‘Wicked Tuna’: Why Anglers Call Certain Fishing Ships ‘Clorox Bottle Boats’

by Taylor Cunningham
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The guys and gals of Wicked Tuna have dangerous jobs. And their tiny boats offer little safety from the harsh Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes the crew members feel so vulnerable while floating on the watery abyss that they liken their crafts to Clorox bottles.

During a 2013 interview, Captain Dave Carraro told Boston about a deadly predicament he found himself in while fishing around Nantucket Island.

The guys of the FV-Tuna.com were coming back from fishing in 60-mile deep waters one night when a “15- to 18-foot wave” hammered the side of their vessel. Because the fishing boat was so small, it didn’t take the hit well.

“Keep in mind,” he said. “We’re in very, very little boats. It’s not like the Deadliest Catch’s ships. We call our boats Clorox bottle boats because they are very light and get bumped around.”

Since the ship had the integrity of a plastic container, it almost capsized. But thanks to some quick thinking, Carraro and the crew survived.

“The wave collapsed on the boat, blew out all of my side windows, and completely filled the cockpit with water,” Captain Carraro recalled. “We were fortunate enough to be able to get the fish door open, so we opened up that door to let the water stretch out the back before the boat sank. So just like that, we thought we were going under. We almost flipped over. Anything can happen, and very, very quickly.”

‘Wicked Tuna’ Captain Dave Carraro Opens up on Having To Cooperate With Competitors in 2020

Most years, the captains on National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna are highly competitive with each other. If a crew finds a single Blue Tuna, they can cash in a profit that would last for months. And working in such a lucrative industry pushes the teams to outfish and outwit each other every day.

But in 2020, that all changed. The pandemic closed down restaurants across the globe as everyone stayed in quarantine. As a result, tuna prices plummeted. And the Wicked Tuna stars realized that they needed to work together so no one went broke.

“[The pandemic] did change the dynamic of how we worked or did not work together,” Captain Carraro told TV Today. “We all agreed that, ‘Hey, let’s work together.’ Yeah, everybody was still competitive or everybody still wanted to be that top boat but we all helped one another out with regards to where we were fishing. ‘Hey, you go this way, I’ll go that way.”

And they didn’t just coordinate fishing spots so everyone had a chance to cover their bottom lines. They also shared their most successful secrets with the other teams.

“And you know, we shared information and we shared tactics,” he continued. “You know, how we were fishing, baits we were fishing, how deep we were fishing, just to help one another along for the season for a common goal. And that’s to catch and make what money we can considering the circumstances.” 

Outsider.com