Original air date: April 29, 2014
The episode opens with a voice-over by Cape Caution Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski and footage across the fleet from the episode: “It’s the old question: ‘What does it take to make it on the Bering Sea?’ On paper, a guy can look great: ex-Marine, commercial fisherman, sport fisherman” (referring to his latest greenhorn’s qualifications). The introduction concludes by switching to Bill in his Captain’s chair saying “You gotta be nuts to do this job.”
The fleet is way behind schedule thanks to the government shutdown, as noted by the comments of the Captains, and a storm bearing down on the fleet makes that problem worse.
Cape Caution’s lone greenhorn is still not 100%, but is needed to help with gear, and carelessly tosses a pot buoy into a crew member.
Seabrooke is pounded by waves as Junior wrestles with severe back pain, but the set-back string has great numbers, and sets back a third time.
55-knot winds haven’t done much to stop the Saga, with 30,000 lbs in the tanks and a 38 crab-per-pot average, and the set-back string continues Captain Elliott’s first red king season success until the numbers of keepers drops to singles.
On the Northwestern, they have 100,000 lbs on board and look to top off the tanks. Before they haul the pots, Edgar must fix a sudden electrical problem with the mast-mounted lights. Edgar remounts two of the lights on the deck in the interim. As they haul pots, Captain Sig hears communications between a USCG rescue helicopter and the Blue Gadus: “I’m not sure who that is; I think that’s a long-liner.” 148 miles southwest, a Blue Gadus crewman has suffered a pulmonary embolism and requires medevac. which will be extremely difficult in the storm due to 30-foot seas and 100-knot winds. It takes two attempts to land the rescue basket on deck, but they complete the rescue. Sig comments how lucky the rescued guy is, that the copter rescued him before the worst of the storm caused them to abort the rescue.
On the Seabrooke, Junior is looking to top off the tanks and go home. The third time through the string has very low numbers, and the weather radio broadcast forecasts 40-knot winds with 14-18-foot seas. Switching to later that night on the Time Bandit, the forecast is for east 50-knot winds and 24-foot seas with fog and rain.
On the Wizard, Captain Keith knows he’s in for “three-four days of bad weather, some of that hellaciously bad”, as he’s already experiencing sustained 65-mph winds gusting to 80 and 90. As the brunt of the storm hits, the Captains are left to decide how much pain to endure before calling crews off the rails.
On the Time Bandit, Captain Johnathan gives his son/deck boss Scott a pep talk before hauling pots. After a 29-hour soak, their pots come up with great numbers, but 25-foot swells are causing Axel (son of engineer Neal and nephew of Captains Johnathan and Andy) to have problems controlling the 800-lb pots. Scott and Axel have a cousin shouting match after a wave knocks Axel off balance and almost crushes him against the sorting table. Johnathan shuts down fishing before anyone gets hurt.
Weather radio forecasts east 45 to southwest 50-knot winds, and Sig, Junior and Elliott also decide to shut down fishing until the worst passes. Only the Cape Caution is still fishing, and the new location of low numbers is not good, however the greenhorn is finally in the groove and the crew is working together as bigger numbers (and a big crab) arrive.