Ole is the most veteran of Jake’s crew, having began his crabbing career in 1972. “If there’s a bounty on its shell, I’ve fished it,” he says. Ole fished with Sig Hansen’s dad, Sverre, and he once spent 4 hours evading Russian capture while fishing for Opies. Ole captained and owned his own boat, the Arctic Dawn, which was featured on American’s Deadliest Seasons, the progenitor to Deadliest Catch. He’s been out of the game for a while, but he’s come out of retirement to return to what he knows best: crabbing. This season, Ole returns as chief engineer on the Saga and the boat's comic relief. What most people don't know is that Ole might be the closest thing to a father that Jake will ever have.
Sean started fishing straight out of high school. That was 30 years ago, and he’s been doing it ever since. Recently, he's been fishing Dungeness crab, to dismal results, and was more than happy to accept Jake's offer of a spot aboard the Saga. He's returning to Dutch Harbor for the first time in three years and is eager to reunite with old friends and get back to the Bering Sea. Sean loves being on deck, preferring to sweat and work it out with his brothers than to sit in the stuffy wheelhouse. Despite his affection for fishing, he considers it the ultimate love-hate relationship: "When I'm out there I hate it but when I'm home I miss it. It calls to me." Like any veteran fisherman, Sean's got lots of tales to tell, especially from the frenzied derby days of crabbing.
Born and raised in Sedro-Wooley, Washington, new Saga deckhand and engineer Dave Felton worked in heavy steel fabrication, welding, sand-blasting, and road construction until he was struck by moving equipment and had his back broken. He first worked for the Saga helping tear out and install a new refrigeration system, but he soon joined the crew for tendering and fit right in as one of the hardest working team members. The work he did on deck and on the sea actually helped him strengthen his core and recover from his broken back. Dave loves seeing the improvements he’s been able to put together for the Saga. He saw the boat and the issues it had when he arrived and it’s been a powerful experience to see the boat come together and become beautiful again. He’s fiercely loyal to Jake and the Saga and ready to go to bat against anyone who says that the Saga isn’t the top boat in the fleet. “Dave works really hard and expects the same out of everybody else,” Jake says. “He moved up quick from greenhorn to deckhand; it didn’t take him long to learn the fishing industry.”
Born in Austin, Texas, but raised in Bremerton, Washington, new deckhand Jacob Hutchins doesn’t come from a fishing family. In fact, he’s the second-youngest of twelve adopted siblings to a multi-cultural family, so he had a lot to prove growing up. After time spent in the Army Reserves, Jacob credits his move to crabbing as the work of the Lord. “It was God’s providence that I got into fishing,” he says. “You meet the right people at the right time and things kind of work their way into your life. I met a fishing family and they took me in and taught me the industry.” Jacob started off as greenhorn on the F/V Controller Bay, fishing primarily Dungeness Crab along the coast of Washington and Oregon. Dungeness fisherman don’t use hydraulics to stack pots. “The pots are pretty small,” he says, “but they weigh a lot (about 100-120 lbs)! I got a reputation not only as one of the only black guys, but because I’m pretty small, people would come to me asking me to stack pots and I’d throw them up there 5, 6, 7 high. It’s easier for a small guy to get some pots up actually.” Now that's he's joined the F/V Saga, Jacob brings some of this high energy to his work on deck, and he also brings a supportive spirit as a man of faith, a musician, and a poet. Jacob’s been loving his move to a larger boat and the challenges of learning so many new fishing techniques. But it’s the crew that comes first in his mind. “A boat is made up of the men on the boat, not just a pretty color of paint.”
New deckhand James Jones was one of Captain Jake Anderson’s first picks for the crew when Jake took over the helm of the Saga. At the time, Jones was working on the F/V Ocean Fury,but James let Jake know he’d call him back as soon as he left the boat. Three years later, Jake got the call and James came onboard the Saga as a deckhand for the 2017 season. Born in Palmer and raised in Anchorage, James got his start fishing salmon in Prince William Sound with his father, an Alaska fisherman. After some time spent in Oklahoma, he decided to head back to Alaska, hitch-hiking and train-hopping across the country. He had a rough go on some Alaska fishing boats at first, including one boat that hit a log outside Kodiak and sank! Based in Ketchikan, Alaska, James has been fishing crab for the past seven years and is happy to be on the F/V Saga now, working under a captain he knows and respects. “I like that it’s not just a job,” he says, “it’s a lifestyle. You form a bond with the guys that are on the boat and you become really good friends. And I like being out at sea.”
New deckhand Josh Taylor comes to the F/V Saga with a deep background in Alaskan fisheries, but this is his first year hauling king crab pots! Born in Wyoming and raised around the Mount Vernon area of Washington State, the call of the sea is strong in Josh. At 18 years old he left behind lucrative career options in professional baseball and football and went out fishing instead. His first boat was a factory trawler fishing out of the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Recently he’s been splitting his time between running a construction company in Bellevue, Washington, and fishing in Alaska, but with his move to the F/V Saga, he’s chosen Alaskan crab as his path forward in life. “Fishing has always been in my heart,” Josh says. “It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve been a fisherman, it’s something you always crave. It’s like an addiction. It’s hard to get away. I’ve gone back and forth between construction and fishing, but my mind feels a lot better out at sea.” Jake met Josh through mutual friend Karl Rasmussen on the F/V Northwestern. Josh likes the challenge of starting on a new boat under a captain willing to give him a chance to prove himself on the high seas. “I’ve gotten to know the guys pretty well now,” he says. “It’s an all-new crew, so we’re all starting together. Everybody’s building a team and learning how to work together.”