‘Wicked Tuna’: How Long Has Captain Dave Carraro Had Sandro Maniaci as a First Mate?

by Michael Freeman

Captain Dave Carraro and Sandro Maniaci have had a longstanding friendship on Wicked Tuna, but just how long is it, exactly? A new interview with Carraro has the captain disclose the length of his relationship with his first mate, along with other aspects of the show.

Discover Gloucester recently had the opportunity to fish some answers out of Carraro regarding the profession and the show. One of the most notable ones involved him and his first mate Maniaci. Together since the initial season, the outlet was curious as to how the anglers’ relationship evolved throughout the years. They were also interested in why the two seem to make such a good team.

“Sandro has been with me for 13 years,” Carraro responded. “In fact, his first day of commercial fishing was with me. It’s been great watching him grow into his own and seeing firsthand his progress over the years. I’m proud that he’s taken what he’s learned and applied it so well.”

Elaborating further, Carraro notes Maniaci possesses the qualities he deems important and earned his trust. “Sandro has the passion, the drive, the integrity that it takes for this job. For me to let someone take my boat out without me takes trust—and over the years he’s earned that trust.”

The trust he speaks of is obvious when you watch the two interact with one another. The way things are now, Carraro may never have to search for a first mate again.

Dave Carraro Says Why He Thinks People Still Enjoy the Show After 100 Episodes

Even after 150 episodes, Wicked Tuna still celebrates wild popularity among fishing shows and in general. Though some cast members don’t quite understand why that is, Dave Carraro offers his own explanation as to why people keep watching.

In the same interview with Discovery Gloucester, Carraro said he thinks the most captivating part of the program is basically how each angler stacks up to the massive bluefin. “Most people who watch the show are landlocked and haven’t heard of a bluefin tuna, that a fish of this size and power even existed,” he says.

Carraro continues, stating “So to watch us catch these fish on a small rod and reel, people are just so impressed that we catch such big fish on small tackle and the money that can be made and lost over just one fish. You can hit the jackpot on that one great ‘catch.'” In essence, he says people live vicariously throw the show.

For those who may not watch, bluefin typically reach anywhere from 500 to 550 pounds. Length-wise, they range from 6 to 10 feet. Knowing this, even people who aren’t typically drawn to fishing are likely interested in seeing what happens.