The King Crab season begins with Cornelia Marie Captain Phil Harris' sons, Jake and Joshua, still arguing with each other since the previous season. Joshua threatens to leave, but Phil warns him he may not get his spot back if he does. On Northwestern, young deckhand Jake Anderson is growing ambitious, and wants to learn about operating the crane and hauling in pots, much to Captain Sig Hansen's chagrin since that's his job. On the Wizard, Captain Keith Colburn is getting greenhorn Joel Zeile acquainted with their crabbing operations. But Joel might not have been Captain Keith's first option. On Time Bandit, deckhand Eddie tells Captain Jonathan Hillstrand that Captain Keith tried to recruit him, while Jonathan tells Captain Andy the Keith offered Scott double the money he's currently making. Captain Jonathan sees this as a violation of the code of honor between fishing boat captains. At the annual meet between season captains, held in a shipwrech near Dutch Harbor, Captains Jonathan and Keith argue over the recruiting drama, and almost come to blows over it, with Keith denying any recruiting occured. After the meet, Captains Phil and Sig discuss their current situations, and the next day they make a trade; Jake Harris goes to Northwestern, while Jake Anderson goes to Cornelia Marie. The trade seems to go well. Jake Harris being introduced to the Hansen tradition of biting the head off a herring for good luck and later pulls a prank by setting off a 'seal bomb' firecracker behind an unaware Edgar Hansen. Jake Anderson easily integrates into the Cornelia Marie crew, but suffers an embarsassing accident when he falls into an open crab tank hatch, thus owing the rest of the crew a case of beer as per tradition. A Captain from the last pre-quota season, "Wild Bill" Wichrowski, returns with the Kodiak after four years as a sport fishing Captain in Mexico ("Wild Bill" coincidentally being the Captain of the charter boat the Hillstrand brothers were seen fishing on in season 5) to try his luck at crabbing again. He brings a unique mix of experienced and greenhorn deckhands, including former Time Bandit deckhand Russell Newberry. An early incident on the Kodiak where a pot falls in the water after being insecurely tied to the crane causes a near-miss, reminding the effectively new crew to do their jobs right. Cornelia Marie gets the first line harvested with mixed results; Phil plots an adjustment for the next line to get a bigger haul. The weather is unusually quiet in the Bering Sea, but still just as dangerous. Despite the calm waters, a cod-fishing vessel, Carly Renee, capsizes 22 miles away from Dutch Harbor. The four-man crew is found alive and well in a liferaft by the Good Samaritan vessel Guardian with a crewman on the Guardian filming the rescue via his camera phone, while the half-sunk Carly Renee eventually runs aground to join the rest of the junk strewn around the Aleutian Islands.

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