Don’t Be A Googan!

We’ve all met them…

~That car creeping below the speed limit in the fast lane…
~The man hesitantly pushing button after button at the ATM machine with 20 people waiting in line…
~The lady slowing scribbling out a $5 check at the checkout line during the busiest shopping hour…
~ The weekend warrior getting in your way when you are trying to catch a bluefin tuna…


Everyday googans can be a real hassle, but when googans get in the way of the crews on Wicked Tuna money is lost, expensive equipment is in danger and tempers flare. Never heard of a googan? Then you haven’t watched Wicked Tuna yet and you might need a glossary. Captain Ralph of the Odysea explains, “ [In] giant tuna fishing we have the commercial guys, we have the sport guys, and then we have the googans…” These are the guys that tool around in tiny boats without a real understanding of what they are doing. A googan in the wrong place at the wrong time can be a gigantic headache. Don’t want to be a googan? Here are a few words of advice taken from some real life moments on Wicked Tuna:

  1. Give the closest boat a quarter of a mile buffer. Get too close and the other boat and his line might tangle with your anchor line. A big fish on a broken line could easily be a $5,000 to $10,000 loss.
  2. First come. First serve.  Even if the fish are biting, respect the boat that is already in the space. Besides if you hook up to another guys line, thinking you have a fish you’ll look like an idiot and will get called worse when you break his line.
  3. Respect the numbers.  If you’ve noticed that a commercial boat has been fishing in the same spot for days, in the same coordinates, don’t try to take his spot. He’s earned it.
  4. Answer your radio, especially if the language you are hearing is getting saucy. You may not mean to get in a boat’s way, but what you don’t know could cost the other guy a paycheck.
  5. Learn the etiquette before you sport the orange pants. The sea belongs to all of us, but not all of us are in it for a living. Earn your colors!

Taking in a giant fish with a rod and reel is no easy prospect. It takes a tremendous amount of preparation, a lot of heartache over the ones that get away and a bit of luck, luck that can go bad the moment a googan comes along and turns potential into mayhem. Watch a few episodes of Wicked Tuna and you might discover that you really don’t want to be on a captain’s bad side… But then, who wants to be a googan anyway?

Fishing is a tough living and the crews on Wicked Tuna have their hands full whether it’s with googans, dogfish or just plain bad luck. Tune in to Wicked Tuna: Greed, Ego & Jealousy Sunday April 29 at 10P et/pt and find out what challenges they face this week!


  1. Ronald Dixon
    April 29, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I remember seeing a documentary about 10 years ago based on giant tuna fishing. Back then (not sure if it is like this nowadays), these commercial fisherman would hunt for tuna with an electronic harppon equipped cutter vessel and a helicopter guiding them from above. These fisherman would pay about $500,000 a year for this privilege and only about 10 or 20 licenses were given. Their catch would be flown out to Japan’s fish market within 24 hours and fetch an average of about $50,000 per tuna.
    Is it still done like that?
    Or did that practice prove to be economically insane?

  2. Jon price
    April 29, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Hey I was just wondering how would someone go about getting into contact with the crews about possible employment?

  3. Nick
    May 1, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Like the show but was very offended that you dont bleep G*D****, God is not to be D*******! All the other cuz words are bleeped what gives? Bleep that also.

  4. horsenbuggy
    May 7, 2012, 8:20 am

    I think Captain Ralph is too abrasive in person. The whole concept is that these people don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong. So why cuss and scream at them? All you do is come across as a madman. If you got on the radio and in a calm voice explained that 1) you were here first, 2) you have really long lines in the water that they are on top of, 3) if and when you hook a fish you will most likely lose it because their anchor line will cut your fishing line, 4) you’re not out here for fun, this is how you support your family. If someone explained that to me in a calm manner, I’d be more than happy to move to a different spot. But yelling at me and calling me names won’t motivate me to help you out at all.

  5. DesmondDaniels
    Dallas, TX
    May 27, 2012, 10:00 pm

    I’ve been watching the show all season and what I’ve gathered thus far is that it is the captain’s job to put their boats on top of the fish. The captains who do so and do so persistently catch the most fish and make the most money. Dave might be an arrogant jerk that nobody likes, but he obviously IS a great captain. I’ve been wondering all season who is the captain of the Bounty Hunter. There’s a passenger aboard the Bounty Hunter who spends most of his time worrying about other captains – especially Dave – and where other captains are bringing in the fish. I have yet to see Bill pick a spot that was not dictated by someone else’s input. Now he has Paul aboard, and he’s blaming Paul for their cold streak because Paul is not putting them on the fish. It is sickening to hear his excuses and constant passing of blame for his failures on others. Bill has a lot of complaints and problems, but no original ideas on how to fix them on his own. Before assuming a title(i.e. Captain), one should check the list of job responsabilities. With a true captain, I believe that the Bounty Hunter could catch some fish.

  6. Betty
    June 3, 2012, 9:27 pm

    If these different captains worked together instead of against each other, they would be so much more efficient. They spend too much time worrying about outdoing each other. Of course, it wouldn’t make good tv…

    Their competitiveness actually seems to reach levels that are downright mean. These are the same people that live next door to them but they seem to hate each other. I’m not sure I would want to live in a place with so much animosity.

