Sunday, April 10, 2011

Deadliest Catch CatchCon 2011 Seattle, WA - Fan Festival Report

Two of the main reporters were Tary Southern and Matt McManus.

There were games, relay races, a beer garden and loads of fans from all over. There were fans from New Zealand, South Carolina and Arizona all over the place.

No I didn’t get to go to the Fan Festival, but I sure wished I could have. I did have some issues with my internet connection and Discovery was having some streaming issues, so I didn’t catch everything, but I still managed to gather a lot of exciting information. There are a couple baby spoilers but nothing really big, so it’s safe to read. This article is pretty long but there were tons of things going on. It was an all day event after all.

Oh, the things I learned.

Mike Fourtner greeted the fans at the door.

Captains Panel

The Captains panel consisted of Captains Keith Colburn, Andy Hillstrand, Johnathan Hillstrand, Sig Hansen and Wild Bill. Later the two new Captains were introduced. Captain Tony Lara of the Cornelia Marie was not there.

The producer of the show said herding these guys was like cats on crack. There was another gentleman on stage whose name I didn’t catch.

Captain Elliott Nesse (28 yo) of The Ramblin’ Rose was introduced. He started fishing at age 10. He started crab fishing at 18. This is his first year as a Captain; he has been nicknamed “The Tyrant” by the Discovery channel. Some of the crew names are Kado, The Cat, Face, and The Kid.

The second new Captain Scott Campbell, Jr often called “Junior” of the Seabrooke was introduced. Captain Scott started fishing at age 15, started making money and decided he liked it. Once he decided to make a career of it his father wasn’t happy, he wanted him to go to college. So his dad told the guys on the boat to break him so he would quit. Well, that didn’t happen and here he is Captain of his own vessel. The crew consists of Chris, Mike, Bob, Mac and Derek.

The Captains reminisced about Captain Phil for a bit, said he was 15 years old when he started fishing. Evidently The Time Bandit rode around with Captain Phil’s ashes for about 6 months. Then when it came time to spread the ashes they couldn’t get the urn open. They said it was Phil still F’ing with them.

There was a Q&A session from the fans to the Captains. One fan asked the Captains, what is not on the show that you would like us to know. I thought that was a really good question. Captain Keith jumped in and said he wants them to show when him & Monty get along.

Captain Sig Hansen was asked when The Northwestern was built. It was built in 1977, built especially for crab fishing, Sig started fishing in 1978.

The guys being themselves were letting the F bomb fly. At one point Captain Johnathan Hillstrand asked the interpreter doing sign language how she interpreted the F Bomb? It appeared to be the middle finger. Either that or she just flipped Johnathan off. Johnathan said he should have figured that one out.

The Captains were asked how long they usually let the pots soak. The initial answers were 12, 18 and 24 hours but before the discussion was over the answers were anywhere from 6 to 48 hours.

Who holds the record for the best prank? There was a really good one this year. They don’t say what it was, so I guess we can look forward to seeing that. I wonder if Captain Johnathan lost his title of best prankster after replacing one of Captain Phil’s pots with a truck.

I also learned during the Captains panel that Neil Hillstrand of The Time Bandit has quit smoking. Yea, Neil!

The Time Bandit lost her anchor and couldn’t come back into the harbor this season.

During Opie Season this year, the weather was so bad the first four days (60 foot seas) ; eight people were medevaced off St Paul Island with broken bones.

Captain Sig Hansen says he can’t watch the shows with Captain Phil anymore, it’s too hard. Yes the Captains watch the show, so they can see what happened on the other fishing boats.

“Mouse” Monte Colburn said somewhat teasingly that the most challenging part of his job is dealing with his brother and Lenny.

The Captains addressed “Green Water” which they experienced this season. Green water is not spray. It is solid water washing across the deck sending the crew flying and/or causing a Captain to only see green water when he looks out the wheel house window. We’ve seen this once in a while, but sounds like this season will be particularly bad.

This lead to a discussion of the difference between “house forward” and “house aft” referring to the wheel house.

House forward is when the wheel house is in the front of the boat, like The Northwestern. The benefits are it takes the waves better, it’s safer for the crew and more of the deck is utilized. The downside of a house forward vessel is it’s more dangerous for the Captains, because the waves come crashing through the wheel house leaving the Captain in electrical saltwater, and the Captain has to turn around all the time to see the crew. Captain Johnathan said sleeping on a house forward vessel is like sleeping in an anti-gravity chamber, flying up and down. Evidently many a Captain has taken a window to the face in a house forward boat.

