‘Deadliest Catch’: Sig Hansen Names What You Must ‘Have’ to Be a Ship Captain

by John Jamison

There’s a reason it’s called “Deadliest Catch.” The sea is hostile, frigid, and unforgiving. To lead a ship and crew in these conditions takes guts. And at the end of the day, captaining a fishing vessel requires a business mindset. According to Sig Hansen, maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit is a key factor in being a crab boat captain.

Sig Hansen has been a fixture on “Deadliest Catch” since it started in 2005. Over the course of 220-plus episodes, Hansen and his ship, the Northwestern, have hauled in a staggering amount of crab. Hansen has found sustained success in one of the toughest industries on the planet. One can chalk it up to several things. But during an interview with Media Village in April, he talked about one specific thing you must have to be a captain.

“To be a captain, you have to be an entrepreneur. You have to have that spirit,” Hansen said.

The thought occurred to him after he poured through a notebook from his youth. It was filled with ideas for inventions. In the interview, Hansen discussed his willingness to innovate when it comes to fishing. He has pioneered several techniques that are considered best practices today.

At one time, Hansen’s definition of “entrepreneurial” may have included prioritizing himself and the crew of the Northwestern. These days, however, that mentality has changed a little bit. With the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hansen and the other captains on “Deadliest Catch” agreed to work with a little more collaboration. If that sounds surprising, it’s because it is. Work together with other crews doesn’t come easily to these fishermen.

“As fishermen, we want to keep the numbers high, and we are always for ourselves. We are always for ourselves, very competitive. Teamwork didn’t always pay off,” Hansen said.

‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Sig Hansen Speaks on the Show’s Audience

For a Discovery channel reality adventure show, “Deadliest Catch” has had a pretty legendary run. Starting in 2005 has provided it with incredible name recognition. We can’t speak for everyone, but we know plenty of you Outsiders can’t resist tuning in to an episode when channel surfing. That staying power has allowed entire families to grow around the show.

In an August interview with Connect FM, Hansen talked about the generational appeal.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard families come up to me … ‘My grandson watches ‘Deadliest Catch’ or my granddaughter or my mother or my father.’ It’s just a generational thing where I think families watch it together,” Hansen said. “And I still think that’s a good thing, even though this is a dangerous factor in ‘Deadliest Catch,’ you’ve got that work ethic all the guys have up there. I just think…that’s important for people to see.”