I first met Deadliest Catch Captain Keith Colburn of The Wizard back in 2007 at Catch Con, the big fan event that went down in Seattle where Deadliest Catch fans from all points of the seven seas gathered to meet and talk to their captains of Discovery’s long-running reality series.
People gathered from as far away as Norway (Seattle boasts a huge Norwegian population), Russia, Philippines, and even South Africa. Every state in the USA had people visiting too.
Captain Colburn’s Wizard was and still is his boat, and inside the rough accommodations (surprisingly clean) and gear was a kitchen where somebody got down and cooked professional style. Colburn, the captain of the vessel, also shared that he was a trained chef.
His cooking skills aside, Colburn is a steady force on the show and is certainly less boisterous than the Hillstrands and Hansens, and less a legacy cast member as the Harris boys currently are because of their dad Phil Harris, who suffered a massive stroke in January 2010 and left planet Earth way too young.
Colburn is acutely aware that time is marching on, and he is weathering more than the frigid insults of the Bering Sea — with some tough stuff going on personally.
This week’s episode (April 26) shows how he is coping and adjusting.
It’s good to note too that beyond the TV series, Colburn also is an advocate for sustainable fisheries and, like the Hansens, he too is an entrepreneur and knows the power of his brand, which he’s curated over the years. The end of this show won’t see him disappear anytime too soon.
This season Colburn got a late start, but alongside his brother Monte they have overcome some problems and setbacks and forge on because that’s what professional fishermen do.
As Deadliest Catch revealed in Season 12’s first episode, Colburn was also struggling with his emotions after facing the fact he must start over after divorcing his wife of 25 years and having children now grown and out of the house.
Empty nest syndrome hits men hard too. It’s a massive transition and stressor, certainly a huge change for the captain, and it’s like he’s finding himself all over again.
The abrupt changes in his personal life aside, Colburn is optimistic for a fresh start this season. His constant is work, and his work is fishing. Millions of dollars worth of crab on the line and Colburn’s crew is ready to get their share of it.
Monsters and Critics spoke to Colburn and got some insight into the season thus far.
Monsters and Critics: What can we expect this season from you and your crew that is completely unexpected? Is there anything fans can look forward to that is above and beyond the blistering Bering Sea?
Keith Colburn: There was so much that went down this season. It was really one of the most treacherous and stressful seasons yet.
So much happens on the Bering Sea that is unexpected. After all these years of fishing, things still come up out of nowhere.
I can hint at something… I’ll just say it involved unexpected frozen boots and a crazy dude with a knife!
I think another unexpected event this year was that my boat The Wizard wasn’t crushing it like other seasons. I had a lot of setbacks this season that I don’t normally have.
It was a challenging year and mixed with erratic weather making it one of the toughest.
M&C: What delicious meals did you bust out this season?
KC: One of my favorite meals that I made this season is one that doesn’t exactly sound appetizing at first, but it’s delicious.
I cooked up a breakfast that included eggs benedict with snails. I can say with 100 per cent certainty that this was a Bering Sea first!
M&C: How did Sig’s health issues this season affect the crews?
KC: Sig’s health issues were a wake-up call to all the captains. I had some issues with stress last summer and can relate.
Watch Deadliest Catch Tuesdays 9/8c on Discovery