Swords: Life on the Line

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Upcoming episodes

Jul 27th
600a

What Happened on the Back Deck?

Across the fleet supplies are running low, fish are migrating away from the coastal waters, and the season’s most violent storm is on the horizon. But with only a few days left in the season, captains across the fleet are doing whatever it takes to find the fish. On the Big Eye, Captain Chomps is low on bait and food, and without enough fish on board to make a paycheck, he’s headed for another broker trip. With only enough bait for one more set, he has no choice but to try to get the smallest boat in the fleet through the storm. Desperate to land a huge trip, Frances Anne owner Rick Mears pushed former captain Slick aside and took command of the boat. But they still haven’t broken even, and they’re also running low on bait and supplies. Rick has just enough bait for two more sets – his last chance to prove he still has what it takes to bring in the fish. On the Bjorn II, Captain Greenlaw’s also fishing through the storm trying to break even. But she’s forced off deck when her finger is crushed by the hauling block. As her battered crew tries desperately to bring in the gear, the brutal conditions send a deckhand overboard. Captain Scotty on the Eagle Eye II fears the storm will scatter the fish and put him back at square one. But the experienced captain gambles and sets his gear, hoping the fish are still around. But the storm makes setting twice as tough, and twice as dangerous. With each roll of the boat, the line stretches to its breaking point, ready to snap at any moment and lash back at the crew like a bullwhip loaded with razor sharp hooks.
Jul 27th
700a

What it Takes to be a Fisherman

As the fall fishing season comes to a close, captains and crews across the fleet hope for big fish and big money on their final haulbacks. With crews giving everything they have left, muscling fish and shark alike, many are relieved to be only hours away from dry land. Linda and her crew aboard the Bjorn II steam into Barnegat Light nursing injuries. EMTs wait for the boat to land, ready to examine Linda’s sliced finger and take her away to the hospital. The dock is a welcome sight to deckhand Dave Hiltz, whose anxiety about fishing and being thrown overboard is too much to control now. At the end of the day, the crew relives the season’s ups and downs over a swordfish dinner at a local restaurant. Captain Chomps and his Big Eye crew will themselves through their last haulback, which turns up big fish. Afterwards, with no bait left, and no food or supplies left for the crew, Chomps is forced to take it into port in time for Thanksgiving. The holidays bring bad tidings, however, as Chomps knows he will lose Glen and Don from the crew. After their offload in South Carolina, Don makes a move to stay on board, and Chomps makes a move to get rid of him. Chomps walks away at the end, knowing he and his brother Woody will most likely have to fish by themselves. Scotty and the crew of the Eagle Eye II, after dodging a loose lobster trap, pull up their last, big haulback. As they ride into port, they are clearly the season’s top earners. As big fish after big fish get pulled from the hold in Massachusetts, the crew celebrates their big paydays after hard work. The Frances Anne and her crew pulls into port after Captain Rick’s biggest fishing day. The tension lasts, though, between Rick and ex-Captain Slick, with Slick’s concern about ever piloting the Frances Anne again after being demoted. His worries don’t last long, however, and after he and Rick meet for beers at a local bar, Rick assures him Slick’s the man for the job.
Jul 27th
800a

Gamblers and Legends

It’s fall on the North Atlantic, the time of year when the cold Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream meet and create some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. It’s also make-or-break for the US swordfishing fleet, and every season captains and crews risk it all just to make a paycheck and come out on top. Captain Scotty and the crew of the Eagle Eye II race to battle for the top spot, and Scotty wastes no time in loading up his boat and steaming to the Grand Banks. Hoping for a stellar first haulback, Scotty finds a place to fish and sets his 40 miles of mainline. The crew places bets as to how many fish they will come up with, but unfortunately, Scotty and his crew are disappointed when the day brings nothing but sharks, empty hooks, and a minimal amount of fish. Legendary Captain Linda brings out her finest in hopes to out-catch Scotty and the Eagle Eye II. This season, Linda has a cream of the crop crew and is at the helm of the legendary fishing vessel Hannah Boden. Satisfied with her new boat and crew, Linda steams east to the Grand Banks. Like Scotty, Linda hopes to start her fall swordfishing season with a banger haulback, but misfortune strikes again for Linda as her and her crew are stopped dead in their tracks due to a mechanical failure. Volatile Captain Slick is back with his young buck crew and an inept greenhorn. Before the boat even leaves the dock, Greenhorn Chris “Butters” Mitryk makes a bad first impression on the captain as he holds up the departure to Georges Bank. Luckily, Butters catches a break, and the Frances Anne pulls the bowlines and steams towards the fishing grounds. The captain and crew look to have a stellar first trip and return with a stuffed hold of fish just like they did last season. Last off the dock is the Big Eye. Captain Chomps’ habit of failing to pay his crew has left him crewless with the exception of his loyal stepbrother Woody.
Aug 3rd
600a

