With more than a third of the Carolina bluefin tuna quota already filled, everyone in the fleet feels the pressure to fish at every opportunity. So when an Atlantic Ocean winter storm system whips up rough seas and ice in the local harbor, it forces northern and southern captains to take huge risks to fish in dangerous conditions for their big money catch.
The Southern fishermen get out on the water early in a bid to catch and get home safely before an incoming storm hits. With rapidly changing conditions, the last place they want to be is 50 miles offshore in the Outer Banks, which is known as the graveyard of the North Atlantic. And for good reason. Ocean winds create waves that can cause sandbars to shift by the hour, making conditions incredibly hazardous for boats.
In this clip, Paul and Tyler attempt to navigate one such treacherous bar in harsh conditions.
This first winter storm delivers something the Northern fishermen never expected to see in North Carolina—snow and ice! Just like home in Gloucester. With Wanchese Harbor iced in, all of the captains—northern and southern—must decide whether it is worth risking their lives trying to break though the ice and attempt to cross the treacherous bar outside the inlet.
For Northern captains Tyler McLaughlin of the Pin Wheel and TJ Ott of the Hot Tuna, the decision is easy—they didn’t steam 550 miles to Wanchese to just sit at the dock. Both attempt to use their boats as icebreakers, but only one succeeds.
Don’t miss Wicked Tuna North vs. South: Ice Ice Tuna Sunday at 10P.