List of Deadliest Catch episodes

List of Deadliest Catch episodes

This is a list of Deadliest Catch episodes with original airdate on Discovery Channel. Airdates on Discovery Channel Canada generally differ.



Series # Season # Title Original airdate
0 0 "Deadliest Catch: Cast Off" 2004
A summary look of lives as Alaskan crab fisherman. Ships featured in this episode include Northwestern, Erla-N, Sea Star, Arctic Dawn, and the Saga

Season 1

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
1 1 "Greenhorns" April 12, 2005 (2005-04-12)
Introductions to the crews of the ships and the backgrounds for the greenhorns who would be working for the first time on some of the ships, as well as some boats' traditions for dealing with greenhorns—Sig Hansen, captain of the Northwestern, refuses to greet or acknowledge greenhorns until after he sees how they work out on board. The ships departed to sea for the king crab season. 
2 2 "Long Sleepless Nights" April 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)
The crews of the ships set all of their crab pots and waited to retrieve them up. The greenhorns started to feel fatigued after only one night. The Northwestern greenhorn, Bradford, was unnerved by the sight of his first king crab—"they look like aliens," he observed—but was corrected by deck boss Edgar Hansen: "They're gorgeous! Look just like giant dollar bills!" Some ships started catching lots of crabs immediately—the Northwestern had two "riders" on pots kept in underwater storage to add to their tanks before even pulling their first official pots—while others experienced problem after problem with both equipment and finding the crab. 
3 3 "Lady Luck" April 26, 2005 (2005-04-26)
The crews continued to set their crab pots with mixed results—highliner boats like the Fierce Allegiance and Northwestern were pulling lower numbers than expected; the Western Viking finally found the crab after an extremely bad first string. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the end of the season after only 2 days and the captains started to worry they would not catch enough crab to be profitable. 
4 4 "Beat the Clock" May 3, 2005 (2005-05-03)
The fleet is forced to make difficult decisions about whether to continue last-minute pot placements or pull in all of their gear and cut their losses on the short season rather than violate the law. The Hansen brothers on board the Northwestern decide not to launch any more pots and instead go after a string of pots in the northern king crab waters that Sig dubs "Long Tall Sally"; the decision is rewarded when the pots come in huge, enabling the Northwestern to win the final King Crab Derby title. The crews rush to finish pulling in the last of the crab pots for the season and head back to Dutch Harbor to get in line for the crab processor. The greenhorns make decisions about whether to continue with their new careers or to go on with their lives. After a very successful offload at the Northwestern traditional offload port, Akutan, Bradford, the Northwestern greenhorn, is awarded 10% of a deckhand's share for his hard work and good attitude—about $1600—and finally gets a greeting and handshake from Captain Sig Hansen. 
5 5 "Dead of Winter" May 10, 2005 (2005-05-10)
The ships left Dutch Harbor for the deadlier opilio crab season, the last one to be held under the derby-style rules. The weather was treacherous, with heavy gale warnings and high seas predicted. The Lady Alaska had to return to port due to electrical problems, costing them a day of the already short season. The Northwestern headed out to the far northern Opilio fishing grounds, near the Russian border. As the rest of the boats neared the fishing grounds, a Coast Guard alert was issued to the fleet: An EPIRB, belonging to the F/V Big Valley, had been activated, and no one on the Big Valley was answering radio hails or satellite phone calls. Three fishing vessels, including Maverick and Cornelia Marie, started the search, joined just before dawn by a Coast Guard helicopter, but found nothing at the position indicated by the EPIRB. As dawn broke, debris from the Big Valley was all that could be seen, making it clear that the boat sunk. A single life raft from the Big Valley was found with one survivor, deck boss Cache Seel, in it. Seel, who had managed to get into his survival suit before getting tossed into the sea, confirmed that the Big Valley capsized and went down quickly; three men died shortly after falling into the sea with no survival suits on. The Coast Guard found another man wearing a survival suit and pulled him from the water, but declared him dead shortly thereafter. 
6 6 "Man Overboard" May 17, 2005 (2005-05-17)
The last man was found from the Big Valley disaster, raising the death toll to five, with Cache Seel as the only survivor. The boats of the fleet were finally able to begin casting pots after a day of delays. However, shortly after getting started, a man fell overboard on the Sultan. The ship was unable to rescue him, bringing the death toll to six before the first 24 hours had passed. Captain Jeff Weeks of the Billikin realizes that the dead crewman from the Sultan is a friend of one of his own crewmen, who earlier expressed hope that his friend was not the one who died. Sig decides to let his crewman know once the season is over; the man does not need the distraction to put himself in danger out on the deck. 
7 7 "High Hopes" May 24, 2005 (2005-05-24)
The Bering Sea claimed the lives of six fishermen less than a day into the opilio crab season. Crab pots had been soaking for 12 hours, despite the loss of human life the crews began to pull pots. Hopes were high as the weather changes again, for the better. Fishing was easier for the first time this season. 
8 8 "Good Fishing" May 31, 2005 (2005-05-31)
With calm seas and unusually warm weather, three days of record catches for the fleet had crew seeing dollar signs. One boat had a huge problem that left them vulnerable in the Bering Sea; they scrambled to return to fishing. Day four of the opilio season got underway, with high numbers still coming in, rumors flew of early closure. Captains were speculating when the quota will be met and the season closed. 
9 9 "The Clock's Ticking" June 7, 2005 (2005-06-07)
Opilio crab season was eighty-four hours old, and the hunt for "Alaskan Gold" intensified as rumors flew about the season closure. This rumor pushed the crews harder, so boats were wondering where to put the extra crab. Other boats were just now hitting the sweet spot, and trying to make up for lost time. As the announcement of the end of the season arrives, giving boats just 36 more hours to work the fishing grounds, fatigued crews are pushed to work as hard as they can in the remaining time. Alaska crab fishing is normally done in a derby-style competition, where crews catch as much crab as they can during the season; the 2005 Opilio season would be the last year fishing like this, and the resulting IFQ (Individual Fishing Quota) system will put many smaller boats (like the Lady Alaska) out of business. All the captains express a great desire to make this last run the best; the Maverick hustles to fill their tanks a second time in the short season, while the Northwestern builds a "deck load", a holding pen to store the crab from their last pots on deck with water passing over them in hopes that they will survive long enough to reach the processors. 
10 10 "The Final Run" June 14, 2005 (2005-06-14)
This opilio season had been a deadly one, with the deaths of the Big Valley crew and a crewman from the Sultan who fell overboard just hours later. Boats were reaching their holding tank capacities and crews were reaching their mental and physical limits, but the fleet kept going in an effort to catch the year’s wages in the remaining 24 hours. As the last few hours ticked down, the second leg of the race began, the race to the processing plants. Off-loading is done on a first-come-first-serve basis, making decisions of when to return to port critical to the success of a season. Sig Hansen of the Northwestern, knowing his deck load will not last long in the weather, gathers the last of his pots and sets course for the processors. Though the trip to the processor should be the safest part of the trip, Hansen relates the story of the St. Patrick, whose crew abandoned ship in December 1981 just a few miles from Kodiak as their boat took on water; only two crew members survived, a loss made even more tragic by the knowledge that the St. Patrick had managed to right itself after the crew abandoned ship and did not sink until several days after it had been successfully towed into port. As luck would have it, the Northwestern becomes one of the first boats to arrive at the processors, and their deck load weathered the journey well; however, the crew takes great pleasure in riding a fellow crewman's poor observation skills when his tally of the crab poundage fails to match up with the official total by over 20,000 pounds. Since crab will not last forever on a boat's hold, a crab boat's place in line to get to the processor is crucial; access to the processor is limited, and the wait could be hours or even days. Days would cost thousands in dead crab; when crab die in a boat's hold, their deceased bodies release poisons into the hold that affect all the crab, often resulting in a chain reaction of deaths creating massive amounts of "deadloss", or dead crabs that cannot be processed. The Maverick lost a portion of their load to deadloss when their wait in line for the processor turned into an extra week at sea, but the rest of their load held up well and the boat turned a nice profit, becoming one of the few vessels to have filled their holding tanks twice within the short Opilio season. The Northwestern won the 2005 Derby with the highest overall catch total in both halves of the Alaskan crab season (King and Opilio). Captains who would not return for the new IFQ-style fishing bid their crews goodbye as they return to port; other captains who would be going on under IFQ acknowledged that crab fishing, as they knew it, will change forever with the end of the Derby era. 
"Best of Season 1" March 26, 2006 (2006-03-26)
Recap of the first season. 

Season 2

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
11 1 "Heading Out to Sea" March 28, 2006 (2006-03-28)
The crew returned to their boats in October 2005 for the start of the first King Crab season run under Individual Fishing Quota ("IFQ") rules. The fleet had been cut by over half due to new regulations and quotas; however, the season had also been lengthened to three weeks in an effort to make crab fishing safer by not forcing boats to fish during a small window of time that might be compromised by poor conditions on the Bering Sea. The returning captains toasted each other in the traditional pre-season dinner at the UniSea bar, with Phil Harris, captain of the Cornelia Marie and 20+ year rival of the Hansens on the Bering Sea, noting that he missed "being able to beat (Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen's) ass" under the new IFQ system, to which Sig Hansen responded that he glad he was "the ass to beat." The 2005 King Crab season was due to start on October 14, 2005; however, many boats decided not to leave port due to two reasons: Predicted severe weather over the fishing grounds, and superstition for "Unlucky Friday". The Time Bandit defied the superstition and left anyway, but its first few pots were nearly empty. The fishing picked up for the Time Bandit eventually. The Cornelia Marie had just started setting their pots when their main engine blew a head gasket. Mindful of the bad weather to come, Captain Phil Harris ordered his crew to offload the pots as fast as possible so that they could return to Dutch Harbor with an empty deck. Stuck at Dutch Harbor was the Maverick, which had failed its Coast Guard safety inspection; because the sinking of the Big Valley in January 2005 had been attributed at least in part to carrying a pot load 30% over its declared pot weight, all the boats got extra scrutiny about their pot loads, and the Maverick was carrying 30 more pots than was considered safe under the USCG rules. Maverick deck boss Blake Painter had been promised a promotion to Captain at the mid-point of the king crab season; getting the boat cleared by the Coast Guard was the first test current Captain Rick Quashnick gave to Blake to measure his readiness to take command. The new IFQ system gave each boat a quota of crabs to catch (often larger than the boats' previous take due to the decimation of the fleet) and a longer time window to catch them; thus, out at sea, as the weather worsened with warnings of severe storms approaching, captains had to make decisions about whether to continue fishing through the storm (as would be the case under the derby system) or find a safe port until the weather clears. 
12 2 "Batten Down the Hatches" April 4, 2006 (2006-04-04)
As a pair of storm systems began converging on the fishing grounds, several boats faced major mechanical issues made even more dangerous by the bad weather. The Rollo had a number of problems common to older fishing boats: Leaking hydraulic lines on the crane; broken hoses on the coiling block; two old ropes giving way on two separate pots, causing both the loss of the pots and the crabs therein; and a broken steering computer. The Cornelia Marie limped back to Dutch Harbor with a blown head gasket that turned out to be worse than expected; parts had to be ordered from the Alaskan mainland, costing the crew time and money. The Maverick finally passed its Coast Guard inspection but stayed at Dutch Harbor due to weather conditions. Crew members on the Maverick voiced their discontent with Blake's verbal excitement about taking on the job of Captain at mid-season, and even Captain Rick Quashnick appeared skeptical. As the weather changed, the Maverick finally left Dutch Harbor to join the rest of the fleet, while the Northwestern, after heavy discussions between the Hansen brothers, decided to seek refuge from the converging storms behind Amak Island
13 3 "On the Crab" April 11, 2006 (2006-04-11)
The crews made headway in bringing crab on-board and fought even more rough weather. The Maverick dealt with two crew issues: Blake's continued trumpeting his coming rise to the captain's chair that had been verbally promised to him by Captain Quashnick during the offseason; and angry veteran crewmember Hiram, who was frustrated that the Maverick was employing a greenhorn (who was excited about seeing full pots coming aboard) while many of his own friends, crab veterans with far more experience, had been put out of work by the IFQ system. Boat Mother Donna Quashnick counseled the Maverick crew to give Hiram time to vent, and the next morning the squabble seemed forgotten as the crew returned to work. The Cornelia Marie, fresh off extensive engine repairs at Dutch Harbor, had just reached the fishing grounds and begun retrieving their pots that had been left soaking for days when the same engine threw a piston, creating even more destructive engine damage and forcing Captain Harris to take the boat back to Dutch Harbor again. The Northwestern continued their annual tradition of finding superb fishing grounds away from other boats, pulling in pots with nearly 70 crabs each on average, but when another severe storm approached the fleet, the Hansens weighed the odds of their nearly full tanks surviving the battering of an Arctic squall without serious deadloss and decided to head for the processors and cash out their load before the bad weather hit. The Rollo continued to have serious equipment issues, losing their GPS indicator in the middle of the night during a blizzard. 
14 4 "Finish Line" April 18, 2006 (2006-04-18)
Many of the crews, including the Northwestern and Maverick, headed to St. Paul Island to offload their northern IFQ share catches. The Northwestern catch was smaller than expected, putting Sig Hansen significantly behind on making his overall quota; however, none of the Northwestern crew voiced anything but praise for their captain's fishing instincts. Edgar Hansen, Northwestern Deck Boss and Sig's younger brother, notes that "That man has made me more money than I could wish for, and he's kept us safe while doing it—no fatalities, no major injuries, knock on wood." As the Maverick headed for the processors at St. Paul, deck boss Blake Painter hung up his deck oilskins for what he hoped would be the last time, anticipating taking over as Captain of the Maverick once the Maverick reached St. Paul Island. However, Captain Rick Quashnick began having second thoughts about leaving his ship to a new captain in the middle of a crab season, especially since the crewmember who would be interim deck boss with Blake's promotion vowed to quit rather than work for Blake. Quashnick made the difficult choice to forgo his retirement at least until the end of this King Crab season, angering Blake, who had been chasing a dream "ever since I was four years old...all I wanted to be was the captain of a red crab boat." Seeing Blake's passion for the job of captain and not merely a passion for the extra money such a job would bring impresses Hiram, who finally turns from Blake's harshest critic to one of his strongest defenders; "He'll make his mark on fishing, no doubt about it. To be so young and so mature at the same time...he'll make a fine captain." The Rollo finally catches a break in both the weather and the crab catching and started to make headway on their catching their own IFQ shares for the season when a USCG cruiser hailed the captain and announced they will be boarding for a surprise mid-season inspection. Both captain and crew on the Rollo were very nervous, especially since the 9-man inspection team essentially took over the boat for the next three hours, but finally the USCG pronounced them "in full compliance" and departed. The Northwestern returned to where they'd left pots soaking before their side trip to the processors and found all the pots full; however, their joy was cut short when one of the hydraulic arms on the launcher snapped a connector pin, rendering it useless. Sig's repair—essentially using a sledgehammer to drive in a new pin into the pneumatic cylinder—lasted all of 10 seconds; when Edgar tried to close the launcher, the connector and pin shot out of the launcher like a harpoon. The Hansens decided to risk running the launcher on one hydraulic lift and returned to pulling pots. Aboard the Aleutian Ballad, a greenhorn became so distraught by the extreme conditions of the Bering Sea that he threatened to jump off the boat right then and there and kill himself, forcing Captain Corky Tilley to return to Dutch Harbor with the young man on the edge of a nervous breakdown the entire way. An Unalaska Police Officer escorted the greenhorn personally from the dock to the airport to ensure his departure from Dutch Harbor without further incident. By the time the Aleutian Ballad returned to sea, the storm surge was more brutal than ever, and a rogue wave hit the Aleutian Ballad, knocking it nearly 90 degrees over and trashing the wheelhouse. 
15 5 "Friends and Rivals" April 25, 2006 (2006-04-25)
The Aleutian Ballad, knocked over by a rogue wave, managed to right itself, but with several crew members injured—including Captain Tilley's own daughter, Nicole—as well as its computer not coming back on line and the wheelhouse and deck damaged, Captain Tilley decided to return to port for repairs rather than risk more damage in the storms. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie discussed a change in duty with his ship's greenhorn—Harris' youngest son, Jacob—and declared that Jake may finally be ready to take shifts inside the wheelhouse so that the captain can get some rest, which had been a goal of Jake's all season long. As the fishing continued at full speed aboard the Northwestern, Edgar Hansen decides to celebrate the launch of the last pot string of the season with a traditional Norwegian meal of boiled salt cod, Captain Sig's favorite dish. The Rollo dealt with a coffee crisis—down to less than half a can of grounds left, they still had a long string of pots to pull in before the end of the season, so the remaining coffee was rationed until the final pot was pulled; the crew celebrated the end of their season with the last pot of coffee left. Blake Painter, still upset about being passed over for the captain's job on the Maverick, expressed his hope that he will still get to pilot the Maverick soon, perhaps as early as the upcoming Opilio season. The Cornelia Marie, still needing to catch crab to fill its large quota, moved closer to the same grounds being fished by the Northwestern. When Sig Hansen spotted a Cornelia Marie pot off the bow, he suggested to his crew that they "mess with it" as payback for Phil Harris' pre-season comment that he would miss "beating (Sig's) ass" under the new IFQ rules. The Northwestern crew hauled the pot up—"They've got more crab than we do!" Edgar observed—then hooked fishing gloves and a pair of thong underwear to the bait hook and welded the door shut before returning the pot to the ocean. As night fell over the fishing grounds, the Cornelia Marie retrieved the pot and were mystified by the welded door as well as the "party boy" underwear in the pot; Phil Harris expressed a belief that "my fat little buddy Rick (Quashnick, of the Maverick)" pulled the prank and radioed the Maverick for confirmation. Captain Rick Quashnick denied his involvement; however, Sig listened in on the conversation over the radio and decided to call Harris and see how long it would take before Harris figured out who really pulled the prank. Once Phil figured out the truth from Sig's denials that he would ever pull such a prank—"I would never do such a thing—that would be illegal!" Sig asserted—the two men shared a laugh about the prank, but Harris got the last word by pulling a Northwestern pot and filling it with garbage, then mounting a steel pipe over part of the "shot" (rope length), which would interfere with the Northwestern retrieval block and give them a half-ton dead weight hanging off the side of the boat. As the Northwestern crew pulled their last pots up, they discovered the altered pot; Edgar figured out how to bypass the retrieval block and pull the pot aboard by the pipe around the rope. The Northwestern crew then discovered that all their crab were taken out of the pot and the pot had been refilled with garbage from the Cornelia Marie; Sig salutes his rival and gives the pipe-over-rope trick a "9" on the practical joke scale. The boats returned to Dutch Harbor to offload at the end of the season, one of the first seasons in years with no recorded deaths. 
16 6 "A New Hunt Begins" May 2, 2006 (2006-05-02)
The opilio crab season officially began, but a forecast for wind and heavy icing, which can make the vessels top heavy, forced many captains to wait out the storm in Dutch Harbor. As in king crab season, the Time Bandit threw caution to the wind and left early. The Rollo fished grounds long abandoned, and after a few pots with only tanner crab, which are out of season, they pulled some pots with respectable numbers of crab. The Maverick put to sea without longtime deck boss Blake Painter, who took the season off to deal with the impending death of a relative and other family issues. On the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen ground it out fishing for cod, which had high prices at the time, instead of fishing for crab. 
17 7 "Smoke on the Water" May 9, 2006 (2006-05-09)
The Maverick and the Rollo raced to offload their pots and sought refuge at St. Paul Island before a storm arrived. Concerns about the quickly expanding polar ice pack grew. Aboard the Time Bandit, bad bait made for low crab count; freshly caught bait made for better fishing. The Northwestern continued fishing for cod. The Cornelia Marie left Dutch Harbor to go crab fishing. 
18 8 "Man vs. Ice" May 16, 2006 (2006-05-16)
Long days and freezing temperatures frayed nerves aboard the Maverick and the Rollo. The Time Bandit dealt with ice forming on the ship. The Northwestern continued to fish for cod. 
19 9 "On the Edge" May 23, 2006 (2006-05-23)
The Time Bandit fished along the ice pack. The Maverick was on the crab on a secret sandbar. Bad luck continued on the Cornelia Marie. The Northwestern finally finished cod fishing and prepared to go crab fishing. 
20 10 "Pribilof Stare" May 30, 2006 (2006-05-30)
The Time Bandit pulled large number of crab after dealing with ice build-up along the ice pack. The Aleutian Ballad had 80 pots under the ice pack. Aboard the Maverick, the stiff arm on the block used to haul the pots from the sea broke. The Rollo continued to bring up good pots. The Northwestern brought up its first pots and a crew member is distracted by family illness at home. Aboard the "Cornelia Marie", deckhand, Dave Millman, suffered an ankle injury that required them to return to St. Paul Island. 
21 11 "Race Against the Ice" June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06)
Long hours aboard the Northwestern caused tension between captain and crew; Captain Sig allowed the crew to rest after a series of long strings when Edgar convinced him that the men could not go on any longer, but the next morning when the weather had gotten significantly colder, Sig awoke the men after only three hours of sleep and demanded they get back to work before the ice pack caught up with them. The Northwestern crew was less than pleased with Sig's demanding fishing pace, so as a gesture of good faith, Sig left a coffee can marked "Suggestion Box" in the galley so that the crew could voice their complaints. Aboard the Rollo, the crew fudged the number of crabs caught per pot; under the IFQ system, quotas are divided between southern and northern shares, so when the Rollo arrived at processors near St. Paul Island (where the northern share processors are located) and their center tank was opened, the amount of crab in the tank were considerably over the alloted northern share and Captain Eric Nyhammer was assessed a large fine for going over quota. Eric announced to his crew that he was taking the fines out of the crew pay, since they were the ones who had miscounted the crab. As the Rollo was about to leave St. Paul to return to the southern fishing grounds, they were boarded by the Alaska Department of Commerce police and informed that under the IFQ rules, they could not leave St. Paul until they emptied all of their tanks, including one of the tanks with crab from the southern fishing grounds, which forced Eric to sell the crabs on board for under market prices. The injured crewman on the Cornelia Marie was diagnosed with a severe ankle sprain and the boat is forced to return to the fishing grounds shorthanded with Captain Phil Harris's son, greenhorn Jake, taking up the slack; the lack of a fifth man on board slowed the pace of the deck crew by almost 50%. The Maverick continued to pull full pots while fishing on a sandbar, but as the ice approached, Captain Rick decided to chance leaving the rest of the gear in place and take his northern share up to St. Paul to drop off crab rather than risk losing the crabs that had been in the tank for nearly two weeks. 
22 12 "Cashing In" June 13, 2006 (2006-06-13)
The Time Bandit picked up its last string of pots, with mediocre results. The Maverick lost two pots to the ice pack. The Cornelia Marie gingerly navigated through the edge of the ice pack, driving Phil Harris' blood pressure sky high, but eventually they made it back to open water. On the Rollo, large amounts of crab were brought up. Father and son had a line coiling competition on the Cornelia Marie, and Phil handily beat his son Jake. A crew member was fired from the Maverick. The boats returned to St. Paul and Dutch Harbor to offload, collected their paychecks, and reunited with their families. The Northwestern completed two successful seasons in one—cod and opilio crab—and Sig Hansen opened the "suggestion box" and read the entries with great amusement ("'Skipper takes more than one shower a month'—is that Edgar's writing?"). The Northwestern returned to its home port of Seattle and celebrated a successful season with their happy wives and children. 
"Best of Season 2" March 27, 2007 (2007-03-27)
Recap of the second season. 

