‘Wicked Tuna’: What is the Down Time Like for Dave Marciano and Fishing Crews?

by Keeli Parkey
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The National Geographic Series “Wicked Tuna” gives viewers a chance to watch as crews brave treacherous waters to bring in the hauls they need to support their families. These crews work very hard during very long shifts.

The series is often filled with dramatic and action-packed moments. During these moments, the ships’ captains and their crews battle to have as successful a catch as possible. According to one captain, their journeys out to sea aren’t constantly filled with action.

“There’s a lot of days where we don’t see much action,” FV Hard Merchandise captain Dave Marciano told Yahoo! TV in 2013.

These downtimes aren’t always seen by viewers on “Wicked Tuna.” Instead, footage of the slow moments on board the ships are edited out of the episodes. This, according to Marciano, makes their jobs seem more interesting than they sometimes are.

“That’s where they really create the entertainment – if you saw how it really was, the fishery itself would be as exciting as watching grass grow. … With the editing, you’re seeing the consolidating of the epic highs and the epic lows,” Dave Marciano also said.

Waiting for the fish to come along is part of the job of the fishermen of “Wicked Tuna,” Marciano shared. This is time he and his crew must spend away from their families. “It takes a lot of time, that’s the major investment that we put in. That’s where the playing field is equal. You have to spend time out there in the fishing grounds to put these fish on the boat,” he explained.

‘Wicked Tuna’ Captain Dave Marciano Said He Has a ‘Disadvantage with the Other Skippers’

Wanting to spend time with his family requires Dave Marciano to step off of his boat. He is aware that he can’t make money when he’s not out fishing. Other captains of “Wicked Tuna” don’t have the same reason to return to land. They can spend more time at sea if they choose to do so.

“At the same time, that’s where I feel I have a disadvantage with the other skippers. Tyler (McLaughlin) is young, he’s a go-getter, he’s hungry, he’s literally got no reason to come home at all. The phrase we use in the business is ‘turn and burn’ – he literally puts more fuel, ice on the boat, literally doesn’t step off the boat,” Marciano also shared.

Balancing his work out at sea with his home life is something the “Wicked Tuna” star said he makes sure he takes seriously. “It’s something I have to be cognizant about. Life ain’t all about the money. It’s nice that I can be home for birthday parties once in a while, or my son’s football games. But I do have to take the day off from fishing, so in a competitive sense, that’s a disadvantage,” Dave Marciano also said.

Outsider.com