For the past 11 years, the veteran captains of the Bering Sea have carved their living in one of the world’s most dangerous fisheries – risking it all including their lives. But this year, a new generation is stepping up and claiming their seat at the table. But do they have the drive and guts that it takes to become a legend? From Original Productions, the 16-time Emmy Award-winning series DEADLIEST CATCH returns for its 12th season on Tuesday, March 29 at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.
“When I look around at the new guys, there is a lot of opportunity but not a lot of promise,” said Sig Hansen, captain of the F/V Northwestern. “I don’t see as much fear as I would have hoped to see. They don’t seem fearful because in their mind, there is nothing to fear. At sea, you find out what a guy is made out of. Not everyone makes the cut.”
What the young guys lack in experience, they make up for in drive and eagerness. This season, DEADLIEST CATCH welcomes a new skipper to town. Just 23-years-old, Sean Dwyer of theBrenna A is the youngest captain ever in the history of DEADLIEST CATCH. Following in the footsteps of his recently-departed father, the young rookie has fished all his life but never as a captain on the Bering Sea. Now he embarks upon the Holy Grail of commercial fishing in a vessel that hasn’t fished crab in eight years and manned by an all-rookie crew. Added pressure comes from the fact that his 290,000 lb. quota comes from Sig.
Sean isn’t the only one feeling the heat. Breaking free of Sig’s mentoring grip is Jake Anderson who takes his first full season at the helm of the Saga. Last season, Jake fought to prove his worth as a fisherman, father and captain. Now that he’s been given a shot, he needs to prove his worth as a leader. But can he command a crew he also sees as his friends?
Meanwhile on the Cornelia Marie, young skipper Josh Harris steps out of the shadows to claim his birthright on the legendary vessel once commanded by his father, the late Captain Phil Harris. The boat has finally gotten an overhaul – complete with new electronics and engine room. But making the boat like new comes with a steep price. To pay for the overhaul, Josh had to sell a majority of the boat to investors meaning if they can’t find crab, the investors will find someone else who can.
Over on the Cape Caution, a new year brings a new crew for long-time Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski. This season, Wild Bill turns to his son Zach Larson to find and train the boat’s crew. But the teaching process hasn’t been quite so easy for the teacher or the students. Can Zach prove he’s up to the challenge to finally take over the wheel house?
Captain Keith Colburn of The Wizard is struggling with life both on and off the deck. Keith hopes for a fresh start this season after recently breaking up with his wife of 25 years and accepting that his kids are all grown up. Millions of dollars-worth of crab on the line, and Keith’s crew is ready to go on day one. But before they can leave, they need their captain… who is nowhere to be found.
On the Time Bandit, Jonathan Hillstrand and his brother Andy, find themselves in a dicey situation that could not only cost them a quarter million dollars but that could potentially cost them their fishing license. Will Jonathan make the right decision? Or will this force them to call it quits before the season even started? And finally on the Northwestern, salty Captain Sig Hansen makes a bold decision to search for crab on grounds that he hasn’t been to in over a decade. Was it the right choice? Or was there good reason why he’s avoided it this long?
While experience battles youth this season, Mother Nature wages war. The warm waters of El Niño push the crab deeper, making the catch even more elusive. Each boat will have to fight even harder for every crab that comes over the rail. Injuries, breakdowns and chaotic weather plague the fleet, proving once and for all that in the Bering Sea legends can be built… But they also can be broken.
The 2-hour season premiere of DEADLIEST CATCH airs Tuesday, March 29 at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. Also returning this season is “The Bait,” a series of one-hour pre-shows, beginning at 8 PM E/P. “The Bait” will provide an inside look at the episode ahead, and the captains themselves will talk fishing, drama and what to expect on that night’s episode of DEADLIEST CATCH. Also this season, the DEADLIEST CATCH social media presence will be more engaging than ever before including an all-new Snapchat account @CatchSnaps. Fans who “friend” the Snapchat account will have the opportunity to win a trip to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and get exclusive interviews with Captain Sean Dwyer. DEADLIEST CATCH is also allowing fans to get one step closer to the Bering Sea with a six episode Virtual Reality series on the DiscoveryVR website and app.