Season 3

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
23 1 "A Tragic Beginning" April 3, 2007 (2007-04-03)
The boats prepare for the start of the king crab season. On board the Cornelia Marie, last season's greenhorn, Jake Harris, got a promotion to deckhand; the vessel's new greenhorn is Joshua Harris, Jake's older brother and Phil's eldest son. The new hand on board the Northwestern is Stan Hansen, cousin to the Hansen brothers; meanwhile, the Farwest Leader brings Ragnhild Moncrief, the captain's wife, aboard as their new greenhorn/cook/den mother. The Maverick is now under Blake Painter's control, and his crew is virtually all friends of his who are King-crab greenhorns, with only one experienced deck hand acting as Deck Boss. The crews go shopping for their season's crew provisions, spending around $5500 each trip. At the pre-season captains' dinner, Johnathan Hillstrand proposed a derby-style competition between the boats: Fewest number of pots needed to pull 100,000 pounds of crab. Sig Hansen upped the ante by proposing each captain kick in $100 for the prize to be given to the winner, and the UniSea Bar agreed to safeguard the $900 bounty. After dinner, the Hansen brothers decided to initiate the first pranks of the season by leaving a bag of bait fish under the Captain's chair on board the Maverick. The Cornelia Marie left Dutch Harbor hoping to catch a break between two storms, leaving the other boats to ride out the storms tied to the dock. The Northwestern tried a new strategy of more and bigger crab pots, carrying 150 pots on the initial trip out to the grounds, then returning to Dutch Harbor for 150 more pots afterwards as a way of capturing their very large quota shares at a faster pace. Several captains explained their strategies for setting crab pots in the Bering Sea—Sig Hansen looks at past history, checks the official Alaska Fish and Game reports, then sets test pots for long soaks and evaluates patterns of crab caught in the test pots; Wizard Captain Keith Colburn tries to determine the best balance between past history and state reports, noting that many captains spend time "chasing last year's crab" and not enough time doing test pot launching and trend watching; Cornelia Marie Captain Phil Harris noted that when the water is warmer, crabs move northward, but when the water is colder overall, crabs tend to stay in the shallows and it can be hard to determine how shallow is too shallow. Rookie Captain Blake Painter of the Maverick, who had been very confident during the captains' dinner about being able to find the crab on his own, became indecisive about where to drop his pots once the Maverick reached the fishing grounds and spent most of the first day out at sea "radio crabbing"—calling other captains on the radio for tips on where they were finding crab—which annoyed several of the veterans who had cautioned Blake against this very thing. During the first night, the Ocean Challenger capsized and put out a distress call, and by dawn, only one of the four crewmembers was found in a survival suit. 
24 2 "The Unforgiving Sea" April 10, 2007 (2007-04-10)
The search for the crew of the Ocean Challenger continued by air and by the USCGC Munro.[1] The bodies of two crewmembers, without survival suits, were recovered, while the fourth crewmember was lost to the sea. The survivor, Kevin Ferrell, tells his story to the Coast Guard. The fleet reacted to the loss of the Ocean Challenger. The Northwestern set its second load of 150 pots while dealing with a broken hose on the hydraulic launchers. Deck boss Edgar Hansen committed the karmic faux pas of estimating their catch before it's pulled. The Time Bandit finally set its pots using herring instead of cod for hanging bait with poor results. After a slow start, the Maverick pulled in full pots and returned to St. Paul to offload. The Cornelia Marie fished through the night at a fast pace. Rough seas on the Farwest Leader made greenhorn Ragnhild sick, but she pulled through and worked the deck after losing a bet on the number of crab pulled up in the first pot of the season; although she started out at the bait station loading bait buckets for pots, she gradually got over her fear of the snapping king crab to move to the sorting table and assist in the crab sort and count process. 
25 3 "Pain and Paybacks" April 17, 2007 (2007-04-17)
The Northwestern had bad luck with its second string of 150 pots and decided to fish closer to its first set of pots where they had better luck. Northwestern deckhand Matt Bradley finally confessed to Captain Sig Hansen that he was due to be in court before the official end of the season for an outstanding criminal case that could land him up to eight months in jail; Sig chastised Matt for waiting so long to tell him of this important deadline, reminding him that there was no way to predict when the boat would catch enough to reach its quota. Rough seas caused a crewmember aboard the Wizard to have his finger crushed between two pots, which required professional medical attention at Dutch Harbor, a return to port which Captain Keith Colburn admitted was going to cost the crew thousands of dollars in lost fishing time but was necessary to avoid costing crew member Lenny Lekanoff his finger. When the Time Bandit pulled in low crab counts after having to move their greenhorn to the rail due to an injury to veteran crewmember Russ Newberry, the Hillstrand brothers decided to have a little fun at the expense of the greenhorn with a "flour pot"—a pot with several trash bags full of flour tied to the rope, which would burst when pulled up through the hydraulic block; the trick worked to perfection as greenhorn Nate put the sabotaged pot's rope into the blocks, only to be covered in exploding white powder seconds later. Captain Blake Painter of the Maverick received a tip on a hot spot to fish from Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie, but Phil made him promise not to share it with anyone else; however, Blake decided to share the tip with Captain Corky Tilley of the Aleutian Ballad as a sign that he was willing to give information and not merely take it from other captains, not realizing that Phil was listening in on the same communication band Blake was using. An annoyed Phil got his revenge on Blake's betrayal by sabotaging one of the Maverick's pots, doing a variation on the Northwestern welded door trick: The Cornelia Marie crew emptied all the crab out of the pot ("Thanks, Blake!" crew members declared on-camera as they put 50-something keepers in their tanks), put Cornelia Marie bait boxes into the pot, welded the door shut, turned the pot around backwards and re-strung the "bridle" (the loop to which the pot shots are tied for retrieval) through the welded door, then relaunched the pot, with Phil declaring "That's how you {#bleep#} with somebody, Cornelia Marie style". The Farwest Leader had declining numbers of crabs in their pots, leading Captain Greg Moncrief to challenge his wife Ragnhild Moncrief to pick a better spot for fishing; Ragnhild picked a spot to the northwest of their current position, and was rewarded with a number of full pots pulled in return, prompting the crew to dub her "Captain Ragny". The Farwest Leader crew painted a grappling hook bright pink in honor of Ragnhild's increasing confidence in crabbing, and she got to toss the hook to retrieve one of the pots, snagging the line on her second try. The Cornelia Marie broke off a part of one her propellers and went to King Cove for emergency repairs. 
26 4 "Cheating Death" April 24, 2007 (2007-04-24)
The fishing aboard the Northwestern was excellent and the crew filled their tanks to the brim, though the repetitive nature of fishing 300 pots became exhausting for the crew; on their way to another string of pots, Captain Sig Hansen and his crew discussed whether or not to take a break, with the decision by Sig to keep going, leaving Edgar to comment, "If Sig had any people skills, they were lost long ago. Only thing that keeps us going is the money." A replacement propeller was flown in for the Cornelia Marie, but repairs were delayed because the propeller is left handed, while the Cornelia Marie's propellers are right handed. Several days later, a second propeller arrived and is installed, allowing the boat to return to fishing, but not before Captain Phil Harris discovered his blood pressure was up in the 180/120 range; when Phil discovered that Jake and Josh had been charging shopping at Dutch Harbor to Phil's accounts, he cut off credit for both of them and blew his stack at them for spending his money so indiscriminately after Phil had just spent thousands of dollars on boat repairs. Jake and Josh both shrugged off Phil's anger, and Jake gave the captain a back massage as a peace offering. Aboard the Maverick, Captain Blake Painter fabricated a temporary fix for a broken dog on the pot launcher, then retrieved their sabotaged pot moments later; Blake declared the prank pot "lame". On their way to Akutan to offload, Blake spoted a Cornelia Marie pot and decided to take revenge by sabotaging the pot with backwards bridles and garbage offloads, but it caused little reaction on the Cornelia Marie when they retrieved it. On the Farwest Leader, a junior deckhand at the hydraulic controls caused an accident after failing to secure a pot and then broke the crane line, leaving Captain Greg Moncrief to comment to his wife that such accidents were why it was not safe to stand around the sorting tables while the pots were being emptied onto it. After poor results with their test pots, the Time Bandit pulled all their pots out of their current fishing grounds, changed strategy, and moved north. On the way to the northern end of the fishing grounds, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand observed a deckhand on another boat tying a pot stack off the side of another vessel, the Trailblazer. After the crew of the Time Bandit headed below for some rest, the man tying the stack was overwhelmed by the 30-foot swells and disappeared into the waves. Captain Hillstrand and his crew worked quickly to save the fisherman who fell into the sea. Their quick action saved the man from certain death, and the fisherman was overjoyed by the swift rescue efforts of the Time Bandit and her crew. Johnathan and the rescued fisherman were both overwhelmed with emotions after the rescue—ten years earlier, the Time Bandit had rescued a fishing boat crew in a similar situation but was unable to save one of the fishermen, and the memory had haunted the Hillstrands for years afterward; with this successful save, the Hillstrand brothers said they felt they had finally settled the score with the past for the loss of that fisherman. 
27 5 "Bering Sea Salvation" May 1, 2007 (2007-05-01)
Good fortune smiled upon the Time Bandit after the rescue of the man overboard as they pulled up very full pots in a once-in-a-lifetime season. The Northwestern continued to have good luck after offloading nearly $800,000 in crab, though deckhand Matt Bradley was continuing to struggle with the uncertainty about making his upcoming court date. Edgar Hansen painted prison stripes on Matt's oilskins as payback for Matt's continued complaints about not wanting to spend Christmas in jail—"don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time," Edgar reminded the deckhand. Aboard the Maverick, Captain Blake Painter decided to risk striking out on his own and picked a spot to fish without any advice from other captains, resulting in full pots. Lenny, the injured engineer aboard the Wizard, returned to work the deck for the last strings. The Farwest Leader pulled up empty pots, but pulled up decent pots after receiving a tip from Johnathan Hillstrand on the Time Bandit
28 6 "The Last Lap" May 8, 2007 (2007-05-08)
The boats rushed to pull up their last pots in order to meet their delivery deadlines at the processing plants. The Farwest Leader had one of their best seasons ever, and Raghnild Moncrief celebrated getting over her fear of the big king crabs by holding up one of the biggest crabs for the cameras during the offload at Akutan. Sig Hansen, knowing that the price of king crab will go down in a day, rushed the Northwestern to Akutan to empty its tanks, pulling in over $1M for his quota shares; more importantly, by getting to port ahead of schedule, Matt Bradley was able to catch a plane that night back to Seattle to avoid missing his court date. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit won the bet between the captains on the fewest pots pulled to 100,000 lbs. by averaging 70 crabs per pot; upon receiving his prize at the UniSea Bar, Johnathan donated a portion of the money to the Seafarer's Memorial fund, and Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard matched it. The Maverick, which had been ahead in the crab-per-pot race the entire season until the Time Bandit went on their hot streak, "rail dumped" several pots thinking that they had reached their quota, only to find out they were actually 4,000 lbs. under quota when they offloaded at Kodiak. Blake was very upset and confused by his miscalculation of the load, and, since he was not returning for Opilio season, would have to wait to have a shot at redemption. 
29 7 "New Beginnings" May 15, 2007 (2007-05-15)
The fleet began the opilio crab season. Northwestern deckhand Matt Bradley, who made his Seattle court date in time to avoid a lengthy jail sentence, returned to the Northwestern crew with his legal troubles behind him. The Northwestern added a new crew member, greenhorn Jake Anderson, from a multi-generational Norwegian fishing family, anxious to prove himself "a man" aboard the most respected ship in the fleet; Sig refused to greet him, as is his tradition with greenhorns. The Wizard also picked up a new greenhorn, Nick, to learn from greenhorn Crosby. After taking on Jake, the Northwestern went to pick up their pots stored near St. Paul Island and St. George Island and found that many of their buoys had been damaged by playful sea lions. The Time Bandit, captained by Andy Hillstrand, headed to a secret opilio fishing spot known only to the Hillstrand family. Out at sea, the Northwestern crew celebrated Matt Bradley's return to the boat by burning the prison-striped oilskins they made for him during King crab season; Sig was in a considerably less celebratory mood, noting to the cameras that as far as he was concerned, he had done Matt a huge favor by getting him back in time to go to court in the first place, adding that Matt needed to show some respect and gain some maturity. At Dutch Harbor, the Farwest Leader loaded up on provisions while waiting for the Coast Guard to conduct their inspections and drills. The fish processing boat Stellar Sea's engine room caught on fire, causing it to be towed to Dutch Harbor for repairs.[2] The fire forced the Cornelia Marie and the Time Bandit to change their plans as they were contracted to deliver to the Stellar Sea. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie decided to dock at St. Paul to wait until the stricken Stellar Sea was repaired, while Captain Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit decided to switch to fishing bairdi crab which could be delivered to another processor. A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk from USCG Air Station Kodiak was dispatched to rescue a seriously ill crew member from a fishing boat. 
30 8 "Caught in the Storm" May 22, 2007 (2007-05-22)
The fleet dealt with a storm. The Time Bandit continued to fish for bairdi with poor results. The Farwest Leader loaded aboard 30 more pots at St. George, departed before the storm hit, and went fishing for bairdi crab. Aboard the Northwestern, the crew thought their luck had changed when they pulled up full pots, but a mechanical problem with the engine forced them to go to St. Paul for repairs. The Stellar Sea was repaired and the Cornelia Marie went out to fish. The Wizard headed to port for repairs after a wave sheared the gears in the transmission of the forward crane. 
31 9 "Crossing the Line" May 29, 2007 (2007-05-29)
The Northwestern pulled up full pots as the crew tried to make up for lost time. Although the Northwestern greenhorn, Jake, was becoming more accepted by the crew due to his eagerness to learn and his rapidly advancing skills, he learned the hard way that playing pranks on the deck boss is never a good idea; in response to Jake's snapping him with a spring-loaded bait hook, Edgar Hansen used cable ties to wrap Jake's oilskins into a compact bundle, causing Jake to be late getting back out on deck for the next pot run. The deck crew of the Cornelia Marie and Time Bandit were battered by huge waves. Captain Keith Colburn handed over to the Wizard to his brother, Monte, after having to return home due to a family emergency. The boat also picked up a new greenhorn—Guy, a former rodeo cowboy—after greenhorn Nick injured himself and had to leave the boat, but greenhorn Guy found the work difficult. A wave caused a line to tangle around the starboard shaft of the Time Bandit, forcing the boat to return to port for repairs. 
32 10 "Trials of the Greenhorns" June 5, 2007 (2007-06-05)
In rough seas and cold weather that causes ice to build up, greenhorn Guy on the Wizard hit his breaking point and walked off the deck, leaving the rest of the crew to pick up his duties. Guy complained about a lack of respect from the crew and that there was "no call" for taunts that he "pushes like a girl" from the more experienced crew members, but Captain Monte chastised him that walking off the deck signaled that Guy was a "quitter" who "couldn't handle the job" he'd volunteered to do one day earlier. The other greenhorn on the Wizard, Crosby, was amazed by Guy's retreat: "He didn't even last 24 hours! Come on—you can do anything for 24 hours!" The Cornelia Marie hurried to pull up her pots before a severe storm with gale-force winds was due to hit. While pulling full pots, but with mostly rejects, the Farwest Leader's port engine broke, forcing the crew to shut down the engine and chain the shaft so that the propeller turning from the force of the water itself would not burn out the drive shaft. Captain Moncrief of the Farwest Leader decided to continue fishing with one engine, but switched from fishing bairdi to opilio crab. Pulling full pots that were set back on the same spot inspired Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern to swap jobs with his brother Edgar and work the deck, something he had not done for over twenty years; each man lasted only a short time at the other's job before both admitting they'd rather be in their regular slots, and switched places once more after Sig successfully pulled fifteen pots. Meanwhile, the Northwestern greenhorn Jake tried to prove himself by working the rail under "Sig Rules"—that is, every miss cost him an article of clothing—and successfully pulled in a string of thirteen pots, though his many misses resulted in him wearing little more than a sweatshirt and long johns by its completion; Jake's willingness to continue learning to throw the hook and retrieve pots earned him respect from both Sig and Edgar. However, Jake then pushed it too far and then learned a lesson on fishing "old school style" with no hydraulics and no automated conveyer belts transporting crab to the tanks after Edgar heard him complaining about his aching hands. At Dutch Harbor, Captain Andy Hillstrand cleared a tangled line from the shaft of the Time Bandit. While the work was being done, greenhorn Nate was arrested for an outstanding warrant by the Unalaska Police and taken to jail; Johnathan and the rest of the crew headed for the nearest ATM to withdraw enough cash to pay Nate's bail so that he could return to fishing. 
33 11 "Ice and Open Water" June 12, 2007 (2007-06-12)
After heading north to scout for the January pack ice—and having Edgar leave snow angels and the Northwestern logo on one of the larger floes of pack ice they encountered—Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern hurried southward to pull his pots before the pack ice reached them. The disgruntled greenhorn Guy on the Wizard realized that it was not fair to his shipmates to stay inside, while the rest of the crew froze outside, chipping ice from the boat, so he returned to work. The increasingly cold weather and long working hours affected the Northwestern greenhorn, Jake, and he reached his breaking point, leading to a rare "pep talk" of sorts from Sig, which reminded Jake to keep focused on his goals. Fishing on one engine slowed the Farwest Leader, but the boat brought up full pots. However, the captain's decision to carefully sort the crab caused the deck boss, Chilly, to become grumpy, forcing Captain Greg Moncrief to have to face-to-face discipline Chilly. Captain Andy Hillstrand turned over the Time Bandit to his brother Johnathan after an emergency required Andy to return to his horse farm in Indiana. With Johnathan at the helm, the boat pulled up huge numbers of crab, and the crew restacked the gear in preparation for the end of the season after successfully retrieving their quota. Aboard the Cornelia Marie, greenhorn Josh gained new respect for tossing the hook and working the rail after he discovered it is not as easy as it looks. On the Farwest Leader, greenhorn Raghnild cut her hand in the galley and Deck Boss Chilly hurried downstairs with Captain Greg to help her; the distracted crew failed to notice that the launch signal had not been given and launched a crab pot. Unintended launches often cause pots to get accidentally dragged under fishing vessels due to the captain not being able to steer the boat away from the waves near the launch position; when Captain Greg discovered the launch, he had his crew keelhaul a line from bow to stern to confirm that no pots had gotten tangled underneath. Meanwhile, the Time Bandit quickly made up time lost due to their own tangled pot line and headed for St. Paul for their final offload, only to run headlong into the dangerous January pack ice. 
34 12 "A Frozen Finish" June 19, 2007 (2007-06-19)
The Time Bandit carefully made its way through the pack ice to the processing boat Independence at St. Paul Island. As the boat tried to leave St. Paul, it ran into too much ice and was forced to return to St. Paul and spend a tense night near the beach where the Alaskan Monarch ran aground in 1990 in the same conditions. As the pack ice tightened and bay rollers began shoving the boat toward the beach during the changing of the tide, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand sounded the emergency alarms to awaken his crew and ordered all of them to take ice watches—including going down into the holds to watch the ship's walls for puncture marks from the huge ice floes—as he struggled to find a way back to open water. By dawn, the Time Bandit finally spotted open water and made their way out of the remaining pack ice; the ship's hull was creased and dented but remained intact, and the Time Bandit headed back to Dutch Harbor. Aboard the Wizard, greenhorn Guy continued to lag behind and left the deck for the second time after being reprimanded by the captain, angrily cursing out the captain and crew and quitting the job for good, voicing his intention to "jump off the boat" as soon as they returned to Dutch Harbor. After greenhorn Crosby picked up the slack left by Guy's defection, Captain Monte Colburn decided to give him a 0.5% bonus out of his own share. The Farwest Leader had a lot of deadloss due to their bad engine slowing their pace—some of their crab had been in the hold for 14 days—but still managed to have a good season. Greenhorn Ragnhild Moncrief of the Farwest Leader decided that there was no place on a crab boat for a woman because there were so few jobs women could do, and declared she felt as if she had been a "wasted space" the entire season despite her notable contributions to the season's success. Aboard the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil Harris and his two sons had their annual line coiling contest and the surprise winner was Josh, the boat's greenhorn. The Cornelia Marie had a record-breaking season, catching over one million pounds of crab. The Northwestern packed her holds full of crab—including dumping their entire sea water load to make more room for their last pots of crab—and once again won the dollars earned title, but then busted a hydraulic line on their crane as they worked to restack their last pots. After offloading at Akutan, the Northwestern crew decided that greenhorn Jake had earned the boat jacket that was his goal for the season, and Captain Sig Hansen gave Jake the jacket off his back and finally gave him the long-overdue greeting and praise for his work, adding that the jacket didn't make Jake a man, but "it does make you cool!" The Northwestern returned to Puget Sound at the end of the opilio season and were greeted by happy family members. 
35 "Deadliest Catch: Behind The Scenes" June 26, 2007 (2007-06-26)
Behind the scenes on the making of season 3. 
36 "Best of Season 3" April 15, 2008 (2008-04-15)
Recap of the third season. 

