Original air date: May 15, 2007
The fleet began the opilio crab season. Northwestern deckhand Matt Bradley, who made his Seattle court date in time to avoid a lengthy jail sentence, returned to the Northwestern crew with his legal troubles behind him. The Northwestern added a new crew member, greenhorn Jake Anderson, from a multi-generational Norwegian fishing family, anxious to prove himself “a man” aboard the most respected ship in the fleet; Sig refused to greet him, as is his tradition with greenhorns. The Wizard also picked up a new greenhorn, Nick, to learn from greenhorn Crosby. After taking on Jake, the Northwestern went to pick up their pots stored near St. Paul Island and St. George Island and found that many of their buoys had been damaged by playful sea lions. The Time Bandit, captained by Andy Hillstrand, headed to a secret opilio fishing spot known only to the Hillstrand family. Out at sea, the Northwestern crew celebrated Matt Bradley’s return to the boat by burning the prison-striped oilskins they made for him during King crab season; Sig was in a considerably less celebratory mood, noting to the cameras that as far as he was concerned, he had done Matt a huge favor by getting him back in time to go to court in the first place, adding that Matt needed to show some respect and gain some maturity. At Dutch Harbor, the Farwest Leader loaded up on provisions while waiting for the Coast Guard to conduct their inspections and drills. The fish processing boat Stellar Sea’s engine room caught on fire, causing it to be towed to Dutch Harbor for repairs. The fire forced the Cornelia Marie and the Time Bandit to change their plans as they were contracted to deliver to the Stellar Sea. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie decided to dock at St. Paul to wait until the stricken Stellar Sea was repaired, while Captain Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit decided to switch to fishing bairdi crab which could be delivered to another processor. A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk from USCG Air Station Kodiak was dispatched to rescue a seriously ill crew member from a fishing boat.