'Deadliest Catch': Jake Anderson on Losing Almost Everything in Season 20 Shocker (2024)

Deadliest Catch
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The walls are closing in for Captain Jake Anderson at the start of Season 20 of Deadliest Catch. After investing everything including his kids’ college fund, he found a lock and repossession note on the F/V Saga. The boat he helmed for a decade and served as part-owner, focusing mainly on the operation side. The timing for all this couldn’t be worse as the Red King Crab fishery was finally open again with an estimated $30 million and six-figure paydays out in the Bering Sea.

With no boat at the start of the season, Anderson went to his mentor Captain Sig Hansen for guidance. This came with an opportunity to return to the F/V/ Northwestern. A humble pill to swallow for the once greenhorn who began his career aboard learning under Hansen almost 18 years ago.

Here Anderson opens up about his struggles and time on the series.

What does it mean to you to see the show’s longevity? What do you think it has done for the industry?

Jake Anderson: For me, it’s my life. It means my life. I’ve always been honest with the cameras and production to show my heart to accomplish the American dream. For the industry, it has raised the prices. It has created awareness for what we do. When the show started, I don’t know if the American market was purchasing 20 percent of our stocks. When the show came out, we had Americans buy about 40 percent instead of it being shipped overseas. It’s caught here in Alaska because it’s highly regulated. It’s why the foreign buyers want our product. It would go to the Eastern countries. The show has done wonders for our business and us fishermen.

Talk a bit about your rough start of the season and not having your boat. How was it to have Sig to go to and work alongside?

With the boat, I found out on a Friday in August. Everything was situated to go red crab fishing. Then September 1, things started to look dark. Just before I was getting to go red crab fishing, I found out my partner, with all due respect with the legal things going on, we don’t know what he did. I lost my boat. In saying that, I don’t think there has ever been a show to watch the American dream unfold and watch it crumble at the same time. I can only speak to the 18 years of my career. Having red crab getting started, that’s my bread and butter. I was always for the last 10 years the top contender.

I went from having the most King Crab to catch and having a nice platform I built it with my own two hands to losing it all over a weekend. Of course, Sig is going to reach out because we are close. As fishermen and fisherwomen, the camaraderie is something special. It’s a very honorable profession. Not just for Sig, but I think any one of us would do that for each other, even if we were an enemy. For Sig specifically, not that I expected him to take me in, but we both knew we’d had a tumultuous relationship. Without my boat, I’m not a threat to him anymore. I can only be an asset. Honestly, if you asked him I think he was, in a very small way, happy to have some of his team back again.

'Deadliest Catch': Jake Anderson on Losing Almost Everything in Season 20 Shocker (1)

Discovery Channel

How would you describe your working dynamic as now you’re coming on board with all this new experience you didn’t have before? Is there a lot of butting heads?

I think the fans will have to watch because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But like I said we have a tumultuous relationship. I really had to step down, and that was really hard for me. It really settled in where I was and where I was in reality in that I didn’t think I was going to end up sitting on the port side of the old boat I used to work on. Yet there I was. People will hopefully feel those same feelings through some of the conversations I had with the camera. I think that is what makes the show so beautiful. For me, I’m very honest with them so the public can see I believe in the show and believe in fishing. That they can see my open heart, especially when it’s raw like that…It is entertaining. I’ll tell you that.

I remember some moments. What people are going to see that I don’t think they’re used to seeing is someone who is confident around somebody I’ve been codependent around. That’s something new for viewers to see than in the past. I’ve been so codependent on him, losing my dad. Then getting sober right before right before losing my dad and becoming an adult. Then looking up to Sig, it was easy for me to be codependent on him. Now you’ll see a more confident person, yet very humble.

You talked about this being an honorable profession, but how much of that feeling changes when it’s derby-style and everybody for themselves?

That’s a very good question. It is an honorable profession, but yet there is no honor among thieves. If something happens to someone, we all come together. There is honor and camaraderie there. Once we start fishing, especially when King Crab has been closed and people are losing their businesses. You’re going to see people do things out of desperation. And you’re not supposed to make decisions out of desperation, but there is desperation out there. There hadn’t been money out there for a couple of years. Then when you have all these millions of dollars on the ground and just have to get it, people do what people do. We turn into thieves and then it turns into Deadliest Catch.

What are the challenges are you going to face in terms of Mother Nature this season with El Niño weather pattern in full swing?

Typically with the winter months, February is the worst where you’ll see a low-pressure system like once a week. That can be what a hurricane is on the east coast. With the super El Niño, we were seeing a couple of lows a week, so we weren’t getting to fish looking forward to a nice sem-calm day. It was, “We need to get through this as fast as we can.” There is no time for scheduling for us to go on anchor. You couldn’t go on anchor because you were in the middle of the storm and halfway through before the next one. It played a huge part in the safety of life at sea.

You really couldn’t do anything and were pinned to running the storms on 35-foot seas, which is technically 70 feet because it measures from the sea level. It doesn’t measure from the bottom. People were fishing in them. I know I was. I was fishing in every storm unless I was in town offloading. You’re going to see what happens on the show.


How would you describe your journey from the start of the season to the end?

Have you ever seen the movie Rocky? The one where he loses? That’s Deadliest Catch Season 20 for Jake Anderson, man. I fought hard and fought well and did what I could. At the end of the day, I think got an E for effort and F because I still lost my boat at the end of the day. I’ve lost millions of dollars, but the truth is I’m not sad about it. I’m not that kind of person. I do have a temper. That does come from passion. At the end of the day, I told the public and they will see me tell them what I went through so they know it’s okay. That you just pick up, lace up your boots and go out there again and hit it hard. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve been doing and always done and why I’m where I’m at.

Deadliest Catch premiere, June 11, 8/7c, Discovery Channel

'Deadliest Catch': Jake Anderson on Losing Almost Everything in Season 20 Shocker (2024)
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