The cut-throat nature of crab fishing reared its ugly head in the second episode of “The Deadliest Catch,” Season 14. With captains still trying to figure out where the odd weather has migrated the crabs, loyalties were tested.
Last week’s episode ended with Captain Keith confiding his sweet spot to Captain Jake Anderson. While Keith spot is good, it’s nothing compared to Anderson’s former mentor, and current rival, Captain Sig Hansen. The Northwestern was raking in pots with an average of 85 crabs, but Hansen got worried that the rest of the fleet was closing in. In one of the boldest choices on the Bering Sea to date, Hansen pulled his pots and moved further west, where he believed the crab to be headed.
Along the way, he passed by Anderson’s vessel, but the captain didn’t respond on the radio. The novice captain was too busy following marching orders from Captain Keith, who was a no-show at their rendezvous point. With his pots out of the water for roughly twelve hours, Anderson began to think that Keith and Hansen pulled a fast one on him. However, when Keith arrived and passed him coordinates in code, things started to take shape.
Keith was initially confident that he could use Anderson’s inexperience to his advantage and get him to fish with him to scare off the rest of the fleet. However, when his new partner didn’t even recognize coded coordinates, Keith had doubts.
“We’re talking crab fishing one… Not even 101,” he jokes.
Fortunately, once things stop getting lost in translation, the two vessels were able to go about their business. Meanwhile, upon seeing Anderson’s location, Hansen put it together that he’s getting help from Keith. He called his fellow veteran captain on the radio, but Keith denies helping his former protege. It seems that there’s no room for complete honesty in the competitive early fishing days.
With Anderson and Keith in the way of his new location, Hansen started to worry that his choice to pack up and move elsewhere may have been in error. This feeling is compounded when he pulled his pots from the new spot to find that his take had gone from collecting an average of 85 crabs per pot, to pulling zero. His new spot has nothing but baby crabs that they’re required by law to throw back.
Meanwhile, Anderson casted his pots for 16 hours in Keith’s super-secret hotspot only to run into the same problem as Hansen. He’s got nothing but babies. Reasonably upset, he calls Keith looking for answers. He’s told that 16 hours isn’t enough to soak, and he needed to wait at least 36 hours. He obliges, but he can’t shake that nasty feeling that he’s being tricked. Fortunately, the play works and he finds himself finally raking in crab by the numbers he needs, all thanks to Keith.
While that’s going on, Hansen was dealing with an increasingly unruly crew, who demand answers for his decision to leave a lucrative fishing spot just because he didn’t want to fish with other captains. If he doesn’t find something to do soon, the veteran captain will run the risk of getting outplayed by his rival for the year, Anderson.