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Jul. 14—After ten years of competing on National Geographic's "Wicked Tuna," Gloucester Capt. Paul Hebert of the Wicked Pissah finally can claim the title of champion.
The winner was unveiled in the finale of its tenth season last Sunday.
Hebert, one of the original fishermen cast in the series, is known for his colorful personality, as evident in the name of his fishing vessel. The first year, he worked as first mate to Capt. Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com, and the rest of the time, he has competed as captain of his own vessels.
"To end this year with a 117-inch fish was just beyond my imagination. But we never gave up," said Hebert. "That day was just like a dream — the little boat that could, right?"
Runner-up and Beverly resident Capt. Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise congratulated his fellow captain on his win.
In all, Hebert caught 15 fish that cashed in for a total of $53,303, followed by Hard Merchandise, which caught 14 fish that brought in a total of $48,541.
The global COVID-19 pandemic even made its impact to those who work on the sea.
"The world was a scary place this year, and we didn't even know if we were going to have a season. So to wind up as one of the top two boats, we are very proud of that," said Marciano.
"Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks," a spin-off of this show but in southern waters, premieres its eighth season this Sunday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. on National Geographic.
However, this season focuses on southern captains who will compete. In years past, this series has featured many of "Wicked Tuna" captains from the north in the bluefin competition focused on waters off the coast of North Carolina, a place often referred to as "the Graveyard of the Atlantic" because of the more than 2,000 ships that have sunk in that area.
The original "Wicked Tuna" series is filmed on location in Gloucester, the nation's oldest seaport, and the surrounding waters. It follows fishermen in pursuit of the giant bluefin tuna, an endeavor that can bring in big cash or financial loss. Over the years, the show has picked up a global following, and is aired internationally in 171 countries and in 43 languages.
No word yet on whether there will be a season 11.