Since its premiere in 2012, “Wicked Tuna” has been a good source of entertainment, and information about the commercial fishing industry of bluefin tuna. Based in the North Atlantic Ocean, every crew not only fights to pay their bills every season, but also to harvest more fish than others in order to win the show’s top spot.
However, if there’s a “Wicked Tuna” boat which always gives the audience something to talk about besides fishes and quotas, then that’s the Wicked Pissah, whose crew are either loved or hated for their on-screen antics.
Regardless of the mixed feelings from the audience, that doesn’t stop them from worrying about the Wicked Pissah’s first mate Rick Schrafft and his more noticeable absence from the show in recent seasons.
So why did he leave the show, and where is Rick today? Keep with us to know the whereabouts of this memorable star of “Wicked Tuna”!
Where Is Rick Now?
Though there are lots of boat crews featured in “Wicked Tuna”, every one of them has gained the audience’s hearts in their own right. That’s why when one cast member is missing from the show, we can’t help but grow curious about what happened to them, such as the case of the former Wicked Pissah’s first mate Rick Schrafft, who unfortunately was nowhere to be seen when “Wicked Tuna”s 11th season premiered in early 2022.
Unfortunately, there’s no clue as to what made him leave the show and the boat altogether, as Rick’s long-lasting absence from social media and the lack of information coming from his former Captain Paul Hebert aren’t of any help. That being said, the only clue about Rick’s exit from the show came from his friend Noah Lavallee, who in August 2022 ran into a TV crew apparently related to “Wicked Tuna” while hanging out with Rick: ‘they were all pretty clearly happy to see him and him (with) them, so doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the show itself’, he explained to a curious Facebook commentator under a pic featuring Rick.
All in all, it seems that Rick is still involved with fishing, but it will most-likely take a while until we know what exactly prompted him to leave the show.
Where Is He Working Now?
Although Rick Schrafft is known for joining “Wicked Tuna” in 2016 as Paul Hebert’s first mate on board the Wicked Pissah, in truth he actually appeared in the show long before that. Rick’s debut in “Wicked Tuna” dates back to 2012, when his expertise as a distributor of bluefin tuna made him the most apt in the room to explain what characteristics made these fishes good catches, and the industry a very lucrative one.
Years later, Rick debuted on TV and became known not only for his antics as the Wicked Pissah’s first mate and his usual disagreements with Captain Hebert, but also for his more-than-evident expertise in the field. Nonetheless, Rick’s involvement with the bluefin tuna industry wasn’t limited to his TV job, as he apparently continued working as a distributor for a Gloucester-based company named Compass Seafood, according to a 2017’s report by The Gloucester Daily Times.
— Wicked Tuna (@WickedTuna) March 8, 2020
Even though Rick doesn’t show his employment information on his rarely-updated social media accounts, to date he’s still listed on the American Bluefin Tuna Association website as a local and international dealer for the aforementioned company. That’s as much as we can sort out about his current professional situation, but it’s enough to make us think Rick is most-likely not in financial difficulties, following his exit from “Wicked Tuna”.
Where Is The Wicked Pissah Now?
Given that the Wicked Pissah had extremely good results during the 10th season of “Wicked Tuna”, and even took the winning spot back then, it’s not a wonder that the boat’s continuity in the show was ensured for a couple of more years.
That being said, the absence of now-former first mate Rick Scharafft wasn’t the only new thing the crew had to adapt to in the following season. The most notable change was the acquisition of a new 40-foot boat by Captain Paul Hebert: ‘I have never been on a more solid hull in my life,’ he praised the ship, designed by Osmond Beal, in an interview with National Fisherman.
However, getting a new boat was a financial struggle for Captain Paul, whose fishing results in the 11th season weren’t nearly as good compared to the previous year. As well, Rick’s leaving and the incorporation of deckhand Lance Sistare brought up the topic of Paul’s muddy relationship with his subordinates, which in the eyes of other boats’ crews was definitely concerning: ‘You cannot treat your mates like that. But only having one bluefin so far can’t be helping things’, as the Fat Tuna’s Captain Bob Cook told the show’s cameras.
Whether the Wicked Pissah will get it together or not after losing so many crew members it’s still something to be seen.
Who Else Has Left The Show?
Rick Schrafft’s departure from “Wicked Tuna” is quite sad, but he’s certainly not the only cast member who’s exited the show at some point. Here are all the boats who have appeared in “Wicked Tuna” but left for good:
Besides being one of the original boats in the show, the Bounty Hunter was known for being the only crew whose members were married. Although both Bill and Donna Monte were vastly experienced in fishing long before appearing in “Wicked Tuna”, the fame they gained through TV gave the green light to start a brand of fishing gear and other merchandise on brand with their boat.
However, despite their growing popularity, the couple left the show back in the fourth season, and it’s unclear what they’re doing nowadays. Although the Bounty Hunter’s website is still online, the site hasn’t been updated in several years, and the same goes for Captain Bill’s social media. All of this hints that they might not own the ship anymore, but we can only hope the couple are doing well nowadays.
The Odysea was one of the original boats in the show, which left in early seasons, but unlike the Bounty Hunter, the Odysea actually had good reasons to go away for good. As many long-time “Wicked Tuna” viewers might remember, Odysea’s Captain Ralph Wilkins was on good terms with almost everyone in the series until the third season, when a disagreement with PinWheel’s Captain Tyler McLaughlin resulted in a physical altercation between them.
