All About That Pin Wheel – Wicked Tuna Catch of the Week: First Blood

On the first day of the new Bluefin tuna fishing season in Gloucester, Massachusetts, every captain in the fleet wants the same thing–to land the coveted first tuna of the year.

Dave Carraro, captain of Fishing Vessel Tuna Dot Com, caught double the number of Bluefin of any other skipper last season, and this year, he’s determined to smoke the Gloucester fleet again. For Dave and his loyal first mate Sandro, there’s no better way to send a strong message than by landing the first fish of the season.

But no one is more determined to beat Dave to the first tuna than the young captain, Tyler McLaughlin. After a horrendous season in Gloucester last year, Tyler’s gamble to head to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to continue fishing over the winter proved a success. And now he has returned to New England with a new-found confidence and maturity.

With a focused new crew, Tyler is certain he can prove to the fleet that Pin Wheel is a force to be reckoned with. And on the season opener of Wicked Tuna, he did just that. Check out the first Catch of the Week from episode one:

(Caution: Spoilers Ahead)

Not only did Pin Wheel nab the first fish of the season, they also caught two more! Only two other boats managed to make it on the leaderboard this week, with one fish apiece ( and Hot Tuna). While the rest of the captains sit on the leaderboard with zero, Tyler is off to a strong start with an astonishing three fish, totaling 976 pounds and $13,877 total. Be sure to check out the rankings and vote for your favorite captain on the Wicked Tuna Leaderboard.

So what’s really on the line for these captains? Well, to put one of Tyler’s tunas into perspective, check out this week’s leaderboard moment. A 372lb tuna could pay for one family’s healthcare contribution for the entire year. Now those are some high stakes.


Don’t miss new episodes of Wicked Tuna, Sundays at 9/8c. Can’t wait for this Sunday’s new episode? We’ve released it early online! Watch Wicked Tuna: Anchor Anger online now.


  1. Patricia
    West Covina, CA
    February 18, 2015, 2:06 am

    What is the keyword from Sunday 2/15

  2. Chris
    February 18, 2015, 1:15 pm

    that was a real cluster F**** on the hot tuna!. 5 guys and a dog! after that circus spectacular, they shouldn’t be bad mouthing U anymore! go pinwheel and hard merch!

  3. Randy Horton
    March 8, 2015, 9:27 pm

    I spent 20 years off the west coast fishing Swords on a stick boat, and on tuna jig boats. I was a young Capt once. Pinwheels problem is inexperience! I learned that when competing for fish, when you find one, turn off the damn radio and ignore the world. I would sneak out on the plank at the last second, stick the fish, and get off the plank, hopefully if the sun was right and the swell, my wheel man could maneuver onto the fish with our stern to the fleet so they wouldn’t see us do the business. It’s like this folks, you’re walking down the street and see hundred dollar bills all over the street. You can keep your mouth shut, pick them up and leave with pockets full of money, OR, you can yell “hey everyone, look at all the money in the street and get trampled in the rush. Fishermen, when harpoon fishing, two things I don’t see happening that should. One, try 1000 feet of 3/8 manila rope, with 4 bundles of net cork floats , a big hippity hop ball, and a flag on your gear. If you coild the rope right, it will self feed when you dump it in the water. The gear won’t be attached to your boat, and you can take 10 fish in 20 minutes that way instead if fighting one fish. Secondly, never sharpen your darts on the side or back. Only the point should be sharpened. If it cuts its way it, it can cut its way out. I learned from the west coast great highliners, Jerry on the “Feluca” , Jack on the Jama Jan, and Gladys Chaffee on the Lurlyn. There were a few others. All of them are gone now, with their knowledge and experience in me now.

  4. marc
    March 15, 2015, 11:07 pm

    Who’s the chick on the pinwheel? Blonde curly hair.

  5. John D. Seymoure
    Jacksonville, I L
    May 11, 2015, 9:10 am

    Sneaky isn’t even close TJ. He doesn’t even acknowledge the help. He says “HE’S” on top and that is where HE is staying. Not a word about “Thanks to TJ for Fuckibg up andgiving me $15 k in fish to take the lead! I feel for Sorondo his First Mate because he is going to get the Same Reputation Dave is giving himself. He is going to be a liar and a cheat and ungrateful bitch for working with a guy that will screw his own grandma out of a minnow so he can be the “BIG MAN” by a dollar! I wouldn’t tell him squat! He talks about Tyler but you didn’t see him coming to tell you he caught those 3 fish. You had to go find the Rock he was hiding under. If he hadn’t heard you and Tyler talking He would have told you he never caught a fish out there where you told him you were catching them. The only reason he told you was because Tyler saw them and told you! Sondro is going to have the same reputation at the end of the day. And anyone else who fishes with him.

  6. Kevin d
    May 17, 2016, 3:24 pm

    Is Tyler on meth or heroin? He seems to be spiraling mentally and physically. Sucks because he seemed to be a great up and coming captain.