‘Wicked Tuna’: Captain Bobby Earl Calls the Outer Banks Anglers a ‘Little Fraternity’

by Clayton Edwards

The eighth season of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks hit the National Geographic Channel earlier this year. The show usually offers huge fish, harsh weather, and fierce competition. However, the latest season cranked all of that up to eleven. Before the season hit the airwaves Captain Bobby Earl of the Reel E Bugging, who fans might know as Bobby Bugs, gave some insight on what we could expect.

Captain Bobby Earl sat down with Military News to talk about how he got into fishing, the crazy things that happen on the water, and what fans could expect from the eighth season of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. During that interview, Earl talked about some of his favorite things that happened because of the show.

Bobby Earl on the Feeling of Brotherhood on the Outer Banks

Captain Bobby Earl told Military News that he loves showing up to fish every year. “It’s like showing up for spring training,” he said. Earl went on to talk about how he feels about his fellow Outer Banks fishermen. “I haven’t seen these guys in months. It’s like a little fraternity.” We see the fierce competition on the show. However, there is a feeling of brotherhood behind the scenes.

Bobby Earl went on to say that showing up to the Outer Banks is like falling back in with some friends. “Everyone is at the dock, telling war stories. It’s a brotherhood and that’s the part of doing this every winter that is exciting to me.” He went on to say that the guys on the show don’t hold a monopoly on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “It’s not just the seven boats of captains and crew that are on the show. There are 30-40 boats that do this in the same inlet every year.” So, he gets to link up with a huge community of fishermen every year.

It turns out that the guys who pull massive tuna from the outer banks are just like regular fishermen in some regards. “We sit on the dock and talk about the weather and where you think the fish are.” That sounds familiar. However, there’s an element of danger that really brings their community together. “It’s very dangerous, what we do,” Bobby Earl said, “even those guys you don’t get along with, they have you back. It’s a good feeling to know you have those brothers.”

Bobby Bugs Loves the Kids

Bobby Earl said that being recognized by young fans is one of his favorite parts of being on the show. Weeks before the season aired, he met some teenage boys who were excited to spot him in the wild. Earl heard them talking excitedly amongst themselves, so he went over and gave them his hat. About the interaction, he said, “It’s that stuff, the kids, that make me excited. I love seeing kids fishing.” Amen to that.