The various fishing vessels on the “Deadliest Catch” haul in massive amounts of crab. But occasionally, they catch something out of the ordinary. In an exclusive interview with Outsider, Captain Sig Hansen details the strangest thing he’s ever caught.
Spoiler alert: it’s not something that belongs in the sea. During one expedition, the crew of the Northwestern hauled up a piece of workout equipment somebody had dumped into the sea. What seafarer was working on their glutes out on the Bering Strait isn’t something even Hansen can answer.
“I think we snagged somebody’s like workout bike,” Hansen told Outsider. “Somebody dumped one over the side [of a boat].”
Hansen also admitted the Northwestern was the subject of a prank once. Back in the 2009 King Crab season, the rival fishing vessel Time Bandit decided to engage in some friendly espionage. They wanted to prank Hansen and his crew. So they visited one of the Northwestern’s crab pots and stuck a deceased alligator skull in the basket.
“It was like a skull. It was a prank,” Hansen said with a laugh. “Now, we’re talking saltwater here. My guys thought, ‘Yeah we found a new species of dinosaurs or something.’ It was hysterical.”
Sig Hansen on the New Season of ‘Deadliest Catch’
Overall, Hansen said his fishing vessel doesn’t catch too much outside of crab. The Northwestern and their rivals are after the elusive crustacean out on the Bering Strait and also other areas. Hansen said the industry is heavily monitored, which makes it a stable one. But due to COVID-19, Alaska almost shut down its entire fishing industry.
According to a press release for the season, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game couldn’t conduct their crab survey due to the pandemic. The state considered shutting down its industry. But the organization used past statistics to get an accurate estimate of crab numbers.
“One of the things about our fishery is we’re very target specific, which makes the industry very stable,” Hansen continued. “We were terrified they weren’t going to open the season up. And we were really fortunate they did only because [they] took the past history of the last few years. And [they] figured that the crab stocks were healthy. We were able to go out and fish. If there were a closure, we were looking at a mandatory two-year closure just under the regulations. Then you’re starting from scratch again in the marketplace.”
Fortunately for Hansen, he was able to go out and enjoy the craft that he loves. “Deadliest Catch” airs on Discovery and is also streaming now on Discovery+.