‘Deadliest Catch’: Here’s How Captain Sig Hansen Decides Where To Set Crab Traps

by Courtney Blackann

Commercial fishing is sometimes like a game of cat and mouse. The fish obviously move, so you can’t always count on one spot when it comes to setting crab pots out in the Bering Sea. Fans of “Deadliest Catch” know this as well. There have been so many times when the crews come up empty handed in a previous hot spot.

However, Captain Sig Hansen said there are ways to look for patterns in the fishing migrations. By tracking these things throughout the season, it’s easier for the fishermen to determine where to drop their crabbing pots. The Northwestern captain explains this to Fishing.net in a recent interview about where and how to track the good fishing.

“We have noticed trends. The Opilio crabs tend to have a northern trend in the populations themselves; the king crabs have more of a western trend for all the populations and there are many schools of crabs moving about out there. We try to follow that pattern and we spread the gear out. For King crab we fish maybe 130-150km east and west to start with until we get dialed in; with the Opilio it is the same thing. Finding the concentrations each season is a matter of instinct and hunch, like it has always been. We try to stay away from the other boats if we can.”

Additionally, once the fishermen find a good fishing spot, keeping it quiet is imperative. Of course the fishing is competitive. It’s how each “Deadliest Catch” crew member makes their living. They have to be absolutely cut throat about fishing spots.

While they always try to help each other out if they’re in need, each captain and crew become a little sly when it comes to divulging too much information.

“Deadliest Catch” Stars and Sharing Information

One of the ways fishermen can get around this is by turning off their AIS, or location services. This was demonstrated in a recent episode when the Time Bandit sneaked up on the Wizard. This was because Captain Jonathan Hillstrand noticed that the Wizard’s crew was acting a bit funny and didn’t have any gear out while the team was assisting them.

While the move is a bit shady, these things are common in the fishing game. No one understands better than commercial fishermen that once you’re out on the open sea, it’s time for a friendly competition. The teams of “Deadliest Catch” are always ready to battle it out when it comes into hauling in the King crab. In doing so, they show who has the perseverance to make it in the industry.

“Deadliest Catch” is available to watch on Discovery or Discover Plus.