More “monstah” fish tales will hit television screens across the country Sunday night when the Gloucester-based reality series “Wicked Tuna” launches its second season, following six fishing vessels’ fight to bring back the largest bluefin.
“Wicked Tuna,” which critics called “wicked authentic,” follows the spirited fishermen from Gloucester as they crisscross the frigid North Atlantic.
The National Geographic Channel series hooked viewers around the globe its first season, going into 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 38 languages.
The series depicts the lucrative nature of the bluefin tuna business and the fierce rivalry among the fishermen, some whose livelihood depends on their success at sea. In an avocation as old as the ancient disciples, the cameras capture the battle of man versus fish as they fight to reel in the giant tuna, some of which can weigh in at more than 1,000 pounds and sell on the Japanese sushi market for as much as $20,000.
The sea hunters capture their prey the old-fashioned way — with rod and reel or harpoon, often ending in almost hand-to-hand combat with the fish. The cameras catch both the thrill of the hunt and the despair when a fish worth thousands of dollars swims away.
Dave Carraro, captain of the FV-Tuna.com, said the second season promises a lot more action. Both he and Capt. Dave Marciano of Hard Merchandise have traveled from coast to coast as the National Geographic Channel promotes the new season. They attended the Television Critics Association event in Los Angeles last week and in New York City on Wednesday, where their images are illuminated on a gigantic billboard in Times Square.
“In the 10 episodes last year, 24 fish went for sale and for season two there are 55 fish that get pulled and another 40 fish that get lost or they’re short,” said Carraro, who led the fleet in catches and revenue last season. “Tuna fishing is a tough business, and you have to remain competitive — I’ll do whatever it takes to stay on top.”