Risky Business and Family Feuds on Wicked Tuna: Brotherly Shove

At the start of week nine, Tuna.com is holding a commanding lead over the Wicked Tuna fleet. However, everyone is experiencing an excruciating lull. All of the captains are looking at any legal means necessary to bring fish onto their boat, and nerves are rubbing raw. In the case of the two brothers on the Miss Sambvca, things might come to bad ends if they don’t get better quickly.

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

On the Hot Tuna, Captain TJ wants to try something new. They cheer at the possibility of going to a green stick, a forty foot pole that is attached to the boat. The green stick pulls bait behind the moving vessel, as well as a “bird” which simulates a predator chasing a school of fish.

It doesn’t take long at all before their line has a bite. However, all they catch is a yellowfin, which is legal and tasty, but doesn’t come with the paycheck as big as a Bluefin. And in the end that’s all they catch– yellowfin. It’s not sushi grade fish, but at least it pays some of the bills.

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On The Lily, Captain Hollywood is coming to terms with the fact that harpoon season is pretty much over.  And that means making the most of any opportunity to take a shot, as it very well could be the last chance of the season.  In fact, he decides to fish near a dragging boat, a commercial vessel that tows large nets to catch schools of fish. The fish that escape are easy target for Bluefin, which sometimes follow the boats. The Lily isn’t welcome nearby, but Captain Hollywood is willing to take the risk. In the end, Hollywood takes a 370 pounder at $15/lb for $4,905.

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On Miss Sambvca, things aren’t looking good. They have only caught one fish and the whole crew is starving. Not only that, but they are starting to doubt the captains every decision. They haven’t had a Bluefin in two months and they aren’t even marking fish. Bruce, Paul’s brother has had enough.  He doesn’t think Paul is making the right choices, and when they hook a fish, they lose it.

Bruce has a bad back, he’s walked away from his own business, and he’s just trying to help his brother. It seems obvious that Paulie doesn’t seem to care and he’s had enough. He demands that Paul bring him back to the dock and they call it done.  Without Bruce, it could be the end of Paulie’s season, and worse, he’s lost his brother. Some things are bigger than fish. Goodbye Bruce!

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Hard Merchandise has only caught three fish. Marciano knows that they have to change things up. The bites are hard to come by and he’s willing to take some risks. He uses super light gear, what he calls “shy” gear. The advantage is that they are more likely to hook up. The challenge is keeping the fish on the line. Sure enough, they hook up, but after a fight, they lose the fish.

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The next day, the Hard Merchandise goes back to the heavy gear. When they get a bite this time, they reel it in and get its tail up. Once the fish is on the deck, Marciano remembers why he sticks to his tried and true gear. It works!  They bring in a 319 pounder that gets $14/lb for a total of $4,466. As far a Marciano is concerned, that makes it worth the trip.

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Even on Tuna.com, it’s a waiting game. Dave is fishing old waters and seeing nothing. Garon convinces Dave to move to “better” waters on a tip, but they aren’t seeing anything. Dave is not happy about the chance he’s taken, however, just as they are about to pull anchor and leave, the fish arrive. Fortunately, they hook one up and land their seventh fish of the season… and it’s no small catch. It turns out to be a 581 pounder that brings in $14/lb for a total of $8,134. Everyone is a little disappointed, by the price per pound, but it’s a lot better than coming home empty handed.

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At the end of week nine, Tuna.com is still holding an impressive lead. The Lily has moved up into second place, but their season is rapidly winding down. Will The Hot Tuna catch up to take the lead? Tune in next week to Wicked Tuna: Blue Grit on Sunday May 4 at 9PM et/pt and find out.