When it comes to tuna fishing, there are two things you need to be successful: grit and experience. Thankfully for Wicked Tuna star Paul Hebert, he has both in excess. Since starting his fishing career, Hebert has become a reputable and intimidating competitor on the Atlantic. Now a fan-favorite on the salt-water series, the angler has made a successful career out of his passion on the water.
While he might be a titan in the Graveyard of the Atlantic, bluefin tuna isn’t the only fish Hebert brings on board. In fact, he’s even broken a record in 1997 with the biggest mako shark in the world. At Stellawag in Massachusetts, the Wicked Tuna star brought in a 1,530-pound fish.
The Wicked Tuna star truly has his family to thank for his start in the fishing industry. As he explained to Patriot Ledger, everyone in the Hebert family fished, including his father, brothers, uncles and even his mother, who “won all the ladies’ tuna fishing competition at Green Harbor.”
“She won all the tuna fishing tournaments she was in,” Hebert explained. “My dad, too. They wouldn’t let us in anymore. We’d get the biggest, the last, the smallest and the first fish of the day.”
‘Wicked Tuna’ Star Details Tactics When He Was Younger
Of course, with how much his family loved to be on the water, Hebert got his start in fishing at a young age. At just eight years old, the future Wicked Tuna star caught his first bluefin tuna using a handline.
“It was 1,100 pounds,” he joked. Though, surely, at that age, that’s what it felt like on the other side of the handline.
In his younger days on the water, Hebert admitted he used some unconventional techniques to bring in the big fins.
“I was alone in that little boat and I caught one,” he said, holding up a photo of himself with a tuna in tow. “When we were younger, we’d just use rope on a line. We were kinda nuts. Now we have back problems. I have screws in my knees, too.”
Now that he has two kids of his own, the Wicked Tuna star doesn’t want to continue the family tradition. Instead, he wants his 17-year-old son, Adam, to “use his mind.” While Hebert certainly loves his job, he doesn’t want his son to face the same difficulties he’s had on the water.
“You either make all your money when you’re allowed to fish, or you don’t. That’s a lot of pressure,” Hebert shared. “It’s like you’re married to the guys on the boat.”
However, even with the added stress and limited time with family, the Wicked Tuna star still wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“It’s a feeling like no other,” Hebert said. “I get chills just talking about it.”