Deadliest Catch exclusive: A full pot of the wrong crabs for the Cornelia Marie

Casey McManus right before he realizes he has the wring crab filling his pot
Casey McManus right before he realizes he has the wrong crab filling his pot. Bummer. Pic credit: Discovery

There’s nothing like the feeling you are on to a honey hole of mega stocks of crab…unless it is the wrong crab for the season you are fishing.

Right now, after King crab fishing is behind the fleet, they are on the hunt for bairdi crab, not opelio which is another season and not kosher to be pulling up out of the Bering Sea at the moment.

The exclusive clip for Monsters & Critics reveals that sometimes you get blessed with an abundance of things you don’t need!

That is exactly what happened for Capt. Casey McManus and co-captain (and boat owner) Josh Harris and despite their best efforts and hard work, the two watch their team pull up a pot full of crab – the wrong kind.

It’s a heart-breaker for these fishermen, who love seeing their huge pots teaming with live crab, just to have to dump them all back in the sea and move on.

The Bering Sea is at a fever pitch of swells and towering waves, choppy and the boat is rocking on the surface. Narrator Mike Rowe expertly sets the scene and it feels like it will be a win until we learn the crab species.

Rowe says: “[The] co-captains [Casey McManus and Josh Harris] bet to determine who can catch the most bairdi crab is still in play.”

Opening the clip, McManus has a huge grin on his face in anticipation of what they think is an epic haul of bairdi crab.

As the pot hangs over the deck about to be unloaded, we see it is teaming with live crab. He says to Harris: “You grab this one… [then sees how full the pot is] no way!”

Excited to see the full pot, Josh Harris praises McManus and says: “Yeah! That a boy!”

Full of himself at the moment, Casey says: “I’ve shown you before and I show you again… second place sucks!”

We hear Mike Rowe say: “Mr. McManus’s first pot… looks like a winner!”

Ebullient and ready to call it Miller time, McManus says: “It’s a half racker (pot).”

Suddenly, the realization that they have the wrong species of crab takes over.

Josh says: “Ahh…it’s looking like opies, dude

If only it were opilio season.

Trying to put a positive spin on the situation, Josh says: “Basically, we now know where the Opie’s are at.”

Resigned to catch and release, Casey says: “A bit of misplaced excitement there…”

Why does the Cornelia Marie have two Captains?

Fans who wonder about the Cornelia Marie and it’s complex ownership history have to go back in time on the show to understand how the boat changed hands.

Captain Phil Harris passed away in 2010 and three years later his oldest son Josh purchased the boat.

Now, Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus actually own the Cornelia Marie with investors Roger Thomas and Kari Toivola.

In a 2018 interview with Kate O’Hare for Patheos, Harris explained exactly who owned the Cornelia Marie. He explained:

I own a majority of the boat. I own 45%, Casey owns 5, and then I sold 50% between two people, to my partners. They have 25 and 25. That is correct. People are like, ‘Discovery bought the boat.’ And I’m like, ‘I didn’t realize Discovery likes to get into the fishing industry. Pretty sure they’re about TV.’



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What is a bairdi crab anyway?

Bairdi (or tanner) crab are a larger crab than the opilio snow crab and up until a few years ago was considered nearly fished out until it made a comeback, and the quotas were increased. Now, bairdi season is wedged in between King and opelio crab seasons.

Bairdi is quite popular among crab fishermen for their flavor and the extra money they can get hauling it into the docks to sell.

The bairdi crab scientific name Chionoecetes bairdi, are the good eating snow crab if you ask the Alaskan Bering sea fishermen who tend to favor the meatier crustacean over the opelio.

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Discovery.

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