Although both Captains walked away before things got too serious, the incident is remembered as one of the most tension-filled moments in the show’s history. Wilkins and his boat abandoned “Wicked Tuna” after the third season wrapped up, and even though they came back five seasons later, the Odysea didn’t have time to gain back the hearts of the audience before exiting the show again.
Even though the fishing vessel Christina wasn’t in the show for long, it certainly remains in the memory of many loyal viewers. Captain Kevin Leonowert was known by “Wicked Tuna”s audience for his practical approach when it came to catching bluefin tuna, and his regular feud with googans, the fishing rookies who more often than not got in his way when fishing on the weekends.
Nonetheless, the most memorable time Kevin and his crew made headlines was back in 2012, when they rescued Pat Bulger, a pilot whose plane had crashed in open sea, several miles away from Gloucester. The Christina’s crew not only located the exact position of the wreck, but also offered Bulger a safe place to stay until the Coast Guard arrived.
While the boat Christina only lasted one more season in the show after that incident, the boat is warmly remembered for that brave action.
Captained by Bill Muniz, the fishing vessel Lily is certainly remembered for good reasons, despite being in the show for barely two seasons. During his time in the show, many didn’t favor Muniz’ tactic of spotting bluefin tunas with the help of a ‘plane and found his use of harpoons quite outdated. However, despite his eyebrow-raising techniques, Muniz was also a conscientious fisherman who was deeply concerned about the risks to fishing in north-eastern waters, reportedly even collaborating with local scientists in environmental research.
Although Bill left “Wicked Tuna” in 2016, his social media let us see that he’s still deeply involved with the industry, and makes good use of his boat.
Although the Kristiana vessel debuted in “Wicked Tuna” in the fourth season, by then the boat’s Captain Greg Chorebanian was already well known by the show’s audience. Once part of the crew of the Christina, Chorebanian was of big help during the rescue of the pilot Pat Bulger along with his then-Captain Kevin Leonowert.
Following the exit of the Christina in the second season, Greg worked briefly as first mate of the Bounty Hunter before joining the show with his own boat, the Kristiana. The last time we saw him in the show was in 2016, but Greg left the audience with very good memories of him.
Erin & Sarah
Back in the fifth season, “Wicked Tuna” viewers had the great chance of seeing how a father-daughter team works on the sea. On board the Erin & Sarah, Captain Pete Speeches and his then-23-year-old daughter Erin were the first fishers from Maine featured in the show.
It’s unknown why the Erin & Sarah were included in only one season, but the family’s love for fishery goes well beyond the spotlight of TV. Nowadays, Pete successfully Captains the boat Backstabber, with which he has won Maine’s Annual Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza three times already, making it clear that despite not being on TV anymore, the family’s business is surely thriving.
Before debuting as the Fish Hawk’s Captain, Brad Krasowski was already known for being Paul Hebert’s first mate on board the Wicked Pissah during season five. Despite there being no bad blood between him and Paul, the next season Brad took the chance to buy his own boat, and roam the Northeastern waters in the search of bluefin tuna.
Despite being new to the game, Brad’s Fish Hawk was close to becoming the seventh season’s winner, defeated by Pinwheel by the difference of only one bluefin tuna.
Fish Hawk left the show after wrapping up the eight season and Brad’s current whereabouts are unfortunately unknown. However, if you want to follow another Krasowski family member, Brad’s father Spurge is nowadays an active Captain in “Wicked Tuna” with his boat Moonshine.
Although the Whistler wasn’t in “Wicked Tuna” for longer than one season, the boat keeps thriving even when TV cameras aren’t around. Captained by Kevin Granfield, the Whistler is nowadays doing good business by providing guided tours in the Northeastern waters. Also in 2022, the boat hit headlines when its crew caught an impressive 95 inches-long bluefin tuna, which the Newburyport News reported as a ‘reminder’ of the potential of the local fishery business.
Captained by Sam Law, the Kraken fishing vessel appeared in “Wicked Tuna” for only one season before disappearing again from TV screens. However, the lucrative business Captain Law created later allowed him to expand his crew and gain a considerable following online.
Nowadays the Kraken is no longer known as one ship but as Kraken Tuna Charters, offering services of touristic fishing programs which could last as long as 44 hours. These plans provide customers with the experience of fishing bluefin tuna on open waters, with the help of Law’s expert crew.
While there are apparently no plans of returning to “Wicked Tuna”, the Kraken is doing more than well on its own.
Captained by Charles Boivin and Zack Plante, the Wasabi was a welcome surprise for the audience during their ninth season debut, but a headache for their fellow “Wicked Tuna” stars. The experience gap between Plante and Boivin compared to other fishers in the show was quite evident on the pair’s debut, but the newcomers’ confidence in their abilities was outstanding as well: ‘These veterans who’ve been on the show for a while think they’re much better fishermen than everyone else’, said Boivin to Press Herald in 2020.
While this attitude might have ticked their co-stars in the wrong way, Co-captains Charles and Zack did a good job at demonstrating their abilities that season. Nowadays, it’s unknown if Zack is still working with the Wasabi, but Charles is apparently still in charge of the boat, with other crew members, often participating in showrooms and festivals in his local Maine.
All in all, almost every former “Wicked Tuna” star has made a good name for themselves after leaving the show, which somehow increases the possibilities of seeing Rick Schrafft again on TV. Either way, we can only wish him the best, whether or not he returns to the show.