Wicked Tuna Recap – “Bad Blood

We’re back with another episode of Wicked Tuna, aka “The Yell n Reel Fish Jamboroo”.  If you’re unfamiliar with the blog, I recap episodes of Wicked Tuna (far behind when they actually aired, mind you) from the lens of someone who has never been fishing and understands none of the intricate plot of this show. I lied, there’s no intricate plot. Let’s see what the sea can cough up this week, shall we?

We start off with Stonerboat, my favorite. Immediately, there’s a flashback to last year when Stonerboat Captain Tyler filled up a water balloon and beefed some other guy in the back of the head with it from like 200 feet. While the guy was inside his own boat’s wheelhouse. Across open ocean. Why the fuck is this guy fishing for a living and not a goddamn Army sniper? Anyway I enjoy this, because this is the shit I would do if anyone let me out on the open ocean. So naturally the dude in the other boat got really steamed about being donked in the dome, and pushed Tyler, who was naturally barefoot at the time are we even surprised. This year, every time they see him they pelt him with water balloons, which makes my inner 12 year old super stoked.



The other boat’s captain, whose name is Ralph or Chunk or something, calls them “a bunch of rich kids on Adderall”, which is honestly the best plotline this show has so maybe just roll with it, oceanfolk.

It seems like everyone’s in comedy mode, because over in some other part of the ocean, the Hot Tuna goes up alongside the Dot Com and gives one of the deckhands crap for wearing camouflage Grundens. “Are you elk hunting? Are you afraid the tuna will see you?” Sick burn from a guy with the same haircut as Raggedy Ann.


Like the ocean equivalent of yelling at your friend across the street.

Like the ocean equivalent of yelling at your friend across the street.


Over on the Hebertboat (Can we call it Hebort?), Paul announces that “ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!” and what happens is that they catch a fish while the Dot Com looks on – the boat who fired him last year. It’s at that point I notice that Garon Mailman, the dude with the awesome name on the Dot Com, has a hat that’s embroidered with “Mailman Delivers.” I see what you did there. However, the Dot Com doesn’t deliver and loses a tuna in some lobster gear. WHY ARE YOU SO CLOSE TO LOBSTER GEAR THE OCEAN IS VAST LAST TIME I CHECKED MAYBE START FISHING LIKE AN EXTRA HUNDRED YARDS AWAY GUYS GOSH.

On the Hot Tuna, more people describe why they hate the Pinwheel (probably a backstory involving a misplaced bong or a stolen case of Cheezits).  Both boats simultaneously (according to editing, anyway) catch a fish, and everybody throws down their Cool Ranch Doritos Now With 30% More Free and reels like there’s no tomorrow. And then both boats realized they’ve actually caught a shark instead, and they crack open a Natty Light in solace.

The dog was the first to realize it wasn't a tuna.

The dog was the first to realize it wasn’t a tuna.


Back on Hebort, the brothers are really shitting on poor Junior, the deckhand dude, because he missed a harpoon shot and isn’t driving the boat in the precise manner they are screaming towards him. You think? They’re screaming “Don’t fuck this up!” I would have just dropped them both in the ocean and powered home with my middle fingers to the wind, but that’s why I don’t fish for a living. Or have a boss.  But they get the stupid giant fish and all goes well.




The next segment is the Dot Com catching a fish, which is too boring to possibly recap so I won’t even bother. The Hard Merchandise gets one right as Dave is lighting his seventh cigarette of the morning, the Hot Tuna’s adorable dog starts eating bait fish, and Stonerboat, out of ideas, settles on a “Flying V” formation of throwing bait (I am dead serious). More shit is talked. The episode ends, and I can live my life again.

Until next time,  KTuna signing off.




Beach Blanket Stinko

traditional No Snark Sunday returns next week as we deal with reader requests to address a pressing issue: 

Ok, it’s NSS- no snark Sunday here at The Clam. I’ve awoken, hugged kittens, put on my favorite vintage Kermit “Rainbow Connection” T shirt, baked a blueberry crumble for our neighbors and made a delicious cup of flavored decaf by which to write another missive about how much we all love our beloved island with love. I’ll just slip over to FaceBook for some ideas…

It's so great to spend a day outside in nature, eh kids?

It’s so great to spend a day outside in nature, eh kids?

