‘Deadliest Catch’: Keith Colburn Calls One Wild Bill Decision ‘Mind-Bogglingly Stupid’

by Courtney Blackann

It’s not uncommon for the captains of the “Deadliest Catch” to compete with each other. With money at stake, it’s almost certain to happen in one way or another every episode. While the captains do try and help each other out generally, winning and being on top is the name of the game. That means out-fishing your competition.

Captain Keith Colburn of the “Wizard” is known for being slightly impatient when it comes to others’ decision-making. There was a time that the captain called Wild Bill Wichrowski’s one decision less than stellar.

Speaking in an interview with TV Shows Ace, Colburn shared his frustrations about the “F/V Summer Bay” captain’s decision-making when it came to fishing in Russia during one episode.

“Well, that’s why he didn’t want to talk about it because I’ve been a very strong advocate for shutting down illegal fishing coming out of Russia,” Colburn says. “Russia has damaged our crab markets more than anything over the last 25 years and is battling back in Washington, DC for 25 years to really stop the flood of illegal King crab fishing coming in from Russia. So to hear that Bill’s going over there and going to the enemy camp to potentially be a consultant to help them find a way to catch more crab for me is absolutely mind-bogglingly stupid.”

Fishing regulations and rules are extremely important. So is courtesy. So when Wild Bill refused advice from Colburn, it really irked him.

He went on to say:

“And to say that the Russians are going to clean up their act overnight? Yeah, sure! And I got some swamp land for you too, for sale if you want it. On a side note, those guys got thrown in jail all over there, man!  They got the big shakedown. Oh yea, it wasn’t all vodka and rubles. I’ve talked to Bill about it off camera and he said it was a little hairy at times. Yeah.”

“Deadliest Catch” Captain Keith Colburn Knows What it Takes to Staff a Crew

Fans of “Deadliest Catch” know all too well how when rivals flare, it sparks a temper in different captains. The crews are already under a lot of pressure to make ends meet by fishing for King Crab in the Bering Sea. Not only are they facing a deadline, they’re pressing through extreme weather and dangerous conditions aboard their fishing vessels.

When it comes to staffing their boats for the season, Colburn says he knows exactly what he’s looking for in a crew. It’s reliability. But beyond that, it’s a sense of urgency and common sense.

“If I was going to make a list of the qualities I’m looking for in a greenhorn, first of all, you’ve got to have common sense,” Colburn says. “Someone that’s going to take the time to actually think something through as opposed to just react, because it may be the difference between having five fingers and having three fingers.”