‘Wicked Tuna’: Why Dave Marciano Says Tuna Fishing Takes ‘More Passion Than Guts’

by Taylor Cunningham

The fisherman of Wicked Tuna literally risk their lives when they search for Blue Tuna on the Atlantic Ocean. So we would assume that doing the job would take a lot of guts. But according to Captain Dave Marciano, Tuna fishing takes “more passion than guts.”

During a 2013 Q&A with Boston, Captain Dave Marciano talked about the ins and outs of tuna fishing. And we got a little nervous just reading about how dangerous the job can be. Marciano is a veteran of the sea, so he has a lot of intuition and know-how while he navigates his crew on the Hard Merchandise. But despite years of experience, he can’t control the weather—and it can turn at any moment.

When unexpected storms roll in, the situation can be deadly. The captain said that sometimes he’ll even question why he keeps working as a fisherman. And on one occasion, a storm sank his boat while he was 20 miles out.

But Captain Marciano has been a fisherman since he was in high school, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. And that’s because his passion for the job outweighs all the risks.

“People say it’s hard because you fish all winter, and it’s cold and rough and windy, but the bottom line is that I love my job. In this day and age, I do wish I made a lot more money because I do have kids and I’d like to spoil them,” he admitted. “But somehow we always seem to have what we need. This day and age, if you can make a living and enjoy your job, life isn’t all that bad.”

‘Wicked Tuna’ Captain Dave Carraro Breaks Down What Happens After Crew Catches a Fish

National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna follows teams of fishermen as they brave the rough waters of the Atlantic and try to track down Giant Bluefin Tuna. But what happens when a team actually catches a fish? Captain Dave Carraro broke the process down in an interview. And it doesn’t sound pretty.

“After we catch a fish, we dress it out,” he told Boston in 2013. “We basically take the head off, take the contents out, cut some of the bigger fins off, and we cover it in ice below the deck so we keep it as cold as possible.”

Giant Blue Tuna can bring in $10K to $20k dollars, and the better a crew cuts and cares for the fish, the higher the payday. So they’re careful with their product on the way back to land. And when they get there, the buyer is usually waiting by the dock.

“After we come back to the dock, our buyer is waiting for us with a big white box truck,” Carraro continued. “From there, it goes to his processing plant, where they clean up the fish a little more. Most of the fish go to Japan, however, about 5 percent will be kept here for the domestic market. It will either ship out to Boston, California, or New York.”