‘Wicked Tuna’: Here’s the Step-by-Step Process for Tuna Caught by Captain Dave Carraro and His Crew

by Leanne Stahulak

“Wicked Tuna” fans love seeing the big, exciting moments that define the exhilarating show. But what happens after the big catch?

Captain Dave Carraro answered all of your questions in a February interview with “Hollywood Soapbox.” He admitted that waiting for the bluefin tuna is a huge part of the show that never sees the air. But another part that viewers miss out on is what happens after the fish are hauled on the boats.

“After we catch the fish, we’ll bring it on board. We’ll dress it out, we’ll take all the guts out. We’ll ice it down,” Carraro said. “If we do have a charter, which we do plenty of them, lots of pictures are taken.”

First prize on”Wicked Tuna” goes to the captain with the highest number and greatest weight of fish. But after each haul is added up and put in the captain’s grand total, the fish are sold.

“When we do bring the fish back, we go to our specific buyer, whoever that may be, and they give us the price of the fish depending on the quality of the fish,” Carraro explained. “And the supply and demand dictates how much we get.”

So not only do “Wicked Tuna” captains and crew get the prize money, but they can also pocket the profit from selling the fish as well. Most of those fish go to Japan, Carraro said, but “a good majority” stay local in the U.S.

“They go on the domestic market. They’ll go to New York, Boston or California. Those are the three dominant markets,” Carraro concluded.

Captain Dave Carraro Talks More ‘Wicked Tuna’ Trade Secrets

You’d think, for someone who works on the ocean all day every day, that Captain Dave Carraro would’ve at least tried fish once in his life. But the captain disagrees, saying he’d rather stick to his chicken, veggies, and sweets.

“I’ve never eaten a piece of seafood in my entire life, so I can’t answer that question. I have no idea what [bluefin tuna] tastes like. No seafood, none whatsoever,” Carraro said.

Even though he doesn’t eat the bluefin tuna, he’s damn good at catching it. Carraro’s won five out of the 10 total seasons of “Wicked Tuna.” But he still wants the other boats to do well out on the water in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

“Everybody wants to see everybody catch fish. Everybody wants to see everybody be successful,” Carraro said. “However, each boat, each crew member wants to be the top boat regardless.”

At the end of the day, competition or no competition, Carraro is just happy to have found a loving community to belong to.

“I absolutely love it up here. This summer will be my 24th year up here. It’s a very small community. It’s a tight-knit community,” Carraro said. “Gloucester was basically founded on fish. Everyone here, both in the community and the fishing community, pretty much knows each other. Everyone here will help one another. It’s just a fantastic place to live, and it’s even better to fish from here. It’s very small, and I can’t imagine myself being anyplace else.”