By Gail McCarthy
---- — Click here for preview video
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.”
As season two comes to a close, Capt. Dave Marciano continues to face mechanical calamities and short fish aboard the Hard Merchandise, yet he continues to bring in lucrative catches that keep him in the game. His goal is to earn money to support his family, with one of his three children in college.
Closer to shore are Capt. Bill Monte of the Bounty Hunter and Capt. Ralph Wilkins of the Odysea who vie for strong catches before the season closes.
The rivalry among the captains concludes in a “shocking and heart-pounding” finale, according to a show spokesman. The May 5 episode at 9 p.m. is titled “Time Bomb” and the May 12 concluding episode is titled “Endgame,” which will reveal the top-earning boat of the season. National Geographic Channel recently announced that it will film a season three of the hit show based in Gloucester.
For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com/wickedtuna and follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NGC_PR and https://twitter.com/WickedTuna.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.