Deckhand in Charge: Wicked Tuna Catch of the Week

On week 11 of the North Atlantic Bluefin tuna season, bad luck, bait problems, and big egos plague the Gloucester fleet. With only five weeks of fishing left before the season closes, hard-working Captain Dave Marciano of Hard Merchandise and his first mate and nephew, Jay Muenzner, are defying popular belief by being at the top of the leaderboard for the first time this season.

Captain Tyler McLaughlin of Pin Wheel has a lot of work to do this week to try to mend fences with his only crew member, deckhand Travis Brown. Since the boat’s first mate David Rankins quit a few weeks ago, Travis has struggled to step up and prove his worth. Things came to a head last week when Tyler shoved Travis to the ground in an outburst of frustration while trying to reel in a tuna. Now Travis is ready to quit if Tyler doesn’t start treating him with respect.

Out on the water, Travis wakes up to find that Tyler has left Pin Wheel to get bait on a friend’s boat, and the young deckhand knows it is his chance to prove to Tyler that he has what it takes to be a reliable crew member. What Tyler finds when he gets back from his sojourn is more than a pleasant surprise: the Deckhand brings in a tuna all by himself. Re-live the moment in the Catch of the Week:

Meanwhile, with 11 fish and over $70,000, Dave and Jay are having one of their best seasons ever on Hard Merchandise and they’re determined to keep fishing hard and stay on top until the end of the season. But last year’s champion Captain Dave Carraro of FV‐, is only narrowly behind Hard Merchandise in the earnings and he’s desperate to take back the lead he lost last week. When things don’t go to plan, Dave must rely on the kindness of another captain to hopefully give him a one-­way ticket out of the doldrums.

After a strong start to the season, Hot Tuna has struggled to catch consistently and has dropped well behind the fleet’s three leaders in the past two weeks. Feeling the pressure, Captain TJ Ott navigates over sixty miles to Fippennies Ledge, where he hopes one of his old hot spots will pay off with a multiple fish haul–and that’s exactly what he gets when he lands three fish. Watch the after show where TJ discusses his best week yet: Reel Talk Ep. 11: Three’s a Charm >>

Visit the leaderboard to see how things netted out this week, and don’t miss new episodes of Wicked Tuna Sundays at 9/8c.