Why the 'Deadliest Catch' captains think the show has made it to 200 episodes (and it's not just the Coast Guard rescues)

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Deadliest Catch is back Tuesday night for the premiere of its 14th season — and 200th episode — and Yahoo Entertainment has your first look at the Northwestern, Wizard, Saga, Summer Bay, and Brenna A leaving Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for the king crab grounds.

As you see in the sneak peek, Jake Anderson and Sig Hansen weren’t exactly talking at that moment. Sig had tossed Jake out of the Northwestern wheelhouse when he dropped by looking to partner with his mentor. After the Saga‘s expensive $750,000 makeover, Jake needs to put crab in the tank, but he’ll have to rely on a 6-month-old government survey to find them.

The two men were, however, talking when they stopped by AOL’s Build Series NYC for an interview on Monday. And it’s no surprise: Asked to name the moment that’s made him the happiest in the show’s run, Jake said it was when he got his jacket on Sig’s family-run Northwestern. “There was a lot more going on than just gettin’ a jacket. It was where I had just came from, just having struggles in my own life, and then when the guys on the Northwestern basically made me a part of something that was huge to me that I never thought I could achieve,” he said. “So becoming a captain and all that has been great … but the biggest moment I think, the most significant moment, was what that jacket signified for me as a person.”

From left, Sig Hansen, Keith Colburn, Jake Anderson, Josh Harris, and Wild Bill Wichrowski. (Photo: Noam Galai/Build Series NYC)

The idea of family was on the minds of the other captains as well: Sig said his happiest moment was seeing the footage of his loved ones gathered around him after his 2016 heart attack. For Keith Colburn, it was fishing with his son. Josh Harris, who’s basically lived his whole adult life on the show, said it was knowing that his child could someday watch both him and his father, the late great Capt. Phil Harris, on the series (and that cameras had captured his final conversation with his dad). Wild Bill Wichrowski thought of all the little moments that add up to his crew doing something “epic” — and joked that if he ever has great great-grandkids, they’ll say he was “kind of an ass,” but he’s prepared for it.

The captains were also asked why they think the show remains so popular, 14 seasons in. Keith often hears it’s one of the only shows a whole family can agree on watching together, and people are always telling Bill they wish they could experience that kind of adventure for just one day. Josh’s answer went beyond the fact that people are curious about the life-and-death danger on deck. “[People] deal with a lot of the problems that we deal with, because you get to see a lot of our home life,” he said. “It’s like with me, personally, my brother who abused drugs, out of control, and losing a family member where now we gotta take over the business. People get to watch all this stuff ’cause they’re going through similar things, and how do you cope with all this. Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? They think we have a lot of these answers because you get to see me do it and watch me fail miserably, or you get to see me succeed. A lot of people can relate to all that.”

Jake may have summed it up best: “[Like with Josh], they’ve watched me grow up and follow the American dream and accomplish that American dream. It’s not pretty; it’s ugly. There’s a lot of kickin’, and cryin’, and moanin’. And that’s just one of the 50 interesting stories that are on there, and they’re 100 percent authentic. And I think that’s what can draw the crowd. So I really believe in the integrity of the show, and I think I can speak for all of us that that’s what it is — you’re really watching a real documentary.”

Deadliest Catch Season 14 premieres Tuesday, April 10, at 9 p.m., following “The Bait” preshow at 8 p.m., on Discovery. The all-new Discovery Go series Deadliest Catch: Greenhorn is streaming now.

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