As breakdowns and bad luck plague various boats in the Outer Banks’ Bluefin tuna fleet, it remains to be seen if a Northern boat will rise to the top of the leaderboard for the first time.
On southern boat Wahoo, brothers Reed and Banks Meredith are currently the top-earning tuna boat in the fleet. But when a Coast Guard inspection leads to trouble with their hydraulic lines, their lead might be in jeopardy. Currently in second place in the earnings is northern boat Pin Wheel – and right now, it’s make or break time. After steaming 550 miles from Gloucester to try their luck in the North Carolina’s Outer Banks fishery, co-captains Tyler McLaughlin and Paul Hebert are more determined than ever to outfish the rest of the local fleet on their home turf.
Local boat Fishin’ Frenzy has been Wanchese’s highest-catching Bluefin boat for the past few seasons. But over the course of the season, captain Greg Mayer and his mate Nick Gowitzka have tumbled from top of the leaderboard to third position, and they are not happy about it. They manage to put some meat on the boat that they’re hoping will put them back in first, but when they spend an afternoon reeling in the wrong kind of fish, the top rung of the ladder slips a little farther away.
Over on northern boat Hard Merchandise, captain Dave Marciano and his nephew and first mate Jay Muenzner have been catching tuna regularly over the past week, but not enough to get them on par with the fleet’s leaders. Just when they need a couple of solid catches, unexpected engine trouble threatens to put an end to their efforts.
And for captain Britton Shackelford and first mate Caine Livesay on southern boat Doghouse, desperation sets in as their struggle to land Bluefin leaves them trailing everyone by a wide margin. The last thing they need is something going wrong with the boat, so naturally, that’s what they get.
With the small quota being rapidly filled, the fishing season could end in just days, so the race is on to catch and be the king of the Outer Banks fishery. When the dust settles, will it be a Southern heir, or a Northern usurper?
Don’t miss Wicked Tuna North vs. South: From Rods to Riches this Sunday at 10P.