The long, cold winter has just hit New England, and while the bluefin tuna season has come to an end in Gloucester, Mass., it’s just getting started in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. After a disappointing season, several of Gloucester’s top fishermen head south to try to salvage their finances by fishing for the elusive bluefin tuna in unfamiliar Carolina waters before the experienced locals beat them to the catch. It’s a whole new battlefield and the Northern captains must conquer new styles of fishing, treacherous waters, and the wrath of the Outer Banks’ top fishermen. They’re gambling on what could be a massive payday … or a huge financial loss.
In order to succeed, the Gloucester rod-and-reel veterans will need to master the different method of fishing — greensticking, in which artificial squid are trolled from a 30-foot fiberglass pole in order to entice bluefin swimming near the surface — and best a fleet of North Carolina captains battling for the same catches. Bluefin season in the Outer Banks only lasts a limited time, and there is a highly restricted government catch quota. But if the captains can reel in some “monstah” fish before the quota is reached, the winter months could potentially yield a greater catch than in Gloucester. In fishermen’s terms: a cash bonanza.
The weather in the Outer Banks is notoriously unpredictable, so the New England captains must be ready for extremely rough seas, high winds and erratic currents. The Outer Banks is home to some of the most treacherous waters in the world, including the notorious Oregon Inlet — the main gateway to the open ocean, nicknamed “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.” But dangerous waters aren’t the only challenge that the New England captains have to contend with — they also have to deal with the hotheaded fleet from Wanchese, N.C. When it comes to bluefin tuna fishing, there’s no such thing as Southern hospitality.
Tonight on the season premiere of Wicked Tuna North vs. South: Yankee Invasion, after a disappointing North Atlantic bluefin tuna season, Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise and Captain TJ Ott of the Hot Tuna travel south full steam into the waters of the Outer Banks, N.C., to extend their season and salvage their losses. In the South, the competition is fiercer and the stakes are higher than ever before. The 500-mile steam is a huge gamble on what could be a massive payday … or a huge financial loss. In order to profit, the Northern captains have to overcome new fishing techniques, traverse unfamiliar waters and battle the toughest competitors in the North Carolina waters. When it comes to fishing in the Outer Banks, there’s no such thing as Southern hospitality. Marciano, Ott and Tyler McLaughlin will face off against top captain Greg Mayer of the Fishin’ Frenzy, the Meredith brothers of the Wahoo and the fearless Captain Britton Shackelford of the Doghouse.
The Southern boats are not happy about the Yankee invasion of their waters, and will do whatever it takes to ensure the Northern boats don’t steal their catch. With limited fish, rough seas and constant pressure to make a paycheck, the battle to win the war on Wicked Tuna: North vs. South promises to be anything but civil.
Wicked Tuna: North vs. South Premieres Sunday, Aug. 17, at 10:00 PM ET/PT