Oh fuck no. What fresh Hell is this? For those of you from out of town or folks who have that ‘Memento’ condition where you can’t remember anything for longer than it takes to make a bag of microwave popcorn, that’s the bike rack at Good Harbor, on the East Gloucester side of the bridge over the creek. With a huge pile of stinking, rotting trash like the aftermath of The Gathering of the Juggalos but with fewer discarded Faygo bottles.

Garbage cans, magnets and spelling. How do they work?

Garbage cans, magnets and spelling. How do they work?

[Goes upstairs, removes rainbow shirt and puts on Pogues ‘Rum Sodomy and the Lash’ tour tee, takes ball with little bell away from cat, microwaves three day old rot-gut coffee from bottom of pot and goes next door and stamps right in the middle of the baking tray left on the Garberg’s front steps.]

Let us begin. Is there anything more gross than people who litter? I have this wonderful aunt who through lifelong, in-depth studies of Buddhism and psychology has a tremendously optimistic view of human nature. She was explaining it to me a few months ago driving through upstate New York on our way to a family event. She firmly believes that every human being is simply fighting an internal battle we can neither understand nor are we in a position to judge. “Our goal, as fellow humans, must be…” she began. But just as she was about to drop a Karen Armstrong all over the interior of the Prius the car in front of us ejected a stream of Burger King bags and drink containers out the driver’s side. “You motherfuckers!!!” she starts yelling, pulling up to their bumper and honking her horn. “Are you kidding? You bastards!”

You're making the Buddha cry, Aunt Sandy

You’re making the Buddha cry, Aunt Sandy

So litterbugs suck. But hating people who litter (and oh do I ever) is not getting any Dunk’s cups off the streets. And this image of trash, much of it bagged, in somewhat neat pile seems to be transmitting a different message than if it were just strewn about everywhere. These people seemed to want a place to put their trash. They put it in a pile, rather than just ditching it someplace. And it’s fair to assume that one bag of trash begat another as one after the other succumbed to herd mentality, convincing themselves, “Oh, this must be how it’s done here.” Let’s unpack this (not literally) Who are these people? There are three types who come to the near edge of the bridge with trash:

  • Locals who live nearby That’s us and we can assume that a very small portion of that trash would be ours because we know the rules, it’s our town, and we’ve made accommodations to transport it. Also if any one of us was caught littering it would wind up on GMG, Cape Ann Online, the focus of some kind of contest on The Clam as ‘douchiest person of Fishtown’ and, three days later behind the paywall of the GDT, name misspelled. So I’m willing to wager it’s not one of us who started this.


  • Visitors who parked in the neighborhoods or used public transportation and are making their way home We all see the folks who walk down to the beach because they don’t want to pay the thirty bucks or whatever it is to park. I’ve seen them parked as far away as in front of the graveyard on Mt. Pleasant and up on Hartz Street. If you will note in the photo one of the bikes in the rack is a folding bike which likely belongs to someone who either parked far away or took the train. So, if I took the T here I’m supposed to carry my trash out to where, exactly? The cans (typically overflowing) at the station? Medford? Advanced civilization has a thing called “public trash receptacles” and these people, I believe correctly, assumed that notion extended into Gloucester.
It's like they don't even know how to read small, hand lettered rocks (Photo GMG)

It’s like they don’t even know how to read small, hand lettered rocks (Photo GMG)

  • People who parked somewhere else picking up their family at the bridge They look as if they packed more crew and equipment than Shackleton into HMS Endurance making for the Pole. Dad’s ‘round back of the minivan loading chairs, boards, coolers, pails and umbrellas. He slams the rear gate shut, skips to the driver’s side and peels off ‘forgetting’ the 45 gallons of Goldfish bags and juice boxes in the Hefty on the sidewalk. “They must never know I am a litterer,” he thinks. “But fuck me if I’m going to sit in this thing for the hour home to Needham with a bag of diapers and sour baby formula that’s been bloating in the sun for half the day.” We fault him, yes. But do we understand, to an extent? My aunt would say yes, then probably slap him in the face with her hand-woven Ecuadoran beach bag.

So what do we do? This is where it gets tricky and I’m open to all options, but I really think the shortest path through this thing might be PUT A FUCKING GARBAGE RECEPTACLE THERE BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE ALL THE TRASH PEOPLE WANT TO GET RID OF.

