Northshore Magazine

Northshore March 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 115 of 147

114 fishermen were dressed for stormy weather, orange rain pants and neon yellow hoods bright against the moody waters of Gloucester Harbor behind them. It was not, however, a day for fishing. A photographer crouched near the edge of the dock, shooting images of the fishermen looking stern with their legs wide and their arms crossed. The sky was gray, but it wasn't raining yet, so an assistant stepped up and used a spray bottle to wet down the gear. In the background, a dozen seagulls wheeled and dove. The men on the dock were the tuna boat captains who head the cast of the upcoming eighth season of the National Geographic channel's reality show Wicked Tuna, airing this year. ey had spent the summer fishing—and filming—and had plans to ply the waters throughout the fall, but for the moment they were fulfilling the responsibilities of their other job: TV star. "We're just fishermen who got a shot at doing something really cool," says T.J. Ott, who captains the Hot Tuna on and off the show, which has developed a cult following. Since 2012, Wicked Tuna, based in Gloucester, has followed a group of fishermen as they compete to see which boat achieves the highest value for their catch over the course of a season. e show captures the drama and the boredom, the camaraderie and the conflict, the dangers and the exhilaration of tuna fishing. It has become a fan favorite both here and afar ; it is broadcast in 172 countries and 43 languages. Longtime Gloucester resident Dave Carraro has been with the show from the beginning. His boat, the, has won four of the program's seven seasons so far. ough he has been a success, however, he almost missed his chance. When casting agents called him, Carraro kept ignoring or hanging up on the unknown Los Angeles phone number. Finally, he stayed on the line long enough for the caller to plead that he not hang up, and a connection was made. He consulted with his crew and they decided to go for it. "We just thought it would be a great business opportunity—it's additional income," Carraro says. "With commercial fishing there's no guarantee you're going to make money." His stoic demeanor and businesslike attitude have earned Carraro something of a reputa- tion as the bad guy of the show, a characterization he puts up with but does not embrace. "I'm PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELISE SIANGRA T H E F I V E

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