‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks’ Captain Britton Shackelford Opens Up About How Much He Earns

by Courtney Blackann
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When it comes to fishing, nothing is guaranteed. Nobody knows this better than commercial fisherman. Though their livelihood depends on how many fish are caught each season, every captain knows it’s a tough game. For “Wicked Tuna: Outerbanks” captain Britton Shackelford, hauling in his quota is crucial.

In a recent interview with ‘Visit The Outer Banks,’ the captain discussed how much commercial fisherman can earn. Bluefin tuna come with big dollar signs. People pay ridiculous amounts for the delicious, tender meat of a tuna.

The price varies depending on the quality and size. However, in a span of about three weeks, Captain Shackelford said his crew caught about 10 tunas. And they sold for $2,750. This is a price he says “more than made” his season.

Further, each fishing vessel has a set quota. This means a defined number of pounds the crew are allowed to catch. Quota is purchased, usually through a boat owner, restaurant or another business. Each crew must work as the weather allows to bring in that many fish in time for the conclusion of the season.

“Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks” Water Conditions

The spinoff “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks” follows some familiar crews from the original show as well as some new faces. Just like in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the waters of North Carolina can be harsh. This means rough seas and storms. Further, there’s such a variety in those waters, you never know what kind of fish you could catch. That’s additional income.

“And then, you might be catching 3-pound (fish), or you might catch an 800-pound blue marlin, or you might catch a 500-pound bluefin tuna. You might catch, you know … I mean, it’s just the diverse nature of all of the different things (in the Outer Banks). And you never know,” Captain Shackelford said.

Each fishing crew has to weigh their options when heading out to sea. Crews have to be prepared in case of an emergency. But the juice is worth the squeeze, as they say. Because not only is bluefin tuna pricey, it’s delicious.

Captain Shackelford discussed the best places to grab a bite of local tuna while visiting North Carolina. The white, flaky fish can be found in a lot of coastal restaurants.

“I’m going to say the best place to get tuna if you’re going to dine out is going to be any place that serves fresh tuna. And it’s hard to beat something that comes in here and is distributed locally. So just ask, wherever it is that you’re eating. All of our restaurants are really good,” said Captain Shackelford.

He added a personsal favorite, saying:

“It’s hard to beat right here at the head of the creek, O’Neal’s Seafood.”

Outsider.com