In the News: ‘Wicked Tuna’ returns for Season 11February 24, 2022 / Good to Know, In The News, Local Characters
Permission to post by the Gloucester Daily Times | Written by Gail McCarthy | February 24, 2022
The tuna fishermen in the National Geographic hit series “Wicked Tuna” were not crushed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, although they too faced the challenges of a world economy turned upside down.
But the “monstah” bluefin tuna competition is back. Season 11 kicks off on NatGeo TV with the extended 90-minute episode “Back on the Hunt” this Sunday, Feb. 27, at 9 p.m.
Filmed on location in Gloucester and at sea, the show follows experienced fishermen from the nation’s oldest seaport, chronicling their triumphs and sometimes the ones that get away.
Of the eight captains, half are from Gloucester, and two are from Beverly. The other two are from New Hampshire and New Jersey.
Gloucester Capt. Paul Hebert’s Wicked Pissah finished last season as the top earning boat, and he returns again this season with his new custom-built boat and his colorful character.
“I feel blessed that I am still part of the project, and I hope that we get many more years,” he said. “We are also very thankful that the (tuna) prices were better this season.”
Capt. Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise was runner-up last season and will fight to get first place this season.
“How amazing that we just wrapped up Season 11. When this all started years ago, we didn’t know what kind of life it would take on,” said the Beverly resident. “This was a fabulous season with a lot of fish to be caught and a whole lot of fun. There are plenty of fish and a lot of excitement to make a great story. and the market was much better than it was in the season of the coronavirus, so we are all thankful for that.”
Marciano said he was also pleased for local lobstermen who experienced record high prices last summer.
“We didn’t experience record prices like the lobster industry, but our market definitely came back,” he said.
He added that there was one positive element during COVID-19 when, in the interest of keeping the market viable without restaurants, some branched out to distribute tuna at local farmers markets with great success.
Back this season is five-time winner Gloucester Capt. Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com.
For some vessels, it is a family affair. Capt. Tyler McLaughlin, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is joined aboard his Pinwheel by his sister Marissa. Capt. T.J. Ott of the Hot Tuna at times fishes with his father.
Capt. Bob Cook of Beverly of the Fat Tuna is also in the line-up. Rounding out the fleet is New Jersey’s Capt. Spurge Krasowski of the Moonshine, the oldest captain, and Gloucester Capt. Jack Patrican of the Time Flies, the youngest captain. Patrican appeared last season, and he returns to compete again to bring back “blue gold.”