“Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks” fishing captain Bobby Earl loves his job. Though it can be dangerous, fishing for a living is what he loves. With the success of the show, he’s able to share more about the industry as well as connect with fans.
One of the things people are surprised to learn about him is that he is from New York. This is because people don’t typically think of fisherman being from New York.
In an interview with The Flagship, Earl explains how some of the best fishing comes from a pier in Long Island.
“I was born in Queens, New York and some people think you’re from NYC so you don’t fish. But you know what, some of the best saltwater fishing happens off Brooklyn and Manhattan. Queens is part of Long Island and Long Island is an island on the Atlantic Ocean. So I was always fishing growing up and I would catch blue fish or flounder typically from a pier or if you were lucky someone had a row boat,” Earl says.
“Wicked Tuna” Captain Fished with Show’s Stars ‘For Years’
Further, the “Wicked Tuna” personality explains that fishing is a way of life for him – and something he knew would be a major part of it.
“My escape was to go fishing, first with little 17-22 footer boats and then I bought a 38 footer and called it Reel E’ Bugging. We put a big dead bug on the back of it because we felt that dead bugs bought that boat. And that’s where the name of the boat came from.”
Earl and his family would wait eagerly for December. Why? Well, that’s when the biggest Bluefin tuna would be nearby. It’s not a big window, but when the schools were heading to Gloucester, that was there best bet.
“Well around November they cancelled the season. A friend tells me that in the Outer Banks of North Carolina they are reopening the season on January 1st and it’s cheaper to winterize the boat there then in Long Island and that’s what we did. And by chance the marina that I picked had the Wicked Tuna boats there like Doghouse, Pinwheel, all the tuna guys and I would fish beside them for about 5 years. The funny thing is that we would always catch more fish than they did. That’s a true story.”
And the professional angler is happy to have made that move. Every year when the bluefin tuna season kicks off, it’s always tough to get going. But Earl said he’s motivated by his competition.
“It’s all about redemption this year,” the captain said. “It’s cause these are some of the best fishermen around. And to just be there at the top of the leaderboard – that’s what I’m looking for.”