‘Wicked Tuna’ – Cook fits right in with Gloucester fleet

Why Bob Cook respects Dave Carraro

Captain Bob Cook

Step onto a “Wicked Tuna” boat and one is almost immediately impressed by how inobtrusive the video equipment is.

There are tiny GoPro cameras positioned all around the vessel, including in the cabin and on the transom, and there also is a cameraman with another GoPro on an extension arm to provide the underwater shots. He or she, too, is good at staying out of the way, generally speaking.

But in the case of the video person aboard the Fat Tuna, owned and operated by Captain Bob Cook, a newcomer to the Sunday National Geographic series … well, he couldn’t help but get tangled in the harpoon line during a fight with a bluefin.

“He stepped on the line and it stopped short of the fish and I didn’t get upset,” Cook explains. “But then he did it again on the same fish. And we were lucky to get a second opportunity at throwing the dart at the fish, but to get a third opportunity is almost unheard of and we got a third opportunity.

“And I’ll tell you,” he admits, “I lost my mind on him, and that’s just what you do in the moment. You know, you’ve got that money on the line and he stepped on it. I was apologetic after, yeah.”

As for his first season on the Gloucester, Mass.-based series, the 47-year-old native of nearby Beverly says the competition took him and his crew out of the humdrum of just making a paycheck and into the excitement of vying with holdovers Dave Marciano, Tyler McLaughlin, Sam Law and defending champion Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com for first place.

Cook considers Carraro, the five-time series winner, his chief rival.

“I would honestly say that Dave is one of the, if not the, best out there,” Cook says. “… I like the way that he runs his operation – most of the time. When we’re on land, we’re friends. When we’re out there, we’re not friends, and that’s because we’re out there to both be the best and be No. 1 and be on the top of our game and catch more than anybody else. And that’s not always friendly.”

Name: Robert Roy Cook

Birth date: Oct. 7, 1972

Birthplace: Beverly, Mass.

Residence: Beverly, Mass.

Marital status: Married

Largest tuna caught: A 920-pound bluefin. “I have not got a grander yet,” he says.

Side business: In addition to offering fishing charters aboard the Fat Tuna, Cook is the owner of Little Italy Pizzeria in Beverly.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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