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The truth about Deadliest Catch...

     When Blake first told us that he was going to be involved in a television show about crabbing to air on the Discovery Channel, we were delighted. We had seen the forerunners of the show, America's Deadliest Season and Deadliest Job and thought that they were a fairly well presented documentary. So the thought of his having even a small roll in the production was a thrill for us. Commercial fishing is an industry that few people know anything about and we were happy that the public would get a bit of a glimpse of it and perhaps a better understanding of America's fishing families.

Season One - Opilio crab  filmed January 2005, aired May 2005

     While some of the show was a touch dramatic it seemed to fairly accurately portray the fisheries and the cross section of people involved in it.  The highs and lows, the good, the bad and the ugly were all there, but it seemed that the show was aimed at showing most of the participants in a good light.

     I still can not believe that I actually stood up at the Fish Expo in Seattle, introduced myself and thanked Thom Beers for making the show.

      As far as Blake writing his phone number on the back of his gear goes, that was a joke. Despite what someone has posted on one of the internet sites, he is still getting calls from that! Never in a million years did he ever expect to get even one.

Season Two - King crab filmed October 2006, aired April 2006

     I don't necessarily blame Discovery Channel for the editing that was done on this series. That finger I point at Original Productions. Why they chose to present the story line they did is beyond me, perhaps they felt they needed a human piñata in order to help with the ratings.  As you will see, they knew the truth. Maybe they need to preface the show with something like "dramatized for effect".

     Contrary to what you were told thanks to some very creative editing, Blake did not leave. He was upset, he swallowed it and he went on back to work and completed the season. Justin threatened to leave the boat if Blake was made captain. What many do not know is  that would have left the boat short handed with no way to replace the crewman.  Blake could have done that, I think that there are some who would have. He could have got off in St Paul and left the Maverick high and dry, but what would that have accomplished?

 

Now about that Opilio season and the real reason Blake was not there.

     Blake's father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2005. He endured a 6 hour surgery and a very long and difficult recovery. Blake was running the Maverick for herring tendering at that time, but he flew down to run the Evening Star for black cod and halibut for us.

     It was during the king crab season that Jeff had to have a second surgery. That left him totally unable to run our dungeness crab operation and Blake committed to handling it for us.  Dungie season traditionally begins Dec. 1, and runs for several months. The states did not allow it to open as the crab had not filled out their shells from the earlier molt. In fact, the season did not open until mid-January, six weeks late.

     The opilio season was in full swing at that time and with the new ratz rules, the Maverick had to catch and deliver by a certain date. The intention was to have Blake up to Alaska by that time, but due to the delay in the dungeness season, that was not possible and Rick fished the boat.

Season Three - Filmed October 2006, Aired April 2007

We've all been punk'd.

     When Original Productions approached Blake about being in season three of DC he told them  NO. After the way they treated him in season two, pretending he had quit the Maverick when they knew better, he was not interested. Oh how they begged and pleaded. They promised they would "do him right", they gave him their word. In our world, a man's word is his bond, apparently it means nothing in theirs.

     The Cornelia Marie, Aleutian Ballad and Maverick are partner boats, they fish together and share information. There are signed agreements enabling them to run each other's crab gear. The supposed secret conversation between Blake and Phil never happened. To those who don't know, Phil was on a phone and Blake was on a radio.

     The film crew insisted on their own private stateroom on board. They would lock themselves inside and chatter back and forth with their cohorts on the other vessels. It was they who kept the big bet going, constantly telling him he was in the lead. I wonder just how much they influenced the out come.

     Contrary to what you were told, Blake worked closely with Capt. Corky of the Aleutian Ballad, and they found the crab on their own.  Right from the start. He also knew exactly what he had on for the final delivery and it was the correct amount. We won't throw the crewman under the bus who was supposed to be watching the scales and keeping track of the totes of crab. He already feels bad enough.

     The portrayal of the crew of the Maverick was insulting. These are fine, experienced, hard working young men. Scott has 18 years of experience and Mike has been on the Maverick for three years. While Marvin and Ed are new to the boat, Marvin has worked on the Bering and Ed is a captain out of the Columbia River.

     If you believe any of the fabricated drama we have a bridge in Brooklyn and ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.

     You won't see Blake on the Maverick for opilio season due to the fact that he was skippering the Evening Star again for Dungeness crab. The area we chose to fish did not open until mid-January making him unavailable for the Maverick's delivery dates again.

     No drama.

     For all of you fans of Blake and the Maverick, thanks for your support. Its a sad thing that was done to this fine boat and her wonderful crew by the people from Hollywood. I am sorry to tell you that you won't see them again.

     Discovery Channel used to be  one of the last bastions of good TV. They had the reputation of carrying programs that were educational and honest but not anymore.

2010 Update: They are still calling...and we find that unbelievable.

Next: Dispelling internet rumors

 

 

 

 

    

 

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