extreme conditions in an attempt to land ‘the big one’.

The 33-year-old, from Dennington, near Framlingham, was selected for the programme after displaying her fly-tying skills on the south coast.

“I’ve been tying flies for about eight years and was demonstrating at a show in Sussex,” said Mrs Stephenson. “The BBC was looking for people to apply for the show and my husband convinced me to have a go. I got a call asking me to an audition, where I had to demonstrate my skills with a fly line and lure rod.”

Filming started in April, with eight anglers hoping to visit six exotic locations, where they would take on three tough tests to impress a local expert and fishing personality Matt Hayes.


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Although one goes home each week, Mrs Stephenson has so far stayed the course, proving herself in Iceland and Cuba, and due on screens this Sunday in the most remote spot yet – the Mekong River in Laos.

The veterinary nurse manager has nurtured a love of fishing since meeting husband, Jonny. “He was really into fishing and I used to go along,” she said. “At first I was reluctant to sit on a river bank for hours, but over time I thought ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’.

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“I love the thrill of thinking the next cast line might go tight and have a beast on the end of it.

“The show gave me a chance to catch some awesome fish. Catching a bonefish was one of the hardest and most intense experiences, and I really enjoyed fishing the local traditional way.”

Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big Fish, hosted by Ben Fogle, goes out on BBC Two at 8pm on Sunday.

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