A show by fishermen for fishermen, that is what Wicked Tuna is all about.

The most interesting part about it is the high competitiveness the captains of several boat crews show on their bluefin tuna hunt adventures, as they race back to shore in hopes to find the highest-priced fish.

So, where is Wicked Tuna filmed? The reality show weaves around tuna fishermen from Massachusetts, who fish in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Read the full article to know answers to the frequently asked questions about the reality of the show along with its 10, 11, 12, and 13 seasons recap, cast's salaries & the biggest fin caught.

Is Wicked Tuna Fake or Real?

Fans have long been questioning the realness of the less glamorous reality shows such as Swamp People and Wicked Tuna. 

The truth is that the bluefish tuna hunting reality show is real in terms of actual fishing by real fishermen in the seas, but it does use a large production team that tries to create a sense of drama using fast editing and crafty camera work. The crew is constantly trying to make the reality show look like a constant fishing hunt adventure, but in reality, the captains and their boat crews spend hours baiting in the seas for adequate bluefin tuna catch.

In an interview with Food & Wine, Hot Tuna's boat captain TJ Ott stated that the reality show did “a good job showing the hardships” of a commercial fisherman. 

According to Screenrant's reporting on industry sources, the bluefish tuna hunting stint might also not be profitable as portrayed in the reality show when accounting for fluctuating prices (based on location & other factors) and boat maintenance, crew's cost, fuel, fishing accessories and taxes.

Not only that, the production uses savvy editing to sensualize the regular nature of everyday conflicts that occurs in the intense bluefish tuna hunting industry.

What is the Biggest fish caught by the Wicked Tuna Cast?

The largest bluefin tuna caught by the reality show cast weighed 1,250 lb and extended 10.5 feet. The giant fish was caught by TJ Ott.  

How much does Wicked Tuna Cast get Paid?

According to Looper, since bluefish tuna is one of the expensive fish which could average up to $40 a pound (and even more in foreign markets), the show cast members main a fair amount of revenue since they also get revenue from the fish they catch in addition to minimum salaries up to $10,000 per episode. 

In the list of the high earners, the captains top the list with the highest earner Captain Tj Ott receiving as much as $100,000 per episode followed by Captain Dave Carraro's $83,000 pay. 

Will there be Season 13 of Wicked Tuna? Season 11 and 12 Recap

Nat Geo hasn't disclosed anything about season 13 of the reality show, but it might be currently in the filming stage.

Currently, the show's season 12 is ongoing. And  the season has become historical since it currently has an all-woman crew headed by ship No Limits' Captain Michelle Bancewicz 

Season 11 of the show saw Fat Tuna's Captain Bob Cook and his crew gaining the no. 1 spot with 16 fish caught which amounted to $84,030. In the previous season (10), Pissah's Paul Helbert had grabbed the title with his crew, catching 15 fish worth around $53,303. 

How Pandemic affected Wicked Tuna's Season 10?

Season 10 of the beloved show aired on the National Geographic Channel in February 2021 and it definitely carried a different vibe. 

Before their first episode was out, the cast and crew came out to address that in their new 90-minute-long premiere episode, they would discuss some forced changes they had to undergo in part because of the pandemic.

Like every other business, fishing was also affected. The price and demand for fish dropped. This factor helped tone down the competitiveness of the show. 

The new season of the show featured a cast of eight captains  — T.J. Ott, Dave Carraro, Tyler McLaughlin, Paul Hebert, Bob Cook, Dave Marciano along with new captains Jack Patrician, and Spurge Krasowski.

One captain, Capt. Marciano, told the Gloucester Daily Times that it was hard for them to make the kind of money they were making in the past. However, tapping onto the positive side, he also mentioned that disregarding the financial aspect, he was just happy to be doing something compared to most people who had become unemployed.

We didn’t make the money like past years, but we were fortunate in this climate to be doing anything at all. A lot of people are unable to do whatever it is they do, and many restaurants never opened fully.

Instead of the usual competition, the new season featured the eight captains working as a team and helping one another.

In this process, the captains and the fish buyers came up with a win-win solution. The captains agreed not to flood the market and the fish buyers agreed to keep the business running.

Season 10 was a season of Cooperation, Hope, and A Time For Positivity

Talking about the new season, Capt Marciano also mentioned that during the filming of season 10, the entire crew did their best to get a message of hope across for the viewers.

