On this week’s episode of Wicked Tuna, a dangerous storm is moving in and the captains are desperate to pull up a fish before the weather hits. It’s the third week and The Hot Tuna sits on top of the leaderboard, but the harpoon boat Lily and FV Tuna.com are close behind. Despite the rough waters, the captains are ready to take home a prize.
SPOILER ALERT: If you want to catch this episode later, read no further. If you want to find out what you missed, read on!
Anticipating impossible conditions, Captain TJ Ott has The Hot Tuna out in one of his favorite spots, hopeful he can get a catch and get out before things get bad. Captain TJ likes fishing in rough weather, but admits that it makes landing one more difficult. And for a while, the crew is catching nothing but sharks.
Meanwhile, Captain Paul Heberr of team Wicked Pissah has been testing out new boats and he isn’t having any luck finding a vessel that works for him. Today, he and his crew are out on the Miss Sambvca and hoping for the best. “Between the three of us we have 100 years of fishing experience. I’m confident we’re going to catch a fish,” says Captain Paul. However, just like the other captains, Paul is catching sharks instead of bluefin.
The Bounty Hunter crew is still trying to get on the leaderboard. They think their run of bad luck might be over when they get a fish on the line, but the line breaks at the crimp. After a few choice words, they all take a deep breath and gear up to try again. Billy gets another fish on the line and despite the Captain’s certainty that it’s a shark, it is definitely a tuna. It is no small fish, either. The team gets it in the boat and The Bounty Hunter is on the board and on its way out of the coming storm. “We snuck in while Mother Nature wasn’t looking, and we stole a fish. Time to call it a day…,” says Captain Bill.
Mark has his plane up, spotting for the The Lily, but it may not be that easy in the rough seas. When you are sight fishing, you can’t shoot if you don’t see the fish. Marky spots one though and Captain Hollywood takes aim. He harpoons the fish, but it isn’t a solid hit. The fish escapes when they try to pull it up, leaving the crew frustrated and empty-handed. Hollywood is still hoping to get another shot, but Mark has to turn the plane back for the airport. He can’t risk being hit by lightning.
Meanwhile, Captain Dave has had FV Tuna.com out since the early hours. The weather is turning, but he isn’t going to quit. When they finally get one on the line, it’s no easy feat to pull it in. “As rough as it is, you’ve gotta fish through it. But now, fighting a fish is super, super hard,” says Dave. It’s a big fight and the guys land the fish, but it’s a squeaker. “It’s a BLT, a barely legal tuna, but it’s a keeper,” says Dave.
Captain Hollywood knows he should go back to the docks. Without his spotting plane he’s at a disadvantage. He’s in it to win it though and luck is on his side. He spots a big one, makes the shot and this time gets it on the boat. Now that they’ve finally got one on deck, Hollywood decides, “It’s time to turn and burn and get out of the way of this storm.”
Back at the docks, The Bounty’s fish weighs in at 355 lbs, is super high quality and brings in $21/lb totally $7,455. The Lily’s fish weighs in at a reasonable 298 lbs, however, it’s just not as nice of a fish as their last one and only comes in at $11/lb for a totally of $3,278. Hollywood is disappointed, but feels he’s lucky to have gotten one.
Things are looking good out on The Hot Tuna. They have a fish bending the rod and it feels like a big one. The fish is making some blistering runs and they are certain that it’s a good catch. However, these runs cause the fishermen some trouble. The tuna is chafing the line and just as they are about to pull him in, the line breaks. They are out of luck and out of time.
The FV Tuna.com is still out on the water; Captain Dave doesn’t want to stop, even though time is running short. They get rewarded by getting a fish on the line. However, the weather is rough and the line can’t hold forever. They are battling 100-foot waves and it’s too much. The line gives and the tuna gets away.
Paul still hasn’t pulled anything up on the deck of the Sambvca, but he won’t give up, and thus finds himself in a nasty squall. Riding out the lighting and 70 mph winds, he is definitely giving the new boat a test run. Everyone makes it back safely, but it’s a hairy ride for Paul and his crew.
Dave gets in to the dock with a fish that weighs 188 lbs and sells for $8/lb for $1,504. On the Leaderboard, The Hot Tuna still holds the top spot, but Lily is now in second followed by Bounty Hunter and FV-Tuna, with Captain Paul still trying to get on the board.
In the end, all of the guys are grateful not just for the successes, but for the beauty of the sea and their friendships. In the end you have to love tuna fishing to do it and there is no doubt that the Wicked Tuna fishermen love what they do. Still, you know that next week it’s going to be all about who brings in the best and the most.
Tune in to Wicked Tuna: Operation T.U.N.A. on March 16 at 9PM et/pt and see who comes out on top.