Season 4

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
37 1 "Get 'Em Back Safe!" April 15, 2008 (2008-04-15)
On the way to Dutch Harbor from Seattle, Washington, the Wizard had a 6-inch (15 cm) hole torn into the hull after being hit by a 40-foot (12 m) rogue wave. Relief Captain Monte Colburn had a temporary patch put in place until the Wizard could be returned to a shipyard for permanent repairs. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand's son Scott joined the crew of the Time Bandit. In addition to their usual load of supplies and fishing pots, the crew of the Time Bandit loaded a rusted old truck as a practical joke for Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie. Before the vessels departed for the start of the season, the captains met at the local watering hole to discuss the upcoming season and the Wizard's close call on the trip to Dutch Harbor. For this season's bet between the captains, whomever hauls in the highest average on a designated 25 pot string will win that week's wager of $100 per captain. On the Wizard, Captain Keith Colburn decided to take on two greenhorns, Jason Moilanen and Lynn Guitard, instead of the usual one, as well as re-hiring last season's resilient greenhorn Crosby LeVeen, who is quick to express appreciation for no longer being the greenest hand on deck. On board the Northwestern, Edgar Hansen oversaw repairs on a bent propeller shaft and bad bearings while the remaining crew members—Norman Hansen, Nick Mavar, Matt Bradley, and returning greenhorn Jake Anderson—stack pots and load gear, but the tension about losing precious fishing time to needed repairs causes the normally friendly group to snap at each other. In a repeat from his antics from the 2006 King crab season, Captain Phil's son Jake went on an unauthorized spending spree with Captain Phil's credit card and buys a flat screen TV, which does not go over well with Captain Phil. With five hours to go before the start of the season, the Hillstrands made the traditional call to their mother, but she tells them that she had a premonition that tragedy would strike the Time Bandit this season. The truck aboard the Time Bandit caused delays in setting their first pots of the seasons. Captain Keith Colburn being unable to follow his superstition about not having an empty Cup Noodles container to use as a spittoon delayed their start of the season. The repairs to the Northwestern prompted Captain Sig Hansen to dig into his archives and try a different strategy and fish further south than the rest of the fleet, but just as the boat is ready to push off from the dock and head out to sea, Captain Sig realizes Jake Anderson is missing. Sig decides to give the young deckhand "two more minutes" to return before heading out without him. Jake, whose goal this season is to become a full-share deckhand, races to the docks only to find the Northwestern has already started to pull away; however, Captain Sig spots him on the docks and maneuvers back to pick up his wayward deckhand (Captain Sig: "You're lucky I can still back up to get you—where were you?" Jake: "Making a phone a girl." Captain Sig: "That was almost a real expensive piece of {expletive}!"). The Cornelia Marie's prospect strings come up nearly empty even though they were placed in normally reliable fishing grounds, leaving an already nervous and overstressed Captain Phil now reeling from the loss of his "honey hole". 
38 2 "Striking Out" April 15, 2008 (2008-04-15)
A storm front forced the Northwestern to drop their pots 50 nautical miles (93 km) short from their planned target in rough seas. The Time Bandit set their prank on Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie by replacing one of the Cornelia Marie's pots with the junk truck. When the crew of the Cornelia Marie pulled up the truck, they get a good laugh and then dump the truck overboard. Captain Phil called Captain Johnathan Hillstrand over the radio and gave him an "A+" for the prank. Captain Rick Fehst of the Early Dawn hurried to finish fishing for brown king crab so that he could switch to red king crab. The vessel ended the season catching 784,000 pounds (356,000 kg) of brown crab worth $1.9 million. The Wizard picked up another 150 pots from storage, which caused more work for the greenhorns and pushed Jason Moilanen to his breaking point. The Northwestern's gamble to fish further south did not work out and the crew pulled up nearly empty pots. After pulling up all of this pots, Captain Sig moved north to a different old family fishing grounds. He reminded Edgar Hansen of his ritual of biting the head off a herring for good luck and hoped following the ritual would bring better luck. The Time Bandit also had poor luck with their pots, pulling up few crabs per pot. The Wizard's plan to fish at the northern tip of the fishing grounds paid off with good prospect pots and they dropped their entire 150 pots. 
39 3 "A Numbers Game" April 22, 2008 (2008-04-22)
The family fishing grounds produced results for the Time Bandit as they pulled an average of 60 keepers per pot for 12 hours. After 19 days of fishing, the Time Bandit was the first vessel to head to Dutch Harbor to offload. On the way back, greenhorn Scott Hillstrand contemplated his future as a fisherman. The Northwestern's traditional family ground also produced good results, but greenhorn Jake Anderson's sloppy crab counting angered Captain Sig Hansen. Deck Boss Edgar Hansen scolded the deck crew over not carrying an emergency knife should anybody get caught in a line. As punishment, he makes Jake wear a dead cod on his back. The Wizard was also on the crab with a string of 300 pots in a 1 square mile (2.6 km2) area. However, Captain Keith Colburn noticed that another fishing vessel had navigated a loop around one of his pots and pulled it up to sneak a look at his catch. Captain Keith's call to the suspect vessel went unanswered and he threatened the other captain to not mess with his equipment. Two weeks behind the rest of the fleet because of fishing for brown king crab, the Early Dawn tried to catch up by dropping 100 pots along a 50 nautical miles (93 km) string, but this prospect line only pulled up a few cod per pot, causing a drop in morale on deck. After two weeks of poor fishing, staying awake for three straight days, and a 19 hour shift at the wheel, fatigue caught up with Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie and he fell asleep, causing the boat to miss two pots. After the crew wondered about two consecutive missed pots, they call up the wheelhouse and wake up Captain Phil. The picking hook's pulley breaks on the Northwestern, which required Edgar to ride the crane up to replace the broken block. Mechanical problems also plagued the Wizard when a hydraulic line sprung a leak, but a patch was quickly installed by Engineer Lenny Lekonoff. 
40 4 "Unsafe and Unsound" April 29, 2008 (2008-04-29)
The crew of the Wizard worked a 9-nautical-mile (17 km), 55 pot string that Captain Keith Colburn called a "man killer". When greenhorn Jason Moilanen was not on deck for the start of the string, Captain Keith gave him some advice on how to cope with the long shifts. After three weeks of bad fishing and with 3 days to catch 88,000 pounds (40,000 kg) of crab for a scheduled delivery, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie made radio calls to other captains to get some help on where to drop his pots, but received no answer. With no advice available, Captain Phil gambled on dropping a full load of pots in untested waters. Greenhorn Josh Harris and Deckhand Freddy Maugatai tried to change the boat's luck by shaving their heads into a mohawk, but the sacrifice proved ineffective and the Cornelia Marie continued to pull pots with low counts, and the stress of a bad season began to noticeably affect Phil's demeanor and already high stress levels. On board the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen and Deck Boss Edgar Hansen challenged each other over who could stay awake the longest without breaking. Captain Sig finally offered a truce after he nodded off at the wheel after staying awake for over 47 hours; in response, Edgar led a celebration on deck: "We broke the skipper!". At Dutch Harbor for their first offload of the season, the Time Bandit lost a crew member when Captain Johnathan Hillstrand's son, Scott, decided that family was more important to him than fishing and he left to fly home; Scott made the distinct point that Johnathan had been gone for almost all of Scott's childhood, and Scott wanted better for his own children, which wounded Johnathan's pride greatly. A flashback to three weeks earlier detailed a freak accident where Johnathan Hillstrand fell overboard while the Time Bandit was docked at Dutch Harbor. Time Bandit Deckhand Eddie Uwekoolani was taken to the emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with a chipped bone in his ankle that required a cast, requiring Johnathan to have to rotate Eddie to a position requiring less mobility while his boat was already a crewman down. 
41 5 "No Mercy" May 6, 2008 (2008-05-06)
On board the Wizard, the "man killer" strings continued to produce good numbers with an average of 90 crabs per pot. Captain Keith Colburn decided to push ahead and told his brother, Monte Colburn, to skip his turn at the wheel go on the deck as soon as he woke up. This caused tension between the brothers and resulted in an argument over Monte's attitude bringing the morale of the deck crew down. In the end, the string filled the Wizard's hold with 183,000 pounds (83,000 kg) of crab and the boat headed back for their first offload of the season. The Time Bandit finished her first offload of the season and headed on a 28 hour run to a string they left out while they offloaded. A quarter mile from the first pot, the ballast panel on their sodium lights was ripped from the wall and caused a ship-wide power outage. The crew was able to repair the ballast and pick up their string, which had good numbers of crab. Also at Dutch Harbor, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie decided to delay the start of his second run due to his superstition about not leaving on Friday. The first string of the second run proved more productive that any string on the first run when the boat pulled in 34,000 pounds (15,000 kg) of crab on this single string. Tensions on board the Northwestern came to a boil when greenhorn Jake Anderson and Deckhand Matt Bradley came to blows after Matt felt threatened by Jake's eagerness to learn new jobs on deck. On the Early Dawn, Captain Rick Fehst instituted a 20 hour on/4 hour off work schedule after having several days of poor numbers. This took a toll on the deck crew, especially greenhorn Bryan Mezich, son of the boat's owner. After pulling up a string, Bryan took a turn at wheel watch in 25-foot (7.6 m), 60-knot (111 km/h; 69 mph) seas while the rest of the crew went to sleep. Bryan dozed off after 10 minutes and the boat was jolted by a wave while he was asleep, waking the crew. An upset Captain Rick wanted to terminate Bryan for this infraction, but was overruled by Bryan's father and he was only given a $500 fine. 
42 6 "Racing The Clock" May 13, 2008 (2008-05-13)
After offloading 180,000 pounds (82,000 kg) of crab worth $756,000, the Northwestern raced back to the fishing grounds in order to catch the remaining 19,000 pounds (8,600 kg) of their quota in the nine days before their quoted price drops. Although they averaged 60 crab per pot, Captain Sig Hansen, concerned about the volume of crab, decided to follow his hunch and moved to different fishing grounds. The move turned out to be a poor one when the pots in the new territory produced low numbers of crab, causing the deck crew to grumble that they should not have moved. A pin broke in the picking hook pulley aboard the Time Bandit. The broken pulley dropped a steel cable on deck, nearly hitting greenhorn Shea Long. After replacing the pulley, Deckhand Neal Hillstrand had to climb the mast to secure the safety chain to the boom; a task all the more difficult since the Time Bandit was in 25-foot (7.6 m) seas. After low numbers caused low morale on the deck of the Early Dawn, Engineer Mike Fish decided to give greenhorn Bryan Mezich a lesson in humility by letting Bryan tend the rail for the first 20 pots of a 300 pot string that had been soaking for 18 hours. Bryan's first attempts at throwing the hook were off the mark and Captain Rick Fehst put the boat into reverse, an insult to the hook thrower, after three failed attempts. Only after the sixth throw was Bryan able to hook the line. Despite the troubles picking up the first pot, the string proved to be a good one when the pots produced good numbers and the deck crew's morale rose as more crab were brought on board. Six weeks into the season and after convincing his father to allow him to fish for king crab, Captain Sten Skaar and the North American returned to Alaska after a three year hiatus. Captain Sten hired aboard Captain Erik Nyhammer of the Rollo (last seen in Season 2) as a deckhand and his crab fishing pots to make this return to king crab fishing. By using borrowed crab pots, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game only allowed Captain Sten two weeks to fish. At Dutch Harbor, the Wizard offloaded 183,000 pounds (83,000 kg) of crab worth nearly $800,000. Before the crew headed back out, Captain Keith Colburn took the crew out for a drink and to pick up a porta-potty in order to play a prank upon the North American. In previous fishing seasons, the Wizard leased the North American's fishing quota and Captain Keith felt it necessary to play a prank upon Captain Sten when he took back his quota. Captain Keith hauled up one of the North American's pots and attached the porta-potty to it before dropping it back overboard. The North American pulled low numbers on their test pots and strings, but thought that their luck had changed after picking up the porta-potty prank. The full pots turned out to be full of female and juvenile crab, which must be returned to the sea, and only a few keepers were in each pot. 
43 7 "Seeking the Catch" May 20, 2008 (2008-05-20)
Heavy seas, lack of proper equipment (no forward-facing sodium lights or crab sorting table), and the crew's inexperience from being away from king crab fishing for three years, made for difficult fishing on board the North American while it tried to catch 22,000 pounds (10,000 kg) of crab to fill their tanks. Under pressure to catch their quota in a limited time, Deck Boss John Skaar's orders to launch pots faster caused conflict on deck when the rest of the crew became concerned that cutting corners was compromising crew safety. Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard decided to try his luck in an area, called the "Slime Bank" for the multitude of jellyfish, that he had not fished in over 30 years, but the 60 pot string produced no crab and Captain Keith returned to more conventional fishing grounds. A repaired coiler broke again, forcing the crew to hand coil the lines, but they continued to pull up good numbers in the new fishing grounds. The Time Bandit's' luck at fishing remote, seldom fished grounds was better when the boat brought up 35,000 pounds (16,000 kg) of crab in 12 hours, led by perfect hook throwing by veteran deckhand Russell Newberry. When an injured cormorant landed on deck, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand took him in until the boat returned to Dutch Harbor where wildlife rescuers could tend to him, but the bird disappeared after the crew finished pulling the string. On board the Cornelia Marie, the crew pulled up full pots, but the stress of fishing and a tight deadline for a changed offload date took its toll on Captain Phil Harris and he became ill, much to the concern of his oldest son, Josh. The Northwestern continued to grind through their pots in heavy seas. When greenhorn Jake Anderson hooked another boat's buoy, Deckhand Matt Bradley saved the day by making a Hail Mary toss of the hook from the stern of the boat. 
44 8 "No Season for Old Men" May 27, 2008 (2008-05-27)
After a quick offload, the Time Bandit headed back out to sea with Captain Johnathan Hillstrand's son, Scott, back on board after Andy Hillstrand had to return home to attend to personal business. Poor numbers narrowed the contenders for the final week of the Captain's wager made at the beginning of the season to just the Time Bandit and the Wizard. Battling head-to-head up to the final pot, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit triumphed over Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard with a 75 crab per pot average versus a 65 crab per pot average, respectively. The crew of the Northwestern kept up their grinding schedule of 20 hour days for the past four weeks up until the very last pot. Deck Boss Edgar Hansen was hit in the head by the picking hook when the boat rolled in the waves and Greenhorn Jake Anderson was unable to grab the hook in time. However, Edgar shrugged off the injury and completed the traditional flaming hook toss to end the season. With 24 hours left in the season and 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg) of their quota left to catch, the North American made a Hail Mary play by dropping their entire 100 pots into a small area after a test pot produced good results. The play worked out and the North American was able to catch their 83,000 pounds (38,000 kg) quota in two weeks. On board the Early Dawn, low numbers caused the crew to call the boat's owner to complain about the poor fishing with greenhorn and owner's son, Bryan Mezich, stating "the crew prefers if you leased out quota". The crew got their wish when the boat's owner called Captain Rick Fehst to tell him that the boat's final 75,000 pounds (34,000 kg) of the season's quota had been leased out. The last string of the season for the Cornelia Marie was interrupted by a broken fitting on a hydraulic line on the crane. To repair the crane, Engineer Murray Gamrath had to climb the oil-slicked crane in a snow squall. With the King crab season over, the Hillstrand brothers gathered in their home port of Homer, Alaska to celebrate and to honor their deceased father, who is buried on a mountain slope overlooking the sea. 
45 9 "Storm Season" June 3, 2008 (2008-06-03)
The 2008 opilio crab season started with the Cornelia Marie returning after a main engine overhaul during the off season, the entire crew of the Northwestern suffering from the flu except for greenhorn Jake Anderson, and the usual change of captains on the Time Bandit from Johnathan Hillstrand to younger brother Andy Hillstrand. Johnathan's son Scott returned for the opilio season. The fleet left Dutch Harbor ahead of a storm, but the Wizard trailed behind because it had to refuel before heading out. The traditional biting off of the head of a herring on the Northwestern was done by deckhand Matt Bradley before Captain Sig Hansen dropped their crab pots on family fishing grounds. After an 8 hour soak and with Captain Andy contemplating a move after the first two strings of a test string produced poor results, the Time Bandit's third string produced good numbers. With the Wizard's late start to the season, the boat was forced to ride out 40-foot (12 m) seas with a full stack of pots on deck until Captain Keith Colburn to drop 100 pots as soon as the boat reached the continental shelf. After the Wizard reached the normal opilio fishing grounds, a broken hydraulic system prevented the boat from dropping their remaining 150 pots. The North American broke in new greenhorn Darrell Labay to the ways of opilio crab fishing. On board the Cornelia Marie, an 8 hour soak on their 180 pots produced great numbers, but two engine warning lights on their newly overhauled engine forced the boat to return to Dutch Harbor. A United States Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk was dispatched from Air Station Kodiak to medevac a crewmember from the fish processing vessel Island Enterprise. The helicopter was instructed to fly to Cold Bay, Alaska where a waiting plane was to take the patient to Anchorage, Alaska, but poor weather conditions made the crew request an alternative flight plan. 
46 10 "Blow Up" June 10, 2008 (2008-06-10)
The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter, en route to Cold Bay with a patient rescued from the fish processing vessel Island Enterprise, were unable to contact their command center. With the threat of ice and a quickly diminishing fuel supply, the pilots decided to change course and return to St. Paul. After a two hour wait, a private cargo plane, took the patient to Anchorage, Alaska. The Cornelia Marie limped to the safety of Zolotoi Bay at St. Paul Island on her one good engine to ride out an approaching storm front. During the night, the strain on the ship caused a dangerous fray in the anchor line. Captain Phil Harris was forced to use his bad engine to help relieve the tension on the cable so that the crew can assess the damage. After a 36 hour run, the Cornelia Marie pulled in to Dutch Harbor, where the crew quickly replaced the frayed anchor cable. The local engine mechanic was unable to determine the engine's problem. The Northwestern's first pots of the season were a blind drop due to approaching weather, but the boat got lucky and pulled up good numbers. After just 24 hours of working the area, the Northwestern filled its entire forward holding tank with 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of crab. The Time Bandit worked a string of pots placed at the suggestion of Captain Johnathan Hillstrand. When the pots produced poor numbers, Captain Andy Hillstrand moved the Time Bandit to an old family fishing ground nicknamed "Mr. Magoo". After a long soak time for the pots, the crew hauled in massive numbers to the delight of Captain Andy. On board the Wizard, the crew pulled pots containing large amounts of "dirty" crab (crab covered in barnacles), forcing the crew to throw away most of the catch. The low numbers and seeming lack of enthusiasm from the deck crew caused Captain Keith Colburn to lose his cool. Calling in the crew, he lectured them on how hard he has worked to make the ship successful and reprimanded each member for not giving enough effort. Later, after calming down, Captain Keith called in Lenny to apologize for his blow up. However, greenhorn Jason Moilanen, still fuming from the captain's criticism, confronts Captain Keith about how he was being treated, breaking the golden rule of crab fishing to never question the captain. Annoyed, Captain Keith orders him out. 
47 11 "Big Weather, Big Trouble" June 17, 2008 (2008-06-17)
An emergency weather warning about an approaching hurricane was broadcast to the fleet. At Dutch Harbor, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie opted for the cheaper and easier band-aid repair to one of his engines in order to make it through the rest of the season and then headed back out to the fishing grounds. Heavy seas battered the crew of the Wizard. On board the Northwestern, the boat's crab processor called Captain Sig Hansen to tell him that they bumped the boat's delivery date up two days and wanted a larger delivery. Even though Captain Sig told the crew he would not have them pull two all nighters in a row, Captain Sig agreed to the new delivery date, forcing the crew to work through a second night. The tired crew made a near deadly mistake when they did not dog down a pot on the launcher and it slid off, pinning greenhorn Jake Anderson against the sorting table. Quick work by the crew freed Jake before he was crushed by the 1,000 pounds (450 kg) pot. On the Time Bandit, Johnathan Hillstrand decided to go out on the deck to work a string before the hurricane hit. While throwing an underhanded toss of the hook, Johnathan missed and the hook hit him in the face, opening a small cut above his nose. In between a run to test pots, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie confronted his son Jake over Jake's work ethic. Just on the edge of the hurricane, the boat fished in 40-foot (12 m), 100-knot (185 km/h; 115 mph) seas, pulling up an average of 800 keepers per pot. But worsening weather forced Captain Phil to quickly dump the rest of his pots and run for cover. After 35 straight hours of fishing, the Northwestern succeeded in filling all of the boat's tanks in time to make their new delivery deadline. 
48 12 "Mortal Men" June 24, 2008 (2008-06-24)
Three arctic storms converged on the fishing grounds, causing severe damage to many of the boats. The crews raced to repair their boats as another severe storm approached. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil Harris injured his ribs after being thrown from his bunk during the storm. After bandaging his ribs, Captain Phil went to the wheelhouse to continue fishing for the remaining 34,000 pounds (15,000 kg) for the scheduled delivery. The crew hauled in good numbers, but Captain Phil's condition began to worsen as he started to cough up blood. Captain Phil decided to keep this a secret from the crew. On the Wizard, the crew pulled in big numbers and Captain Keith Colburn decided to set back the gear in the same spot. This required the crew to step up the pace of work, but greenhorn Jason Moilanen continued to underperform. Deciding that they have had enough of Jason Moilanen, the Captain Keith called his brother, Monte, to the wheelhouse to conduct interviews for a new greenhorn and decided to hire Cooper Weatherby. As Time Bandit offloaded 135,000 pounds (61,000 kg) of crab worth $220,000 at St. Paul Island, Co-Captains Andy and Jonathan Hillstrand decided to reward younger brother Neal for his many years of service by telling him he was no longer required to work on the deck. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil called Engineer Murray Gamrath and confided in him about his condition, worried that he may have an internal injury. Despite some medical attention by Murray, Phil's condition did not improve and Captain Phil called an Anchorage hospital, which recommended that he seek immediate medical attention. Captain Phil decided to ignore the recommendation and continue fishing. Unable to keep Captain Phil's condition a secret any longer, Murray disobeyed orders and told Captain Phil's sons about their dad's condition. Captain Phil's son, Josh, attempted to convince him to head in to port and get medical help. Captain Keith of the Wizard called Captain Phil seeking advice on fishing, but instead talked about Captain Phil's condition and Captain Keith repeated the recommendation to seek medical attention. Murray's concern led him to tell series producer Todd Stanley to watch over Captain Phil in the wheelhouse and to call him if Captain Phil's condition worsened. Two days after his injury, Captain Phil conceded that his condition was not getting any better and agreed with the crew to head to St. Paul after the gear was set. When the Cornelia Marie arrived at St. Paul, a storm surge prevented the boat from entering port and they were forced to circle the island. News of Captain Phil's condition spread throughout the fleet. Other captains attempted to call Captain Phil, but he chose to ignore the calls. Sixty hours after his injury, the storm broke and the Cornelia Marie was able to enter the harbor at St. Paul. A series of X-rays suggested that Captain Phil's condition was more severe than broken ribs and a possible puncture lung and that he required examination by a specialist. 
49 13 "Fresh Blood" July 1, 2008 (2008-07-01)
After one last cigarette, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie checked himself into the emergency room at Providence Alaska Medical Center at 3:00 am. The Northwestern's crew attempted to retrieve the ship's anchor after it snapped off in a storm the night before. Using a jury rigged drag hook, the crew attempted to secure the heavy anchor chain, but the ship began to drift in the strong current, which caused the Northwestern to list dangerously to the side. After four tense hours, the crew finally recovered the anchor. The Time Bandit pulled in to St. Paul Island to pick up new greenhorn Earon Overson. Later as the crew began pulling in their next string of pots, senior Deckhand Russell Newberry taught the new greenhorn how to work on deck and sort crab. With offloading complete, the Cornelia Marie set off with Engineer Murray Gamrath as relief captain and a new greenhorn, Dan Decker. On their way to Dutch Harbor to offload, a pipe that feeds the after crab tank with fresh water burst on the Wizard. The crew worked together to patch the pipe before it could flood the engine room. After working their first string without Captain Phil Harris aboard and with the crew asleep, Relief Captain Murray called Captain Phil to check on his status. Captain Phil told Murry that he was diagnosed with a blood clot that came loose in his leg and traveled up through his heart into his lung, a condition the doctors say could have killed him. At Dutch Harbor, after a slow offload, the crew of the North American spent a day repairing the extensive damage to the aft deck caused by a rough wave three days earlier. Back at sea, Captain Sten Skaar let greenhorn Darrell Labay work the rail, but the rest of the crew questioned the captains decision on letting an inexperienced crew member work the rail. When Darrell could not keep up, the crew continued to lose respect for him. On board the Time Bandit, their greenhorn Earon's work improved, though he battled sea sickness. After reaching Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn fired greenhorn Jason Moilanen for breaking the cardinal rule aboard ship of never questioning the captain of the boat. The Colburn brothers welcomed Jason's replacement, Cooper Weatherby aboard, who brought along a gift of two Cup Noodles for Captain Keith. 
50 14 "Changing Tides" July 8, 2008 (2008-07-08)
The Northwestern offloaded 184,000 pounds (83,000 kg) of crab at St. Paul Island, but the growing ice in the harbor made leaving the dock difficult. Captain Sig Hansen wanted to reach his northern-most pots before the rapidly approaching ice pack covered them up. At Dutch Harbor, the Wizard completed their offload of 407,000 pounds (185,000 kg) of crab and headed back to sea. But the trip started on a sour note when Captain Keith Colburn's brother Monte argued with him over relief duties at the wheelhouse. The Time Bandit worked their fishing ground nicknamed "Mr. Magoo" for three straight days, pulling up nearly 270,000 pounds (120,000 kg) of crab. With Engineer Neal Hillstrand retired from working the deck, Scott Hillstrand took over operating the hydraulics. Scott's inexperience at the controls made for slower work and he made a rookie mistake when he did not properly dog down a crab pot to the launcher, causing the pot to tip over on deck, nearly hitting a crew member. During one of his morning check-ins with his father, Josh Harris heard Captain Phil question his future as a fishing boat captain. The news lowered morale aboard the boat, but the crew pulled together for a 36 hour shift to pull up 200 crab pots. The Northwestern reached their pots ahead of the ice pack and after eight hours of pulling pots and breaking ice, the crew managed to retrieve 65 of their 130 pots and pulled in 45,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of crab. With an average of 750 keepers per pot, Captain Sig Hansen regretted having to leave the spot after getting everything dialed in, but the danger of losing pots to the ice pack was too great. After the Colburn brothers patched things up between them and the new greenhorn oriented to the ways of the deck, the crew of the Wizard resumed fishing, but pulled up blanks. On board the Time Bandit, the crew finished up a 72 hour grind, though several pots had to be rail dumped because they contained only female and juvenile crab, which can not be legally fished. With larger swells rolling in, Co-captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand went on deck to observe Scott Hillstrand work the hydraulics. When the boat took a roll, Scott lost control of a crab pot and it nearly crushed greenhorn Earon Overson's skull. The Cornelia Marie pulled in 120,000 pounds (54,000 kg) of crab after 72 hours of steady fishing. As a reward for making it through his second 36 hour shift, Deckhand Freddie Maughtai let greenhorn Dan Decker throw the crab hook for the first time. 
51 15 "Catch as Catch Can" July 15, 2008 (2008-07-15)
On board the Wizard, the crew pulled up full pots after letting them soak at new fishing grounds for 27 hours. After 36 hours of work, the crew of the Northwestern finished rescuing their pots ahead of the approaching ice pack. After relocating the pots to safer grounds, Captain Sig Hansen was again on the crab and the boat pulled in good numbers. When a pot was being hauled on deck, a broken bridle on the pot nearly caused Deckhand Nick Mavar Jr. to have his foot caught in the line as the pot descended back to the ocean floor. Quick work by Deck Boss Edgar Hansen saved the pot when he tossed the slack line overboard and put the tail of the line back into the block. Relief Captain Murray Gamrath decided to strengthen the deck crew by hiring aboard Mark Anderson, who had been away from the fleet for over a year after an off season fall. Mark was put to work at the controls of the hydraulics, but the hiatus made him a little rusty at the controls and he caused a pot to swing out of control as it was being pulled on deck. Fishing on untested grounds and with 36 hours to catch 190,000 pounds (86,000 kg) of crab, Captain Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit planned to push his crew through a four day grind until the boat was full. An unexpected wave while pulling a pot caused the line to jump free of the block and to go up over Deckhand Shea Long's head and behind his back, but a quick reaction from him prevented him from being injured by the line. After a 30 hour steam, the North American arrived at Dutch Harbor for their final offload of 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) of crab. After consulting with the crew, Captain Sten Skaar decided to let go of greenhorn Darrell Labay before the start of the new crab season. Mediocre fishing caused the Wizard to struggle to fill their last crab tank, which caused the deck crew's morale to drop and tension between greenhorns Lynn Guitard and Cooper Weatherby. 
52 16 "The Final Hour" July 22, 2008 (2008-07-22)
With 145,000 pounds (66,000 kg) crab left to catch, Relief Captain Murray Gamrath of the Cornelia Marie received a call about the boat's offload date. With an earlier than expected offload date and cold weather nearly shutting down fishing, the crew hurries to pick up their last pots of the season. In between a 4 hour run to the Northwestern's last string of the season, Deck Boss Edgar Hansen decided to make a "deck dummy" dressed as a crew member to throw off the top of the wheelhouse as a prank against Captain Sig Hansen, but his plan was interrupted when the boat arrived at the string. On the Wizard, the crew spent the last 36 hours, 135 pots, and 70,000 keepers trying to fill the port aft tank, but it continued to take in more crab until the very last pot of the season when it finally appeared to top off. The crew celebrated the end of their season, but unknown to them, the tank once again appeared to settle and was no longer full. On board the Northwestern, the crew did the traditional flaming hook for the last toss of the season. With the last pot pulled in, Deck Boss Edgar Hansen put his prank plan into action, but was foiled when Captain Sig noticed that the deck dummy's legs were crooked and it could not have been a real crew member. The crew of the Cornelia Marie worked through various injuries to pick up their last 180 pots for 95,000 pounds (43,000 kg) of crab and headed to Dutch Harbor to offload. Back home outside of Seattle, Captain Phil Harris continued his recovery from the blood clot and contemplated his future as a fishing boat captain. The Time Bandit finished up a 42 hour grind to finish the season and headed to Dutch Harbor to offload. Captain Andy Hillstrand let greenhorn Earon Overson toss the last hook of the season as his hard work gained the respect of the crew. At St. Paul Island, the Wizard offloaded 425,000 pounds (193,000 kg) of crab. After the port aft tank was emptied, Deck Boss Gary Soper discovered the reason for the apparently bottomless tank; a hole opened up towards the top of the tank, letting crab escape back into the sea. Back at Dutch Harbor, Deckhand Shea Long of the Time Bandit was unhappy with the prospect of Scott Hillstrand taking over the boat. Jake and Josh Harris reunited with their father in Seattle and Captain Phil discussed the seriousness of his illness and his future as captain. As an epilogue to the season, it was noted that on March 23, 2008, two weeks after the crab season ended, the fish processing vessel Alaska Ranger took on water and sank, forcing the 47 crew members to enter the water. 42 crew members were rescued by the United States Coast Guard and the sister ship Alaska Warrior. Four crew members perished and their bodies recovered, but one crew member was lost at sea.[3] 
53 "Deadliest Catch: Behind The Scenes" July 22, 2008 (2008-07-22)
Behind the scenes on the making of season 4. 
54 "Deadliest Catch: Best of Season Four" April 7, 2009 (2009-04-07)
Recap of the fourth season 

