‘Deadliest Catch’ Greenhorns Run Into This Major Problem According to Keith Colburn

by Courtney Blackann

Captain Keith Colburn of “Deadliest Catch” has years of experience behind him. He can be pretty tough on his crew – but that’s because he knows the dangers of commercial fishing the Bering Sea. One of the things captains have to do is make sure they run a tight ship. And Colburn knows better than anyone that greenhorns can make this task difficult.

In a recent interview, Colburn shared his thoughts about greenhorns and some major issues they run into.

“Pain! People don’t or can’t grasp the concept of working so hard that you push your body beyond anything you have ever experienced. It’s not the discomfort that makes greenhorns crack but not being able to mentally accept the pain associated with the job,” the Wizard captain tells Hollywood Soapbox.

This is something even the best fishermen don’t realize. Long hours spent working in the freezing cold is no walk in the park. It’s also not something human bodies are used to doing. And after that first long night, they’re not going to be ready to get up and face it all again so quickly.

Exhaustion, sore hands and lack of sleep add to the pain. Especially lack of sleep. “Deadliest Catch” fishermen often work well beyond a normal day’s shift – sometimes working through the night to haul in loads of king crab. The short amount of time they have on the water means trading precious sleep for work.

And for greenhorns, if they’re not mentally prepared, there’s usually a breaking point. If you’re an avid “Deadliest Catch” fan, you’ve seen this happen tons of time throughout the show’s 17 seasons. And usually, it’s the guy talking the loudest game that cracks first.

“Deadliest Catch’s” Mandy Hansen Remembers Days as Greenhorn

This is something even Sig Hansen’s daughter Mandy faced. When she first started crabbing with her esteemed father on the Northwestern, she ran into the same greenhorn issues. Though, with fishing in her blood, the “Deadliest Catch” star was able to tough it out.

“In the beginning, of course, it was hard,” Hansen said. “It only got worse the longer I was out on deck because my hands were hurting so bad. They got so sore. I mean I couldn’t move my hands. I always wear rings. Of course, you can’t wear jewelry up there, but I couldn’t even get it past my nail line afterward.”

She continued:

“They swelled up about four times their own size. … I tried my best, and I am very proud of what I accomplished myself,” she said.

In the face of swollen, soaked hands and extreme fatigue, Hansen says she still loves the physical work. And nothing was going to deter her from breaking through her greenhorn phase and becoming a respected fisherman.