Science may have solved this problem

Science may have solved this problem

Radical, I know. Look, we tried. We tried the ‘carry in, carry out’ thing and it failed. That’s fine, I’m all about trying stuff but this obviously does not work. Visitors are not accustomed to this practice and there is no way to effectively educate and habituate them because they only come a couple of times a year at most. It’s simply not their town and they don’t really care. At some point the shame of making Iron Eyes Cody cry is overcome by having to spend x amount of additional time with a bag of filth and refuse you have no idea what to do with. This is human nature. If you think you’re ever going to 100% overcome this you are a teenager who just finished The Fountainhead while listening too Farewell to Kings by Rush on repeat. The rest of us live in the real world.

I could irrigate our garden with this guys tears after a holiday weekend

I could irrigate our garden with this guys tears after a holiday weekend

Some other ideas:

  • Station a person there 100% of the time people are at the beach to make sure the pile doesn’t start. Once it starts, people add to it. However this seems more expensive than JUST PUTTING A RECEPTACLE THERE BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE ALL THE TRASH PEOPLE WANT TO GET RID OF.


  • Some kind of technology, like a camera or something with a big sign that says “This area being recorded by Gloucester Police”. Once again, A RECEPTACLE THERE BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE ALL THE TRASH PEOPLE WANT TO GET RID OF SEEMS CHEAPER AND SIMPLER AND LIKELY MORE EFFECTIVE.
Martin Del Vecchio?

Martin Del Vecchio?

  • A private small dumpster with an attendant who takes some reasonable amount of money [three bucks?] per [bag? pound? quart?] to dump it. Ok, that might work if there was enough trash…but I think you know where I’m going here WITH THE ALL CAPS AND STUFF.


  • One of those solar-compactor garbage cans with advertising on them like they have in Boston. They don’t look big enough, are about four grand each and someone still has to empty it, but maybe if local businesses wanted to chip in there might be a solution there that could work. Once again, I have the sneaking suspicion that it might just be cheaper to PUT A NORMAL TRASH CAN IN THERE but if someone wants to check that out here is the link.
Solar? At the beach? Sounds too utopian

Solar? At the beach? Sounds too utopian

Dealing with other people’s trash is just one of those things a town has to do. It’s not new, it’s not fun, but we have visitors who come here and generate trash. That’s simply reality. Pretending all human beings are going to collect their own trash is not realistic and we might as well ask people to fix potholes on the way out of town or submit a workable harbor plan before ordering dinner. People just don’t see this as their responsibility.

But I did once chase a dude in a Suburban on my bike with a bag of his family trash he’d ‘forgotten’ hoping to catch him at the junction of Bass Rocks Road and Atlantic. By the time I got up the hill he was a ghost and I rode home with the bag over my shoulder. “Man this shit stinks,” I thought as bits of it mushed around and dug into my ribs.

For just a millisecond, going past some woods, I thought about ditching it.

The Clam’s Special Travel Insert: Brooke Explains Pennsylvania.

The Clam has been graced with an awesome social media person and contributor in Brooke Welty, who at parties regales us of her life before moving here two years ago. We pleaded with her to share with the world her story of the vast expanse of America outside the cut bridge.

Not long after moving to Gloucester, I began to experience a strange sensation. It was a feeling of dread which I couldn’t place at first. It happened mainly on the weekends, when I didn’t have to work or go anywhere in particular, and then it hit me:

I didn’t want to go over the damned bridge if I didn’t have to.

The symptoms included audible groaning, procrastination, and desperate attempts to find what I needed elsewhere in town, even if that meant paying more. I know I’m not alone in this. For some reason, the city of Gloucester can suck away the willingness to leave, like a motivation vampire.

It’s ridiculous, really. My husband and I don’t even go anywhere on the weekends. We sit on the deck, look at our garden, and take bets on how long it’ll take the cat to vomit up all that grass he just ate. (The answer is as soon as he gets back inside.)

I can’t be bothered to drive my ass over the bridge. Which is why I’m doing a travel piece of sorts: so you don’t have to. Really it’s an opportunity for me to write another piece, but since I’m way less familiar with Gloucester than the other Clams are, I’m writing about the only thing I can.