Season 5

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
55 1 "Everything on the Line" April 14, 2009 (2009-04-14)
The season opens with medical issues for Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard; a biopsy standing between him and the season. Captain Phil Harris returns to the bridge of the Cornelia Marie after being away for eight months, but then immediately spends $5,000 on new bait sacks after Jake and Josh lost the sacks from the previous season. The captains gather at the traditional burn barrel and bar where they make the year's captain's wager for $4,000. This year's wager is for the most keepers caught from five specially designated captain's pots. On the Time Bandit, the Hillstrands re-hire deckhand Mike Fourtner, who has aspirations of running the boat when the Hillstrand brothers retire. The Hillstrands play a prank on him as a welcome back by dumping two bins full of water and flour on him. On the Wizard, Captain Keith receives a call from his doctor that the biopsy came back negative for cancer, but positive for epithelial dysplasia. During the traditional blessing of the fleet, Captain Phil receives a call from his doctor that the blood clot condition has not completely healed. Reluctantly, Phil decides he must relinquish the captain's chair to Murray Gamrath. The Time Bandit is the first to reach the southern crab grounds where Captain Johnathan drops two 10-pot prospect pots in a spot that was productive last year. Just as the Wizard is to drop her first pots of the season, Captain Keith's wife calls with news that the $400,000 in repairs during the off-season has drained his bank account leaving him with a zero balance. The prospect pots return nearly empty and Captain Keith decides to move on. On the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen draws the short straw, though actually a short zip tie, to do the traditional biting off the head of a herring. On the Wizard, a pot is lost when the line snaps. Captain Keith suspects a jagged edge of zinc anode is cutting the lines, and the only way to be sure is for Captain Keith to dive under the boat or return to port. Captain Keith made the decision to do the risky dive, but as he is ascending from under the boat, the boat rolls; he sustains a head injury, and has to be lifted back aboard in a life sling. Last year's hot spot for the Time Bandit is just as hot this year when the first pot of the prospect string hauls in 96 keepers; seeing such great results, Captain Johnathan blankets area with all of his pots. 
56 2 "Red Skies in the Morning" April 21, 2009 (2009-04-21)
The crew of the Wizard tends to Captain Keith Colburn, but it is too early to tell if he is seriously injured from bumping his head on the underside of the boat. After another test string results in a full pot, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit drops his entire load of pots in the hot spot from last season. After getting eight hours of sleep, On the Wizard, Captain Keith takes over the helm even though he doesn't remember most of what happened during his accident. The skippers notice the red sky in the morning and the leading edge of a monster storm reaches the fleet at 10:00 AM with the Northwestern getting hit first. Her crew continues to fish through the leading edge of the storm, when Captain Sig Hansen's wife calls with a weather report of approaching 40-knot (74 km/h; 46 mph) plus winds from the east. Captain Sig decides to push as hard as he can before the storm hits. The Time Bandit consolidates her entire 197 pot load in a 0.5-square-mile (1.3 km2) area. Relief Captain Murray Gamrath steers the Cornelia Marie to pick up a 15-mile (24 km) long string of 90 pots after a 48 hour soak, but instead of the 60 average keepers he was expecting, he gets only a few crab per pot. With such low numbers, Captain Murray orders the crew to stack the gear and heads off to a second string 20 miles (32 km) to the north. He also receives a phone call from Captain Phil Harris asking him how the fishing is going and providing Captain Murray with a report that Captain Johnathan of the Time Bandit was averaging 80 to 90 keepers per pot. On board the Northwestern, a broken pot catches the line while being dropped overboard, causing two pots to get tangled, but the crew slowly works to clear the problem. The Cornelia Marie hits the southern edge of the storm and where 60 pots were dropped to the north, but while the pots look good at first, most of the crab are females or juveniles. The crew grumbles about the lack of crab and Captain Murray has no plan on where to go next. The Time Bandit continues to pull up good numbers, filling up their tanks with nearly 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of crab, but the 36 hour grind causes the tension to rise between Mike Fourtner and Russell Newberry. The fleet gets hit by a typhoon from Japan that produces 35-foot (11 m) seas and 60-knot (111 km/h; 69 mph) winds. At 12:37 AM on October 22, 2008, the crab fleet hears a mayday call from the Katmai, a cod fisher with 11 men on board, that she is sinking, but the ship is 900 miles (1,400 km) west of the fleet and the skippers are too far away to assist. The United States Coast Guard launches an MH-60 Jayhawk and two C-130 Hercules from USCG Air Station Kodiak to the location of the Katmai's EPIRB. After a seven hour flight, the MH-60 Jayhawk arrives on scene and locates the EPIRB, a flare, debris, and an empty life raft, but no survivors. At 1:00 PM, the Jayhawk crew spots a survival suit in the water, but the rescue swimmer reports that the crew member is deceased. 
57 3 "Stay Focused or Die" April 28, 2009 (2009-04-28)
Seventeen hours after Katmai's EPIRB went off, a second MH-60 Jayhawk arrives on scene and picks up four survivors from a life raft: Captain Henry "Joe" Blake, Deck Boss Guy Schroeder, and Greenhorns Harold "Ryan" Appling and Adam Foster. Captain Joe, Ryan, and Adam recount their survival story aboard the life raft. Facing the worst of the storm, the Wizard is low on fresh bait and pulls a string of cod pots in 25-foot (7.6 m), 75-mile-per-hour (121 km/h) seas. On board the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen keeps news of the Katmai tragedy from the crew. After going 36 hours without sleep, Captain Sig hands over the helm to Deck Boss Edgar Hansen and he steers the Northwestern on setting a string. After a 27 hour soak, the string pulls up good numbers, lifting the spirits of the crew. On the Cornelia Marie, Deck Hand Corey Eisenbarth recounts his experience when he was a greenhorn aboard a fishing vessel that went down 26 years ago. Nineteen hours after the Katmai sinks, two Good Samaritan vessels, the Courageous and the Patricia Lee pull the bodies of two crewmen from the sea.[4] Four days after the sinking, the United States Coast Guard suspends the search for the two remaining missing crewmen.[5] 
58 4 "Put Up or Shut Up" May 5, 2009 (2009-05-05)
While on a 45-minute run to another string, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit receives a call from the cannery that his delivery deadline has been moved up three days, leaving 36 hours to fill the boat. On board the Wizard, Monte Colburn is upset that Greenhorn Josh Warner had posted a picture of him and his girlfriend near the bait station. Monte smears bait over the photo, which prompts Josh to leave the deck and complain to Captain Keith Colburn about the issue, but he receives no sympathy and is told to get back to work. Captain Wade Henley and the Lisa Marie arrives at the southern end of the fishing grounds two weeks after the rest of the fleet because she was fishing for cod for a month. The smallest boat in the fleet at 78 feet (24 m) long can only carry 40 pots, which she drops overboard for a prospect string. On the Northwestern, steady but mediocre numbers make Captain Sig Hansen happy, but his mode changes when the cannery calls to tell him that they have moved his delivered day up a day, leaving less than 72 hours to catch 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) of crab. His mood continues to darken when the fatigue of the deck crew, who have been working for 17 hours non-stop, causes them to slow down and make mistakes. The Time Bandit pull up a 75 pot string with low numbers putting their push to fill their quota in time for delivery in jeopardy, but two large pots push them over their 117,000-pound (53,000 kg) full load and they head back to port. On their way to pick a cod fishing string, Deckhand Jake Anderson of the Northwestern receives permission from the crew and Captain Sig to man the hydraulics for the first time. When Captain Sig comes out of the wheelhouse to caution Jake about going too fast, Edgar Hansen becomes unhappy about Captain Sig stepping across the line of responsibility from the wheelhouse to the deck. After dropping her 40 pots overboard, the Lisa Marie anchors at Amak Island to take cover from the storm where she is joined by the Cornelia Marie. Captain Murray Gamrath of the Cornelia Marie is relieved from the wheelhouse after being on duty for 39 hours straight. Deckhand Corey Eisenbarth notices that the boat is drifting due to the 8-foot (2.4 m) swells and 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) winds and wakes up Captain Murray so that he can captain the boat while they pull up the anchor. The anchor line gets caught on the outside of the pulley. Corey manually works the line free while Captain Murray engages the engines to relieve the stress on the line. 
59 5 "Long Haul, Short Fuses" May 12, 2009 (2009-05-12)
After a 30 hours grind and with 8 hours to spare, the Time Bandit sets their final 35 pot string before heading to Saint Paul to offload. The crew gets a reminder on complacency when a rogue wave knocks a pot off the launcher, nearly crashing into Deckhand Russell Newberry before it goes over the side. After seven days of fishing on barren grounds, Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard makes a major move by baiting heavy and moving to new fishing grounds, but his plans are delayed when he discovers that the boat is low on bait. Captain Keith decides to call out to Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern to ask for bait, hoping that Captain Sig follows the unwritten rule of "whenever somebody needs help, regardless of who it is and what is, you help them out". Continuing to haul up low numbers and with only 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) out of 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) for a full load, Captain Murray Gamrath calls the crew to the wheelhouse that he is going to take the Cornelia Marie up north 80 to 95 miles (130 to 153 km) in search of better numbers. Despite their low numbers, Captain Sig of the Northwestern decides to not move and stick it out. Deck Boss Edgar Hansen calls out Deckhand Jake Anderson about how he is prepping the crab pots. Jake takes the criticism personally and his attitude annoys Edgar. The Time Bandit offloads 121,000 pounds (55,000 kg) of crab worth $609,000 at Saint Paul. Also experiencing miserable fishing, Captain Wade Henley considers moving the Lisa Marie up north, but the boat's small deck would mean multiple trips which would eat up fishing time. Captain Wade decides to move up north 50 miles (80 km) instead of 80 miles (130 km) where he was told over the radio that there was good fishing. Later that night, the crew pulls up a test pot after a 7 hour soak that results in no crab. The lack good fishing causes tension among the crew to rise, culminating in Deckhand Robert Christensen shoving his brother Greenhorn David Christensen to the deck after Robert's toss of the hook gets caught in a shot line that David was coiling. Working on an 80 pot string with two days before having to make a delivery and on a 36 hour grind, the crew of the Northwestern gets careless. Jake Anderson handles the crab roughly on the sorting table, causing Edgar to call out Jake once again. When Deckhand Matt Bradley joins in on calling out Jake, tempers flare between the two. On the Cornelia Marie, the crew drops 141 pots on new grounds. Tensions are also high among the Harris brothers, with Jake and Josh arguing over Josh's filling of the bait jars. The Time Bandit continues to pull up full pots. Another close call on deck happens when a bridle breaks while pulling up a pot, but a quick reaction by Deckhand Mike Fourtner to throw out the line from the coiler prevents anybody from getting caught in the line and pulled overboard. Mike's luck doesn't hold when he loses two hooks overboard. The crew manage to retrieve the second hook with some luck and jury rigged hook made of two shackles. With only 2,000-pound (910 kg) of bait on board, Captain Keith leaves his brother Monte Colburn at the helm while on a run to pick up some cod pots. Monte spots a herd of walrus and Keith is upset that Monte did not wake him as the superstitious Keith sees the walrus as a good omen. Keith drops a string of pots exactly where the walrus herd was spotted. After a 24 hour soak, the walrus herd turns out to indeed be a good omen as the crab pots are full and the Wizard fills her tanks full. The Cornelia Marie's move 100 miles (160 km) north does not turn out when she pulls up a disappointing string of pots. 
60 6 "Deadline" May 19, 2009 (2009-05-19)
The Wizard is being helmed by Monte Colburn as she fishes in 35-foot (11 m) seas, 100,000 pounds (45,000 kg) short of her quota. At first pots in the string are full, but the count quickly drops off. The Northwestern drops 86 pots on a third string in new fishing grounds. As she heads back to the other end of the grounds, Deck Boss Edgar Hansen needles Deckhand Jake Anderson, which upsets him. The bad feelings chill when a wave crashes on deck, hits Edgar and Jake, and knocking Edgar off his feet. The Cornelia Marie's bad luck continues when she only gets 45 keepers out of 25 pots. Hoping to change their luck, Deckhands Josh Harris, Jake Harris, and Freddy Maugatai try their new tradition of shaving their heads into a mohawk. After pulling up mediocre numbers for the past three days, the Time Bandit heads to their last string of the season. The string starts off good, pulls up a blank on the third pot, but the last few pots have good numbers, allowing the crew to meet their quota of 270,000 pounds (120,000 kg) of crab. Captain Johnathan Hillstrands plots a course back to Dutch Harbor to offload. On board the Lisa Marie, crew morale sinks when a string after a 20 hour soak pulls up mostly female crab. The crew must stack and move their 60 pots for the third time in two weeks. Deck Boss Robert Christensen berates Deckhand Brandon Williams. Brandon then goes to Captain Wade Henley to tell him that this will be his last trip on the boat because he feels that he is not getting the respect that he deserves. After the mediocre numbers that Monte Colburn picked up through the storm, Captain Keith Colburn packs five strings in a 2-square-mile (5.2 km2) area back where he saw the herd of walruses. The plan works out when the crew pulls of pots with large numbers of crab. At Dutch Harbor, the Time Bandit offloads her catch. Captain Johnathan has caught over $1.7 million worth of crab. The crew celebrate the end of the king crab season by smashing several whipped cream pies in the face of Andy Hillstrand, who will be captain during the upcoming opilio crab season. 
61 7 "Down to the Wire" May 26, 2009 (2009-05-26)
The final week of the king crab season sees the crew of the Wizard pushing to pull up their last 20 pots of the season. They get good numbers of keepers and head to Dutch Harbor to offload. On board the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen is radio fishing in English and Norwegian, but Deck Boss Edgar Hansen is skeptical of any advice received over the radio. The Cornelia Marie is finally on the crab, but their long trip makes Relief Captain Murray Gamrath worry that the crab in the tanks might be towards the end of how long they can survive. Deckhand Jake Harris has an injured back, but when brother Josh tries to help out, Josh ends up injuring Jake's pride and they argue over their duties on deck. The brother soon make up when the boat averages 30 keepers per pot. With 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) in their tanks, the Cornelia Marie begins the 30 hour trip back to Dutch Harbor to offload. Captain Sig on the Northwestern makes a gamble by dropping three 50-pot "Hail Mary" strings on the radio information he received, but the pots bring up lousy numbers and the crew has to continue to grind through the season. With their season completed before the other boats, the Hillstrand brothers of the Time Bandit go fishing in San Carlos, Mexico. Just outside of Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard calls Greenhorn Josh Warner up to the wheelhouse to congratulate him on a good job during the season and to offer him a job during the upcoming opilio season. First Mate Gary Soper initiates Josh to the crew by playing a practical joke on him. As the Wizard is being offloaded, Engineer Lenny Lekanoff surprises the Colburn brothers by telling them that he is retiring after fishing for 25 years. The Northwestern picks up their last "Hail Mary" string and the crew celebrates by shooting off fireworks, but Captain Sig is worried that the Coast Guard will interpret the fireworks as signal flares. At Dutch Harbor, the Cornelia Marie offloads their crab. The crew is dismayed to find a lot of dead loss due to the boat being out too long. The crew makes one final trip out to dump the dead loss over the side. Captain Sig of the Northwestern barely makes his delivery deadline and the cannery haggles with him over the price of the crab. Two weeks after the season ends, the captains gather to settle the Captain's Wager. The wager comes down to a single pot between the Time Bandit and the Wizard, with the Time Bandit winning. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand splits the winnings with the crew. 
62 8 "Payback Time" June 2, 2009 (2009-06-02)
The beginning of the 2009 opilio season is greeted by an ice storm in Dutch Harbor. On the way to the fuel dock, the Wizard loses power and drifts east of Hog Island. She regains power before drifting into the rocks of Hog Island and heads back to her dock to diagnose the problem with her fuel system. Captain Phil Harris returns to the helm of the Cornelia Marie after an 11 month break from fishing due to this blood clot from last season. The ice storm has delayed Captain Sig Hansen's, of the Northwestern, arrival at Dutch Harbor for two days. Before the start of the king crab season, Deckhand Jake Anderson of the Northwestern pulled a prank on Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit by stealing Captain Johnathan's signature U.S.A jacket. The Hillstrand brothers seek revenge upon Jake at the start of the opilio season. Jake decides to spare the crew of the Northwestern from possible retaliation by going on board the Time Bandit to return the jacket. However, the Hillstrand brothers still decide to punish Jake by taping him to the Time Bandit's crane and dipping him waist-deep into the sea. The weather clears enough for Captain Sig to fly into Dutch Harbor on the day that the opilio season starts. Captain Sig and Captain Andy Hillstrand visit Captain Phil on the Cornelia Marie to discuss the ice situation on the fishing grounds. Captain Phil hires mechanic Jeff Whited to check over the Cornelia Marie. He finds a leak in the fuel tank that needs immediate repair in a drydock. While drydocked, a problem with the propeller is discovered. Steve Ward replaces Murray Gamrath as engineer after Murray decides to retire from fishing. Steve finds a water leak in the hydraulic system that needs repair. The three repairs total up to a $100,000 bill. With the impending ice storm, the captains of the Northwestern and Time Bandit decide to offload some pots to make for a safer boat and then head off to the fishing grounds. The Wizard's loss of power is traced back to a leak in the fuel tank. The tank is drained and ventilated to allow Monte Colburn to weld the leak as a temporary fix to get the boat through the opilio season. Instead of taking off pots like the Northwestern and Time Bandit, Captain Keith Colburn decides to take a full load of 235 pots and rig up a tarp across the front of the stack to prevent freezing spray from building up on the stack. The Time Bandit arrives at the same fishing spot in the northern area of the fishing grounds as last season and drops her first strings. Captain Andy has four days until his delivery date to fill the boat and wants to launch his pots as fast as possible. The Hillstrands hire on new Deckhand Jon Jorgenson even though they still need to cut one crew member at the end of the season. The extra hire means that six crew members are competing for five spots. The Northwestern drops her pots further north than the Time Bandit. Deckhand Jake Anderson does the traditional biting off of the head of a the herring to start the season. Captain Sig drops three 40-pot strings just 70 miles (110 km) south of the ice and hopes that the ice does not cover his pots before he can retrieve them. Captain Keith of the Wizard decides that 235 pots is too many and departs Dutch Harbor with 225 pots. After three days in drydock, the repairs on the Cornelia Marie are complete and she heads off, but not before Captain Phil decides to give his son Josh a full share. Brothers Jake and Josh Harris argue while they load the pots onto the deck. After a nine hour soak, the Time Bandit's first string pulls up low numbers, which forces Captain Andy to scramble for a new plan before the ice arrives at the fishing grounds in two days. The Cornelia Marie arrives at the fishing grounds with Captain Phil planning to fish near the ice pack. In 50-knot (93 km/h; 58 mph) winds and 30-foot (9.1 m) seas, the crew of the Wizard works on the bow of the ship to lash down the tarp. Captain Keith calls for an abort of the work, but the crew does not hear him and the boat takes a big wave which engulfs the crew. 
63 9 "No Second Chances" June 9, 2009 (2009-06-09)
Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard calls to his crew on the bow after a big wave crashes over the bow engulfing the crew. After not hearing anything, Captain Keith rushes down from the wheelhouse to find that Monte Colburn has injured ribs from being thrown against the drag anchor, Deckhand Lynn Guitard with a contusion above his left eye and lower back, and First Mate Gary Soper with a contusion below his left eye. With half the crew injured, the Wizard turns back to Dutch Harbor. The Hillstand family fishing ground nicknamed "Mr. Magoo" does not produce any crab unlike last season. The crew of the Time Bandit rail dumps the pots dropped on "Mr. Magoo" and head to their northern strings 60 miles (97 km) away. After offloading 152,000 pounds (69,000 kg) worth $258,000, the Incentive is fishing on the southern fishing grounds 80 miles (130 km) from the sea ice in the middle of an arctic squall with 20-foot (6.1 m) seas, 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) gusts, and −10 °F (−23 °C) temperatures. While pulling up full pots after 18 hours of work, a pot slips from the launcher, but the crew avoids injury. Captain Keith of the Wizard agonizes over his decision to send his crew out on the bow. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil Harris plans a short soak strategy in order to beat the ice. With two new crew members on deck, the crew has yet to get into a good rhythm. When new Engineer Steve Ward is slow stacking the pots on the deck, the Harris sons push him to work faster. This results in a dressing down by Captain Phil to his sons about working together. With three days to go until their delivery date, the Time Bandit arrives at their northern family fishing ground nicknamed "butt cheeks". Trying to break their bad luck, the crew set fire to the Jake Anderson, of the Northwestern, dummy they made when paying Jake back for stealing Captain Johnathan Hillstrand's jacket. The crew's luck changes as the crew pulls up three-quarter full pots after a 21 hour soak. Captain Andy Hillstrand decides to concentrate all of his gear on the "butt cheeks" fishing grounds. The Northwestern is on the crab, pulling an average of 400 keepers per pot 55-mile (89 km) from the sea ice. A 40-foot (12 m) wave crashes over the port side of the boat, snapping the pot tie downs at the stern of the boat, causing the pots to shift to the starboard side. On board the Cornelia Marie, the crew finally gets into a rhythm and their short soaked pots pull up good numbers. Captain Phil must decide on whether to stay and fish and risk being caught by the ice or make a run to St. Paul to offload while the weather is clear. While launching a pot, Jake Harris gets his leg caught in the line after it pops free from the block. Quick work by his brother, Josh Harris, frees Jake's leg before the descending pot pulls him overboard. After a 20 hour steam, the Wizard arrives back at Dutch Harbor and the injured crew receive medical attention. 
64 10 "Sea of Misery" June 16, 2009 (2009-06-16)
Six hours after offloading $352,000 worth of crab, the Northwestern is hauling up a 100-pot string after a 48 hour soak. The ice pack has moved 20 miles (32 km) south in the past 36 hours, putting the ice 40 miles (64 km) away from the Northwestern's northern strings. The crew rush through hauling up the southern string before moving 15 miles (24 km) to haul the northern strings. Captain Sig Hansen has the Northwestern on the crab, getting an average of 500–600 crab per pot, and wants to move west .75 miles (1.21 km) before resetting the pots to keep the fishing fresh and ahead of the crab, but the crew questions Captain Sig's decision not to set back on the same spot like previous seasons. Still docked at Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard has second thoughts about his decision making process regarding the accident that injured three of his crewmembers. The boat heads out with a full crew with retired Engineer Lenny Lekanoff and injured First Mate Gary Soper rejoin the crew. The Cornelia Marie is picking up the last 120 pots of her northern string, getting 500 keepers per pot, when Captain Phil Harris receives a radio report of an approaching storm with 41-foot (12 m) seas. Captain Phil puts the crew into overdrive to finish picking up the string and head to St. Paul for offload before the storm arrives. The Time Bandit arrives at St. Paul an hour ahead of her scheduled delivery time with approximately 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) of crab on board. The tired deck crew hits their racks during offload, but nobody is assigned to take notes of the offload to check the cannery's numbers. The cannery reports that they have taken off 85,000 pounds (39,000 kg) of crab and the crew can not confirm that the cannery is short two brailers. The discrepancy and lack of attention earns the crew a dressing down by Captain Andy Hillstrand. The Wizard finally drops the first pots of her season on the southern end of the fishing ground. Captain Keith notices that the Northwestern and several Trident Seafoods boats are in the area and he becomes concerned that he may be dropping on areas that have been fished out. While steaming for an hour to their northern strings, the Northwestern builds up 6 inches (15 cm) of ice on her deck and the crew spend the next four hours breaking ice. The Wizard crew offload their 204 pots in 60-knot (111 km/h; 69 mph) winds and 25-foot (7.6 m) seas. Captain Keith is still having doubts the decision to fish and his confidence is shattered when Lenny is knocked off his feet by a wave. Even though Lenny is okay, Captain Keith calls off launching of the remaining pots on deck. The Time Bandit crew pick up right where they left off when their first string of their second trip of the season averages more than 700 keepers per pot. 10 miles (16 km) out from St. Paul, the Cornelia Marie is inching her way through the sea ice. Below decks, Engineer Steve Ward notices a small leak in the port crab tank circulation pipe. While grinding away the rust around the leak to attempt a repair, the leak grows bigger, setting off alarms. The crew, who had been asleep on the run to St. Paul, wakes up and heads below to help Steve apply a temporary patch to the pipe. 
65 11 "Lockout" June 23, 2009 (2009-06-23)
Working three consecutive 30 hour shifts, the crew of the Northwestern is pulling their northernmost string of 25 pots in a 4 miles (6.4 km) line before the ice arrives. However, before the crew reaches the end of the string, the boat encounters the leading edge of the ice pack. The first buoy in the ice pack has moved 3 miles (4.8 km) from where it was dropped. Captain Sig Hansen decides not to press his luck with the ice even though the pots are getting good numbers and moves his pots further south away from the ice. The Cornelia Marie is 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of St. Paul when Captain Phil Harris decides that he can wait no longer and to push his engines to the limit to get through the ice blocking St. Paul. Only .75 miles (1.21 km) from the dock, oil begins to pour from the port engine and Captain Phil is forced to shut down the engine and use only the starboard engine. After two hours, the crew ties up at the dock. Captain Phil makes a call to his mechanic in Dutch Harbor to see if he is willing to fly out to St. Paul to fix his engine so that he can go back out to retrieve his pots before the ice pack swallows them. Twenty-one days into the season, the Wizard pulls up her first prospect string of the season, resulting in good numbers. Captain Keith Colburn receives a call from his brother, Monte, updating Keith on Monte's injury suffered at the beginning of the opilio season. The ice filled the harbor at St. Paul and trapped the Cornelia Marie against the dock, but Captain Phil's mechanic has caught the last flight in to St. Paul and began work on the engine. The Incentive fishes into the night in 70-knot (130 km/h; 81 mph) winds and 40-foot (12 m) seas with not very good results. A line breaks free of the block, snapping the line against Deckhand Doug Dawson's arm, but he escapes serious injury. After 11 hours of work, the mechanic determines that the number six cylinder of the Cornelia Marie's port engine is the cause of the failure and it will cost $67,000 to repair. Fishing is back to normal on board the Wizard, but the pace takes a toll on the greenhorns. Josh Warner leaves the deck to take a nap, and later goes up to the wheelhouse to tell Captain Keith that he is thinking of leaving the boat due to feeling humiliated by the veteran crew members. Captain Keith encourages Josh to stick it out for the rest of the season. The Northwestern has moved south onto new, untested fishing grounds. A 30 hour soak results in good numbers. Captain Sig feels momentary tightness and acute pain across his chest, but he chooses to keep it from his crew and he continues on at the helm. After five days trapped at the dock in St. Paul, the Cornelia Marie's engine is repaired and there is an opening in the weather to allow her to leave. After receiving an observation on the harbor ice conditions from a United States Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk that was overhead, Captain Phil cautiously steers the boat clear of the ice in the harbor and plots a course to retrieve their northern strings before the ice pack arrives. 
66 12 "A Slap in the Face or a Kick in the Butt" June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30)
The Northwestern has 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) to fill her tanks before her offload in 24 hours. Suffering from a cough, Captain Sig Hansen decides to try to quit smoking for a day. An arctic front approaches from the north, bringing 30 feet (9.1 m) seas which make for a very wet deck. Captain Sig gives up on quitting smoking after three and a half hours. The Time Bandit continues to bring in good numbers after the fourth set back of pots in "butt cheeks" fishing grounds. Her crab tanks are packed full of crab and she heads back to St. Paul to offload. Two days after leaving St. Paul, the Cornelia Marie arrives where her pots should be, but does not find them. Captain Phil Harris must run around in circles to locate his pots. On board the Wizard, Captain Keith Colburn's nerves are still frayed from the incident earlier in the season and he has been fishing in calmer waters which results in lower numbers of crab. Greenhorn Josh Warner is sleeping when the rest of the crew are eating and is slow coming out on deck. Captain Keith calls Josh up to the wheelhouse to give him an ultimatum to decide what he wants to work or quit. Before heading to offload at St. Paul, the Time Bandit makes a detour to look at the ice pack. Captain Andy Hillstrand finds that the ice pack is moving faster towards he gear that he is expecting and he must decide to either go move his northern most pots or make a run to offload and hope that the ice pack does not reach his pots. Captain Andy decides to gamble and make the run in to offload. The Cornelia Marie managed to locate all 180 of her pots that were scattered by the sea ice. Moving to new grounds, Captain Phil claims that he can see bubbles and smell the "crab fart" in the water and drops a 30 pot prospect string. Headed to St. Paul, the Time Bandit finds that the ice pack is further south than Captain Andy expected. She must slowly make her way through the ice in St. Paul Harbor and use her crane to move the ice between the boat and the dock before she dock. The Northwestern has also found the ice pack on her way back to St. Paul. When she arrives, the St. Paul harbormaster calls to tell Captain Sig that the harbor is closed due to the ice. The Northwestern must drop anchor and wait out the ice. The Wizard's numbers are picking up as she hauls up the last lots of her first trip. Greenhorn Josh's work attitude is also picking up and he tells Captain Keith that he is ready to go for a second trip. Retired Engineer Lenny Lekanoff has only agreed to go on a single trip in replace of the injured Monte Colburn. Captain Keith leaves a message for Monte to see if he is well enough to come back on board. After a 35 hour soak, Captain Phil Harris' theory about the "crab fart" appears to be true as the Cornelia Marie crew pulls up good numbers on the prospect string. The Northwestern has been anchored off St. Paul for the past three days and the crew is beginning to worry about dead loss from the crab being on board for ten days. 
67 13 "Ends of the Earth" July 7, 2009 (2009-07-07)
Anchored 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of St. Paul harbor, Captain Sig Hansen decides that the four days he has already waited is long enough, heads into the harbor and pushes his way past the ice. Safely docked at the pier, Captain Sig hopes that he can offload before the harbor ices up again. The Incentive pulls up full pots of "dirty" (barnacle-encrusted) crab and must rail dump them overboard as the cannery will refuse the dirty crab. With three days until a delivery date, over 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) left to go, and no keepers in the string, Captain Harry Lewis decides that he must move north. As the Wizard offloads 411,000 pounds (186,000 kg) of crab worth $560,000 at Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn drives to the airport to pick up his brother Monte who has returned against doctors orders with five broken ribs and new Greenhorn Jon Lawler. With the new crew and Engineer Lenny Lekanoff back into retirement, the Wizard heads back out. In 30-foot (9.1 m) seas and −30 °F (−34 °C) temperatures, the Incentive arrives at the northern fishing grounds and sets her pots before a storm arrives. When ice builds up on deck to dangerous levels, the crew must stop setting pots and break ice. At the southern fishing grounds, the Wizard picks up her gear to head north 5 to 10 miles (8.0 to 16 km). While Monte may be back on board, his broken ribs limit him to manning the wheelhouse and Captain Keith must go out to work the deck. Captain Keith has not worked the deck in over 15 years and shows the crew that he is still capable of working the deck. His time on the deck shows to him that he starting to get over the incident with his crew at the beginning of the season. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie returns to the "crab fart" fishing grounds. High tides make for difficult conditions hooking the buoys, but the crew manages to pull the pots on deck with an average of 600 keepers per pot. Captain Phil decides to set back on the same spot. Captain Phil notices that Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard has set his pots in the middle of the Cornelia Marie's gear. The Incentive's first northern string averages 500 keepers per pot. With the temperature dropping to −40 °F (−40 °C), the crew begins to suffer Stage 1 hypothermia and crab begin to drop their legs when they freeze. After hauling up 45 pots, the temperature continues to drop, but the crew must grind on with another 150 pots to haul. The Northwestern has returned to the finishing grounds after being stuck in St. Paul harbor for two days and the crew rushes to pull pots before their next delivery deadline. The twenty hour grind with poor numbers makes the crew grumpy, but Captain Sig shows no sympathy. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie calls Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard over his view that Captain Keith set his gear over the top of Cornelia Marie gear. Captain Keith's view is that he did not intend to set his gear over the Cornelia Marie gear and that the tide moves the Wizard's gear. A storm generating 60-knot (110 km/h; 69 mph) and 30-foot (9.1 m) seas hits the Wizard as she pulls up the 60 pots in the area. A 40-foot (12 m) crashes over the bow, knocking Greenhorn Jon Lawler from the sorting table and wedging him under the launcher. Relief Captain Monte decides that the conditions are too rough and calls the crew inside. 
68 14 "Bitter Tears" July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14)
After three consecutive 25-hour shifts with poor numbers, dirty crab, and 400,000 pounds (180,000 kg) left in their quota, the crew of the Northwestern begins to think of home. On deck, a slip by Greenhorn Jake Anderson nearly causes him to be crushed under a pot being brought on board. On board the Wizard, Greenhorn Josh Warner tells Captain Keith Colburn that he will be getting off the boat at the end of this trip so that he can see his brother who is shipping off to Iraq. Captain Keith decides that a distracted Josh is a liability on deck and pulls him off the deck. The Cornelia Marie is back to averaging 600 keepers per pot now that the she is no longer sharing fishing grounds with the Wizard. Greenhorn Ryan Simpson accidentally steps into the crab tank, earning the rest of crew a case of beer when they get back into town. The crew of the Wizard is working a 15 hour grind with big numbers. A radio call alerts them about the approaching ice pack, forcing the crew to stack their pots on deck and move to different grounds. The Time Bandit has returned after two days to the pots she had dropped 2 miles (3.2 km) from the ice pack before running to an offload. However, at the designated spot, the pots are nowhere to be found. After some searching, Captain Andy Hillstrand locates their pots and gets good numbers from them. He decides to set back on the same spot. On board the Northwestern, Deckhand Nick Mavar, Jr's wife calls with the news that Jake's sister, Chelsea Dawn Anderson, has died. Nick tells the news to Jake and the Northwestern heads to St. Paul so that Jake can go home to be with his family. After a 47-hour shift, the crew of the Time Bandit hits the rack. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand is at the wheel monitoring the ice pack that is 5 miles (8.0 km) from their northern pots. When he receives a radio report on the movement of the pack, he rouses the crew so they can move all 80 of their pots before the ice pack reaches them. Unfortunately, the 80 pots do not have enough crab in them to fill the boat and they must reset all 80 pots away from the ice pack. The Northwestern is 1 mile (1.6 km) outside of St. Paul when the crew transfers Jake to another boat that is heading in to port to offload. Deck Boss Edgar Hansen tells Jake that they will not likely hire somebody to fill his spot and they will work a four man deck. 
69 15 "Day of Reckoning" July 21, 2009 (2009-07-21)
The Wizard is headed to Dutch Harbor to offload scheduled in 20 hours in heavy seas and with an iced over stack on deck. Captain Keith Colburn orders the crew of drop 40 pots from the top of the stack as the seas pick up to 35 feet (11 m) and 70-knot (130 km/h; 81 mph) winds. The Time Bandit has 80 pots to pick up to finish off the last of her 40,000 pounds (18,000 kg) quota before she heads to Dutch Habor to offload. Captain Andy Hillstrand orders the crew to measure the remaining space in the middle tank, the crew ignores him. An angry Captain Johnathan Hillstrand goes on deck to do the measure himself and yell at the crew, in particular Mike Fourtner. After Captains Andy and Johnathan yell at the crew, the last pot of the season is hauled on board by a very subdued crew. After a 17 hour run, the Time Bandit arrives at Dutch Harbor where she offloads the last of her $900,000 quota. With too many deckhands on board, Captain Johnathan fires Deckhand Russell Newberry. Captain Johnathan makes a radio call to Captain Keith on the Wizard to see if he needs another deckhand. The Northwestern is trying to make up time lost from the run to St. Paul to drop off Jake Anderson. She has 72 hours to get the last 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of her quota. The pots pull up good numbers as the weather gets colder. The Wizard arrives at Dutch Harbor where she offloads 375,000 pounds (170,000 kg) of crab. Greenhorn Josh Warner asks Captain Keith if he could have a spot on the boat if he returns in September, but Captain Keith tells him that he will not bring him back on the boat and to pack his bags. With an arctic hurricane due to hit the grounds by the end of the day, the Northwestern crew is hurrying to get all 150 of their pots on board. Low numbers of keepers put their timeline in jeopardy. Captain Keith of the Wizard meets with Russell Newberry and hires him for the rest of the opilio season. Russell packs up his gear on the Time Bandit and heads over to the Wizard. The crew of the Northwestern works their 50th straight hour to bring up the last of 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of crab, capped off with the traditional flaming hook for the last pot of the season. With offload complete, the Wizard heads back out to sea. Captain Keith wants to drop all of his pots before the arctic hurricane hits with full force. As the hurricane hits, the radio comes alive with reports of fishing boats in distress, including one call from the Coast Guard than an EPIRB has gone off. 
70 "Behind the Scenes: Season 5" July 27, 2009 (2009-07-27)
Behind the scenes on the making of season 5. 
71 16 "Shipwrecked" July 28, 2009 (2009-07-28)
The fleet receives a PAN PAN call that a fishing vessel has taken on water off Akutan Island. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk arrives on scene to find the Icy Mist grounded on the western shore of Akutan.[6] The Jayhawk crew attempt to lower their rescue basket to the deck of the boat, but 50 mph (80 km/h) gusts force the crew to abort the rescue attempt. Radio communication is lost with the boat and the crew decides to attempt to go on shore using a line attached to a cod pot that was knocked off the deck and washed ashore. After all four crew members make it ashore and climb part way up a cliff, the Jayhawk lowers the rescue basket and hoists all four crew members to safety.[7] The rescued crew men are taken to Dutch Harbor as news of the rescue spreads across the fleet. Still in the middle of the storm, the Wizard has 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) left in her quota. With terrible conditions out on deck, Captain Keith Colburn tells the crew to launch a pot, ready the next pot in the launcher, and then quickly return inside. The crew repeats this process into the last of her 20 pots are launched. The Northwestern is riding out the storm on the lee side of St. Paul. A radio call goes out that the Nuka Island, only 600 yards (550 m) behind the Northwestern, has rolled 90° to starboard. The Sea Star heads over to Nuka Island to assist, but Nuka Island's captain Norman Lennon has already stabilized the boat and no assistance is needed. The Wizard still finds herself in the storm after 20 hours, but her battles through the weather to haul the last pots of the season. Captain Keith decides that conditions are too hazardous and pulls the crew off the deck. Moments later, a 40-foot (12 m) wave crashes over the deck, causing the pots on deck to crash into the rail. When dawn breaks, Captain Keith orders the crew out to secure the deck and the pots. When the crew is slow to follow Captain Keith's orders, he orders them inside for a pep talk to get them to move faster. Nine hours later, the crew pulls the last pot of the season from the sea. On board the Cornelia Marie, the storm has passed and Josh Harris is on the rail to throw the hook for the last string of the season to show his father, Captain Phil Harris, that he is ready to become a full share deck hand. Josh bets the crew a case of beer that he will not miss any of his throws with the hook. Captain Phil does not make things easy for Josh. On the second to last throw, Josh makes the toss, but drops the buoy when trying to hook it to the block. Josh says that was a "drop" not a "miss" so does not lose the bet. Captain Phil makes the last toss have to be a long one with the boat moving at a fast speed. Josh makes the difficult toss to the surprise of the crew. Captain Phil presents his son with a gold chain for the work he has done this past season. The fleet returns to their home ports until the next season. 
72 "Best of Season 5" April 4, 2010 (2010-04-04)
Recap of the fifth season, with the Captains and crew of the fishing vessels discussing the events of the season amongst each other. 

