‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks’ Captain Zack Shackleton Reveals His Biggest Rival

by Amy Myers
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Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks star Zack Shackleton may not have the biggest boat in the fleet, but he surely has the biggest heart. Shackleton and his partner Daniel Blank own the fishing vessel, Rasta Rocket, and together, the two dominate the Atlantic with their electric energy.

The 29-year-old captain is up against some pretty tough competitors that may just knock his 28-foot boat off the leaderboard. As it turns out, though, Shackleton and his team only fear one unstoppable opponent.

“Our biggest rival is mother nature,” the Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks star shared in the show’s latest clip. “If we were able to get out as many days as the bigger boats, I’m certain we’d be the leader.”

Because Shackleton and Blank’s boat is less than 33 feet long, the vessel qualifies as a small craft. So, when the National Weather Service issues a small craft advisory, the Rasta Rocket has to stay back at the dock, missing out on some vital fishing days. Meanwhile, the other Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks stars tend to have boats that range in size from 35 to 48 feet long, the Hot Tuna being the longest.

While Shackleton recognizes this might hold them back from prime fishing opportunities, he also believes in persistence and beating the odds.

“Yeah, we’re at a disadvantage on our smaller boat, but no excuses,” the Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks underdog said. “We’re just as good a tuna fisherman as anybody in this fleet, and we’re here to prove it.”

‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks’ Star Describes ‘Rasta Rocket’ Crew as ‘Family’

Besides Shackleton and Blank, the Rasta Rocket has three other crew members, and one of them has four legs. Shackleton’s dog, Minnie, often accompanies the bright-eyed team on its offshore missions, always in her tiny lifevest or a jacket. This is exactly the kind of friendly atmosphere that her Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks owner likes to encourage on his vessel.

“We’re a family, and that’s a big part of the Rasta Rocket,” Shackleton said. “And I’m super proud of that.”

Although, surely at times, Shackleford and Blank don’t always see eye-to-eye, as any duo would. Thankfully, though, the two have as great a working relationship as they do a friendship.

“A lot of people say that the worst kind of ship is a partnership, but we’ve made this thing grow,” he shared.

As the Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks season comes to a close, the Rasta Rocket team once again shows its ability to rise to the challenge. Even if they don’t place in the top three by the end, they’ll still have earned the respect of their competitors.

“We’re more determined than any boat in this fleet, and we’re looking forward to cracking that top spot this year,” the Wicked Tuna star said confidently. “We’re a rare breed.”

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