Long Lines and Short Tempers

As Hurricane Igor approaches the elite swordfishing fleet, the captains race to get in one last big haul before they’re forced to batten down the hatches and run for port. With no time to waste, deck crews are rushed, and costly mistakes are not tolerated. On Georges Bank, Captain Slick and the Frances Anne are on the fish, but when deck boss Lemmy Eastburn fails to land a two-hundred pound swordfish, he quickly runs afoul of his captain’s short temper. Even as Slick moves inland, and the fish keep coming up on deck, Captain Slick is not letting it go, and it’s hard to see what Lemmy can do to regain his boss’s good graces. Captain Chomps and the Big Eye has started the season deeply in debt, and greenhorn Matt needs a good season to support his growing family. After a bad start to their haul, the fish finally start coming up, and Matt makes an ill-timed rookie mistake by losing one of the biggest fish on their line. With the pressure from Chomps and the rest of the crew to turn around their slow start, Matt has to start learning quickly before he costs his boat more money they can’t afford to lose. Scotty of the Eagle Eye II, scrambling to get in one last haul, encounters a problem when he can’t find his final beeper buoy on the radar. After wasting hours trying to track the beeper down visually, they discover that veteran deckhand Darryl Wallace failed to turn the beeper on during the set. The foolish mistake cost the Eagle Eye time and money, and an angry Captain Scotty promises punishment for Darryl. On the Hannah Boden, it’s the deckhands who are angry, and the invective is directed at one of their own. All season, veteran fish cleaner Kenny Puddester hasn’t done his share of the work on deck, and his slacker attitude ignites an argument on deck that almost comes to blows.
Aug 3rd
700a

Storm of the Century

With Hurricanes Igor and Julia bearing down on the fleet, each captain has to make a decision to either stay on the fishing grounds and risk their crews’ lives for a paycheck, or head for the safety of the docks and deal with losing valuable fishing time. The 55-foot fiberglass Big Eye is no Grand Banks boat, and Chompers is forced to put his season on hold with just one haulback’s worth of fish in his hold. To add to his bad luck, Chompers is caught off guard when the brunt of the storm meets him at the dock in Trepassey. The crew of the Big Eye scrambles for hours to keep the boat from crashing into the rocks, but once docked, the tiny vessel isn’t secure. Battered by hurricane-force winds, a cleat securing the Big Eye to the dock gets ripped from of the side of the boat and nearly ends deckhand Woody’s season. On the Eagle Eye II, Captain Scotty is able to lay 40 miles of mainline in the soon-to-be tumultuous seas. After putting a small trip aboard the boat and coming to terms that his boat and crew are right in the way of the intensifying storm, Scotty makes the decision to play it safe and head to the dock to offload and ride out the storm. Unfortunately, Hurricane Igor, like Scotty, takes a turn for land, forcing the crew to batten down the hatches and hold on tight as the storm exerts its great strength at the dock. Distinguished veteran Linda makes a last-minute decision to follow the rest of the fleet to the docks when suddenly she receives a phone call informing her that the hurricane is headed for land rather than the fishing grounds. Despite this information, Captain Greenlaw decides to ride out the effects of Hurricane Igor. The 200-ton Hannah Boden finds itself in yet another vicious storm and Kenny Puddister is reminded of the nightmare he lived through while riding out the “Perfect Storm” on the Hannah Boden.
Aug 3rd
800a

With Friends Like These

This season, Captain Linda is determined to be the top boat…whatever it takes. Hurricane Igor wasn’t a good enough reason to leave the fishing grounds, and her valiant decision has left her and her crew on the best fishing spot. Looking out for her crew’s best interests, Linda refuses to share her hot spot with any of the other captains and ends up with a stellar haul back putting her above the rest of the boats in the fleet. With a now empty fish hold, Scotty steams the Eagle Eye II back to the Grand Banks after riding out the hurricane at the docks. As they arrive back on the fishing grounds, Scotty finds Linda firmly planted on the spot he was fishing before the storm. Hoping Linda will return the favor, Scotty asks if he can share the sweet spot with her. To his dismay Linda declines, leaving him scrounging for a place to fish amongst a fleet of boats. Also on the Grand Banks searching for a spot to fish on the crowded fishing grounds is the Big Eye. Already behind the rest of the fleet and thousands of dollars in debt, Chomps and his crew are desperate to see some fish on the line. Knowing that Scotty has been successful in previous seasons, Chomps tries works with the Eagle Eye II in order to find the payday they are looking for. Scotty agrees but with one condition—a condition Chomps isn’t ok with. 1200 miles south on Georges Bank, the Frances Anne continues to pick away in hopes of putting a decent trip aboard the boat. Early into the haul, deckhand Lemmy suffers a severe injury, but it is quickly swept under the rug. Captain Slick has no time for crybabies and injuries. As the day progresses, Lemmy's pain becomes intolerable forcing the Frances Anne back to the dock earlier than crew expected.
Aug 10th
600a

