Representatives from Pilgrim Studios first came to America's Oldest Seaport in Gloucester, Mass., back in 2011. Their goal was to find local commercial tuna fishermen to sign on for a new series to air on National Geographic.

Most of the fishermen they encountered were skeptical about this so-called opportunity. Some took a chance, not knowing at the time how the show would effect not only their lives, but the lives of fellow fishermen and other viewers worldwide.

The show was an immediate hit. Now, seven years later, it remains one of the most popular shows on the National Geographic, airing in 171 countries and translated in 43 languages.

The 100th episode and seventh season finale of “Wicked Tuna” will air on June 24, 2018. During the weeks leading up to that episode, we’ll take a closer and candid look at these American commercial fishermen who are now worldwide television stars.

Welcome to an inside look at Wicked Tuna.

Meet the captains

Dave Marciano
F/V Hard Merchandise
One of the most popular captains on the show, described as “real” and “down to earth” by his fans, Marciano got his start fishing in high school on the Yankee Fleet in Gloucester before spending years commercial groundfish fishing. The 52-year-old, married father of three fishes on the show with two of his children, Joe and Angelica.

Dave Carraro
Originally from New Jersey, Carraro got hooked on fishing as child and has fished for bluefin tuna most of his life. The 50-year-old unmarried captain is also a commercial airline pilot for JetBlue.

T.J. Ott
F/V Hot Tuna
A New York native, the 38-year-old Ott comes from a tight-knit family. He fishes with his father Tim and brother Bubby. His young nephew Daniel is currently learning the ropes. Ott’s Rottweilers Reba and Ripple are frequently with the crew on the boat.

Brad Krasowski
F/V Fish Hawk
Krasowski, 48, is married and is the father of two. Born and raised in Manasqaun, N.J., he and his brother learned to fish from their father as youngsters. His father and brother are also commercial tuna fishermen.

Tyler McLaughlin
F/V Pinwheel
The youngest captain on the show at 29 years old, McLaughlin has been with Wicked Tuna since season two and has proved to be a good fisherman despite his age. He hails from Rye, N.H.

Paul Hebert
F/V Wicked Pissah
Hebert, 53, comes from a long line commercial fishermen. One of six boys from Marshfield, Mass., he learned to fish from his father and grandfather. The colorful captain and father is known for his sense of humor and one-liners.

Next week: Some of the Wicked Tuna captains’ biggest catches.

Wicked Tuna airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern and 8 Central on National Geographic. All the action leads up to the 100th episode and season finale on June 24.

Have you listened to this article via the audio player above?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation