After week two of the North Atlantic Bluefin tuna fishing season, Gloucester’s top boats are vying for their share of the huge paydays these giant fish can bring. And on the latest episode of Wicked Tuna: Anchor Anger, rivalries reach an all-time high as tensions spill over onto the dock.
Dave Marciano is no stranger to tough starts in his long career as a fisherman. After going fishless in the first week, Dave’s eager to finally find the meat and put some tuna on the deck of Hard Merchandise. Dave is also fishing with a new pair of hands this season, with his son Joe joining the crew as deckhand while he is on summer break from college. Along with first mate Jay Muenzner, the crew hopes to land their fish and start climbing up the leaderboard. Joe still has a lot to learn though, so Dave and Jay give him a first-class tuna education. This week, he got a first-hand lesson in reeling in a wicked screamer. The Hard Merchandise earned their first tuna of the season and the Catch of the Week:
Last season’s top-earning Bluefin captain, Dave Carraro of FV-Tuna.com, had a disappointing first week of fishing. He started week two behind the new leader, Dave’s frequent nemesis, cocky young captain Tyler McLaughlin of the Pin Wheel. When Tyler steams by to play a joke on the Dot Com guys, Dave and his first mate Sandro Maniaci find it far from funny.
Captain Tyler, meanwhile, isn’t having such a bad time and is looking to continue his hot streak from week one. After paying the Dot Com a visit and pretending to pop Dave’s anchor ball, Tyler and his mates start marking and are quickly hooked up. Not only are they able to land their fourth fish of the season, they’re able to do it in front of Dave and Sandro and reintroduce last season’s champ to this season’s new pecking order atop the leaderboard.
It’s enough to push Captain Dave Carraro over the edge. And that’s just what happened. Back on FV-tuna.com, as Dave and Sandro’s week goes from bad to worse, so do their moods. Tyler’s prank of pretending to pop their anchor ball was the sour note that started it all. So when Dave and Sandro steam for shore, one thing is on their minds: find Tyler, and make him pay for the “week from hell” aboard the FV-Tuna.Com.
(Related: Watch the After Show: Reel Talk Episode 2: Wicked Rivals)
For Captain TJ Ott on Hot Tuna, problems this week aren’t coming from another boat, they’re coming from the deck of his own. The only way they’re going to land any fish is if he can bring his newest mate, his brother Mike, up to speed. The three-man team, including long-time first mate Jarrett, quickly find the fish this week, but the problem is getting them on the boat. Whether it’s tangled lines or bad communication, Mike’s inexperience is keeping him from being Johnny-on-the‐spot for his older brother and it almost cost them a huge payday. But fortunately in this case, almost doesn’t count–and the Hot Tuna was able to bring two more fish aboard, bringing the Hot Tuna’s total to three Bluefin, securing the #2 spot on the leaderboard.
It’s different struggles for different boats every week of the Bluefin fishing season, and this week is no different. And when everyone charges onto the water hoping to come home with the prize, some are inevitably going to return empty-handed and disappointed. It’s one giant gamble for these Gloucester fishermen and grinding away week in and week out is the only thing they can do to make sure the gamble pays off. This week certainly paid off for Hot Tuna. To put their catch into perspective, just one tuna could pay for an entire year’s worth of food.
Don’t miss new episodes of Wicked Tuna Sunday’s at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel. And be sure to catch the online after show, Reel Talk, immediately following the premiere. Miss this week webisode? Watch it now! Captains Dave Carraro and Tyler McLaughlin discuss their ongoing rivalry, and the moment when things came to a head. TJ weighs in on all the drama and talks about fishing with his brother.