Charlie Foxtrot

Bittersweet is the word on the Frances Anne. Lemmy’s injury forces them to the dock early, but they offload 16 thousand pounds, leaving each deckhand with a pretty penny to put in their pockets. Boat owner, Rick Mears, pulls Lemmy off the Frances Anne until his finger is healed. Lemmy is replaced and the boat and crew head out for their second trip of the season. On the Hannah Boden, Linda receives a lucrative offer for her catch if she can offload by the end of the week. With a deadline in sight, the crew to races to pull up their last 40 miles of gear. Though the price offered for her fish puts more cash in the crew’s pockets, it is little consolation for deckhand Carl Maxcy who has had enough of Kenny’s poor work ethic. When at the dock, the Hannah Boden offloads their catch and one crew member. Hoping to continue their good luck streak, the Big Eye steams to the beginning of their 40 mile mainline when all hopes of having a smooth day are dashed as the buoy that signals the end of the gear was placed somewhere in the middle of the mainline. Captain Chomps blames greenhorn Matt and takes his anger out on the rest of the crew as well. Because of the greenhorns mistakes the Big Eye is behind the eight ball once again. A costly mistake is made on the Eagle Eye II as deckhand Tommy Fox loses a day because of a rookie move. It’s halfway through the season and losing a fish could mean losing the top spot. Though Scotty is competitive, he is quick to remember that there is more to fishing than being number one. In the wheelhouse, Scotty remembers his friend, John Bachorowski, who took his place on the Hannah Boden a few decades ago and lost his life in an unfortunate event.
Aug 10th
700a

Foreign Relations

Unwilling to surrender, Chompers and the Big Eye rough it out on the Grand Banks with crew morale at an all-time low, an empty fish hold, low fuel levels, and a diminishing food supply. In addition to their list of ever-growing setbacks the boat is also out of bait. Chomps sends out a desperate email in search of help and it’s Linda to the rescue. But, as the story for the Big Eye goes, with every let up there is a letdown. Just as the Big Eye starts to pull in fish, they realize they are tangled up with a Japanese long liner. Though Hurricane Igor turned up the water causing dismal fishing, Scotty and the Eagle Eye II are still picking away at a season on the Grand Banks. With bad fishing reports flooding the radio, any hope of making a paycheck is slowly fading away. Feeling optimistic, Scotty sets in the hurricane tattered waters and hauls back. The captain’s optimism pays off instantly as a double marker is on the line, but the high hopes of the crew are soon dashed as they find themselves tangled with the rival fleet. Frustrated, Scotty turns the Eagle Eye II away from the Grand Banks fishing grounds for the season. On the Hannah Boden, Captain Linda is determined to put a trip on the boat and become the fleet’s top earner for the first time in 15 years. Before the crew drops their 40 miles of mainline, Linda steams towards Chompers’ to answer a distress call to transfer crucial supplies. The next morning, Linda and her crew are hoping to be on the fish after a successful offload. Unfortunately, they run into the same rival boat that has been setting and hauling across the rest of the fleets gear. Though they are away from the chaos on the Grand Banks, the Frances Anne crew finds themselves dealing with their own set of unique problems on Georges Bank. As they make it out to the fishing grounds for their second trip of the season, the captain and crew are looking to top the fish hold and head in—but they are stopped when the boats autopilot malfunctions.
Aug 10th
800a

Bested, Battered, and Broke

Forced to throw in the towel and leave the Grand Banks, Scotty and the crew of the Eagle Eye II head in to New Bedford to offload their second trip and steam for Georges Bank to finish their season. After striking out on the Grand Banks, Scotty and his crew are hoping that Georges will produce the paycheck they all are looking for. A stellar haulback welcomes the Eagle Eye II to Georges Bank as hook after hook brings the scent of money to the deck. The search for swordfish continues on the Hannah Boden as Captain Greenlaw refuses to leave until she is absolutely sure the fish are gone. Though Linda is optimistic that the fish are there, her crew thinks otherwise. To boost morale and keep things upbeat, Linda engages in a competition with her engineer Johnny Brewer—the loser of the show down has to eat blue dog for dinner. After being set back by a busted autopilot, Captain Slick and the Frances Anne are headed back to Georges to finish their season strong. As they leave Barnegat Light, the boat’s autopilot malfunctions once again, forcing the captain to turn the boat around and head back for the dock. Once they reach land, boat owner Rick is able to get the vessel to hold a steady course and the Frances Anne is able to head back out again to finish out their season. Chompers and the Big Eye decide to follow Scotty’s lead and turn south to Georges Bank. Out of fuel, Chomps is forced to stop in Sambro, Nova Scotia, putting them even further behind the rest of the fleet. To add to their misery, the Big Eye is greeted by 15-foot waves and winds up to 60 knots as they approach the dock. Once the boat is refueled, Chompers sets course for Georges Bank. On the way, Woody and Chomps pay their final goodbye to their father.