Fishing by Numbers on Wicked Tuna: Bite Fight

It’s week five on Wicked Tuna and The Hot Tuna is soundly at the top of the leaderboard. The boats are desperate to catch up and no one seems to have an issue with fishing on another captain’s numbers. These carefully guarded geographic coordinates don’t seem to be much of a secret. The Pinwheel is sitting next to Hot Tuna. The Dot Com gets rid of The Odysea only to end up battling it out for the prime spot with The Bounty Hunter.

Fishing in close proximity to another boat lessens everyone’s chances of catching a fish, so no one is happy about it. Worse, all the weekend warriors are crowding the captains. Tempers are running high, and getting angry doesn’t catch fish, but getting even might.

Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you don’t want to know what happened in this episode.

Even with The Bounty Hunter in his space, Tricky Dave is the first to take a fish all the same. It’s no small catch, either. The crew hooks a 393 pound fish that takes in $18/lb. for a whopping $7,074. Rather than waste time, the guys decide to keep riding their high and do a turn and burn, heading back out to fish.


Marciano, on the Hard Merchandise, is still thinking about the double catch they took last week and heads back out to the numbers that treated them well. This is not a bad strategy, but little does he know that Paul on the Miss Sambvca has put his numbers out on the radio. That is one way to get rid of the googans in his surf. Mission accomplished Paulie. Except that there is going to be payback.

Marciano takes advantage of an old fishing superstition that bananas are bad luck. A covert banana planting operation ensues and the curse is surprisingly effective. Miss Sambvca gets nothing but sharks on the line and their battery goes dead. Fortunately, the crew finds the cursed bananas, but not in time to save a week’s worth of fishing.

Tyler, on The Pinwheel hooks up even though he’s anchored right next to The Hot Tuna. Captain Ott praises the tuna gods as Tyler’s fish snaps off the hook and makes a clean getaway. However, the next day, the boats are out on the same numbers again and this time, Tyler gets his fish. No one is a good sport about it, of course. In fact, Tyler may have a 170 pound fish that brings in $18/lb. for $3,060, but thanks to the The Hot Tuna, The Pinwheel gets hosed.


The Bounty Hunter hooks up a fish as well and this time Tricky Dave is happy for him. It’s easy to be generous when you’ve already got a cool 7k in your pocket. Unfortunately, the fish goes under the boat and gets away. Captain Bill Monte is crushed. All the same, he’s back again the next day and this time, the fish stays on the line. They come home with a 347 pound fish that brings in $18/lb. for $6,246.


At the end of week five, Dot Com’s fish pushed them ahead of The Bounty Hunter and Pinwheel has caught their second fish, but The Hot Tuna still holds a commanding lead. The captains are all revved up and ready for the race to get tighter. Can The Hot Tuna hold its spot at the top? Tune in next week to Wicked Tuna for Mission: Fishin! on Sunday March 30 at 8PM et/pt and find out!


  1. Jack S.
    March 30, 2014, 8:51 pm

    Captain “Hollywood” should not be in the tournament with these guy’s. He harvest fish, but he is not a fisherman. the other guys have to catch a fish to see what’s on the line, fight it with a rod and reel for maybe a half an hour. He has a plane to guide him right to the

    Tuna and he harpoons them. (Good on the harpoon) then pulls it in with a rope not fishing line. Also the contest should be won by pounds of fish, not money. A buyer may tend to pay a regulercust

  2. George Foley
    Wicked Tuna
    April 6, 2014, 10:02 am

    Years ago I fished offshore out of Beach Haven on boats from the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club.
    I keep seeing boats on your show lose a lot of fish from broken line.
    Almost all the crew do something our captains would never allow. They grab the line and pull it in while they crank the reel.

    Penn International reels are made to set the drags for the line strength. If you set the drag at 1/3 the breaking strength of the line, you won’t break it. Grabbing the line puts more tension on the line and, I believe, causes line breaks and lost fish.

    As I recall our boats rarely lost fish from broken lines.