|"He's been fishing
for all of his life.
His father and
before him, so he
believes his love
of fishing is part
of his DNA.
|Mainers take to the Water in
" Wicked Tuna "
|Now that’s a wicked big
tuna, caught by the stars of
Wicked Tuna, a reality
show about fishing for
bluefin tuna that airs
Sundays on the National
Geographic Channel. The
tuna weighed more than
|The thrill of the fight
|The Cast of National Geographic
Channel's Wicked Tuna
|By Anne Fisher
|A wicked colorful time
|His blue eyes may be the first thing people notice about him, but that's not the striking thing about Hebert; it's his
reputation as a fisherman to be exact Hebert who lives in East Waterboro, is so skilled at catching tuna that he
caught the eye of the producers of "Wicked Tuna," the number-one rated reality series airing Sunday nights on
National Geographic channel. Hebert walked on during the last minute of the March 24 episode, and will begin
making regular appearances with his brother, Paul Hebert, who has been a regular on the show.
Clearly, the Heberts aren't just any anglers. The family has fished for tuna for three generations out of Marshfield,
Now in it's second season, the plot of "Wicked Tuna" revolves around six crews of bluefin tuna fishermen based in
Gloucester, Mass. Each crew competes to see who can catch the most tuna with the highest value each season.
One fish can be worth up to $20,000, raising the stakes, tempers and intensity on the show as the competition
heats up - or the boats engine does. It's like a floating soap opera. The attention is something the Hebert brothers
are used to. Paul, Bruce, and their brothers Donnie, Danny, Kenny and Gary grew up near Gloucester in the
1960s. "Tuna fishing without the Hebert's didn't exsist back then," said Hebert. "I've been tuna fishing all my life."
Fishing is tough; there's a hundered different ways to get hurt. But it wasn't fishing that almost spelled the end to
Herbert's career. Ironically, he was forced to give up commercial fishing after a fall while working in heating and
cooling that resulted in a serious back injury. "I didn't think I'd ever be able to do tuna fishing again," Hebert said.
After the injury, Hebert decided he wanted to switch gears, get his captian's licence and start a charter fishing
business. "My alternative in my mind is staying on the ocean," he said of the decision to buy and operate Libreti
Rose II. Five years later, Hebert's business is doing well on the second boat named after his daughters Brei, Rose
and Tiara He became affiliated with the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport at the resort's invitation, and has also
attracted repeat customers. "I work really hard to make sure they catch fish" said Herbert of the key to his success.
His work ethic and reputation have paid off in another way. Enter Paul, who called his big brother last summer to
help him out on the show. Hebert can't reveal too much, even if he wanted to, as cast members are told little about
the plot lines in upcoming episodes. Hebert can say he will be in the remaining five episodes of season 2. Season
3 is looking good for him as well. "It's quite an experience to see how the whole thing works," said Hebert about the
making of the series, adding "it's 99 percent ratings and advertising."
If the ratings go up, so do the number of sponsers, he said. Each character also markets his own line of
merchandise. Waterboro selectman Gordon Littlefield is both a fan of the show and a friend of Hebert's. "It takes
on a little more flavor when there's someone you know," said Littlefield. "There's almost like a vicarious connection."
|On the next episode, airing Easter Sunday, the
brothers get three bites, and Hebert fights all
three of them until "color" - what the crew
members shout when they see the tuna break
the water after it is hooked.
"I was pretty excited to figure out if I was able to
do it again - actually on the rod and fighting the
fish," said Hebert.
The episode's plot is described on the show's
website: "After an intense week, where Dave fired
Paul as first mate on FV-tuna.com, the two
friends - turned - foes are now ferociously
competing against each other to see who can
catch more fish. Navigating the open seas in
hopes of catching the most fish, Paul aims to
prove that he is fine on his own without Dave, so
he asks his brother Bruce, a bluefin fishing
legend, to join him onboard and help him outfish
his old employer."
The second oldest in a family of six boys, Hebert
remembers fishing as something his whole family
did - even his mother, of whom he has a picture
with an 1,100 pound tuna. Back then, "if we were
paid $1 (a pound) we thought we were going to
be millionaires," Hebert recalled with a laugh.
tightened their bond over their mutual obsession
with tuna fishing. "Me and Paul out of the six are
While he is close to all his brothers, he and Paul
the ones who became more addicted to the tuna
fishery," said Hebert. "We always teamed up."
"Now the cards have turned - I fish for him."
Cast members don't know how they will be
portrayed on the show, but Hebert said the
actors personalities are true to life. With
one or two exceptions, most of them are
friends of the Hebert brothers who are also
The art of fishing for tuna is also
authentically portrayed, said Hebert, who
added, "When we are fishing, we're fishing."
The show is already spilling over into other
parts of the Heberts' lives. Bruce and his
wife, Lisa, drove down to Gillette Stadium in
Foxboro, Mass. Saturday for a promotional
charity even sponsored by Bass Pro
Shops. Held to promote Wicked Tuna and
Bass Pro Shops, part of the proceeds will
help raise money to fight cystic fibrosis, a
cause that's close to the Hebert family.
"I think it's very exciting ," said Lisa Hebert
about her husband's involvement in the
show. "Like wow, how often does this
happen to anybody?"
"This is a once in a lifetime event," Hebert
agreed. "Whatever comes of it, we'll take
|See Bruce in action on National Geographic
Channel's Wicked Tuna Seasons 2 & 3
|rabbit out of a