All New TV Series “Wicked Tuna”
A New Fishing Show “Wicked Tuna” will be airing Sundays at 10PM on the National Geographic Channel. Don’t miss out on this great new series.
Fishing is a hard life, and harder with bluefin stocks depleted. In Gloucester, Massachusetts, there’s a special breed of fishermen. For generations they’ve used rod and reel to catch the elusive bluefin tuna. They depend on these fish for their livelihood, and the competition is brutal.
Over the next 10 weeks, the most skilled fishermen will set out in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic in hopes of catching the valuable bluefin tuna. When one bluefin can bring in as much as $20,000—they’ll do whatever it takes to hook up.
- Courtesy of National Geographic
By Gail McCarthy Staff Writer for Gloucester Daily Times
A troupe of Gloucester fishermen changed out of their fishing attire for a red-carpet preview screening Tuesday night for the new National Geographic reality TV series “Wicked Tuna,” which premieres Sunday.
The fishermen and their families and friends, along with the press corps and state and local representatives, gathered at Boston’s Wilbur Theater for the screening and after party.
For the next 10 weeks, the National Geographic channel will give an inside look at bluefin tuna fishing out of Gloucester Harbor featuring both the thrill of the hunt as well as despair over the one that got away. The show debuts Sunday at 10 p.m.
This is the latest generation of reality television involving Gloucester or its residents.
Chef Christian Collins made it to the final three in FOX TV’s “MasterChef” and three Gloucester fishermen were part of the ABC reality series “Expedition Impossible” last year. Prior to that, Gloucester’ James “Jimmy T” Tarantino was a competitor on the CBS reality hit “Survivor.” And two young Gloucester High School grads — Emilee Fitzpatrick and Kate Squillace — were spotlighted on MTV’s popular “Real World” and Oxygen TV’s “Bad Girls Club,” respectively.
“We think this show will be the best of the bunch,” said “Wicked Tuna” Capt. Dave Marciano, 46, of the 38-foot fishing vessel Hard Merchandise. “Fishing is all I know how to do. In this day and age, I can say I enjoy my job. It’s not always all about the money.”
The series illustrates the lucrative nature of the business and the fierce rivalry among five competing tuna boats — the Tuna.com, Marciano’s Hard Merchandise, the Bounty Hunter, the Odysea and the Christina.
The show depicts fishing done with rod and reel, and often ending in an almost hand-to-hand combat with the bluefin. During the screening, the audience erupted in laughter many times as the crews went about their business. In one scene, one of the boats reels in a “monstah” tuna weighing about 1,100 pounds.
When Gloucester’s Capt. Dave Carraro left Gloucester Harbor under the cover of darkness before all others, the crowd giggled when the narrator referred to him as “Tricky Dave” as he left for Georges Bank. In one scene, Carraro called bluefin tuna fishing an addiction.
Bill Monte, who has fished for 35 years with his wife Donna, told filmmakers that age brings its own challenges.
“It gets harder as you get older and your body gets beat up,” he said, though he is still lured out by the hunt.
Gloucester’s Vito Calomo, a retired third-generation fishing captain in his own right, attended the screening as a representative of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. He thought the episode was well done.
“It will be an eye opener for those who don’t know about life at sea and who think all tuna comes in a can,” he said, explaining that the tuna in a can is a smaller species called albacore tuna. “From a fishing point of view, (the show) was entertaining even to myself and I think it will be very entertaining to those not familiar with it.”
Rosemarie Ciaramitaro of Gloucester attended the premiere, invited by her cousin Sandro Maniaci, a crew member of Tuna.com. She is also the daughter of a fisherman and knows well the inherent risks of the job.
“It’s very dangerous. The sea is not a place to fool around. We were lucky. My father went fishing and came back home. Everyone is out there trying to make a living and that is what this series shows,” she said.
Ciaramitaro watched her cousin grow up with a passion for fishing ever since he was in elementary school, when he always drew pictures of sharks and fish.
“My aunt would take him to fish at the State Fish Pier and down to the Boulevard. He fished every chance he got,” she recalled. “He loves the sea so much that at the age of 26, he went out to get his captain’s license.”
Introducing the episode, National Geographic’s spokesman Christopher Albert noted that fishing is an ancient profession.
The rules of engagement are simple: Catch a fish and feed your family or lose a fish and go home with nothing, he said.
The Gloucester-based fishermen are Tuna.com’s Carraro, Maniaci and Paul Hebert; Bounty Hunter’s the Montes and Scott Ferriero; Odysea’s Ralph Wilkins and “Pirate” Kit Vallee; Christina’s Scott Prentiss, Kevin Leonowert and Blair Denman; and Hard Merchandise;s Marciano and Jason Muenzner.
Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk, an invited speaker, said she hopes the series will give viewers an insider’s look into a most dangerous profession.
“No one knows that better than Gloucester where more than 5,000 have gone down to sea in ships,” said Kirk.
The mayor also highlighted Gloucester’s beauty and extensive coastline, which rivals many ports.
“But what makes our city great,” she said, “is the character of the people who live there and work there.”
Kimberly Woodward, National Geographic’s vice president of development and production, said the organization saw a tremendous opportunity with Pilgrim Studios “Wicked Tuna.”
“Our real goal is to make people aware through engaging a mainstream television audience that there is a broader issue and make them concerned about it,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful privilege getting to know the fishermen, getting to know them as people, and their passion for what they do.”