  7. steve wenckus
    Newton MA.
    June 3, 2012, 10:41 pm

    Exactly Des…. billy and Scott talk too much sh”’t about everyone else including Paul while he is trying to really help them hook up and seems very sincere about helping Billy do so…Jerkoffs”’Billy and Scott

  8. JAC
    June 10, 2012, 4:30 am

    Just finished watching the season and looking foreward to another. Tuna fishing is not easy and their salt of the earth fisherman wisdom is enjoyable. I get the feeling each of them can drink their weight in beer in the off season. As far as the “googans” , wouldn’t a bull horn help instead of shouting from far away? Also, has anybody ever heard of a lifejacket?

  9. Karl
    August 11, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I do agree that there are a lot of very un-informed non-pro boaters and fishermen that make fishing an unpleasant experience.- But , -as a rec. fisherman that has dealt with these whiners (pro fishermen) – I’d suggest you might consider that there is likely another side to the story. Just because you fish for a living doesn’t mean you own the ocean – “you’re in my spot – I fished here before” does not mean I have to vacate a spot that I spent the time and money to get to first. Very typical Masshole bully style – “wait till I see you back on the dock”, playing shitty tricks on each other like mis-directing them to fish so they waste time without catching, these guys appear to basically look like a group of children that hate each other. Putting jerks on TV does not make them any less the jerk.

  10. Jamie
    October 31, 2012, 11:18 pm

    you know I think the Captains on this show are just absolute assholes. I have watched the show quite a few times and the captains seem to think that they own the sea and that they have exclusive rights to an area. Well they do not anyone can come into any area and fish any where they want and there is absolutely nothing that another person can say or do about it.

    Then when the other person doesn’t move the captain of one of the ships on the TV Show Wicked Tuna starts throwing a fit and calling them a “Googan” and making threats towards other individuals. These captains are a disgrace to the fishing Industry and National Geographic should find some captains that can behave themselves and properly represent the fishing Industry. These captains that are on the show now are nothing but a bunch of asshole bullies and are a disgrace to the fishing industry.

  11. James Tupper
    Merrimack NH
    January 16, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I got excited about this show when it started to air about the same time I decided I wanted to try it. since I recently retired why not ,I thought i would learn how to fish for these monsters what I have learned so far is when i pack my gear make sure I bring along my biggest friend for protectionI I go fishing to have fun I have earned it if you fellows would help us to understand we probably would not get in your way I never though of myself as a “googan’ I resent the name calling lets all fish and have fun Pauly i would injoy fishing with you great attiude

  12. John Force
    March 4, 2013, 10:55 am

    I’ll be nice this time….I am a weekend warrior. I’ll see you there. A couple of you guys act like goofballs…thats being nice. I agree with the etticate above other than some of you who claim to do this for a living and us googans get in the way. A 200,000 dollar boat and you catch 23k worth of fish at 1/2 season. Because you buy the commercial liscense does not give you the claim that we are less entitled to a spot in the water. Where should we fish? where there is no fish? You joke about fishing on each others nunbers if you are part of the click, but agressively defend your territory aganst a googan. Some of you do this for a living? Sure….your construction company buys the boat and the fuel and you sell fish that barely pays the bills. Yes Marciano does it for a living and now you are making money being on the show. Some of you are letting this get to your head. You can see the attitude change from last season. Anyone sporting a 100 or 200k boat is lying that they do this for a living. Some of you are just wealthy bouys with a commercial lescense. Some are really doing it. It is easy to tell and I see it. See ya aout there!

  13. Jeff
    Upstate New York
    March 5, 2013, 8:43 am

    Captains of Wicked Tuna, Some of you have web sites that want Googans to come on a Charter with you when your not filming for the show. Do you think the bitching is helping you get charters? I realize this was taped last fall but now is when people are thinking of Spring cod fishing with there friends, I won’t be paying any of you my hard earned money and am willing to bet others feel the same

  14. Chris
    March 6, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Been a big fan of the show. However, after watching the “googan” episode this week I feel “Wicked Whiners” may be a better description. There is a similar attitude here in Alaska where the commercial fisheries feel they own the ocean and rivers at the expense of the sport fishing crowd. I propose the state consider restricting commercial tuna fishing to weekdays and leave some or all of the weekends to sports fishing.

  15. amy
    llkhart lake
    April 11, 2013, 8:47 pm

    They do to know what theyre doing dont be a googan…jeez

  16. mike palmieri
    currently il.
    May 12, 2013, 12:02 pm

    these guys work thier asses off…respect, and give em” room.

  17. nicky
    Narragansett R.I.
    November 13, 2013, 6:30 pm

    If the vessels l.D. name ect. contains words ; pole,hole,roll,droll.wears his skin outside his vessel, has no respect for others, softshells should wander oround in the salt
    ponds there they work on top 1 another. OCEAN=MONEY, count The Lord gave to those who respect what they eat u r what u eat GOOD FAITH TO ALL Those who use those two words.

  18. Pewdiepie
    Pewdiepie Town
    November 29, 2014, 5:56 am

    Cool story bro