Dave Carraro | Outdoor Channel
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Dave Carraro

Dave Carraro

Owner and Captain – Tuna.com

Carraro, a northern New Jersey native who grew up fishing in the waters near home, but moved to Gloucester 12 years ago when the bluefin population around New Jersey began to wane. In addition to being a captain and boat owner, he’s is a professional airline pilot who’s worked for several airlines, most recently JetBlue. But to him, flying is a job – a means of subsidizing his true passion in life. “I would have not become a pilot if I couldn’t fish,” he explains. “Fishing is my priority. If I had to choose between the two, I would quit flying rather than quit fishing.” Fortunately, the two careers are an excellent fit with one another. Carraro has developed a rhythm of flying 10 to 12 days a month in the fishing off-season, a fairly heavy schedule, and banks his vacation days so that he can have a block of time in the summer and fall to devote to catching bluefin. To Carraro, the most challenging part of being a fisherman is sleep deprivation. “We just don’t sleep,” he says. “We’re out there for three, four days at a time, and we’re awake for most of that. It seems like even when you get a chance to lie down for a nap, that’s when you hook up. Or when the weather’s rough and you have to shut down the operation, you still don’t get to sleep, because you get tossed around in the bunk.” Learning to be able to function at a high level even when exhausted, he says, is what differentiates the professional fisherman from the amateur. “You get your second wind, and you feel like Superman,” he says. “You know that when you come in, you’re going to get a chance to sleep. But sometimes, when you do hit the bunk, you’re so excited that you don’t want to.”

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