Deadliest Catch Captains Sig Hansen and Jake Anderson know a thing or two about pressure on the Bering Sea, but the new season of the Discovery docuseries had even the seasoned fishermen pressed.
Ahead of Tuesday's Season 15 premiere, the fan-favorite captains of the Northwestern and Saga talked with PopCulture.com about the tough season to come and their journey as captains over the years.
With the king crab rumored to all be gathered in one 800-square-mile area, the entire fleet was feeling the pressure leading up to the season.
"It's a pain, because it's first come, first serve," Hansen explained.
It was especially stressful for Anderson, who decided ahead of the king crab season to attempt to buy in as an owner of the Saga, meaning he would need a major profit and quick season to rake in the cash.
"It’s a tough time to buy into the boat, especially because you're not gonna make a ton of money if you don't do it right," he told PopCulture. "We didn’t even know how much money was to be made … it was really high stakes."
For Hansen, the new season brought with it more complications with his health and a bigger role for daughter Mandy, who took a position in the wheelhouse alongside her dad through some "close calls," he teased.
“She wanted to step up for the family's sake, which we love her for," Hansen gushed. “It got very real very quickly, because some close calls were there and she was at the helm. ... I’m always biased, but I'll give her an A-."
There's another new face on the show this year in Southern Wind Captain Steve “Harley” Davidson, whom both Hansen and Anderson have run into over their years of fishing in the fleet.
"I've known him for many years and so bringing him into the show was fine by me," Hansen said. “He and I have our ups and downs, I know he has his ups and downs with [Wizard Captain Keith Colburn] … it's fun to watch the show and see. I get a kick out of it.”
Anderson added, “I know that it's more than one person who has controversy with Captain Harley this season … so I don't have problems, but I'm interested to see how it goes.”
With a challenging season behind them, Hansen praised the young captain for his journey as a leader, saying he had "grown in leaps and bounds," finally taking his longtime advice to "go with your gut and fish your own grounds."
As for his own role on the Northwestern, the veteran fisherman admitted, "I'm getting more timid, more conservative, more fearful. I'm not saying I got a foot out the door, but I definitely don't see things the same as when I was an aggressive younger captain.”
Anderson jumped in to defend his former mentor, saying that being more cautious, especially since the loss of the Destination in 2017, isn't a "fearful" way to fish. But for the fans looking to criticize any of their actions out at sea, he advised they walk a mile in any captain's shoes first.
"It’s easy for someone to be an armchair captain and make the decision from their chair," he reminded viewers, "but there's a lot of circumstances that go into the choices the captains make.”0comments
Deadliest Catch Season 15 premieres Tuesday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery and Discovery GO.
Photo credit: Discovery