Before I get started, let me just get this out of the way: Pennsylvania has Dunkin Donuts, so DON’T PANIC. We love the Dunk just as much as you do.

Moving on!

When people up here find out where I’m from, the first question I’m usually asked is:
“Oh, Amish Country?”

I’m not from the Lancaster area, which is what most people mean when they say Amish Country. I’m from the northern central part of the state (and it is a pretty big state) near a “city” called Williamsport. But…yes. Pretty much all of Pennsylvania is Amish country, to be honest. You’ll be less apt to see Amish folks in places like Pittsburgh and Philly, but it would by no means be weird. The state is crawling with Amish, and you’ll realize this the first time you run over a pile of horse shit on a major highway or spend some time behind a buggy at a red light. The Amish are alright neighbors, really. If you need a barn raised or a quilt sewn, you’re all set. Something you might not know is that Amish kids get up to just as much trouble as regular folks, and tales of Amish kids raising quaint and adorable hell abound. (It’s the hats.)

Sometimes, they bowl.

Sometimes, they bowl.

Pennsylvania itself is gorgeous. Most of it anyway. The Northeastern part of the state (the Scranton area, for you fans of The Office) is pretty much an armpit, covered in centuries worth of coal soot and the dust from dried out, broken dreams of moving somewhere better. Even the ground there is on fire (Centralia. Creepy name, creepy place, mecca for drunken students and emo kids looking for that perfect “I’m a creature of the night” photo.) Seriously just avoid it all together.

Most of Pennsylvania (It’s so weird typing it out. People from Pennsylvania don’t ever say it. Really. We just say PA, as if it’s too much effort. No other state does this, to my knowledge. You’d never say “I’m from MA” but people from PA do it routinely, so there you go) is forest. Pausing the snark for a moment, I will just say, it really is gorgeous. Huge forests, rivers, lakes, wildlife…it really is lovely. I miss the scenery sometimes, when I’m driving through the endless suburb that is Eastern Massachusetts. Once you get south of Cape Ann, it’s just literally one unending town, with no breaks or pauses in between. It feels like one giant city with neighborhoods that were once independent towns.


That said, the possibility of death by deer is very real. Everyone I know from PA has, at some point, hit a deer, or has had a near miss. I hit one, with my dad years ago. We weren’t going too fast, and he just got up and gave us a scathing glare before running off into the field. Here’s the thing – if you’re driving at full speed, you can literally be killed, or seriously fucked up, if you hit a deer. Many cars have been totaled this way.

The list of animals I have hit, or almost hit, is impressive.

  1. Deer (hit – survived)
  2. Bear (almost)
  3. Racoon (almost)
  4. Fox (almost)
  5. Coyote (almost)
  6. Owl (hit – survived)
  7. Groundhog (almost)
  8. Sparrow (hit – deceased. I found him jammed into the grill of my car.)
  9. Turkey (missed)
Wait for the walk signal, damnit.

Wait for the walk signal, damnit.

Someone once said of PA “There’s Philly in the East, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in between.”

This is 100% true.

Trucks festooned with Confederate flag stickers (Often paired tastefully with a gun rack and truck nuts) are common, and you’ll see plenty a large rednecks dressed in the chosen garb of cammo with a Confederate flag t shirt or hat. We once saw a bumper sticker which read “DON’T RE-NIG IN 2012” It only strengthened our resolve to get the hell out of PA. There’s not really much more I need to say on that, is there?

The flag actually comes standard from the factory.

The flag actually comes standard from the factory.

The other important thing to know about PA is that we eat some weird food. Until I moved here, I had no idea that red beet pickled eggs were an oddity. I still get angry at the sight of a salad bar which doesn’t have a little vat of purple eggs and beets. And how could I mention PA without bringing up scrapple? What the hell is scrapple, you might ask? The answer is…well you don’t really want to know. It’s a meat based product (If you call snouts, ears, and offal meat. Maybe I should just say “animal based) which is baked in a bread tin, fried and then covered with maple syrup. But don’t let that scare you because you’ll see it on breakfast menus all over the state. And those Amish folks I mentioned before can be seen hawking their delicious produce and baked goods from little stands along pretty much any back road you take. I have no idea what shoo-fly pie is, other than a molassesy treat. Try it.

