Fishing is an exciting sport, and many take pleasure in it but how many do you see making a living out of things they enjoy most? Probably a few. Meet Dave Marciano, who has come a long way from fun fishing as a child to commercially pursuing giant Bluefin Tuna as a grown-up. He is also the star and one of the most experienced captains on Wicked Tuna, the hit reality show that follows the thrilling adventures of bluefin tuna fishermen in the Atlantic Ocean. Dave is the owner and skipper of the Hard Merchandise, a 38-foot boat that he has been fishing with for over 30 years. Dave is known for his tough but fair attitude, his passion for fishing, and his loyalty to his crew and family. He is also a mentor to many young fishermen who look up to him for his skills and wisdom. Dave Marciano is a true legend of the sea.
Dave was born on December 5, 1965, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He spent his early years in his hometown before his family moved near a harbor in Beverly when he was nine years old. There he got to see a whole new world and discovered his passion for fishing.
Although there were no immediate fishermen in the family Dave would turn to rod and reel as a kid sometimes even joined by his mother. He would walk down to the docks and fish whenever he wanted. In those years he also suffered his first hook accident on his ankle.
Career & Progression
Dave was more interested in the world out in the sea than in academics. He worked on the boat named Yankee Fleet while still in Gloucester High School. And after matriculation in 1984, he chose not to go to college. Instead, he pursued his dream of becoming a full-time fisherman.
He worked on the shores of Massachusetts on various boats. He started as a deckhand and after learning the way around he obtained a boat driving license. Dave is a hard-working man who worked his way up over the years. His career portfolio includes 12 years of work experience in a charter party boat from Massachusetts to Key West, Florida, and also fishing full-time for North Atlantic Tech. Dave purchased his boat in 1996 and started commercial fishing. As a boss, Dave has been chasing Bluefin Tuna for decades now. He has faced many challenges such as harsh weather, mechanical failure, and lack of crew but also learned to overcome adversity. Unlike any usual fishing job, catching Tuna is a work of patience where the fisherman uses hand-held poles. Dave has some impressive records with the prized bluefin tuna, his biggest catch was 118-inch 1200 pounds which he did back in 2005.
Dave Marciano’s television career began in 2012 when he was cast as one of the captains in “Wicked Tuna”. The reality tv show follows the commercial fisherman from Gloucester such as Dave himself, Dave Carraro, Paul Hebert, and TJ Ott. The show documents the challenges and rewards of fishing for bluefin tuna, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and fetch up to $20,000 per fish.
Dave uses a 38-foot boat fishing vessel named Hard Merchandise to compete against fellow fishermen on the show. He became the winner of Wicked Tuna season 4 by catching 18 fish worth $102,690. His closest rival was young fisherman Tyler McLaughlin who caught 16 fish worth $99,876. However, after season 7, he switched to a new boat called Falcon leaving captainship to his son Joe Marciano, which he used for seasons 8 and 9. From season 10 onwards Dave took back the helm of Hard Merchandise from his son.
Marciano has also appeared on “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks”, a spin-off that features some of the original cast members as well as new ones fishing for bluefin tuna in the waters of North Carolina. The show premiered in 2014 and has been running for eight seasons. Marciano is one of the few captains who has participated in both shows, and he often competes with his rivals from Gloucester and North Carolina.
Dave owns two fishing vessels Hard Merchandise and Falcon. He also runs Angelica Fisheries Inc, a company based in Beverley, MA. In addition to commercial fishing, Dave provides chartered fishing trips off the coast of Massachusetts. Dave’s significant earning comes from television appearances however the exact sum is not revealed. Considering the popularity of Wicked Tuna Dave makes somewhere between $7,000 to $20,000 per episode. He also invests a significant sum of money in his crew and the boat operation which is estimated to be around $70,000 yearly. As of 2023, Dave Marciano has an estimated net worth of $3 Million.
Wife and Children
Dave is married to his longtime wife, Nancy Marciano. The couple took their wedding vows in 1990 and have since been together. Nancy shares a similar passion for fishing. She used to fish with her father and elder brother during her early years and now being married to one of the finest fishermen, she joins him in the action from time to time. Nancy is not any ordinary fisherman as she holds a record for catching a striper in Massachusetts.
In 33 years of marriage, Dave and Nancy have given birth to three children: Angelica Elizabeth Marciano, Joseph aka Joe Marciano, and Eva Rose Marciano. The eldest two Angelica and Joseph are into fishing, and help their father in the family business. Angelica works as a deckhand on her father’s ship meanwhile, Joseph has been captain of Hard Merchandise.
Trouble with Law and Arrest
Marciano was arrested on January 20, 2015, for pulling the ponytail of a hotel clerk in Morehead City, where he was filming for the show. He was charged with assault on a female and released on a written promise to appear in court.
Date of birth
December 5, 1965
57 years old
Place of birth
Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
Fisherman, reality TV star
5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
176 lbs (80 kg)
Angelica Marciano, Joseph Marciano, Eva Rose Marciano