Pub Crawl Attracts Fans of Alaska-Based TV Show…

By LEILA KHEIRY 

source: Ketchikan Daily News 

when three boat captains featured on the Discovery Channel show “The Deadliest Catch” participated in a promotional pub crawl.

Sea Star captain Larry Hendricks gets his shirt autographed by Cornelia Marie skipper Phil Harris during a promotional pub crawl featuring crab fishermen from the Discovery Channel show “The Deadliest Catch.” Kenny Hendricks, red vest, a Sea Star crew member for 35 years, looks at 7-year-old Bradley Walker, who waits for his shirt to get autographed. On the far right, Jerry Tilley, Aleutian Ballad skipper, signs a hat outside Fat Stan’s Saturday night. Staff photo by Hall Anderson

Captains Phil Harris, Larry Hendricks and Jerry “Corky” Tilley visited three bars Saturday night: Fat Stan’s, the Arctic Bar and First City Saloon, where they shook hands, answered fans’ questions and signed autographs on everything from T-shirts and hats to beer glasses.Hendricks and Harris are co-owners of the Sea Star, a Bering Sea crabbing boat featured on the show in a previous season. That boat now is based in Ketchikan as a tourist attraction. Tilley runs The Aleutian Ballad, another crabbing boat from the show that recently started tours in Ketchikan.The captains arrived at their first stop — Fat Stan’s — a little late, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind, as people immediately mobbed the three celebrities, taking photos and recording the event on video. Some residents even brought their children to the smoke-free pub. Among the younger fans was 7-year-old Bradley Walker, who looked star-struck as Harris signed his T-shirt and posed for a photo with the boy. When asked whether he liked the show, Bradley’s eyes widened as he answered, “Oh, yeah!”Bradley said he particularly likes the name of the show, and said his favorite captains are Hendricks, Harris and Sig Hansen, who was not in town Saturday.

Bradley added that he would like to try crab fishing when he gets older.

In between autographs, Tilley said that, when it all started, he didn’t imagine the show would become as popular as it has.

Tilley said it was a little strange at first having a camera crew on board while trying to fish.

“It was really awkward,” he said, and the fishermen tended to freeze up in front of the cameras.

After a while, though, Tilley said they all basically ignored the film crews.

“They were just there, like wallpaper,” he said.

Harris, known from the show in part for his heated curse-filled tirades, was gracious with the fans on Saturday, signing all sorts of objects while chain-smoking outside of Fat Stan’s. He said the response to the show has been huge from the beginning.

Harris said he’s been a regular visitor to Ketchikan for a long time, bringing his fishing boat, the Cornelia Marie, here every couple of years for maintenance work at the shipyard.

“I love Ketchikan,” Harris said. “Alaska Ship and Drydock is the best shipyard in the world.”

The pub crawl was sponsored by Alaskan Brewing Company, which handed out free T-shirts and hats.

Merchandise Manager Nancy Woizeschke of Alaskan Brewing Company said the company hoped to promote the idea that nothing goes better with Alaska crab than Alaska beer.

She said she knew Harris was coming to Ketchikan anyway, which prompted her to organize a pint night at First City Saloon. The idea grew to a pub crawl, she said, because other bars wanted to participate.

The Discovery Channel show, which premiered in 2005 and finished up its third season on June 19, is a reality show that follows several Bering Sea crab fishermen. It highlights the danger of fishing in the open sea in bad weather and freezing temperatures.

Local crab fisherman Larry Jackson was at Fat Stan’s on Saturday, and said the show is pretty accurate, albeit slightly sensationalized.

The crew dynamics shown are correct, he said, such as the blame everyone places on the captain when fishing is poor. However, he said, while he’s only seen one or two episodes, he thought the show doesn’t really indicate how “mind-numbing” crab fishing can be.

“The work is miserable,” he said.

Jackson has not fished in the Bering Sea, he said. His grounds are the calmer water of Southeast, where he has hunted for Dungeness crab for about 20 years. He also leads charter fishing expeditions in the summer months.

Jackson said the interest in the show is huge. Summer customers often ask what he does in the winter, he said, and when he tells them he fishes for crab, they always ask about the show.

Jackson said he gets a little tired of answering those kinds of questions, so “now I say I watch soap operas and eat bonbons.”

This entry was posted in Events/Appearances, F/V Sea Star, Larry Hendricks, Phil Harris. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pub Crawl Attracts Fans of Alaska-Based TV Show…

  1. Bryanna says:

    wow.
    alaska i guess is pretty hectic after reading that.
    but in pennslyvania there is nothing.
    but i love the show!
    and the little boy sounded like he was star-struck.

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