Nat Geo Channel 'Monstah' hit 'Wicked Tuna' back Jan. 13, some thoughts

wick·ed adj [wi-kəd]
Definition: Of exceptional quality, very, super
Example: "Tuna fishing is wicked hard."
piss·er adj [pi-sə]
Definition: Either very good or very bad
Example: "Did you see that? Wicked pisser!"

"Wicked Tuna" features the hardworking Gloucester fishermen of my homestate of Massachusetts, and shakes their world up with an upstart young cocky captain from Rye, New Hampshire this season.

Plus, we fans are given a mini heart attack as Captain Dave Carraro (the trim serious Dave) as first mate Paul is a no show in the opening episode.

Wicked Tuna Premieres Sunday, January 13, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Last year, millions of viewers tuned in for a new series the critics called “wicked authentic.” Now, the salty stars of National Geographic Channel’s (NGC) breakout hit Wicked Tuna are back as the show returns for its second season, beginning Sunday, January 13, 2013, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at

Wicked Tuna is all about the handfishing or line fishing techniques of the men of Gloucester in their lucrative bluefin tuna chase.

One “monstah” catch can bring in as much as $20,000, but with a short fishing season and dwindling tuna populations, Gloucester’s fishermen are fighting tooth and nail to protect their "numbers" (catch coordinates) and best each other in the run back to port.

With just 14 weeks to earn a year’s salary, the stakes are high. “If I don’t catch a fish, I don’t have money to provide for my family,” explains Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise. “Money doesn’t just fall from the sky — it comes out of the sea.”

“Tuna fishing is a tough business, and you have to remain competitive,” says Dave Carraro, captain of the, who led the fleet in catches and revenue last season. “My colleagues at sea don’t always agree with my methods, but I’ll do whatever it takes to stay on top.”

This season, Tyler McLaughlin is the new kid, a 25-year-old captain from Rye NH, along with his crew — First Mates Adam Moser and Alex Whitney — on board the Pin Wheel as they troll the north Atlantic Ocean looking for bluefin tuna.

McLaughlin pushes the other captains' buttons constantly. Hailing from Rye, N.H., this crew of youngsters is up against the salty veterans, Hard Merchandise, Christina, Odysea and Bounty Hunter.

Tyler’s "in your face" arrogance create unprecedented drama between the Pin Wheel and last season’s leader, as Captain Dave Carraro finally shows some real personality this season, as first mate Paul continues to get the best lines in. He's the star of the series for me.

A special message to captains Dave Marciano of Hard Merchandise and Bill Monte of the Bounty Hunter: Take care of yourself!

I went through this worry watching Captain Phil Harris of "Deadliest Catch" ruin his health with smoking and bad diet, stroking out in his 50s. I would hate to see it repeat.

We also see Captain Ralph Wilkins of the Odysea, and Captain Kevin Leonowert of the Christina with exhilarating harpoon fishing footage in a high-octane chase that requires speed, smarts and precision.

In addition to all the action, we learn that bluefin tuna stocks are only one-quarter of what they were in 1950. As the scientific community debates how best to preserve the species, American fishermen, including the Wicked Tuna captains, continue to adhere to U.S. regulations that determine size limits and quotas for the season.

To help raise awareness of the bluefin’s plight, National Geographic Channel aired PSAs in every episode of Wicked Tuna’s first season. This year, the campaign has been expanded to call for the preservation of our oceans in general, with PSAs supporting the National Geographic Society’s Ocean Initiative.

The robust website created for season one will also expand its coverage to bring awareness of the oceans. Viewers are encouraged to add their voices to the conversation via the website at, which also features articles, links and message boards devoted to the tuna and oceans.

Season Two Premiere Episodes Include…

Wicked Tuna: Back in the Hunt
Sunday, January 13, 2013, 9:00 PM ET/PT
The fishermen of Gloucester, Mass., navigate the open seas in hopes of catching the first fish of the season. Dave Carraro, captain of, finds his first fishing spot of the season, but his day is interrupted by an unwelcome visitor. Tyler McLaughlin, a New Hampshire native and the 24-year-old captain of the Pin Wheel, has headed south to invade Gloucester waters, with the expressed intent of catching more fish than Dave. The Pin Wheel anchors right next to — kicking off a rivalry between the two cocky and competent captains. For Dave Marciano, captain of Hard Merchandise, and Bill Monte, captain of the Bounty Hunter, the pressure is on after a disappointing result last year. Another down year could force Hard Merchandise off the water and potentially end Bill’s 35-year fishing career.

Wicked Tuna: Go Fish!
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 9:00 PM ET/PT
Aka the "Paul's back bitches episode: After an impressive first week against the veteran fleet, Tyler and the Pin Wheel gamble on making the 150-mile trip to Georges Bank. It’s an expensive trip to Georges and, with no word on whether fish are biting, it’s a risky one to take so early in the season. Meanwhile, for Kevin Leonowert, captain of the Christina, there’s nothing better than the rush of harpooning. It’s a high-octane chase where boats specially rigged with a high tower and a bow pulpit can identify schools of bluefin, take aim and nab the tuna of their choice. But not everyone agrees with this method, and the rod-and-reel fishermen of the fleet fight to make their catches the old-fashioned way — man versus fish.

Wicked Tuna: The Numbers War
Sunday, January 27, 2013, 9:00 PM ET/PT
The fleet has invested time and money in searching for places where bluefin tuna congregate and feed — locations known as “numbers” — and no one knows these spots better than Captain Dave of the But for the young crew of the Pin Wheel, the entire ocean is theirs for the taking, and Captain Tyler sets sail in search of new hot spots. Meanwhile, Bill Monte, the captain of the Bounty Hunter, is drowning in expenses after three weeks without a catch. As Bill’s desperation mounts, he’ll go to extreme lengths to catch his first fish of the season.
(Preempted Sunday, February 3)

Wicked Tuna: Fish Fight
Sunday, February 10, 2013, 9:00 PM ET/PT
Let the games begin! It’s tournament time in Gloucester, and with a big cash prize up for grabs and the best boats in New England joining the fray, it’s the mother of all battles to catch the biggest bluefin. Tensions come to a head as the mischievous young crew of the Pin Wheel plays a prank on the biggest hothead in the fleet, Captain Ralph of the Odysea, and get more than they bargained for.
** Additional episodes will premiere on subsequent Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NGC.

Further Reading on M&C