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Two Maine fishermen featured in new season of ‘Wicked Tuna’

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National Geographic Channel’s hit series “Wicked Tuna” returned this week, with new episodes airing Sundays at 9 p.m. The show’s ninth season features faces familiar to regular viewers, along with some new competitors, including two Maine fishermen from Saco.

Filmed on location in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts, “Wicked Tuna” follows groups of fishermen in pursuit of elusive and lucrative Atlantic bluefin tuna. The competition and drama can become fierce as teams attempt to out-fish each other in hopes of hooking the ultimate payday.

Zack Plante and Charles Boivin are co-captains of The Wasabi, a 35’ 1981 Bruno based in Saco. Plante tells The Maine Edge that the crusty crews from Gloucester were less than welcoming to the outsiders from Maine.

“They didn’t really like us a whole lot down there because we were fishing in their waters, but I don’t really care,” Plante said. “I’m there to fish and win, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Plante has three years of experience in fishing for bluefin tuna, a vocation that he says was casually suggested one night by his Wasabi co-captain.

“Charlie got me involved when we were sitting on a barstool,” Plante said. “He’d been fishing for a few years, and he goes ‘Hey bub, why don’t you come out with me?’ So we went out and I just got the bug, and that’s all I wanted to do.”

At the time, Plante was facing an uncertain future following a 2013 motorcycle accident that he shrugs off as no big deal today. Doctors first thought Plante might be paralyzed.

“I kind of came out of it because my spinal cord was bruised but it never got cut,” he said. “I still have one and a half good legs so I’m doing alright.”

Downplaying his injury, the self-deprecating Plante says he doesn’t allow his injury to affect his ability to fish.

“I have to get up off the ground a lot, and I hobble a lot, but that’s about all I do different from those other guys we’re fishing against,” he said.

Plante says he’d been a fairly regular viewer of “Wicked Tuna” before he and Boivin were chosen to compete on the series, but that the reality of what the duo experienced during filming last summer did not exactly measure up to his preconception of the show.

“No, these guys are the real deal, they’re good,” said Plante. “We’re not up against some stiffs out there, we’re going up against some real deal competition. These guys know what they’re doing, they have nice boats, they fish hard, and it’s not easy to keep up with them, but we managed to do it.”

Plante says Boivin generally keeps a cool head out on the water as he describes his friend as being “kind of quiet” but with a sense of humor that is never far away.

“Not much offends Charlie,” Plante said. “You’ve got to be able to laugh and joke around. You can’t be a stiff out there, otherwise you ain’t gonna have no fun, and you ain’t gonna catch no fish.”

Plante says he expected to watch the season premiere of “Wicked Tuna” with 15 or 20 friends at Willy’s Ale Room in Acton, which Plante referred to as “Wild Willy’s.”

Plante says he and Boivin signed on to take part in the new season of “Wicked Tuna” for one reason only – they plan to win.

“Just because we’re from out of town doesn’t mean we’re not good fishermen. We’re not going out there to lose, we’re going out there to win, and we’ll do whatever it takes to win. We’re after all of them.”

Last modified on Thursday, 05 March 2020 09:07

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