Season 6

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
73 1 "Slow Burn" April 13, 2010 (2010-04-13)
As the King Crab season begins, rumors of Captain Keith trying to recruit a Time Bandit deckhand bring him and Captain Jonathan to blows. The continued friction between Jake and Josh Harris on Cornelia Marie and the growing ambition of Jake Anderson on Northwestern lead Captain Phil and Captain Sig to swap Jakes, so they can each experience another deck. A friend of the Hillstrand brothers, "Wild Bill" Wichrowski, returns to Alaska with the Kodiak after a 5-year absence to try his luck at crabbing again. Among his crew is former Time Bandit deckhand Russell. Not long after fishing begins, a small cod-fishing vessel, Carly Renee, capsizes near Dutch Harbor. All four crew are rescued alive, and the ship eventually runs aground and is stranded. 
74 2 "Breaking 'Em In" April 20, 2010 (2010-04-20)
Cornelia Marie sees better fishing after a good-luck ritual by Samoan deckhand Freddy. The greenhorn on Wizard, Joel Zeilie, is having physical difficulties going through the long grind of crab fishing. The Time Bandit heads to their Slime Banks fishing ground for the third time in as many seasons, and hit paydirt again in the face of superstition. Bad fishing and near-fatal rookie mistakes among the inexperienced crew of Kodiak strain Captain Bill's nerves, eventually leading him to blow up at deck boss Adam. Captain Sig and his brother, deck boss Edgar, get into a conflict over how to run the deck. 
75 3 "Sea Tested" April 27, 2010 (2010-04-27)
Jake Harris gets to run the rail on his 24th birthday during another storm on Northwestern. The next day he draws galley duty, having to deal with Edgar's hazing while trying to prepare breakfast. Jake Anderson gets to hook pots on Cornelia Marie, but loses a bet with Freddy that he can pull 20 pots without missing one. He does well, though, earning the crew's respect. Kodiak finds better fishing thanks to a tip from the Hillstrands, but runs out of bait, jeopardizing their season. Wizard also runs out of bait, but not before the deck crew tries to extend it by recycling, drawing Captain Keith's ire. 
76 4 "Bering Sea Swim Club" May 4, 2010 (2010-05-04)
Northwestern and Cornelia Marie swap Jakes back by throwing them in the Bering Sea by a crab pot buoy and picking them up by it. The crew of Time Bandit has some fun as deckhand Scott takes some time behind the wheel to forget about some drama back home. Later a stuck valve causes a bilge backup, and the Time Bandit crew works fast to avoid sinking. Kodiak is forced to return to port short to offload, and a lot of their crab is deadloss. Despite surprisingly good performance, Captain Bill is forced to fire Russell in order to be able to afford to keep fishing. Wizard reaches its quota and returns to port, with Captain Keith still brooding over the end of his friendship with the Hillstrands. Jake Anderson works hard to prove himself back on Northwestern, but Jake Harris is again clashing with brother Josh on Cornelia Marie
77 5 "Arctic Quest" May 11, 2010 (2010-05-11)
Time Bandit draws good numbers in its last pots of the season and meets its quota, but must traverse the dangerous False Pass to get to their processor in Akutan. Northwestern offloads its last king crab, then goes off to St. Matthew's Island to hunt blue king crab for an extra payday, but empty pots only bring regrets and drama. Captain Bill continues to suffer low crew morale on Kodiak as they hit bad weather and continue to hit bad fishing. When deck boss Adam cops an attitude again, Bill has to lay down the law with him one last time. Cornelia Marie is still suffering some bad fishing. When Jake Harris starts to get lazy and distracted, Captain Phil has to straighten out his more experienced son, ironically soon after praising him for the cameras. As the episode ends, Time Bandit, top heavy with pots as it races for port, faces a rogue wave at False Pass... 
78 6 "False Pass" May 18, 2010 (2010-05-18)
The fleet experiences some of the worst king crab weather ever in the last few days of the season. Against better judgment, Time Bandit navigates the treacherous False Pass in the storm, and make it through safely. Northwestern continues to pull blanks attempting to hunt blue king crab. Things are no better when Edgar is briefly at the helm. After constant single-digit counts, Captain Sig finally gives up. Captain Keith's brother, Monte, takes the helm as Wizard tries to hunt bairdi crab. They find unprecedented numbers of keepers and meet their quota quickly, but their greenhorn Joel keeps lagging. Cornelia Marie is on its last strings in the brunt of the storm, and the crew works its hardest to get its last 20,000 pounds of crab. Things get worse when their generator goes out, but a quick fix gets them back running, and they race to get their pots up. Kodiak is desperate to finish their quota, but their bad luck continues, and Captain Bill has to make one last trip to meet their quota.

With the season over, the crews return to Dutch Harbor. Northwestern earns $50,000 per deckhand on red king crab, while barely breaking even on blue king crab. Time Bandit takes $32,000 per deckhand. Wizard gets $31,000 per deckhand, but lets go of greenhorn Joel. On Cornelia Marie, the crew plays the shoe polish prank on Captain Phil after earning $27,000 per deckhand. Kodiak lingers to finish their quota as the other feature boats retire until the 2010 opilio crab season. 

79 7 "When Hell Freezes Over" May 25, 2010 (2010-05-25)
A very cold 2010 opilio crab season begins. Time Bandit has hired Jeremy Shelton as a greenhorn, and he takes the early hazing very well. On Northwestern, Edgar, who begins work on his 39th birthday, is suffering physically from years of abuse crabbing, putting Captain Sig in a tough position. Cornelia Marie begins the season in a repair dock, needing to repair the hull, propellers and drive shafts after running aground on a reef. Paul Edgrin is the new greenhorn on Wizard, and is already acquainted with Captain Keith. Captain Bill has something to prove, and three new deckhands, on Kodiak after a terrible king crab season. Northwestern gets a head start, but freezing spray forces the crew to drop all their pots early. The other boats who leave later quickly ice over, and have to begin chipping ice and dumping pots very quickly. Time Bandit doesn't bother baiting their first few strings. Jeremy is incredibly seasick. Kodiak makes it to its target grounds, but the frozen-over stack creates a challenge. When Wizard reaches its grounds, the weather reminds Keith of a year previous, when he nearly lost his crew to a rogue wave, so he makes sure the crew is extra careful. Cornelia Marie finally gets underway, but when they get to their grounds after an overnight cruise, their pots are heavily iced over. Jake volunteers to hang off the edge of the stack to hammer the ice off the sides of the stack. 
80 8 "We're Not in Kansas Anymore..." June 1, 2010 (2010-06-01)
The boats continue to clear gear after a bad case of freezing spray, dumping gear as fast as possible. When they begin pulling gear, both Northwestern and Time Bandit find themselves on schools of bairdi crab instead of opilio, forcing them to empty their pots in the Bering Sea and move them elsewhere. To make matters worse on the Northwestern, Jake Anderson accidentally cuts his wrist, joining Edgar on the injured list. On the Wizard, Captain Keith is worried about the performance of greenhorn Paul, wanting a greenhorn to actually last through a full season for once. On the Kodiak, numbers are actually good for once, but one of the greenhorns, Clint, is messing things up. Captain Bill warns deck boss Adam to get the greenhorn in gear, or he'll find a replacement at Saint Paul. Cornelia Marie's first string is bone dry. This wears quickly on Captain Phil, who is suffering three crushed discs in his back. On the Time Bandit, in addition to pulling the wrong kind of crab, greenhorn Jeremy is suffering debilitating seasickness, as his friend, Scott Hillstrand, tries to work him through it. 
81 9 "Glory Days" June 8, 2010 (2010-06-08)
On the Northwestern, both deck boss Edgar and injured deckhand Jake Anderson are bumming as Captain Sig grinds the entire crew relentlessly. Eventually, Jake can take no more with his injured hand, and walks off the deck, putting his career in jeopardy. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil heads to the "Rock Pile", a very tricky ground that made him famous early in his career. Although his first two strings miss, the third string finds its mark and the boat stuffs its tanks. While moving its pots to a new ground, the Time Bandit starts listing starboard due to freezing spray, and water gets into the rusted rails and the fuel tanks. They manage to filter the water out of the fuel and get their pots cast off to eliminate the list. Greenhorn Jeremy finally makes it on deck to begin working, but after a long bout of seasickness his mind isn't into it, and he eventually gives up. On the Wizard, the crew plays a prank on greenhorn Paul, who has been lagging, by locking him into a pot and taking him for a ride on the crane. But with bad fishing at the time, Captain Keith doesn't appreciate the timing of the prank. One night, a call comes over the radio as a deckhand on the cod vessel Alaskan Leader has a heart attack, but bad weather stymies medevac efforts by the Coast Guard. 
82 10 "The Darkened Seas" June 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)
The fate of the fallen deckhand on the Alaskan Leader hangs in the balance as the Coast Guard must wait several hours before finally medevacing the man to Anchorage by way of Saint Paul. After spending several days fighting freezing spray and ice, the crew of the Time Bandit begins pulling up decent numbers. Warmer weather makes deck conditions hazardous as large chunks of ice fall from the deck crane. On the Northwestern, Captain Sig attempts a dangerous nighttime transit of the narrow break-water into St. Paul harbor in order to offload. While in port, Jake Anderson goes to the island clinic and returns to the boat with a splint on his hand, putting his future on the boat in question. After leaving the harbor, Jake calls one of his sisters while on wheel watch to talk about his father, who has been missing for three weeks. Captain Sig gets the call saying that Jake's father's car was found abandoned on a remote logging road, letting the secret out. The Cornelia Marie finishes their record string on the 'Rock Pile' and steam for St. Paul. Along the way, Captain Phil begins to experience pain and 'strange sensations'. Unable to bear it any longer, he briefly abandons the wheelhouse to go down to his cabin, the captain's stateroom, for a pain pill. Phil discovers his youngest son, Jake, in his cabin in the act of stealing Phil's medication. Angry and emotionally hurt over this turn of events, Phil tells Jake, "a liar and a thief", to get out of his life. Jake begs for his forgiveness, claiming that he is "sick". Phil begins to realize that this was more than a simple case of theft and asks Jake in what way he is sick, with Jake admitting that he has a drug addiction. 
83 11 "Blown Off Course" June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22)
After Jake Harris revealed his addiction to Captain Phil on the Cornelia Marie, he swore he would go to rehab when the season was over. Phil told Jake that he had to get help in order to save himself, and swore his support. On the Time Bandit Captains Jonathan and Andy contemplate their future. Jonathan in particular is starting to ponder retirement, and has decided to take three weeks off. Believing Jonathan's son, Scott, will eventually captain the boat, they agree he is not yet ready. They decide instead to train Mike Fourtner as a relief captain, due to his greater knowledge and experience. On the Wizard, bad fishing causes Captain Keith to resume using chewing tobacco, which he promised his children he would give up. It is right then that Keith's 11 year-old daughter calls and he admits to her that she caught him red-handed. Keith gets a gentle chastising and pep-talk from his daughter while the camera zooms in on several reminders she had made for him around the wheelhouse, renewing his resolve to quit. He remarks after hanging up that she is 11 going on 21. On the Northwestern, the fate of Jake Anderson's father still weighs on his mind. Eventually, Captain Sig tells him to call his mother, who relates the news she earlier told Sig that his father's truck was found, but he is nowhere to be seen. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil ponders Jake Harris' addiction on the steam to Saint Paul, seeing a lot of his own formative years in his younger son. He determines that Jake must put aside hard living for hard work to do what Phil knows he is capable of; one day taking over the business. Later, at Saint Paul as they offload, Phil shares some old family photos with Josh and Jake, putting the earlier confrontation with Jake aside for the moment and remembering happier times when the boys were young children. Phil then retires to his stateroom before the offload is complete. When offload is complete, engineer Steve Ward is unable to reach Phil on the shipboard phone, so he goes up to the wheelhouse to get Phil's signature. Finding it empty, Steve checks down in Phil's stateroom and finds him collapsed on the floor. Phil has suffered a massive stroke, unable to move the left side of his body but still conscious. Jake breaks down as paramedics work on him, then move him off the boat by crane before loading him into an ambulance. Josh rides with his father to the island's care center, certain to be medevaced later. 
84 12 "Empty Throne" June 29, 2010 (2010-06-29)
All quiet on the Cornelia Marie as the crew heads to the clinic 2 hours after Captain Phil's stroke. He's going to be medevaced to Anchorage with Jake, as Josh begins planning for the boat finishing its season without him. Josh later gets an update from Jake, who tells him that Phil will have a portion of skull removed to relieve the pressure. While seeking advice, Josh talks with Deckhand Freddy Maughtai, who urges Josh to fly down to Anchorage and be with Phil and Jake. Josh, however, feels that his father would want him to take care of Cornelia Marie, his legacy, in his absence and that he owes his old man to do so. Freddy tells him that if Phil dies and he isn't there, he will regret it for the rest of this life. "Seasons always be here... crab always here to catch... we always make money. But we can't catch more Dads." Freddy reveals how his own father died in the hospital in Australia while he was out during an opilio season with Phil; his aunt called to inform him, and he went home not seeing his father but a dead body. He leaves Josh with his thoughts, making his decisions much harder.

