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‘Wicked Tuna North versus South’ finds a ‘Yankee Invasion’ on NatGeo

Wicked Tuna: North vs. South-slide0
Photo courtesy of NatGeo used with permission

Last night’s premiere of “Wicked Tuna North versus South,” started out with the southern fishermen out for the hunt of their livelihood, as fans know that the Gloucester fishermen do during their summer season. The competition is as fierce down south, as it is in the north. However, this season, there is more competition, and they are not just Googans, in this episode titled “Yankee Invasion.”

Down south, there is a quota, and the fishery closes once the total of 23 tons is met. So the race is on to catch as many as they can of the 46,000 pounds allowable. This season, three northern boats will be infringing on their territory and quota; Hard Merchandise with lovable Captain Dave Marciano, Hot Tuna with skipper TJ Ott in charge when his father Captain Ball Buster allows him, and Pin Wheel with two captains aboard, Tyler McLaughlin and Paul Hebert.

After not having a rewarding season in Gloucester, three boats headed down to the Outer Banks to recoup their losses. The three featured southern boats are; Fishin’ Frenzy, Wahoo and the Doghouse who hope to reel in the first of the season. These fish pay top dollar, and everyone wants a piece of this yummy pie.

As the boats are fishing, they spot a boat, and recognize TJ and the Hot Tuna, following closely behind is the Hard Merchandise, and TJ promised to show Dave the ropes about fishing with the greenstick. Dave has $15,000 into this expedition, and needs the money to pay a mortgage, college tuition and keep his family fed and clothed.

Immediately, the Hot Tuna hooks up and after Tim misses with the harpoon innumerable times, they finally bring him onboard. All the southern boats now know that TJ is out for blood, and every fish they catch, is one they cannot catch. The Wahoo hooks up two fish, but they must pull them both in, or risk losing them. When one pulls the hook, they need to keep the other on the line and get him on deck, and on the deck he goes; all 101 inches of him. They stay out hopefully to catch another, but the limit is two fish per trip.

As the Fishin’ Frenzy gets one on the line, they must pull in the bird, so it does not get tangled with the main line. As he comes to the surface, they throw the dart and pull him onboard. He measures 98 inches. They do not stay out to catch another. They hope to make the big bucks while the going is good. On the Hard Merchandise, Dave knows other boats have caught fish, so he and Jay decide to stay out for night fishing and change their luck.

At Wanchese Harbor, they Fishin’ Frenzy arrives at the dock. He weighs 426 dressed and pays $28 a pound for $11,928 and is the first fish of the season.

TJ brings his fish in and his weighs 354 dressed and pays $22 for $7,788.

On the second day, the Doghouse hopes to make an early departure, but new deckhand Caine forgets to disconnect the plug from the shore power. Hopefully, all will be well on both the boat and shore, but when a fish bites the line, the automatic reel does not spin. Finally, they get it spinning, but the fish is gone.

On the Wahoo, they hooked another fish, now they must bring him in. Once on deck, the fish measures 75 inches, as they head for shore.

The Hard Merchandise hooked one, but he was gone before they could even see him.

As the Wahoo comes in with their fish, one is 161 dressed and pays $16 for $2,576. The other fish is 409 dressed and pays $28 for $11,452, a nice payday.

After two days of fishing the tally reads:

Wahoo with two fish for $14,028.

Fishin’ Frenzy with one for $11,928.

Hot Tuna with one for $7,788.

The Doghouse and Hard Merchandise have yet to catch one, but next week, the Pin Wheel will be joining the fray and sure to raise a few eyebrows when they see who is aboard on the next episode of "Wicked Tuna North versus South."

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