For both long-time fans and newcomers to the show, a lot of people tend to ask the question: How much do the guys on Wicked Tuna make? Well, wonder no more as we will get right into the earnings of the crew and the net worth of the most famous personalities from the show.
If you are ready to dive into salaries, earnings, and much more, then continue reading!
How Much Does the Cast of Wicked Tuna Get Paid?
There are two ways the cast can earn money in Wicked Tuna.
The first method is by means of catching fish and selling them. The proceeds each competitor earns from selling bluefin tuna fish to willing buyers goes back to them in the form of profits and budget for maintenance of their respective boats. This is the more advantageous form of income in the show as it has no ceiling. As long as hard work is put in and the quality of bluefin tuna fish caught is top-notch, then the money will just keep coming in.
The second method is salary earned on an episode-by-episode basis. According to some reports, the producers of the show in the first couple of seasons gave under $5,000 per episode to each crew who participated for every episode that aired. These days, however, the salaries have increased all the way up to $30,000 for some of the veteran competitors of the hit TV series.
How Much Money Do The Cast of Wicked Tuna Make per Episode?
As mentioned in the previous section, the cast of Wicked Tuna is paid in the ballpark of $30,000 per episode. However, this estimate only applies to the longest participants in the show.
For newcomers such as Captain Bob Cook of Fat Tuna, Captain Spurge Krasowski of Moonshine, and Captain Jack Patrician of Time Flies, their respective salaries are most likely in the $10,000 - $15,000 range, having only been in the show for the past season or two.
How Much Do the Captains of Wicked Tuna Make?
Like in any commercial fishing situation, the captains of the boat take in the largest portion of the haul because they are the leaders of the crew and take full responsibility for whatever happens during the fishing expedition (on top of the fact that a lot of these captains most likely own the boat used for said fishing trips).
A safe estimate would be around 30% - 50% of the entire earnings of goes to the captain of the crew. This may vary, however.
Net Worth of Some of the Cast Members of Wicked Tuna
Let us now take a look at some of the net worth reports of the most notable members of the Wicked Tuna family.
Captain Dave Marciano of Hard Merchandise (Seasons 1 - 10): approximately $600,000
No one owns the show the way Dave Marciano does in front of the cameras. When it comes to professionalism, quality catches, and a little bit of drama sprinkled here and there, Captain Dave Marciano is your man, ever since season 1.
Whether it be aboard the Hard Merchandise or with his temporary running mate The Falcon, Captain Dave Marciano and crew have always been in the running for the top spot every season.
Although most of his earnings come from his salary in the Wicked Tuna as well as the tuna sales he closes in the show, Captain Dave Marciano also has other revenue streams such as coffee and beef jerky that keep his revenue streams diverse and constant.
Captain Dave Carraro of FV-tuna.com (Seasons 1 - 10): approximately $500,000
Another hard-hitting, long-standing member of the Wicked Tuna crew is none other than Captain Dave Carraro of the uniquely named FV-tuna.com, who has secured the most victories (five total) since the inception of the franchise (as well as third best in terms of second-place finishes).
Alongside First Mate Sandro Maniaci, Captain Dave Carraro and crew have been working their magic much to the enjoyment of fans of the show from all over the world. Carraro attributes his victories to hard work, diligence, collaboration, and planning and treats luck as something that is earned, not just given.
Outside of Wicked Tuna, Captain Dave Carraro owns a modest fishing company that has earned a steady amount of money in the past few years.
Captain TJ Ott of Hot Tuna (Seasons 3 - 10): approximately $500,000
If we are talking about people who have been around fishing their entire life, then we would definitely have to mention the mild-mannered Captain TJ Ott of Hot Tuna. Belonging to a family of expert fish hunters, Ott has spent several decades mastering the craft of fishing, particularly when it comes to bluefin tuna fishing.
Arguably achieving celebrity status beyond the confines of the show, his great personality and unique hairstyle has brought him the fame and fortune that he has definitely earned and deserved.