The Time Bandit begins pulling a new string as Captain Andy starts training Mike Fourtner as a relief captain. His first string of five pots doesn't bring up good numbers. On the Northwestern, Jake Anderson is torn between wanting to go search for his missing father, and his family desiring him to remain on his boat. The crew suffers a near-miss when a pot snaps free of the crane, and Jake is able to save the pot, but Sig admonishes him to let it go next time in case a hook is swinging free. Sig doesn't mind having to buy another pot in such a situation; his crew's safety is worth more than any pot. On the Kodiak, the crew finally sees good numbers as they approach their first opilio delivery date. But the crew is being dragged down by deckhand Clint, and Wild Bill has to put him in his place. Despite early counting issues, they hit their first delivery with crab to spare, and Wild Bill gives his crew some shore leave, only requesting that they don't have any hard liquor. He's worried Clint won't make the midnight curfew, but the entire crew misses it, and it's Jake that has the issues in the morning, not Clint.

The first evening after Phil's stroke, Josh begins notifying the crews, telling Captain Andy first. Andy relays it to Jonathan, in case he's passing through Anchorage on the way stateside. When Sig finds out from Andy, he throws his cigarettes away across the wheelhouse in a fit of anger. Andy and Sig inform their crews; Jake Anderson takes it particularly hard, knowing what the Harris boys are going through possibly losing their father. Sig passes it on to Captain Keith, who breaks down upon hearing the news. Josh finally decides to fly to Anchorage, where Captain Jonathan, who went to the hospital after being informed by Andy, picks him at the airport and takes him there to join Jake. 

85 13 "Cain and Abel" July 6, 2010 (2010-07-06)
After 12 hours of surgery, the neurosurgeon who worked on Phil Harris has a grim prognosis as he shows the results to Josh, Jake, and Jonathan Hillstrand. Although survivable, the location of the stroke makes a fatal complication possible, and he anticipates a very long road to recovery.

On the Northwestern, Jake Anderson continues to ponder his missing father as the rest of the crew deals with broken bodies. The crew takes a break to celebrate Jake's six months of sobriety from a situation pre-season. Their next delivery date is jeopardized as they hit a nursery and draw low numbers of keepers. Edgar Hansen feels the job is killing him, and is feeling the end of his career drawing closer with each grind. Sig overhears Edgar's personal concerns, and thinks if he's close to quitting, he should get serious about training a replacement. Sig thinks Edgar's problem is that he's the one everybody goes to on the deck. The Wizard grinds through ice on the north side of the crab grounds to get some ice-covered strings pulled. Frequent calls from his daughter try to keep Captain Keith in line regarding kicking his tobacco habit. The crew gets breakfast as Keith and Monte try to work through the ice. Keith sees a seal, which is not good luck in this case. Fortunately they find clear ice, and their pots. They also manage good numbers, convincing them to gamble and keep fishing there. The Kodiak returns to the grounds and takes to its soaking pots. The numbers are outrageously good, and the crew is finally clicking. But when the numbers dry up, some pots show they weren't properly secured, allowing crab to escape. Wild Bill chews out his crew after the string, then calls in reinforcements, prepared to fire one of his crew if things don't shape up. On the Time Bandit, Captain Andy is losing focus with his brother keeping watch over Captain Phil. The crew pulls crab pots in -30°F weather, conditions cold enough to make the crab fall apart before they get in the tank. To make it worse, everyone is sniping on Mike Fourtner, since he's being groomed for the captain's chair.

A day after surgery, with more friends in town, Captain Phil is making progress, and is breathing on his own again. He manages to be able to speak as well, and cons Jake into giving him an ice chip early. Three days after surgery, those around him are really feeling down with his vulnerable condition. Josh and Jake are regularly arguing about things, with Jake seeing Josh as being more concerned about the Cornelia Marie than their father, but Josh seeing Jake as drowning his sorrow in alcohol and drugs and not really caring about anything. Jonathan just happens to come up to the brothers hotel room and catches most of the shouted argument through the door, which saddens him as he goes back down to the lobby. Jake leaves the hotel angry, and Jonathan talks with Josh. Meanwhile, Derrick Ray takes over as relief captain on the Cornelia Marie, and the boat finally gets back underway. 

86 14 "Redemption Day" July 13, 2010 (2010-07-13)
The show begins with Captain Jonathan calling Captain Andy with positive news on Captain Phil's progress. Andy passes it throughout the fleet to their excitement.

After Jake and Josh Harris's confrontation in the previous episode, Josh goes to Captain Jonathan for advice. Jonathan tells Josh just to be there for Phil and deal with his business himself; he may feel that Jake is also his responsibility, but it really isn't. Back on the Time Bandit, Mike Fourtner's jitters with the hook continue, and Scotty Hillstrand is eager to prove himself in Mike's place. On the Northwestern, bad numbers continue to lengthen their grind, which only makes the crew miserable and long for home. In Anchorage, the neurologist tells Josh to begin making preparations to move Phil to a rehab facility in Seattle, though the actual move is still some time away as they wait for the rest of his swelling to go down. Bad numbers are plaguing the Kodiak, and deckhand Clint continues to be seen as a thorn in the crew's side. Wild Bill, tired of the crew as a whole, makes a call ahead to hire a new deckhand. The Time Bandit goes to a new prospect string, where Scotty proves no better at the hook than Mike. Captain Andy's gamble on a deeper string is an utter bust. Andy and Neal determine that making the crew hate the Captain is better than allowing the crew to turn on each other.

In Anchorage, Jake Harris broods over his demons, and calls a substance abuse clinic in Seattle to admit himself into rehab. He goes to Phil to tell him. Phil is proud of his son for finally getting the help he needs. Captain Jonathan and Josh take him to the airport to fly home to Seattle.

A storm brews in the Bering Sea, and the Northwestern hopes to finally catch some luck. Ready for a break, Edgar begins to train Jake Anderson on the hydros. After a good amount of luck, he finally slips a pot out of the dogs, and it slides into the crab table without toppling. In Dutch, the Kodiak offloads another 210,000 pounds of crab, and picks up a new deckhand, Randy. But he talks to the crew before Wild Bill actually fired somebody to make room. After finishing the offload, Wild Bill fires Clint to make room for Randy.

In Anchorage, Phil tells Josh he regrets not being there as much as he wanted to, but Josh shows no regrets for his upbringing as he says that Phil taught him everything that he needed to know to be a man. During their exchange, Josh breaks down and has to step out, not wanting his dad to see him cry. On another day, Phil asks Josh to go get his good-luck bracelet from his hotel room when he returns in the evening. As all Hell breaks loose in the crab ground with terrible weather, Josh is called to the hospital while driving there after a new episode with his dad. After the doctors spend more than an hour trying to revive Phil with no success, Josh tearfully phones his brother Jake--who has arrived in Seattle to begin rehab--to break the news that "we lost Dad, dude."

The final shot in the episode is a simple shot of the raging waters of the Bering Sea fading to a black screen:

Captain Phil Harris
December 19, 1956 – February 9, 2010
87 15 "Valhalla" July 20, 2010 (2010-07-20)
As the storm rages through the crab grounds, hauling pots gets really complicated on the Northwestern. As numbers dwindle and weather worsens, the risk outweighs the reward and Captain Sig gives up, willing to take being up to 4,000 pounds short over losing some or all of his crew. In Saint Paul, where the Cornelia Marie is still preparing to get underway, Freddy Maugatai is in the wheelhouse when Josh Harris calls to pass along the news that Captain Phil had died. Breaking down, he heads into the engine room to inform the rest of the crew, and he and Steve Ward share a moment of tearful consolation. An eerie calm passes over the crab grounds, and the captains, who don't know of Phil's fate yet, express their concerns.

Most northern of the ships right now, the Kodiak works in frigid conditions in an attempt to fish the edge of the ice pack. Although Wild Bill doesn't regret getting rid of deckhand Clint, having two new deckhands doesn't help when the air temperature is -40 °F/C and visibility is 15 feet. Also, numbers still aren't great, so they have to keep shuffling northward. It's so cold, the hydraulics start to freeze. Deck boss Adam heads downstairs and turns the hydraulics off to check them out, inadvertently stopping the crane while it's holding a pot. The crew has to grab it while it's swinging, putting themselves at risk. They did find the leak and replace the broken line to get underway.

The Time Bandit needs to fill two of its three tanks in the next 48 hours. The crew seems to be working better, and the numbers improve as well, giving hope that they will make the next delivery. Jeremy hauls bait hard, and Captain Andy decides to teach him how to throw buoys. But his arms are so sore, he can't throw them very far, and one gets caught on the rail. To the west of Saint Paul, the Wizard sees good fishing along the ice pack. The problem is, Captain Keith sees the crew getting non-chalant about their jobs. He comes down from the wheelhouse to give them a pep talk, telling them to speed up the process so they can plug the tanks and get back in. Deckhand Lynn Guitard continues to lag behind and gets messy with tying up the stack, prompting an additional talking-to from Keith at the wheelhouse window.

The Northwestern gets into Saint Paul early, 10 hours before its delivery time. After some downtime with the crew, Captain Sig goes to the Cornelia Marie to introduce himself to relief captain Derrick Ray. It is here that he finds out that Captain Phil is gone; it was the same evening Derrick found out. The galley of Northwestern is somber after Sig relays the news to his crew, who fights their emotions. The word spreads quickly from there through the crews. As the Northwestern leaves, they slow pass the Cornelia Marie. Jake Anderson breaks down as they salute the boat. Andy comments that it's time to retire his American flag on the Time Bandit; the storm has ripped it into a barely recognizable tangle of fibers. He compares it to the season in general.

In Seattle, Phil's family gathers for his funeral service. Among the mourners with Jake and Josh are their mother and Phil's father. His ashes are placed in two motorcycle fuel tanks. One is buried in Seattle at his funeral; Jake and Josh plan to spread his ashes from the other during the next King Crab season. The Time Bandit has a moment of silence. On Northwestern, Sig mentions the tale that seagulls carry the spirits of lost sailors; he reckons that one sitting on the bow at that moment might just be Phil. On the Wizard, a tearful Keith oversees as the crew loads a full crab pot, packing its shot and buoys within so it stays on the bottom as a memorial, so Phil will always have a full pot to come back to. The Time Bandit memorializes Phil in their own typical style: by setting off their fireworks. The final shot sees the Wizard send their pot over as Keith tolls the ship's bell eight times. 

88 "Behind the Scenes: Season 6" July 25, 2010 (2010-07-25)
Behind the scenes on the making of season 6. 
89 17 "Endless" July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
The boats make their final pushes of the painful 2010 opilio crab season. The Time Bandit replaces its torn-up U.S. flag. Their plan is to set gear one more time, pick up Captain Jonathan, then go pick their gear up. The Northwestern crew is finally beginning to break. The Cornelia Marie picks up Josh Harris, who is determined to finish the year, as Captain Phil would've wanted. On the Wizard, Captain Keith is concerned with plugging his tanks one more time to meet his quota. Wild Bill on the Kodiak is rushing through his gear, hoping to get one more set of strings pulled before the ice pack swallows them. He is gambling on only using the smaller orange diver pots on his final set of strings, to minimize the risk of the ice moving them.

Once Captain Jonathan returns to the Time Bandit, he and Captain Andy deliberate on how big Mike's ego grew when he got a taste of the captain's chair. One night on the Northwestern, Captain Sig is unable to sleep, with Captain Phil on his mind. Edgar is long since over this season, and continues to train Jake Anderson on more aspects of the deck. They get good enough numbers to pack the pots away. Sig finally realizes that he'll need to eventually find a replacement for Edgar. Back on the Time Bandit, Mike and Scotty continue their feud. Andy fuels it by putting Scotty back on the rail. He snags the first buoy, but Mike drops it. Their first pot doesn't look promising, and it also falls out of the dogs. Later pots have better numbers, giving hope that this set of strings will be their last of the season. Captain Jonathan joins the deck crew to help sorting, and they clean house with a final total of $1.2 million.

The Northwestern is officially on its final pots, finishing with a total of $990,000. To honor Captain Phil, they throw several flaming hooks for the final pot, which is totally stuffed with crab. As for the Kodiak, they have to cruise through the ice pack for the final set of 30 pots. He moves quickly through the gear hoping for good numbers. He gets the numbers he's looking for, and finally secures a good season. The gamble paid off, with a final opilio tally of $1.6 million. On the Wizard, they are back in the crab as well, ending up with crab oozing back on the deck. Captain Keith gives Lynn Guitard the final hook throw, rewarding him for cleaning up his act. He ends up shanking a long throw, but nails a retry without needing to turn around. The crew finishes with earnings of $1.8 million on a record haul.

Back on Northwestern on its final steam to Dutch Harbor, Edgar notifies Sig that he needs a break so he can take care of his family. He makes it clear he's putting his wife and children ahead of the boat from now on. Sig still doesn't believe Edgar will give the boat up. As for Jake Anderson, he'll fly ahead to finally address his missing father. On the Time Bandit, Captain Andy tells Mike Fourtner to be mindful of his ego next season as he is given more time in the captain's chair. Jake Harris heads to an addiction clinic in Palm Springs, California.

Ten weeks later, in April 2010, the Cornelia Marie, with Josh Harris heading a four-man deck and Captain Derrick in the wheelhouse, finally finishes its opilio season. Josh is determined to remain in the fishery for the foreseeable future. The last shots show Josh Harris in the wheelhouse. 

90 "Best of Season 6" April 5, 2011 (2011-04-05)
Recap of the sixth season 

Season 7

Series # Season # Title Original airdate
91 1 "New Blood" April 12, 2011 (2011-04-12)
The episode opens with footage of the crews holding an informal memorial for Phil Harris before the start of the King crab season. Phil's ashes are placed in a crab pot and then dropped into the sea (which according to Josh Harris was his fathers' wish), and the crews set off fireworks (and a few guns) into the air. The Kodiak, the Time Bandit, the Northwestern, the Wizard, and the Cornelia Marie (now under Captain Derrick Ray) are joined this season by two new boats: the Seabrooke (Captain Scott Campbell, Jr.), and the Ramblin' Rose (Captain Elliot Neese).

