For some reason, rumors claiming “Wicked Tuna’s” Paul died have been circulating. These rumors are about Paul Hebert, one of the most controversial cast members of the “Wicked Tuna” show.
For those who don’t know, the “Wicked Tuna” show is a competitive reality TV show focused on commercial fishermen based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. They hunt for the highly sought-after Atlantic bluefin tuna in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The teams of fishermen go up against each other to see who can make the most profit out of catching the fish despite the challenging conditions. Paul Hebert is one of these fishermen and is the captain of the shipping vessel known as Wicked Pissah.
Paul competes alongside his brother Bruce who is his first mate. He has been a regular on the show since 2012 and has won many accolades. So did he pass away? Or is the rumor that “Wicked Tuna’s” Paul died nothing but speculation?
Did “Wicked Tuna’s” Paul Die?
No, “Wicked Tuna’s” Paul did not die. He has been active over the past few years, and according to his Twitter page, he is very much alive.
Paul’s Twitter page is active, he retweets posts about the “Wicked Tuna” show.
Everything We Know About Paul Hebert
Paul Hebert first appeared on the show in 2012 but not as the captain of a vessel. He was only a crew member in the show’s first and second seasons, but that changed in the third season.
He became the captain of the vessel called Miss Sambvca in season 3. Then later transferred to Kelly Ann before settling for the Wicked Pissah, which he still captains.
Ships are essential to these sailors, and they can spend thousands of dollars on getting a boat ready for the rigors of tuna fishing. The Wicked Pissah was built by H&H Marine in Steuben, Maine, and Paul only says excellent things about the ship.
He once said with pride:
“I have never been on a more solid hull in my life. And I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old. I’m telling you, my boat when it goes through waves, 6-footers, it doesn’t even know it’s in 6-footers. It’s the most comfortable tuna weapon — it’s an animal.”
Anyone who sees the ship would be inclined to believe him. The Wicked Pissah’s 40-foot hull, based on Osmond Beal’s old wooden boat design with a solid skeg, has a 14-foot and 10-inch beam and draws 4 feet 2 inches.
Paul Hebert’s synergy with the ship eventually won him 2nd place in the 5th and 6th seasons, with earnings of $104,000 and $59,000, respectively. He bagged 1st position for the first time in the 10th season.
Wicked Tuna’s Paul Charged With Fraud
Paul is a big winner on the show, but he is also a controversial figure. In 2016, he was sentenced by a federal court in Vermont to four years of probation. He also had to pay a fine of $5,000 and $53,560 in restitution for Social Security and Medicaid fraud.
Paul pleaded guilty to two of the original four counts of benefit fraud as part of a plea deal. He had pretended to be disabled and poor to collect Medicaid benefits while he starred as a captain on “Wicked Tuna.”
This happened between 2010 and 2012. According to reports, Paul could have ended up doing up to five years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000 on each count he pleaded guilty for.
Is Paul Herbert Still on “Wicked Tuna?”
The latest “Wicked Tuna” season started airing on February 26, 2023, and Paul is still on it.
Captain Dave Carraro has won four times and is on the lookout for his fifth win, while Captain Tyler McLoughlin turned up with an all-new boat. A new face was also introduced on the show.
Her name is Captain Michelle Bancewincz, and she joined the fleet along with Lea Pinaud. She drew attention to herself last year after footage of her catching a 600 lb bluefin tuna went viral.
She is expected to shake up the competition by the end of the season. However, will she be any match for Paul Hebert’s winning ship? The answer is anyone’s guess.