Ice, ice and more ice.
The captains of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch fleet discussed how the ice affects crab fishing on After the Catch with host Mike Rowe. Additionally, the guys talked about what it takes to be a “legend” in crab fishing.
Not surprisingly, Captain Scott of the Seabrooke was at the table.
“Let’s get it on the table right here,” Captain Scott laughed. “Everybody sitting at this table is a legend.” He discussed fishermen of the 70s who created the fishing industry, and who are remembered today, but added, “We’ll probably be talked about forever, too.”
The other captains looked amused, and Captain Sig added his view.
“Speaking about legends, what my old man always told me is if you’re good, other people will tell you. They’ll talk about it.”
“My question,” Mike Rowe asked, “is when do you know?”
Most of the guys seemed to agree that the real legends of the industry are the guys with the great stories, the boats full of crab and, typically, are the guys who don’t sit around and talk about it—like Phil Harris’ dad, who joined them at the table. When they deemed him a legend, 79-year-old Grant Harris demurely stated, “I don’t think so,” laughing. Amazingly, he only quit fishing about three years ago.
It was nice to hear about the real legends of the industry, and hear the captains talk about how fishing was different back then, and how their mentors changed things, making crab fishing what it is today. But, Captain Sig spoke up for Captain Scott’s well-known propensity for talking about becoming a legend:
“The attitude’s perfect,” he said, patting the young captain on the shoulder.
“I’m not saying I’m a legend,” Captain Scott said, “I’m saying I want to be.”
Things were way different when he fished, Grant Harris said. “Nobody wanted to fish in the Bering Sea when they could fish in Kodiak,” he said as an example.
Indeed, how things have changed.
Legends Bring Innovation to Crab Industry
Often, Rowe pointed out, becoming a “legend” often involves adding something new and innovative to the industry.
Lloyd Cannon took the first 100-foot boat out, and was told it would never work, that it was too big. But, going further off shore, he set a record Captain Keith said would likely never be touched: 7 million pounds his first year as captain of the Juno.
Oscar Nice, Captain Sig said, was the first to have a crane on the boat; Mark One was the first with lights; and, Grant Harris pointed out, even the pots of today are different than when he fished. In his day, he explained, the pots were round, so that they could be pushed easily and rolled over the railing. Additionally, Captain Andy said his dad was one of the first to use a life raft, as well as have survival suits onboard, which people laughed about at the time—something captains would not leave a harbor without today.
Many innovations have taken place, no doubt, since the beginning and, perhaps becoming a “legend” won’t be as easy for the younger captains, like Captain Scott, coming up today.
“It’s not the same as it was in the old days,” Captain Andy said.
But, good luck to Captain Scott and his legendary quest, just the same.
Image: Discovery Channel