The season is barely under way but tensions are already running high. On the Cornelia Marie, still in dock at Dutch Harbor, Jake & ships' mechanic Steve go on a shopping trip without letting Captain Derrick know. On their return Derrick & Steve get into a shouting match that nearly escalates into a physical confrontation. On the Wizard, Captain Keith listens to a distress call from cargo vessel Ever Unique regarding a crew member with a broken neck. The Coast Guard medivac chopper is dispatched to retrieve him, and despite the size of the massive ship, has a difficult time finding a suitable spot to lower their man. On the Northwestern, it is teased that Edgar Hansen has left the boat, with Sig wondering where his "baby brother " is. Edgar eventually is seen and begins work for his 23rd season. Meanwhile, Jake runs back and forth between the deck and the kitchen trying to have a meal ready for the crew who are confronted with a potentially work-ending issue with the crane. On the Seabrooke, problems are less serious: an empty coffee pot. While the coffee pot may be empty, they find full crab pots. On the Time Bandit, Captain Johnathan's tactic of setting on scallop beds does not pay off. On the Wizard, a pot is lost when the line gets caught in the propeller. The rest of the pots come up empty, forcing Captain Keith to rethink his plans. Captain Derrick & Steve have agreed to set their issues aside and focus on fishing, and the Cornelia Marie finally leaves Dutch Harbor. On the Ramblin' Rose, Captain Elliot is upset when his crew parties all night and leaves a mess for him to clean up. In a meeting in the wheelhouse the other crew members blame Naiuli, and Captain Elliot decides to kick him off the boat. 
92 2 "Proving Grounds" April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19)
The Cornelia Marie and the Ramblin' Rose struggle to catch blue king crab. Engineer Steve Ward questions the skill of Captain Derrick Ray. Captain Elliot Neese discards the fishing advice he received from a friend and moves onto different fishing grounds. On board the Wizard, Captain Keith Colburn moves to a spot last used during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but still can not find the crab. Concerned about his brother being on the stack, Captain Keith orders his brother Monte to take greenhorn Paul Edgren up on top to train him. When the crew grumbles about Paul slowing down the deck, Captain Keith pulls the entire crew from the deck and berates them about not following his orders. The Northwestern gets good numbers from their first string of the season and sets back. Still on the crab, the Seabrooke also sets back. When the Seabrooke's greenhorn Kyle Babb slows down the deck, Captain Scott Campbell shuffles up the assignments and the deck pace picks up. 
93 3 "Old Age & Treachery" April 26, 2011 (2011-04-26)
The struggles aboard the Cornelia Marie continue with poor numbers of crabs. Josh Harris asks Captain Derrick Ray for assurance that they will find the crab. Egged on by the crew, Jake Harris asks for and receives time at the helm. Then next day, when he asks for a second time at the helm, Captain Derrick Ray tells him no when he believes that he smells marijuana on Jake. Two weeks into the season with low numbers, Captain Keith of the Wizard pulls out all of the superstitions to catch crab in an area called Black Canyon, but the good luck doesn't come and the boat continues to pull in low numbers. Greenhorn Paul Edgren gets caught up in the line of a pot, but the crew saves him from going overboard. Seeing no sign of changing numbers, Captain Keith decides to move to where his partner boat has good fishing. The numbers caught by the Seabrooke drop off, causing Deck Boss Bob Perkey to grip about Captain Scott "JR" Campbell. Junior decides that Bob has to go once they reach port to offload their red crab quota. Bob's son, greenhorn Kyle Babb also voluntarily leaves the boat. Hoping to break their own bad luck, the crew of the Time Bandit fires an AK-47 and AR-15 at a buoy named after former deckhand John Jorgensen who left the boat after the previous season, but their prospect string produces low numbers and the crew move on to a different fishing spot. 
94 4 "Breaking Point" May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03)
The Seabrooke takes on an enthusiastic new greenhorn before heading off to go blue crab fishing. After two hours of fishing, the greenhorn enters the wheelhouse complaining that he has reached his mental breaking point after being hazed by the rest of the crew. On board the still struggling Cornelia Marie, tensions run high as both captain and crew begin to doubt each other. Josh and Jake Harris confront Captain Derrick Ray about the low numbers and how Derrick is running the boat. After getting a report on incoming weather and fearing dead loss, the Cornelia Marie anchors behind St. Matthew Island to wait on the storm. On board the Kodiak, a broken hydraulic system in the deck crane forces the crew to push pots on deck. Deckhand Jake Jolibois injures his back after slipping on the deck. Jake refuses to come off deck until Captain Bill Wichrowski orders him off deck. The Ramblin' Rose offloads at St. Paul harbor where Captain Elliot Neese expects to offload around 35,000 pounds (16,000 kg) of blue crab, but when the offload is complete, the boat has only delivered 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg). As the Ramblin' Rose heads out for their third trip of the season, Captain Elliot receives email from the boat's owner that they must catch 65,000 pounds (29,000 kg) of crab this trip or be forces to go out on a fourth trip. On the Northwestern, Sig Hansen lets Jake Anderson pick the location of a 52-pot town soak. 
95 5 "A Wing and a Prayer" May 10, 2011 (2011-05-10)
After offloading 141,000 pounds (64,000 kg) of crab, the Northwestern heads off for their second trip. However, a power failure leaves the boat drifting uncontrollably towards the dock. While the rest of the crew ineffectively scrambles to drop the anchor, Edgar Hansen switches over to the auxiliary engine and restores power to the boat. On board the Wizard, the low numbers of crab makes Captain Keith Colburn feel that there is "bad juju" on board the boat and he orders the crew to sweep the boat for anything out of the ordinary. The crew finds a broken guitar handle belonging to Captain Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit that the crew had taken from him during an incident at a bar in town. The crew tosses the handle overboard, but the poor numbers continue. The next day, when Deck Boss Monte Colburn heads inside to take a break, he finds a seagull in the galley. Seagulls are though to be the souls of lost seaman, so the crew takes it as a good sign that their luck as changed. Their luck does change as big numbers of crab finally come over the rail. When Deckhand Lynn Guitard takes wheel watch on the trip in to offload, he falls asleep at the wheel after turning off the watch alarm. The Seabrooke heads out to the blue king crab grounds. Low numbers of crab force the crew to step up the pace, which causes the greenhorn to struggle. He finally pulls himself off the deck when he can no longer deal with the cramps in his hands. On board the Northwestern, Jake Anderson takes the poor results of his town soak string of pots personally. When Jake and Edgar Hansen have a fierce argument, Captain Sig Hansen counsels Jake on how to handle the situation. Still pulling low numbers, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit heads back to the "slime banks" to fish an area that he did not cover weeks earlier. While the crew is dubious since the "slime banks" had produced low numbers, the gamble pays off and the Time Bandit pulls up good numbers. 
96 6 "Exit Wounds" May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17)
Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard catches deckhand Lynn Guitard asleep during the wheel watch. The next day, Lynn apologizes, but Keith tells him that he may never do another wheel watch again, but if he does and falls asleep again, he will be fired immediately. When the Wizard finally offloads after a 15 day trip, Captain Keith sees more dead loss that he would have liked. On the Time Bandit, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand shuts down the deck after heavy seas knock deckhand Mike Fourtner off his feet. Captain Johnathan is worries that the crab bio mass might move while the deck is shut down, but the fears prove unfounded when good numbers are pulled in once the weather clears. On board the Kodiak, Deck Boss Adam McCalden's constant belittling of the crew about working slowly forces Captain Bill Wichrowski to order him off deck. With deckhand Jack Jolibois still down with a back injury, the boat has to work with a three man deck. After offloading 16,000 pounds (7,300 kg) of blue king crab, the Harris brothers tell Captain Derrick Ray that if the Cornelia Marie does not have good numbers with the town soak string that the boat needs to abandon blue king crab fishing and go red king crab fishing. When the string pulls up blanks, the boat heads off to the red crab grounds. However, on the way, the crew decides that they can no longer work under Captain Derrick they decide to end their king crab season. The Seabrooke's big push before heading to offload is made harder when the greenhorn does not come back on deck after quitting. After offloading 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) of blue king crab worth $250,000, the boat gets a new greenhorn, Josh "Stroker" Graves, as the previous greenhorn departs. The new greenhorn gets off to an inauspicious start when he becomes seasick a few hours after the boat gets underway. 
97 7 "Thick as Thieves" May 24, 2011 (2011-05-24)
While steaming to Dutch Harbor, Captain Derrick Ray of the Cornelia Marie, still suspecting that some of the crew are using marijuana, goes on a hunt to find the drugs and finds drug paraphernalia in the engine room. Captain Derrick calls the Unalaska Police Department about his suspicions and asks them to be at the dock when the boat arrives at Dutch Harbor. When Captain Derrick confronts the crew about what he finds, the crew deny that it is theirs. As soon as the Cornelia Marie pulls up to the dock, Jake Harris jumps off the boat to avoid the police. However, the police catch up to him at Unalaska Airport. When questioned, he denies taking drugs, but refuses to take a drug test. After a search of his person, the police let him go as they have no evidence of drug use. Jake boards an plane and takes off. On board the Northwestern, the crab count picks up after Edgar Hansen apologizes to Jake Anderson, easing the tension between them that started after Jake's town soak string pulled up low numbers. The deck of the Kodiak is back to a five man crew after deckhand Jake Jolibois says he is recovered enough to help on deck and Deck Boss Adam McCalden apologizes to Captain Wichrowski for his treatment of the rest of the crew. However, the five man deck does not last for long as the short handed work has taken a toll on long time deckhand Eric Anderson's foot and he is ordered off deck. On the Ramblin' Rose, Captain Elliot Neese's pushing of the crew makes crew morale drop. When Deck Boss Kevin "Kado" Davis is injured and weather not improving, Captain Elliot reconsiders his push and shuts down the deck. 
98 8 "Graduation Day" May 31, 2011 (2011-05-31)
The fleet makes a push towards the end of the season before a storm hits the Bering sea. On the Ramblin' Rose, the crew continues to grumble about Captain Elliot Neese driving them hard. A few talk about not returning next season. However, when the season ends and the deckhands receive their $30,000 share of the 182,000 pounds (83,000 kg) blue crab haul worth $900,000, all four deckhands agree to return. On board the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen receives a call from former deckhand Matt Bradley who missed the king crab season due to a drug relapse. Matt asks for his spot back for opilio season. After the crew finishes up the season, Edgar Hansen tells Captain Sig that he will not be returning for the opilio season in January. It is prank time on board the Time Bandit. The first prank is an initiation for deckhand Justin Tennison as he is asked to return for opilio season. The crew rigged up the last pot of the season with flour bombs so that when Justin reels in the pot, flour explodes from the block. The second prank is pulled on Captain Sig of the Northwestern. Several sky lanterns on launched up wind of the Northwestern to spook Captain Sig into thinking he saw a UFO. The season's bad luck on the Wizard continues when five pots of the last string of the season are lost due to heavy currents which pull the buoys underwater. 
99 9 "Sea Change" June 7, 2011 (2011-06-07)
The 2011 opilio crab season starts with many crew changes: the Hillstrand brother's annual changing of the helm of the Time Bandit with Andy taking over; Travis Lofland formerly of the Wizard and Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr., son of deckhand Eddie Uwekoolani, joins the Time Bandit; Edgar Hansen leaves the Northwestern while Matt Bradley returns and Ken Blakley joins the crew; Freddy Maugatai departs the Cornelia Marie to join the Wizard; and the Cornelia Marie gets a new captain in Tony Lara, a new engineer/deckhand Troy Hulls, and a new deckhand Dale Pruitt. The fleet heads out to sea to try to drop their pots before a large storm hits. The Time Bandit and the Cornelia Marie head to time-tested fishing spots. The Ramblin' Rose is stuck in port undergoing repairs. The fierce storm hits, causing the fleet to suspend operations to wait out the storm. 
100 10 "Frontier Medicine" June 14, 2011 (2011-06-14)
The arctic storm makes for rough fishing aboard the Northwestern with several stops and starts due to extreme waves. After some deck repairs, the Wizard pulls some pots. Engineer Lenny Lekonoff is knocked to the deck by a wave and suffers a puncture wound to his elbow. Captain Keith Colburn puts in several stitches to Lenny's elbow and Lenny heads back on deck. Injuries also occur on the Time Bandit when a wave drives Mike Fourtner's face into the sorting table. Captain Andy Hillstrand patches him up and Mike goes back on deck. However, fishing stops again when greenhorn Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr. reveals to the Hillstrand brothers that he has been fishing with an abscessed tooth. Not taking any chances, the Time Bandit heads to port in St. Paul to tend to Eddie Jr. Fishing north of the fleet, the Seabrooke fights heavy icing on deck. Captain Scott Campbell, Jr. dumps the top layer of his crab pots overboard in order to prevent the boat from icing over. The remaining pots are nearly frozen solid causing extra work for the crew as they drop them on the fishing grounds. The whole fleet deals with icing on the deck. 
101 11 "Birds, Bones and Blood" June 21, 2011 (2011-06-21)
An ancient ritual of drinking blood from the cod bait done by Freddy Maugatai and greenhorn Kevin Stafford bring good weather and good fishing to the Wizard. Rough seas makes for rough fishing aboard the Northwestern. Deckhand Nick Mavar, Jr. has his nose broken when he is struck by the picking hook. While trying to anchor up in St. Paul harbor to wait for their turn at the dock, the Time Bandit snaps the line on their anchor, forcing Captain Andy Hillstrand to have to jog the boat for eight hours until their offload time. While the boat is offloading, Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr. goes to the dentist to have two teeth pulled. After the offload is complete, the Time Bandit crew retrieve their anchor from the sea floor. The engine repairs are completed on the Ramblin' Rose. Captain Elliott Neese makes a gamble by setting 100 pots without prospecting, but the gamble does not work and the crew pull up blanks. 
102 12 "It's Not All Mai-Tais & Yahtzee" June 28, 2011 (2011-06-28)
Concerned about making their delivery date, Captain Tony Lara moves the Cornelia Marie off of 600+ fishing grounds to grounds closing to their processor. However, the move doesn't work out when the new grounds result in low numbers. While picking up "survival" pots dumped overboard ahead of the storm, deckhand Chris "Whipper" Welch of the Seabrooke is hit by a chunk of ice that falls from the deck crane. The Northwestern fishes their last strings ahead of a scheduled offload. The flu spreads among the crew of the Kodiak. A free-swinging pot causes a tense and dangerous moment for the crew. The Wizard offloads 312,000 pounds (142,000 kg) of crab at Dutch Harbor worth $615,000. Deckhand Lynn Guitard receives a reprimand from Captain Keith Colburn after Lynn does a poor job tying down the stack on the deck. After the dismal numbers from the "survival" string and two prospect strings, the Seabrooke is finally on the crab with the third prospect string. 
103 13 "Pirate School" July 5, 2011 (2011-07-05)
Grinding through low numbers, Captain Tony Lara of the Cornelia Marie uses a mistake by deckhand Ryan Simpson, who had failed to inform the captain when bait was running low, as a teaching experience for Josh Harris. After moving to a new fishing spot, the boat is once again on the crab. On the Ramblin' Rose, the pots are pulling in great numbers. Captain Elliot Neese thinks he has thrown a propeller, but when he checks again, he discovers that he has only sheared the control line from the throttle in the wheelhouse to the gearbox. On the Time Bandit, a pot that nearly breaks lose from the dogs gives the crew a scare. Johnathan Hillstrand decides that Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr. should learn how to cuss like a sailor, but Eddie Jr. doesn't take the bait. On the Wizard, Captain Keith Colburn thinks greenhorn Daniel Maki has a bad attitude and was slacking on deck after working an extra long shift. When Daniel is told he can come off deck, instead of racking out, he heads back on deck to prove to Captain Keith that he was not slacking. While fishing good numbers, deckhand Chris "Whipper" Welch of the Seabrooke calls home to talk to his wife. Whipper thinks he has to go home to take care of family issues. He complains to Captain Scott "Junior" Campbell that the stomach injury he suffered during king crab season flared up. Captain Junior and the crew show him little sympathy. Captain Junior thinks Whipper may be using the injury as an excuse to go home. 
104 14 "The Island" July 12, 2011 (2011-07-12)
Big swells in St. Paul harbor make for a difficult offload for the Wizard. Lines break and the boat rocks until Captain Keith Colburn borrows heavy lines from the crab processor. When the offload is complete, the Wizard has delivered 424,000 pounds (192,000 kg) of crab worth $882,000. Grinding ahead of their scheduled offload, Captain Sig Hansen on the Northwestern gets frustrated at deckhand Matt Bradley repeatedly missing when throwing the hook and replaces him with Jake Anderson on the rail. On the run in to offload, exhaustion catches up with Captain Sig calls for Jake to relieve him at the wheel. Captain Sig lets Jake take the boat into the docking at St. Paul. On the Seabrooke, Captain Scott Campbell pushes his brother Chris "Whipper" Welch into finally admitting that he has an issue at home that he needs to take care of. Whipper departs the Seabrooke when the boat offloads. On the Kodiak, Deck Boss Adam McCalden fails to inform Captain Bill Wichrowski until the string is over that half way through the string, the crab caught were "dirty" with barnacles. The oversight makes Captain Bill question if Adam has what it takes to advance and run the boat. 
105 15 "I Smell a Nightmare" July 19, 2011 (2011-07-19)
The fleet makes a big push to finish the season ahead of a large storm. On board the Time Bandit, lack of sleep causes tempers to flare between deckhands Mike Fourtner and Justin Tennison. A line jumps out the block and over Mike Fourtner and Scott Hillstrand. Quick reactions in jumping over the line prevent the line from dragging the two overboard. While fishing their last string of the season, the compressor motor that runs the hydraulics on the Ramblin' Rose overheats and fails. Captain Elliot Neese patches together a fix with a compressor used to fill the buoys. The crew races to retrieve the last 200 pots before the patched together hydraulics fails. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Tony Lara swaps positions with deckhand Jake Harris while retrieving a string to give Jake more experience at the helm. Captain Tony tears his right bicep muscle while loading a shot into a crab pot and heads off deck. Captain Tony lets Josh set his first string ever. On a 48 hour push with low numbers of crab, Captain Scott Campbell of the Seabrooke succumbs to the pain of a passing kidney stone and leaves the wheelhouse. On board the Wizard, pots with low number crab due to sand fleas eating the bait frustrate Captain Keith Colburn and he takes it out on Bradley Carper, a cameraman for the series. 
106 16 "Mohawks & Madness, Goodness & Gladness" July 26, 2011 (2011-07-26)
After a long grind with low numbers, the crew of the Wizard shave their hair into mohawks at the urging of deckhand Freddie Maughtai in order to break the boat's bad luck. The boat's luck changes when the "mohawk" string pulls in full pots. On the Cornelia Marie, the string set by Josh Harris pulls in great numbers and the boat heads in for the season. Captain Scott Campbell of the Seabrooke passes the kidney stone that had waylaid him and resumes the helm for the final string of the season. Captain Bill Wichrowski of the Kodiak lets Deck Boss Adam McCalden take the boat into Dutch Harbor. The Northwestern races to finish the season ahead of a storm. Captain Sig Hansen puts Jake Andersen in charge of stacking the deck. After a shaky start, Jake finishes the task and gains the respect of the crew. In revenge for the sky lantern practical joke done by the Time Bandit, Captain Sig lures Captain Andy Hillstrand into taking the Time Bandit in close to the Northwestern to investigate a possible vibration at the stern of the Northwestern. When the Time Bandit approaches, the crew of the Northwestern unleash a volley of fireworks the Time Bandit. The Time Bandit crew "return fire" with their own fireworks. 
107 17 "Behind the Scenes: Season 7" July 26, 2011 (2011-07-26)
Behind the scenes on the making of season 7. 


# Title Original airdate
1 "Roughest and Toughest Moments" July 19, 2009 (2009-07-19)
2 "Captain Phil Tribute" July 20, 2010 (2010-07-20)
A look back at the life of the late Captain Phil Harris. 
3 "Greenhorns" June 7, 2011 (2011-06-07)
On the Bering Sea, north of the Pacific, greenhorns cut their teeth on one of the toughest and deadliest jobs on Earth. 

After the Catch Miniseries

After the Catch is a mini-series that has aired following the main Deadliest Catch season since 2007. It primarily consists of roundtable discussions between the captains about their experiences as featured on the show, and after the season ended. Season 3 also includes vignettes of the captains taking part on various activities in the San Diego area during taping of the mini-series. After the Catch uses the same opening credits as Deadliest Catch except for the title. Mike Rowe, narrator of the main series, moderates the discussion for the first two seasons; for season 3, Ben Bailey hosts the discussion. The fourth season of After the Catch saw a change in format from previous seasons. Instead of airing after the season of Deadliest Catch was over, After the Catch began airing while the current season was still under way.

Season 1

# Title Original airdate
1 "Overboard" May 29, 2007 (2007-05-29)
The captains talk about ships that have sunk and men that have fallen overboard, including reaction to film footage of the Big Valley disaster. 
2 "Man vs. Nature" June 5, 2007 (2007-06-05)
The captains talk about storms, ice, rogue waves, and other natural events on the Bering Sea
3 "Mysteries at Sea" June 12, 2007 (2007-06-12)
The captains talk about traditions, superstitions, and bizarre events from the past. 
4 "On the Edge" June 19, 2007 (2007-06-19)
The captains talk about family, money, bar fights, greenhorns, and practical jokes at sea. 

Season 2

# Title Original airdate
1 "Legends" June 17, 2008 (2008-06-17)
The captains talk about legendary moments, their Gloucester comrades, and cameramen on the ships. 
2 "Brothers" June 24, 2008 (2008-06-24)
The captains and members of their crews talk about family, siblings on the same boat, traditions, and a love of fishing. 
3 "Emergency" July 1, 2008 (2008-07-01)
The captains talk about coping with the emergencies and crisis that occur on their boats when out in the middle of the Bering Sea with no assistance. 
4 "Deckhands" July 8, 2008 (2008-07-08)
Deckhands and Greenhorns from several boats talk about their first experiences and history working the deck. 
5 "Real Life" July 15, 2008 (2008-07-15)
Captain Phil Harris of the FV Cornelia Marie recounts his life-threatening ordeal during the recent Opilio Crab season. 

Season 3

# Title Original airdate
1 "Staying On Course" June 16, 2009 (2009-06-16)
2 "Bering Sea Brothers" June 23, 2009 (2009-06-23)
3 "Frozen Crab" June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30)
4 "No Trespassing" July 7, 2009 (2009-07-07)
5 "Life Is Good" July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14)

Season 4

# Title Original airdate
1 "The Time Bandit" June 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)
The crew of the F/V Time Bandit discuss John and Keith's fight, Phil's passing, and who will take over the helm of this legendary crab boat. 
2 "The Northwestern" June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22)
The F/V Northwestern crew talk about serving under the rigorous pace set by Captain Sig, and recall various events of interest aboard the boat during the season such as the Jake swap and Jake Anderson's father going missing. 
3 "The Wizard" June 29, 2010 (2010-06-29)
The F/V Wizard talks about its year, including its two greenhorns and its backfired bait recycling scheme during the king crab season. 
4 "The Fleet" July 6, 2010 (2010-07-06)
The group talks with Josh Harris and Freddy Maughtai about the aftermath of Phil's stroke, and the rest of the fleet, including the returns of Wild Bill Wichrowski and Russell Newberry. The Captains also tour the damage caused to the Louisiana coastline by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 
5 "The Good Captain Phil" July 13, 2010 (2010-07-13)
The Captains talk about the Cornelia Marie and the passing of Phil Harris with Phil's sons, Josh and Jake, and some of his closest on-shore friends. The filming concludes with a jazz funeral held in New Orleans in Phil's honor. 

Season 5

# Title Original airdate
1 "Low Tide" June 14, 2011 (2011-06-14)
The captains discuss the 'highs' and 'lows' of fishing the Bering Sea. A tense reunion between Josh Harris and Derrik Ray during the roundtable nearly escalates into an on-camera brawl. 
2 "Relentless" June 21, 2011 (2011-06-21)
3 "Save Me" June 28, 2011 (2011-06-28)
4 "Fresh Blood" July 5, 2011 (2011-07-05)
5 "High Tide" July 12, 2011 (2011-07-12)


  1. ^ "COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR MISSING CREWMAN FROM OCEAN CHALLENGER" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  2. ^ "COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO VESSEL IN DISTRESS" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
    "PHOTO RELEASE COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO VESSEL IN DISTRESS" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
    "STELLAR SEA - UPDATE" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  3. ^ "UPDATE: COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO SINKING VESSEL" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  4. ^ "*Update* 2 missing fisherman recovered, Search continues for 2" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Katmai Fishermen" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  6. ^ "Mayday call in the Aleutians, Coast Guard responding" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  7. ^ "Update: Coast Guard saves Icy Mist fishermen in hurricane force winds" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 


Unaired episode names and projected air dates based on schedule.

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