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Sig Hansen’s Online Chat Transcript 07 May 8

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Vitoman: I heard about crab fishing on the Columbia River bar. Where is it most dangerous — Columbia River or the Bering Sea? Thanks Sig.

Sig: You must mean Dungeness crab. I can imagine that's dangerous on the bar because of the currents. So maybe it on a similar scale — smaller vessel, strong currents. All those things play into it.

Dreamer1215: What other jobs do the captains and deck hands do throughout the year other than the crab season?

Sig: For us, we participate in other activities like salmon charters and cod fishing. The 6—7 months a year that we do participate is enough for us, and we're fortunate to have our free time at home. We've earned it.

Rotorboy: How much crab can fit in the holds, with water?

Sig: The Northwestern can pack around 220,000 pounds of opilio.

Esmentek: Sig, what do you look for in an area that would make it a spot you would set pots?

Sig: I determine where I'm going to fish for the next year as soon as my season is finished. So in other words, I'm preplanning my season from what I saw the season prior, and I think about it all year. There are scientific surveys that are done in the summertime. They help in deciding where you may like to start. But for the most part, it's your gut instinct and if you stick to it, seems to me you always come up a winner.

Jane: Which current captain in the fleet do you respect most?

Sig: If I didn't say myself, I wouldn't be a crab fisherman now, would I? Other than that, there are quite a few captains and they're good at what they do. Everyone has good and bad seasons, but there are some that do consistently well. I think they're all good at what they do,

Travisg: On average, what is the price per king crab caught?

Sig: If we're lucky enough to get close to $5 a pound, and a crab is averaging 8 pounds, that's $40 a crab.

Wildheart84: What is the most rewarding part of crab fishing?

Sig: Filling your boat in record time, and when the last pot is pulled and you're on your way in to unload when you can relax and enjoy the ride in.

Waldo: Hi Sig! How has your life changed after participating in "The Deadliest Catch"?

Sig: A lot of opportunities have come up for us. It's pretty flattering, really. At the same time, I think all this notoriety will do wonders for our fleet. And it's amazing to me how people will pick you out of a crowd, anywhere. Usually there's a lot of compliments, so that's a good feeling. Put it this way: I was late one morning trying to fly to Alaska, at the end of the security line. One of the security guards grabbed me, said he needed to speak to me, and ushered me through security. When he got me through, he said, "By the way, you're my favorite captain" and shook my hand and sent me on my way. I've got to admit — it's a pretty good feeling.

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