The "Seaworm" and Maui JIm
“I find it virtually impossible to go fishing or be on a boat without sunglasses. It’s like going ice skating without ice skates.”
That statement was made by Fred Lavitman, better known as “Seaworm.” He’s a lifelong fisherman, part-time commercial fisherman and charter boat captain and well known to fans as one of the popular cast members of “Trev Gowdy’s Monster Fish” on the Outdoor Channel.
Fishing has always been in his blood. And to be successful at it, he told us, sunglasses are a necessity. His preference? Maui Jim (find our line here), the leader when it comes to eyewear for outdoorsmen like Lavitman, who spends many of his summer days out on the open water.
Lavitman has two pairs of Maui Jims, one with a darker lens that he uses “pretty much every day” and then a lighter gray lens that he uses on cloudy days. “Out on the water, you’ve got the sun glaring off the water so it intensifies the brightness,” he said. “Sunglasses are a must. It not only lessens the strain on the eyes, but it makes the day more comfortable.”
And for fishermen, it’s a requirement as it enables them “to cut the glare down on the water substantially to see the fish in the water,” he said. “When you have non-polarized sunglasses, it’s impossible to see them, even on an overcast day where there’s fog or it’s just cloudy, but bright enough to be squinting… Without sunglasses, there’s no possibility to function. You will not perform.”
History of Fishing
This comes from one who has spent the majority of his life fishing. The Framingham native started out as a child fishing freshwater ponds in Massachusetts with his father. Initially, he said, it was something they “did every once in the while, but it grabbed a hold of me and I kind of got addicted. I’ve been just doing it more and more. It’s a huge part of my life.”
As he got older, he said, he moved from freshwater to saltwater. About eight years ago, he became a charter boat captain and a commercial fisherman where he focused on tuna of all kinds, from yellowfin to bluefin. Still, it’s less of a job and more of a passion.
“I like the challenge,” he said. “It’s the unknown. When I was a kid, as soon as I realized there was this unknown opportunity of things you can catch in the ocean, especially offshore, that’s really where my love for fishing blew up.”
Through his network of friends, he landed a role on “Monster Fish,” spending roughly 10 weeks a year traveling the globe on shoots for the show. The show has taken him to Canada, Fiji and Thailand.
Two years ago, he went to Scotland where he became the second person in the world to catch a tuna in waters off the Hebrides. “I was the first American to do it on rods and reels,” he said. “Tuna fish aren’t known to be in Scotland at all.”
He expressed gratitude for having these types of opportunities. “It is absolutely amazing,” he said. “I do it for no reason other than the experience. It is not something I do for pay though I do get paid to do it. I really do it for the experience and the travel and going to places in the world I would never go to on my own accord.”
Like anything in life, fishing has shifted, in terms of its priority, for Lavitman. He now has a wife and kids and owns a roofing company that takes up much of his time. So whereas he once spent three to four days a week on the water, these days it is more like one to two.
But that has not lessened his love of the sport. “I think if you love fishing, it is one of those things that’s in your blood until you’re an old man and your body can’t tolerate it anymore,” he told us.