The Discovery Channel is featuring former Patchogue resident Archie Jost on "Swords: Life on the Line," a reality show which chronicles fishermen in their dangerous two-month pursuit of swordfish and tuna. Jost was recently joined by family and friends to watch the premiere of the second season at the On The Waterfront restaurant.
"It was a lot of fun to see my friend on TV. He lives in Florida now, but we'll always know him as Patchogue," Nick Fucillo said at the premiere.
In the latest season, Jost and the rest of the Bjorn II crew leave from Barnegat Light, New Jersey and arrive in the Grand Banks - located about 250 miles south of Newfoundland - nine days later. The job is 18 hours a day and seven days a week for eight weeks straight.
Jost began his commercial fishing career in 1982 and now considers himself to be retired. However, he joined the Bjorn II crew when asked by Captain Linda Greenlaw.
"Linda is a good friend. I've known her for years when we fished alongside each other," Jost said.
Fishermen could make as little as $5,000 and as much as $50,000 in a season, though the market price of swordfish and tuna has gone down in recent years, Jost said.
"Swordfish and tuna aren't worth what they used to be," he said. "American fish aren't as valuable as in the past."
Over the years, Jost's prized catches have included a 1,058-pound tuna, a 748-pound swordfish and a 1,200-pound mako shark with a 105-pound swordfish in its stomach.
Jost's years of fishing experience have proved fruitful for his family. According to his wife, Marge, it was not until later in life that her children knew tuna could come from a can. "I've never gone to buy fish in a market. He's always caught it," she said.
Family and friends cheered each time Jost was featured during the one-hour premiere. Most in the audience had been following the show since its first season.
"It's a great show when you see these tremendous fish they bring onto the boat," said Bob Halverson.
Nine more episodes are slated to air on the Discovery Channel on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.