The finale of the hit reality television show “Wicked Tuna” starts Sunday night, May 5, on the National Geographic Channel with a two-part conclusion featuring an epic battle that will ultimately reveal the next champion bluefin tuna fisherman out of Gloucester waters on May 12.
Season two began with the introduction of a newcomer, Tyler McLaughlin, described as a cocky young captain, aboard the fishing vessel Pin Wheel. McLaughlin’s goal is to beat out last year’s champion, Gloucester’s Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com, who fishes with Gloucester native Sandro Maniaci.
Carraro, Gloucester’s reigning bluefin champion, starts the last week of the fishing season with a $20,000 lead over the catch of the Pin Wheel.
“We’re basically in the last quarter of the Super Bowl and it’s a near tie score and we are both bringing out our A game. As of the last episode, we are up to 12 fish and ahead by about $17,000. The more he fishes, the more fish I will catch. It keeps you on your toes. If he’s not catching, then I will take a day or two off,” said Carraro.
Meanwhile, in a notable late-season effort, Paul Hebert, who was fired from the crew of FV-Tuna.com with five weeks left in the season, is a captain aboard the Lisa & Jake, and proves to be a formidable competitor. Hebert continues to approach his goal of catching $50,000 worth of bluefin.
In a telephone interview this week, Hebert said the highlight of his first day as captain of the Lisa & Jake was the quick results.
“I put one line in the water and hooked up — it didn’t even hit the bottom and I landed a 400-pounder,” he said. “Then I went out the next day and caught another 400-pound. It was crazy.”