Last night’s NatGeo episode 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 in this episode titled “Tick Tock Tuna.”
At the end the last episode the quota has been up to 77% and time is running out. The Wahoo still leads with seven fish and $40,824, but Pin Wheel and Fishin’ Frenzy also have seven, but not as high in the money. Hard Merchandise has six, and trails by about $15,000 behind the leader. But one big fish can close the gap.
In the Outer Banks, Wahoo is out early and determined to keep their lead. They spot two-tone dolphins and know that tuna are usually around them. Sure enough, they spot a school of tuna on their fish finder and hook up. Paul on the Pin Wheel listens to the banter between the southern boats on the radio. The Wahoo’s fish pulled the hook and immediately the mood changed on the boat.
On the Fishin’ Frenzy, they are spotting the school of tuna too and they hook up and he’s a fighter. They throw the hook and hit him, but he is not theirs until they tail hook him. When they pull him aboard, he is a butterball, and measures 82 inches. When the Pin Wheel heard that Frenzy caught one, they were pissed and refused to return to the dock without a fish.
On the Hot Tuna, they are dejected, as the quota is about forty fish short, and they need one desperately. When they spot fish, they know they are getting a bite and when the rod spins, they are certain. Now to pull the fish in is the true test, but again they lose the fish.
Captain Britton of the Doghouse went to church with his family before going out to fish and said a few prayers for good luck. He recited the prayer over the radio for the fleet, a tradition that began long ago. Not long after, they hooked up. Once the season is over, his revenue source ends. Believing the fish was gone, he passed the crimp and is down to the bird, holding on by a snap; a thin piece of metal. Their fish weighed 315 pounds and paid $14 for a nice payday of $4,410 and their prayers were answered.
The Frenzy hits the dock and their fish weighs 249 dressed and pays them $16 a pound for $3,984. The Wahoo is hooked up again, this time they must bring it in. It is on the reel and they must bring in their green stick mainline before they tangle and the fish escapes. They are concerned that it may be a short and if he is under 73 inches, he goes back to the sea. Luckily, he measures 75 inches, so they can keep him. At the dock, he weighs 165 pounds and pays $11 for $1,815 because he has little fat. Although the ocean is rough, the boats are out and hoping to catch the last of the quota before the government puts a halt to fishing.
The Hard Merchandise hooked up, but it was a yellow fin tuna, which will be their dinner. The Pin Wheel has a big fish on the line and he is tail-wrapped. This means, he has the line wrapped around his tail and he could escape if the line gives way. With much luck and a rocking boat, they pulled him on deck and he measured 89 inches. At the dock, the fish weighed 327 pounds and paid $16 for a nice payday of $5,232.
Now that the quota is at 90% on the 20th day of fishing, the tally reads:
Wahoo with eight for $42,639.
Pin Wheel with eight for $40,868.
Fishin’ Frenzy with eight for $37,420.
Hard Merchandise with six for $25,442.
Doghouse with four for $15,360.
Hot Tuna with three for $14,282.
The season finale is next week, which boat will win the bragging rights on the next episode of “Wicked Tuna North versus South?”