That pretty much sums up PA. Beautiful scenery, nice people, some really shitty people, Amish people. Visit PA if you’re a fan of the outdoors, casual racism, and shoo-fly pie.

The Other Boats

At risk to her personal sanity, Executive Clameditor KT Toomey has gone above and beyond the call to bring you recaps of the National Geographic reality show ‘Wicked Tuna’.

Are the tuna wicked or simply just misunderstood?

Are the tuna wicked or simply just misunderstood?

We owe her much, especially upon the discovery that to maintain the proper psychological state for viewing, she had increasingly come to depend on a risky mixture of Redbull and the powdered skin of a very specific desert toad. Therefore. we may have reached the practical limit of tuna recapping her now shattered psyche can endure.

This became clear during a staff meeting at Clammedia Tower. Toomey threatened a staffer who requested more Wicked Tuna content in order to drive the all important ‘hits’ that are the lifeblood of this operation. “No fuckin’ way,” she stammered. “I’ll do that piece on the ‘Most Noxious Porta Potties of Fiesta’ but no more fuckin’ tuna. I’ll cut a bitch. I mean it.” Her frighteningly dilated eyes led us to believe her; along with the bottom-bracket wrench she waved menacingly.

Actual photo

Actual photo

So, alas, this task has fallen to me. With gusto I delved into research regarding all manner of the tribe Thunnini. I even went so far as to lie down in the tinned fish aisle at the Basket in order to commune with their succulent flesh, but wound up receiving what I assure you was a wholly unnecessary shot of NARCAN from an overzealous EMT. Despite my efforts, the very nature of enterprise seemed as hard to grasp as the quicksilver flowing in the veins of these noble creatures.

In researching the show however, I did discover a highly intriguing fact: The TV genre of ‘reality show’ is singularly dependent on gathering huge amounts of footage and subsequently only using select bits to create a narrative (often very different from what actually occurred when originally shot). A quick LinkedIn search and a couple of American Apparel gift cards later and we’d convinced an intern over at the Geographic to provide us with a hard drive chock full of deleted scenes.

What we found will shock you, as we say here on the Interblogs.

There were other boats! There were at least four other boats entirely cut from the storyline. We all love the Hard Merchandise for their shouting, the fraternal bond of the FV Miss Sambvca and OSHA’s impaired operator experiment gone awry that are the loveable mopheads of ‘Stonerboat’, but what of the other boats that never made the final cut?

As a public service The Clam presents the vessels relegated to the virtual cutting room floor leaving us viewers, we believe, with a perhaps clearer but far less dimensionalized narrative.

FV Chemical Romance:

The Boat: A collection of black-clad, dyed hair sadboys in mascara and skinny jeans aboard a 39’ Duffy was rigged to harpoon before the crew realized they would have to go out in the sunshine to use this method.

Tuna live in a a sea of tears, a sea that never ends

Tuna live in a a sea of tears, a sea that never ends

The Story: Chemical Romance had a rough time of it during the season. The preference of putting out gear only at night proved operationally awkward and the crew squabbled constantly about Fall Out Boy’s Warped Tour ruining the band’s credibility. They did, however, produce the best self-reflective poetry of any of the competitors.

FV Pink Flamingos

The Boat: Painted a searing Hollywood cerise, this 42 footer was impossible to ignore with her impressive height and full-throated engine.

Oh the fish is still alive? I'll get it

Oh the fish is still alive? I’ll get it

The Story: Loud and proud her crew of cross-dressing tuna hunters took on the unforgiving sea and the “butch” look as equal challenges. It became clear early on that being able to land a 600 pounder in size 12 stillettos was shaming the crews of other boats. Rightly fearing never seeing any exposure, they cut a prize-quality bluefin off the line following an alert on the satellite feed that Ru Paul  had opened a casting call for a sixth season of Drag Race. Last seen heading south toward NYC under full power.

FV Crystal Method

The Boat: Stripped of her copper, wire, plumbing, electronics, safety gear and seat cushions, this former deep-water lobsterboat refused to quit even when the crew ran her single diesel engine to the max with no oil for days on end.

