For the Queens’ native, fishing was somewhat of a backup option. “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks” star Captain Bobby Earl wasn’t always leading the charge to raking in bluefin tuna.
The sea captain spent a good chunk of time on Wall Street. Fishing is a seemingly opposite calling to any Wall Street duties. But when the stock market crash of 2008 hit, Earl knew he had to take up something else if he wanted to remain lucrative.
“Everyone starts somewhere, right? So I had about 30 years of experience in the financial sector. I worked on Wall Street, and there were many crashes, many different stock market plummets and things of this nature. In 2004, I made the switch to management,” Earl said in an interview.
” I became a regional manager for Bank of America investments. And shortly thereafter, in 2007, 2008, the stock market crashed. Banks crashed. Everyone got laid off. We all got fired. At that point, I didn’t have any clients because I had spent three years in management. It would have meant starting all over again and I just wasn’t willing to do it.”
“Wicked Tuna” Star Heads For the South
After Earl exchanged his calculator for a fishing pole, the now-sea captain realized he loved what he was doing. The “Wicked Tuna” star made the move to North Carolina’a Outer Banks, where a spin-off of the original show takes place.
He knew that like with Wall Street, his determination would push him through to succeed. Earl finally found a home – and success – fishing the F/V Reel E’ Bugging in the Atlantic.
“I couldn’t wait to go fishing so I could get a break from Brooklyn and Manhattan. My escape was always the ocean. At some point, I said, “Hey, I could probably do this full time.” So we started running charters, etc, and the rest is history,” Earl said.
Coming from New York, you’d think the captain would have experienced quite a bit of culture shock moving to the south. But the famed fishing captain said that’s not necessarily the case.
“You know, it’s funny, I’ve been fishing the Outer Banks for well over twelve years, every winter. So it’s been my home for four months out of the year for over a decade. But I just moved 140 miles south of the Outer Banks. My residence is in Morehead City. So I’m a little further down. I have to tell you, I absolutely love it,” he said.
The fishing captain is now a regular “Wicked Tuna” star for the spinoff series and permanently lives in the Outer Banks. His success has definitely taken a different path, but Earl is just as – if not more – successful than he ever intended to be.