Fishing is naturally considered a peaceful hobby that contributes to the relaxation of a person’s mind and soul. However, Wicked Tuna is anything but that. The reality TV series which has been on the air since April 1, 2012, on National Geographic Channel, documents the fiery drama among the crew of a fishing boat and the hardships that go unnoticed while catching fish. But, what makes the show even more special is the unique attributes of the cast that make any situation intriguing and refreshing.
There is never a dull moment at sea. Each and every occasion brings a different ambiance which has made the show so successful. With seven successful seasons, there are many more to come.
The winner of a season is determined by the number of tuna caught and the total earnings of the vessel. The latest winner of the show, F/V Pin Wheel, captained by Tyler McLaughlin, amassed a total of $103,936 by catching 19 tuna. That’s pretty big bucks!
The show has become really popular, thanks to its premise! However, criticism comes along with fame. The show’s journey to success has also not been without hardships and of course some behind the scene stories that fans don’t get to learn. Here are some of the untold truths about the reality television series that you may not have known.
#5. Behind the Scenes
The show revolves around various fishing vessels that set out to the sea in search of Bluefin Tuna. The intense drama surrounding the vessels during a fishing run is what has captured the attention of viewers. However, fishing is not considered an adrenaline-rich hobby. It is, in fact, a boring and time-consuming process if that is what you do for the living. Someday, there might not even be a single catch. But, in order to attract more viewers, the show is aired only after it goes through vigorous editing that negates the true meaning of fishing. You can only fit so much in a 40-minute episode.
#4. Controversy Over the Subject
Among various species of Tuna, the Bluefin Tuna is a rare kind. As the show primarily focuses on the capture of Bluefins, there’s a high risk of the species’ extinction. This has put the show under scrutiny several times. It’s no surprise that every viewer isn’t happy about the show’s premise. Some critics have taken issue with its special focus on the species, and the issues have been raised since the talks of the show originated.
This particular species has become endangered because it is so rewarding for the fishermen. Ignoring the long-term consequences, one of the more successful reality shows, Wicked Tuna is focusing on cashing in on the high seas capturing of this rare species. However, the guys from Gloucester and the show are not to be put at fault. Reports have it that over-exploitation of Bluefin Tuna comes from European overfishing. It seems like the arguments will never end.
#3. Fights Outside of TV
The show throws the sensation of tranquility that is naturally provided by the fishing right out of the water, quite literally. The show is already dramatic enough due to the constant bickering and spats among the crew as well as against the other fishing vessels.
But, there have been various incidents in real life that are more intense than the ones portrayed on TV. The winning captain of the year, Tyler Mclaughlin was once arrested for aggravated assault against a fellow fisherman. There are other incidents that depict the feisty nature of the cast outside the helm.
#2. Chased by Federal Government
The cast of the show is very frantic and disorganized, to say the least. However, none of the cast come close to Paul Hebert on the crazy index. The captain of F/V Wicked Pissah is considered as one of the most amusing cast members on the show, and you may not have known about his dark past.
He applied for government disability benefits in 2008, claiming that he was unable to work any job, which was approved in 2010. But, he failed to update the government that he started working as a captain and fisherman in a television series. As a result, in 2015, he was charged with Social Security and Medicaid fraud for accepting more than $44,000 between 2010 and 2013. He accepted his mistake and agreed to pay more than $53,600 in restitution for the inconvenience caused due to his negligence.
The fishing world was shocked when the Facebook Page of Wicked Tuna released the news of fisherman, Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge's untimely death in July 2018. Duffy was a crucial cast member of the show who served as the first mate to Tyler McLaughlin on the F/V Pin Wheel. The young fishermen lost his life at 28.
It was the second time that tragedy had struck the Pin Wheel, after the death of Adam Moser back in 2015. Unlike Duffy, Adam’s cause of death was found to be substance abuse. The show is still thriving with the memories of the lost crew while being part of the show. May they rest in peace!
How often do you watch Wicked Tuna? What else do you find fishy about the show? Share your views in the comments.