In 2011, when I met Capt. Ralph Wilkins and his first mate, Kit “The Pirate” Vallee, I did not imagine I was in the presence of future reality TV stars. But there they were, a year later, on the National Geographic Channel’s series Wicked Tuna: The Reel Fishermen of New England, as was their 32-foot, fiberglass-hull BHM Downeast, Odysea, which was custom-built for Wilkins in 1988 in Brockton, Me. Wilkins, who owns the Cape Truro Cottages in North Truro, is a bluefin hunter. That’s one reason he moved to New England from New York, he told me. He landed a 980-pound tuna in 2009 and a 1,040-pound tuna in 2010. The other captains in the show were billed as “Wicked Tough,” “Wicked Fun,” and “Wicked Sneaky.” But Wilkins was “Wicked Fearless.”
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