According to Marciano, their aim was to relieve their viewers of all the negativity that COVID-19 and the elections had brought. 

We truly want people to have fun watching this show and forget about their worries. And I think we accomplished that.

Capt. Paul Hebert returned to the show after the personal tragedy of losing his father to COVID-19.

Hebert could not visit his father before he passed away because he was busy filming the spinoff Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks in North Carolina.


However, talking with the Daily Times, Hebert mentioned that although his father’s death was the worse thing he had ever been through, he had been working on the new season to help provide hope and entertainment to all their viewers who have been going through difficult times and enduring the deaths of loved ones themselves.

Although the rivalry of the eight captains had been put on hold, Marciano admitted that it was the most fun season for him yet. 

The Journey Of Wicked Tuna: Inception, Cast, Success

Having debuted on National Geographic Channel in 2012, Wicked Tuna has had strong ratings for most of its seasons.

After the fame of Deadliest Catch, a show which revolved around the risky profession of Alaskan Crab fishing on various networks like Discovery and National Geography Channel, Wicked Tuna followed suit, making the genre it's own.

The show that featured professional fishermen only hunting bluefin tuna was a hit.

It gained ground so quickly that in 2014, the makers of Wicked Tuna bagged a spin-off, Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, which ran for seven seasons.


The simple answer to its fame is the combination of intricate focus on an interesting profession and a diverse set of cast members who were always entertaining to watch.

Talking of the selection of cast, according to Greg Chorebanian, from Season two-vessel The Christina, he was chosen because the producer enjoyed his accent. 

In his interview with Newbury Port News, Chorbanian humorously said:

People ask me a lot, why did I get on the show, and in the beginning, I thought it was because of my fishing abilities… The producer told me he liked my accent. That’s why I’m on the show.

However, apart from his accent, he is also one of the industry’s most respected fishermen. 

Controversies Surrounding the Show

Like any reality show based on animal cruelty, Wicked Tuna has received heavy criticism from animal rights groups.

However animal cruelty is not the only thing, the show is being called out for.

According to The World Wildlife Foundation, Bluefin Tuna is a critically endangered fish. With complaints of excessive tuna fishing, the show has been targeted by nature and conservation groups alike. 

Another controversy that the show has been a part of is the exaggerated price of fish on the show. 


In one of the reports from the Capeshores Charters Fishing Reports made on 14  May 2018, the show was accused of making the fishing profession look more lucrative than it actually was. 

In the report, some fishermen revealed that a Bluefin Tuna usually came for an average of $6/lbs. This made the claims on the show, where the captains sold their catch for $25/lb, unrealistic.

Who Died in Wicked Tuna?

As unfortunate as it sounds, the Wicked Tuna crew has gone through some serious struggles together as they have seen two of their cast members be a victim of untimely demise. 

In 2015, Headlines that read "Wicked Tuna Star Dies of Overdose," caused an uproar. 

Adam Moser, a member of the pinwheel crew, had lost his life to a drug overdose. The 27-year-old was the first crew member from the show who had an unfortunate passing away.

Three years later On July 19, 2018, news broke that 28-year-old Nicholas 'Duffy' Fudge, first mate of the Pinwheel ship and a member of the Wicked Tuna Spinoff, was found dead in his house.


However this time, the cause of the death could not be confirmed by officials. 

According to some reports, the crew member was suffering from a decompression sickness known as ‘The Bends’.

The disease is defined as the product of inadequate decompression followed by exposure to increased pressure. 

However, the exact reason for his death has not been confirmed yet.

The Show has Helped Gloucester’s Economy

Although the city has always been known as “America’s Oldest Seaport”, because of its fishing community that dates back to the 17th century, it was undoubtedly Wicked Tuna that helped spike Gloucester's popularity.

In a 2018 interview with National Fisherman, the Captains of the reality show expressed how they believed the show had helped the economy of Gloucester. 


According to Marciana, he's often heard from restaurants and hotel owners how their guests knew the show and wanted to see the harbors.

Similarly, Captain T.J. Ott. mentioned that a flock of 30-40 fans are on the docks during summers on a daily basis. This indicated that their show had been able to accumulate a large number of tourists in the area.