The last Captain to be injured in a house forward vessel was Ricky on the Early Dawn. A wave blasted out the window, busted his chair back, blew the door out and sent Ricky flying onto the deck. He survived, but Wow.

House aft is when the wheel house is in the back of the boat, like The Wizard. The Captain can see the guys working in front of him, “like a theatre” said Captain Keith and it’s a more comfortable ride, all the bumping up and down on the waves are absorbed by the front of the boat.

The Crew Panel – The Crew Strikes Back

Sheila McCormack and Bill Pruett were the MC’s. I believe they are also producers of the show. Shelia said they were all big pain in the asses. She later commented the crew members were needy, demanding and you could never make them happy. Hehe. I think all the crew members were there most I recognized some I didn’t.

Edgar was present wearing a shirt that said “Shut Up and Fish”. There was some joking going on about Edgar working as a barista for an hour and then getting fired. Edgar said you had to be nice to people.

Freddy is now a member of The Wizard, I believe I addressed that in a previous post.

Someone on The Time Bandit I don’t remember who, probably Travis, he talked a lot, addressed losing “JT” Justin Tennison and what a good guy he was. They said he died in his sleep, evidently still no new news on that, or at least they aren’t saying. They said Justin is a hair stylist, we will see and he drew a cock and balls on Travis’ face while he was sleeping. ??

Jake and Josh Harris said the boat is still floating, they have had a lot of weird moments, but they all banded together. Then there was mention of Steve Ward the engineer being mad and TMZ, but they didn’t elaborate on what had happened. So I tracked down what happened, it is aired on the show, but if you can’t wait to see what happened go here for more details and a video from the upcoming season. Again Derrick Ray was involved. I already don’t like Derrick.

Another incident which they were questioned about had to do with Mike Fourtner maybe sending a green horn aboard The Northwestern to steal all their cigarettes. They jokingly said the green horn hasn’t been seen since. I wasn’t real clear on what all happened here.

Nick Mavar of The Northwestern had a big ole bandage on his nose. He said he had been accused of going Hollywood and had had a nose job. He blamed what ever happened on Norman, he apparently was hit in the nose in January. I don’t know if it was by someone or something.

Kevin “Kado” Davis of the Ramblin’ Rose gripped about the food on board the ship, said they wanted something more than trail mix and rice crispy treats. Shelia I think then teased they had hot pockets, but Kevin said they had no microwave.

In the Q&A the guys were asked if they wore boxers or briefs, then the feed promptly went out, so sorry I don’t have that answer for you.

The crew was asked how much time they spent together in the off season. The response was as little as possible, although Edgar did fess up to hanging out with Matt Bradley and Jake Anderson at times.

Wild Bill’s son Zak is now on his crew. Zak was asked how he liked working on the boat. He said it was a pleasure to work with his dad. Wild Bill then came out of the audience and paid him $20 for saying that. They all teased it was worth or was supposed to be $100.

Jake Anderson was asked if his dad had been found. He has not been found yet. Jake said his family at home and his family on the boat had all been very supportive. He still seems to be very frustrated with the police and the investigation, which is certainly understandable.

One woman asked why there weren’t woman on the crews. One crew member admitted he was already distracted by the woman asking the question. Jake Anderson said if he can do the job any girl can do it.

Captain Elliott has evidently offended several of the crew members by making a statement that he was going to bring reality back to the show not any fake stuff. This prompted statements like yes, can I have a stunt double next time a wave comes through, or can we do that again and have a wave in five minutes. There seemed to be a lot of anger over that statement. Travis and Mike Fourtner want to dot Captain Elliott’s eye. Mike says he trusts his two Captains with his life, he wouldn’t trust Captain Elliott. And it begins.

Lenny was asked how many times he was going to retire. He said he had to put his daughter through college.

The crew picked a Captain to receive the 2011 Annual CatchCon Big Head F’ing Prick Award. Captain Sig was the winner. Jake Anderson delivered the award which was a great big dildo, he handed the award to Captain Sig with quite a few F bombs including go F yourself. I’m not even going to try and quote Jake’s speech I’m sure I’d get it wrong, because I was laughing too hard. It was hilarious. Nick said Jake might be getting it back in the end either way. They all had fun with that one.

Things I Learned From People Talking To the Guys In Interviews/On The Street

On an After The Catch show Mike Fourtner had said he bought a Salmon fishing boat, and I thought from that conversation he was leaving The Time Bandit, but he never did. Here’s why. Mike goes Salmon fishing on his own boat in June and July. Then he fishes on The Time Bandit from October to March. In his off time he is a fire fighter and EMT. He’s a busy guy.

