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Deadliest Catch exclusive: Jake Anderson’s gamble goes badly wrong

This season has been a tough ride for Captain Jake Anderson.

Tonight on Deadliest Catch, he takes a huge gamble and does a dog-leg away from the main fishing pack in a bid to get more opilio crab.

Pumped and ready to catch some opies, in our exclusive clip Anderson says: “I want to get fishing, I want to stay fishing…but if it doesn’t pay off that’ll cost me tens of thousands of dollars…I want to take the chance.”

This season, Jake Anderson’s Saga saw stops and starts for crab in the numbers he needed to meet his quota. But after hearing it out on fishing advice from seasoned pro captains Sig Hansen of the F/V Northwestern and Keith Colburn of the F/V Wizard, Anderson still wound up pulling up disappointing numbers from Saga’s set pots.

Deadliest Catch fans know that Anderson was hired by Sig Hansen back in 2007 for a greenhorn position on the Northwestern. Anderson has suffered terribly during the course of the show — losing his sister to complications from pneumonia, and his father in a terrible accident.

A life-altering skateboarding accident also rendered his ankle nearly useless and he wound up homeless and hooked on drugs. Life has been tough for him to say the least.

Now, after all of that, Anderson is a relatively new captain of the F/V Saga and he is ready to take a bigger gamble than the older captains in order to make quotas and get his crew a nice payday.

Sitting in his captain’s room perched above the deck in our exclusive clip, Anderson explains his strategy and reasoning behind this risky move. “If I can get two hundred to two hundred fifty clean opies out of here, it will be worth it,” he says.

Narrator Mike Rowe underscores the risk and the reward of Anderson’s gutsy gambit. Rowe says: “If there’s a pile of opie’s this close to town it’ll be a game-changer, but if Jake’s instincts are wrong moving back to the pack could add weeks to his season.”

The pots he is pulling up on a wild gamble are loaded with crab…but with of the wrong type. He needs opies, not bairdi crab. In total, he nets eleven opies and two hundred plus bairdis. Exasperated, Anderson says: “I’m catching massive amounts of bairdis and I need opies!”

Jake Anderson
Captain Jake is hoping he can score more opies but comes up bairdi

In the world of crab fishing, there are two species of snow crab, the proper Latin names are chionoecetes bairdi and chionoecetes opilio. The bairdi snow crab is also called the Tanner Crab and is the larger of the two, reaching upwards of five pounds.

In October and November, it is King Crab season in the Bering Sea. But January through March is strictly opilio season.

The opilio crab, which is the crab in season as the episode takes place and what Jake Anderson needs to be catching, only reaches 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.

Too bad for Anderson that bairdi are not ready to be harvested as they are really considered to be the best tasting crab among chefs, foodies, and even the picky crabbers.

The meat is described as being “sweet, succulent, and light with a delicate texture”. The bairdi harvest is usually fast and very small and limited, with those who love this crab very quick to buy it up, especially Alaskans.

Hopefully, for Jake, this will be but a small hitch and he will find some in-season opies, so make sure to tune in.

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

April Neale
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