The most important element of a successful fishing trip is an experienced captain. Lee "Tuna" Stevens is a third generation fisherman and has been involved in the Gulf of Maine fishery his entire life. At 23, he bought his first boat and began a charter fishing business out of his hometown, Newburyport, Massachusetts. Over his lifetime, Lee has owned and operated three charter fishing boats: Ardyce (40'), Optimist (65'), and currently, Ruby Jean (35'). While Lee has run charter boats throughout his career, the majority of his experience comes as a commercial fisherman.
During his 30 years as a commercial fisherman, Lee worked offshore as far north as Mount Desert Island, Maine and as far south as Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's outer banks. He owned and captained three vessels out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Caroline Murray (42', gillnetter), My Three Sons (42', gillnetter/longline) and Lyn Allison (38', lobster/tuna).
In addition to his work on the water, Lee's reputation allowed him to take on leadership roles within the fishing community. As the president of the Merrimack Valley Fisherman’s Corporation for seven years and the elected New Hampshire representative to the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) for three years, Lee advocated for reasonable policies that both allowed New England fisherman to maintain their livelihoods and helped in rebuilding fishing stocks.