The Seabrooke has a father son combo on deck this season.

Captain Andy Hillstrand was asked how he stays humble. Captain Andy replied jokingly that his dad beat him a lot as a kid. Seriously he said he believes you should treat people like you want to be treated. I agree.

Travis who was on The Wizard for 8 years is now on The Time Bandit, turned out to be quite the talker both on and off stage. He said both vessels were hard working but The Time Bandit had more of a family atmosphere and was fun. His number one fear is being put into a cubicle to work.

Tary the reporter ran into Josh Harris, and called him Jake. Josh said it was because they look so much alike. (NOT) Then he promptly told her he didn’t have time to talk, he had to drop a deuce. Way too much information Josh.

Captain Wild Bill from The Kodiak likes to give the girls hugs. So if you run into to Captain Bill and your female, be sure to get a hug! Captain Bill was asked what the strangest question he had been asked by a fan was and he said people were interested in his hair products. He said whatever is in the shower. The Kodiak has fixed a lot of things the guys complained about last year. So hopefully this year will be better for them.

Josh Harris said there have been a lot of weird moments this year. He’s learned being an A-hole doesn’t pay. Josh also said their only option was blue crabbing this year. I guess we will find out what that is about.

Jake Harris after being called Josh by Tary, said he doesn’t get on Facebook, doesn’t even know the password, but he gets lots of letters from people which he reads. He looked really good. I hope he is staying clean of drugs. The reporter Matt then asked Jake about the new Captain, I think Jake said something like Derrick or Tony, and then Matt told Jake he had just seen Derrick. Jake said here? And immediately looked edgy and freaked out. Matt said no just kidding. Read here if you haven’t heard of the troubles between Jake and Captain Derrick. After Jake recovered from the shock that Captain Derrick might be there, he said Captain Tony was showing Jake and Josh how to Captain the boat. He seemed to be excited about that.

Edgar wouldn’t really say whether he was back for season 7 when asked, he did put on a tool belt and say he has been doing remodeling, but on the other hand he was up on stage with the crew members.

Captain Sig Hansen was asked what the weirdest thing a fan had done was. He said when he and his wife were in Vegas a woman seen him and passed out cold in the floor. His wife couldn't believe it.

There is going to be a prank that sends Captain Sig running from the wheel house, and Captain Scott on the Ramblin’ Rose gets pranked.

Captain Sig flew home early for something and Norman let Jake Anderson dock the boat. Jake said he doesn’t want to drive the boat anymore. Someone said he docked the boat then went outside and threw up. I think they were teasing him though.

There will be lots of drama this year, reported by several people.

There was autograph signing all around. Sweat shirts, t-shirts, cd’s, cups lots of merchandise which you can also buy online at the Deadliest Catch Store. I also noticed Captain Sig has a book called “North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family On Deadly Alaskan Water”

Boat Tour

Lenny gave a tour of The Wizard. Lenny has been fishing for 25 years and has worked as an engineer for 6 years. He lives in Unalaska, Alaska. On the tour we learned the coiler weighs 2500 lbs. A crab pot on The Wizard weighs 750 lbs. There are on average 25 pots in a string. We didn’t get to see down stairs because the camera’s signal went out, but if you’re a fan of the show, you’ve probably seen most of it.

Wow that was more than I expected to write, but for those of you who missed the Deadliest Catch CatchCon 2011, I wanted you to know what happened. Aren’t you glad I took notes? hehe Like the show Deadliest Catch, the Fan Festival was incredible. If they do it again next year, be sure not to miss it. The Deadliest Catch CatchCon 2011 was great even if I couldn’t be there. I want to say a big thank you to The Discovery Channel for the live feed so I could join in the fun.

I can’t wait until Tuesday.

Copyright © 2011 Virtualpatti. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Watched the new show. The new boats are OK. The captain of the "Ramblin Rose" didn't impress me at all. I could understand about every third or fourth word he said, he came off way too strong. I think he has "The little man syndrome" and he needs to learn how to speak so you can understand him.

  2. Anonymous I just watched the show as well, and I think you might be right on with your diagnosis of Captain Elliott and "the little man syndrome". I do get that he is a young captain and has to prove himself, but I wasn't feeling the love either. Capt. Elliott said at CatchCon he was going to bring reality back to the show and took a lot of ragging for it. So he is not making a lot of friends.

  3. what happen to Matt Bradley from the Northwesten??

  4. As far as I know Matt Bradley is still on the show. I don't know why he wasn't on episode 1, but he has made appearances with the show cast throughout the year and he was at Catchcon.


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