There were some pretty great merchandising tie-ins, however

There were some pretty great merchandising tie-ins, however

The Story: It’s no surprise the producers chose the story of the Pin Wheel (aka Stonerboat) over the shirtless and twitchy crew of what became known in the fishery that summer as “Tweakerboat”. As energetic as they were directionless, the Crystal could be seen blazing around chasing any hint of a fish always repeating the line “we need this, we need this so goddamn baaaad!” through gritted teeth. Bested by other vessels in both catch and personal hygiene, she exploded mysteriously halfway through the season.


The boat: A wooden inboard of the classic style below the waterline, above the deliberately adverse choice of materials and shapes challenges the viewers of Wicked Tuna to ask, “what is a boat?”

This is our boat

This is our boat

The Story: Unable to find jobs in the food service sector, members of this highly educated crew loaded up on yellowtail and downloads of ‘This American Life’ to try their hand at something more visceral. Arguments about ‘privilege’ and the co-opting of authentic culture for the purposes of art soon dominate interactions onboard. Feedback sessions on fishing style devolve into personal attacks. It turns out that everyone is sleeping with everyone else and the crew nearly abandons ship to “make a statement” when they unexpectedly land and sell a $60K fish to a Japanese dealer and use the proceeds to open a gallery.

We are all the poorer for having missed them.

The Clam’s Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots: Semifinals Day 2!

OH MY GOD WE’RE BACK AGAIN! Let’s finish off this round of the Tournament of Crapass Parking Lots, shall we? Today’s battle features some close calls and a few underdog winners. Drama abound! Let’s duct tape our bumpers and get down to business.


East Gloucester School vs Destinos

East Gloucester School was up against some tough competition with the Pathways lot, which is so bad a retired cop has to direct traffic on a daily basis. However, the swirling maelstrom of chaos of the EGS lot handily overpowered its opponent. If this lot was anywhere else in town, there would be punches thrown, expletives fired at others, and many generations dishonored by the goings-on. But, it’s in East Gloucester, so the worst that happens is that everyone is annoyed but waves anyway because the person who just live-parked in the middle of the road has a No Farms, No Food bumper sticker just like their own car. Or, someone buys the last batch of not-wilted broccoli at the farmer’s market in a passive-aggressive manner as revenge. Take that!

Destinos beating out the Causeway lot in the first round was an underdog upset. The Clam had its bets hedged on Causeway winning. I mean, even as I’m writing this, IN THE POLICE NOTES TODAY SOMEONE DROVE INTO THE BUILDING. But you people voted in this democratic election of sorts, so Destino’s is the winner.  Destino’s does have its charms, and by charms I mean your chances of hitting another car either in the lot or trying to get out of the lot onto stupid Prospect Street are 100% over a ten-year period. And god help you (pun intended) if you try to park there or un-park there as a church service lets out across the street. Get more macaroni salad, you’re gonna be there awhile.

[polldaddy poll=8173607]


Our Lady of Good Voyage vs. Gloucester Crossing.

Speaking of the mess on Prospect, Our Lady of Good Voyage won the worshiping division of the parking lot tournament. Maybe it was the random two different parking lots on two different levels that clenched its victory. Or, maybe it was the fact that you can’t actually have one car enter and one car exit at the same time because the entrance is so narrow. Cars park on the street abutting the church as closely as possible, so traffic crawls by. Does anyone actually walk to services? Survey says not a chance. The best part is when some completely oblivious person parks so that only one lane of traffic can get by for the length of an entire Easter mass and everybody ends up losing a mirror. Jesus, save us.

Gloucester Crossing beat out Family Dollar last round, which was another surprise to us here at the Clam. I mean, Family Dollar and MAC’s lot is a perennial gauntlet of suck. However, the Crossing is a high-stakes game of chicken at best, and a shopping cart hurtling at your car’s quarter panels at its worst. And that fucking rotary. I truly believe empirical evidence will show that no one has ever correctly yielded at that mini rotary. These people have just spent half an hour bashing their cart into people’s ankles while wearing yoga pants to get their granola bars and milk a millisecond faster than everyone else, they will cut you off while looking you dead in the eye if they can. This lot can break a man’s will. You have to look straight ahead, make sure you don’t hit any unsupervised kids, and then OH GOD RANDOM CAR DRIVING DIAGONALLY ACROSS ALL THE SPACES. Fuck. Fuck the Crossing.


[polldaddy poll=8173611]


Tune in next week for our parking lot finals!