Banking on his unique popularity among the fans of the show, he sells merchandise as an extra source of revenue which has been met with great success through the years.
Captain Tyler McLaughlin of Pinwheel (Seasons 2 - 10): approximately $400,000
If we are talking about the OGs of the beloved franchise Wicked Tuna, then the conversation is not complete without talking about the standout personality known as Captain Tyler McLaughlin who owns and operates the Pinwheel.
Known for rescuing the crew of Miss Sambvca in one of the earlier seasons, this skilled fisherman and courageous soul has been a frontrunner in every season since he began in season 2.
As a result of his heroism, he was bestowed with the prestigious First Responder Award by the American Red Cross in 2015.
Interestingly enough, Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s significant sources of income outside of Wicked Tuna are brand deals, high-quality merchandise, and a limited range of clothing.
Captain Paul Hebert of Wicked Pissah (Seasons 5 - 10): approximately $400,000
A veteran in his own right, Captain Paul Hebert of Wicked Pissah splashed onto the Wicked Tuna scene in early 2016 and bagged runner-up in his very first season along with his crew, securing a total bluefin tuna fish sales count of $104,611 (which was only roughly a couple of hundreds of dollars shy of FV-Tuna.com’s winning amount).
Fishing definitely runs in his bloodline. He is identified as a third-generation commercial fisherman with a wealth of experience in fishing even before entering the esteemed TV show.
There have been no other reported significant sources of income but Captain Paul Hebert is definitely earning his keep in Wicked Tuna with his performances ever since.
Captain Bob Cook of Fat Tuna (Seasons 9 - 10): approximately $350,000; Captain Spurge Krasowski of Moonshine (Season 10): approximately $350,000; Captain Jack Patrician of Time Flies (Season 10): approximately $350,000
The latest additions to the competition pool of Wicked Tuna are Captain Bob Cook of Fat Tuna, Captain Spurge Krasowski of Moonshine, and Captain Jack Patrician of Time Flies.
Although not as well-loved and admired by long-time fans of the hit TV show, these three captains are definitely making their way into the hearts of viewers with their performances in hunting bluefin tuna fish despite the dip in value as a result of the pandemic.
They have a combined experience of several decades of fishing with a few businesses at the side. They may not be worth as much as the previously mentioned veterans in this list, but they are all surely living comfortably with the money they have earned thus far.
How Do the Salaries of Wicked Tuna Competitors Compare to Those of Deadliest Catch?
Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, a popular show that follows the journey of captains and their respective crew as they go on the hunt for crabs in crab fishing season, follows a similar formula to that of National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna, a show that revolves around catching the biggest and nastiest bluefin tuna fish.
In terms of salaries, there are no official reports for both TV shows that list down the talent fees of each cast member per episode. However, given that the Deadliest Catch is (arguably) the more popular show and the more tenured (having been on air since 2005), the salaries of the cast members are greater than that of Wicked Tuna (which started airing in 2012).
According to some reports and testimonies, some veteran captains from the Deadliest Catch are earning somewhere in the range of $25,000 to $50,000 per episode which has an average runtime of 60 minutes.
The captains who compete in Wicked Tuna, on the other hand, earn somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 as of the latest reports for the more recent seasons. This figure is allegedly for the entire crew and the maintenance required for the sport boat itself.
These reality competitive TV shows may not be way up there in terms of monthly earnings compared to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (each major cast member earned a flat $1 million per episode in the later seasons), but should ratings for either episode hold, if not increase, the longer the franchise goes, then you can definitely expect to see an increase in fees paid in the near future.
So, how much do the guys on wicked tuna make? They make a lot, no question about it. What is great about this is that they are not only earning a ton of money for themselves and their families, but they are also doing what they love while entertaining the masses. There are perhaps only a handful of jobs that could possibly be better than this so there is not much doubt in our eyes when we see and hear the cast and crew of the show be extremely thankful for the opportunities they were given. Here is to hoping that the show lasts for 10 more seasons (if not more)!