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Matthew J. Webster – Writer

Posts Tagged ‘#wickedtuna

Wicked Tuna Breakdown – S1/E6

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The reel-fishing New Englanders of reality TV are affronted by some “snotty” (foul) weather in Episode Six, which makes it the first time viewers see the truly punishing conditions North Atlantic fishermen work under.

Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise balances the prospect of rain, twenty-foot-high seas and winds of thirty miles an hour with the upcoming end of the commercial tuna season, and decides to fish while he can. He and first mate Jason Muenzner proceed to Stellwagen Bank, north of Cape Cod, where they hook a five-hundred-pound fighter that drags the boat two miles from its anchor and takes them an hour to get onboard, Hemingway style.

Triumph flirts with tragedy when the boat’s engine dies and Marciano can’t raise help on the radio, but finally he gets it to turn over and steams his slob home safely.

“When that wind comes up and that ocean gets big, it’s a violent place to be,” says Capt. Dave Carraro of the, while his first mate, Paul Hebert, heaves modestly in a corner. Carraro does come home with a fish for his trouble, as does F/V Odysea skipper Ralph Wilkins. Each skipper points out at the beginning of the episode that tuna feed more aggressively in rough weather. Every storm at sea requires a cost-benefit analysis where the benefit is a paycheck and the cost of foolishness could be life-threatening.


“If you brave the elements long enough and you fish hard enough, it pays off in the end.” – Pirate, first mate of the F/V Odysea

Written by webster71

May 7, 2012 at 18:15

Wicked Tuna Breakdown – S1/E5

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With Captain Kevin Leonowert of the f/v Christina coming off a season-high giant tuna catch in the last episode, Week Five finds him hooking and losing not one but four likely keepers.

NatGeo’s producers show their savvy by positioning Leonowert to personify Aristotle’s concept of peripitea, as described in Poetics: it’s more dramatic to portray a once-vaunted man who has fallen on hard times than the other way around.

Capt. Dave Marciano makes a smart move by bringing his teenage son, Joseph, out on the Hard Merchandise, and is rewarded when the lucky youth reels in a 600-pound fatty. Marciano coaches confidently as his son finishes the job, and the crew is treated to a traditional family greeting when they find Dave’s wife, Nancy, and their youngest daughter waiting at the dock for their return.

Capt. Ralph Wilkins, of Provincetown’s f/v Odysea, comes up short for slobs this week, but demonstrates sufficient patience and chum-chucking technique to show he’s a break-even skipper at worst, and more likely a badass fisherman. Bravo to NatGeo for also including an informational spot during the third commercial break to let a balanced selection of scientists and experts outline their perspectives on tuna conservation.


“I’m not arrested, and we’re good to go.”

–Paul Hebert, first mate of the, after Coast Guard officials have completed a routine onboard regulatory check.

Written by webster71

April 30, 2012 at 14:03

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