Bill Monte | Outdoor Channel
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Bill Monte

Bill Monte

Owner and Captain – The Bounty Hunter

“I started fishing in 1978,” Monte recalls. “My father did fish, but it was just recreational. What got me into giant tuna fishing was seeing one for the first time. I saw one hanging one day in Gloucester and I didn’t know what it was. I thought, ‘That’s awesome!’ I got to get one of those. Once you catch the first one, you’re screwed.” For years, Monte worked as a diesel mechanic during the off-season, and fished when he could. “Finally, when I got close to retirement, I decided it was time to have some fun,” he explains. Three years ago, he took the plunge and became owner and captain of his own fishing vessel, the Bounty Hunter, a 35-foot craft built in 2003. He says that the best part of being a part-time professional fisherman is the freedom. “If I don’t want to go out, I stay home,” he explains. “Or I’ll go work on fixing a boat. Whatever I want to do, I do it. I’m the captain of my fate.” But Monte also loves the challenge of hooking bluefin, whom he describes as a tenacious, wily adversary that adjusts to fishermen’s tactics. “The hardest part of the job: “The long hours. You get very tired. It’s mentally grueling, especially when the weather is rough. It wears you down. We’re not fishing in big boats, so you get your ass kicked some days. We’ve had to go down to shy [lightweight] gear. When you’re out there and there are waves and the boat is bouncing around, it’s a whole lot harder to hook a fish. But that’s just something you have to deal with.” Monte, who works part-time as an electrician and still fixes diesel motors to make ends meet, says that he’s happy with his situation. “We’ve had a good life,” he says. “We’ve got some money saved up, and we’re okay.”

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