While Deadliest Catch gave TV viewers an unprecedented look into the dangers of the crabbing industry, TLC turns its cameras on the wild and unpredictable competitive world of deep-sea commercial fishing and the too-close-for-comfort challenges one family faces in the new series Hook, Line & Sisters debuting Thursday, Dec. 29 at 9pm ET/PT.
The Anderson family isn’t your typical Alaskan commercial fishing crew. While their ship is helmed by family patriarch and captain Dean Anderson, a third-generation fisherman, his crew is dominated by females, including Dean’s wife Susan and their daughters Sierra, 26, and Memry, 21. Each summer they take to the seas for a dangerous and competitive quest to net their annual income.
“The biggest thing, what it all comes down to in this type of family business, is you aren’t just working for your parents — you’re living, breathing, eating, working with them 24/7 every single day for an entire summer and that’s the part that’s exhausting,” Sierra says.
“[For my dad] safety comes last and for my mom safety comes first. So that right there represents a huge contrast in thinking and the way things are run. Then you have the dynamic of my sister and my dad, who are polar opposites, in terms of speed, in terms of function, everything. There’s five people running off very little sleep and there’s a lot of fish to be caught, the stakes are high, nerves are boiling and you know — people break, things break. You have meltdowns.”
While being the black sheep in a male-dominated profession poses its challenges, Sierra says “the biggest thing, what it all comes down to in this type of family business is you aren’t just working for your parents – you’re living, breathing, eating, working with them 24/7 every single day for an entire summer and that’s the part that’s exhausting. No matter what the differences are you’re going to get sick of each other, you’re going to have blow ups and that’s what this show sheds a little glimpse on.”
With virtually no connection to the outside world and such confined quarters, what’s the appeal?
“In the end, nothing right now brings me the income fishing does, and it’s not just the income — it’s the lifestyle,” Sierra says. “It gives me the freedom for the rest of the year to do whatever I want …to just go bank. Granted, it’s a gamble out there but that’s one of the other highs — you don’t know what you’re going to make. So you go out there with that sort of gamble mindset.”