‘Deadliest Catch’: Captain Sig Hansen Says Bering Sea Weather Is ‘in the Eyes of the Beholder’

by Courtney Blackann

For commercial fishermen, facing the deadly seas is all a part of the work. The fishing doesn’t stop because the seas get rough – and no one understands this better than Captain Sig Hansen of the “Deadliest Catch.” But the fishing captain says that risking it all on the Bering Sea is all a matter of perspective.

In a recent interview, the Northwestern captain shared some insight about spending years out on the deadly waters off the shore of Alaska. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, but with the right attitude, the crews can be wildly successful.

Further, Hansen explains that the show has a dramatic side, thanks to the filming crew who narrates the direction of each episode. Not that they’re making anything up, Hansen says. But they definitely want the audience to get a glimpse into the more exciting side of the fishing life.

“I do think they want to show the dramatic side. They shoot thousands of hours of footage, and I can understand that they are trying to put a story-board together and make it fit. Everything that they film is accurate, but you will see a lot of the more foul weather as opposed to the calm days; I suppose that’s what sells, but the bad weather is a reality,” he says, via Fishing.net.

“Deadliest Catch” Fishing Industry Not for the “Soft-Skinned”

He also goes on to describe how fishing conditions are always “pure hell” and not for the “soft-skinned.” But the seas are much more difficult to cope with.

“It depends. On our boat we have been able to fish some pretty extreme conditions, and one of the reasons is that we have the same crew, which makes it safer. I’m so familiar with the boat that I can operate it much better than a skipper who had never been on it before – it’s one of those things – you can feel it. Forty or 50 knots is pretty normal, and I’ll fish through 60 or 70 knots, depending on the wave heights, then we will really have to take a look at it. But it’s all in the eye of the beholder – my fifty knots may be your sixty, if that is fair to say. We don’t push the envelope; it depends on who is working the boat and how the seas are.”

Since it began airing, “Deadliest Catch” is by far the Discovery channel’s most popular show. Combining the tough industry demands with the personal lives of each crew, there’s no shortage of good television. Now in it’s 17th season, the competition is fiercer than ever. Add in the plight of the industry following a pandemic, and there’s a lot of drama. The show is also available for streaming on Discovery Plus.