Wicked Tuna airs on the National Geographic Channel Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
The series is now in its eighth season, launching in 2012. Wicked Tuna follows fisherman based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, chasing bluefin tuna and competing for the title of being top-earner at the end of each season. Past episodes of the series are available to stream on NationalGeographic.com with a cable or satellite account.
In a preview for the next episode, the Tuna.com team tried to catch a fish on the line, but an obstacle made it difficult.
"If you can't reel and you can't keep that rod bent, that hook can simply fall out of the fish's mouth, and he could swim away," Captain Dave Carraro explained in the clip.
Thankfully, the crew reeled in the big fish, despite the trouble with the line. The fish measured 79 inches long.
"Just gotta keep it going, just keep doing what we're doing," Carraro said. "We're at the top of the fleet. PinWheel is going to have to rethink their strategy."
Carraro has been with the show since it began and is a longtime Gloucester resident. In a recent interview with NorthShore, Carraro said he joined the show because he thought it would be great exposure for his field.
“We just thought it would be a great business opportunity — it’s additional income,” Carraro said. “With commercial fishing there’s no guarantee you’re going to make money.”
Season 8 is the show's first since the death of Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge, the late first mate of PinWheel captain Tyler McLaughlin. Fudge died suddenly in July 2018, just days before filming the new season was set to start. He was only 28.
During the season premiere in March, McLoughlin dedicated his first catch to Fudge and was seen wearing a sweatshirt with "Fishing for Duffy" printed on it. The first catch of the season was difficult for McLoughlin, but he managed to catch it with the help of his new first mate, his sister Marissa.
"I'm afraid I might burn out this season, so I'm relying on Marissa to be a solid first mate," McLoughlin told viewers. "She's got a lot to learn, but she's got her captain's license. She can navigate. She can read a radar. She knows how to drive the boat. She can run it when we're fighting fish. I mean, she's more than qualified."
"We just persevered. We just caught a fish on the spot where Duffy and I caught our last fish together," McLoughlin later said. "I don't care if we get $2 a pound, $25 or $30 a pound. I'm just so happy to have this fish. It means so much to us."
McLoughlin and his sister were told they could get more than $7,800 for the fish, and McLoughlin said the proceeds would go to the Duffy Memorial Foundation.
"All tuna fisherman have this bond with each other," Captain Paul Hebert of the Wicked Pissah added in the episode. "When someone passes, we all feel it. Every one of us."
Photo credit: National Geographic