Opilio crab season began on "Deadliest Catch" on Tuesday night, with the ninth episode of season eight. An opilio crab is a variety of snow crab, and is also called the “queen crab." For new viewers, "Deadliest Catch" seasons are taped during the previous fall (king crab) and winter (opilio) crab seasons, with the second half encompassing the opilio season.
It wasn't the best of king crab seasons for the captains of Discovery's reality series. Wizard's Captain Keith had a poor king crab season, lost a new crew member (Chris Scanlon) who had to be airlifted off the Wizard after experiencing convulsions. Keith lost another newbie (Brady Quinn) after he walked off the boat when they docked. `
As if that's not bad enough, Keith's brother Monty is recovering from major shoulder surgery, and Lenny has a badly lacerated hand.
The Ramblin' Rose's Captain Elliott has problems that extend beyond the boat. He lost his house and his girlfriend (along with his kids) during the off-season. If opilio season isn't good for him, the youngest of "Deadliest Catch's" captains could lose his job.
Deck boss Kevin "Kado" Davis left Elliott's crew, as well, though there were other folks who were pleased to get a chance at Kado; he went to the rival boat Seabrooke and there, Capt. Scott "Jr." Campbell was perfectly happy to hire him.
Elliott expressed his own doubts about continuing to skipper the boat, musing on-camera that he hated fishing. Still he may have simply been down, as he continued to try to reach his ex-girlfriend, who is also the mother of his two kids, by phone. He continued to get her voicemail, instead, failing to connect with her.
His own wishes aside, there is plenty of concern on Elliott's part about the owners, too. He said, “The owners, they were a little pissed off about our blue crab season. We’ve got a lot of crab to catch this year. If we don’t catch it, I think this may be the last time you see me on the Bering Sea."
The Time Bandit is the boat that experiences bad luck and a "man overboard." Deckhand Travis slips on the deck, falls into the water, and stays there for a long three minutes. In the icy waters of the Bering Sea, he could have died if he stayed there any longer. Instead, Travis experienced hypothermia, but was ultimately fine.
Time Bandit then had some worse luck, of its own making. While de-icing the boat, Scotty decides to speed up the tedious process by putting an explosive charge high above the deck. When it explodes, it knocks off a giant chunk of ice, which could be seen as a form of de-icing. The problem is that the chunk falls and takes off the arm of the automatic coiler.
With no coiler, the crew of the Time Bandit is forced to do it the old-fashioned way, certainly slowing down Time Bandit's hauling. Back luck continues later, when the Time Bandit is first to pull in its pots, but comes up with a big fat zero.
"Jr." has his own set of bad luck. Seabrooke's port engine begins running hot, forcing them to return to port to check it. On top of the $65,000 they had to spend to replace their starboard engine, it seems the "Deadliest Catch" crews are all batting zero.
All is not bad, though. On the Kodiak, a line snaps and loosens a pot from the stack that just misses "Wild" Bill's son Zack. There's good luck there, as the pot could have killed him.
There's good luck for Wizard, too. When the Wizard pulls its first pots, they are loaded with crab. Opilio season has just begun, though, as has the second half of the season of "Deadliest Catch."