Original air date: July 7, 2009
Anchored 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of St. Paul harbor, Captain Sig Hansen decides that the four days he has already waited is long enough, heads into the harbor and pushes his way past the ice. Safely docked at the pier, Captain Sig hopes that he can offload before the harbor ices up again. The Incentive pulls up full pots of “dirty” (barnacle-encrusted) crab and must rail dump them overboard as the cannery will refuse the dirty crab. With three days until a delivery date, over 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) left to go, and no keepers in the string, Captain Harry Lewis decides that he must move north. As the Wizard offloads 411,000 pounds (186,000 kg) of crab worth $560,000 at Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn drives to the airport to pick up his brother Monte who has returned against doctors orders with five broken ribs and new Greenhorn Jon Lawler. With the new crew and Engineer Lenny Lekanoff back into retirement, the Wizard heads back out. In 30-foot (9.1 m) seas and −30 °F (−34 °C) temperatures, the Incentive arrives at the northern fishing grounds and sets her pots before a storm arrives. When ice builds up on deck to dangerous levels, the crew must stop setting pots and break ice. At the southern fishing grounds, the Wizard picks up her gear to head north 5 to 10 miles (8.0 to 16.1 km). While Monte may be back on board, his broken ribs limit him to manning the wheelhouse and Captain Keith must go out to work the deck. Captain Keith has not worked the deck in over 15 years and shows the crew that he is still capable of working the deck. His time on the deck shows to him that he starting to get over the incident with his crew at the beginning of the season. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie returns to the “crab fart” fishing grounds. High tides make for difficult conditions hooking the buoys, but the crew manages to pull the pots on deck with an average of 600 keepers per pot. Captain Phil decides to set back on the same spot. Captain Phil notices that Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard has set his pots in the middle of the Cornelia Marie’s gear. The Incentive’s first northern string averages 500 keepers per pot. With the temperature dropping to −40 °F (−40 °C), the crew begins to suffer Stage 1 hypothermia and crab begin to drop their legs when they freeze. After hauling up 45 pots, the temperature continues to drop, but the crew must grind on with another 150 pots to haul. The Northwestern has returned to the finishing grounds after being stuck in St. Paul harbor for two days and the crew rushes to pull pots before their next delivery deadline. The twenty-hour grind with poor numbers makes the crew grumpy, but Captain Sig shows no sympathy. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie calls Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard over his view that Captain Keith set his gear over the top of Cornelia Marie gear. Captain Keith’s view is that he did not intend to set his gear over the Cornelia Marie gear and that the tide moves the Wizard’s gear. A storm generating 60-knot (110 km/h; 69 mph) and 30-foot (9.1 m) seas hits the Wizard as she pulls up the 60 pots in the area. A 40-foot (12 m) crashes over the bow, knocking Greenhorn Jon Lawler from the sorting table and wedging him under the launcher. Relief Captain Monte decides that the conditions are too rough and calls the crew inside.