Elliott Neese, captain of the Ramblin' Rose, is making news again, but not in the way he would have liked or wanted. He is having big problems. His boat, the Ramblin' Rose, joined the cast of the "Deadliest Catch" in 2010. He boasted about being the youngest to helm a ship in the fleet. Elliott wanted to prove his ability to be a captain and he wanted to make a name for himself. So for his first year at being a captain, he went fishing for Blue King Crab and if you remember, he didn't do very well. He followed the advice of another captain as to where he should set his pots. The honey holes were dry. Elliott's pots remained empty or had one to two blue king crab in them.
Wouldn't you think that experience would have Elliott keeping his profile on the down-low and try fishing for red king crab like everyone else? No, he tried his luck again this year, determined to do it right this time and strike it rich.
This year, Elliott managed to land on the crab. While many of the fishing boats of the "Deadliest Catch" were done and headed home in November, Elliott Neese was still fishing in December to make his quota. According to the Ramblin' Rose forum, he anticipated being home by Thanksgiving, but he didn't make it because they still had 100k lbs. of crab to catch. When he did finish, it was met with good and bad news. Elliott and the crew managed to fill their quota of blue king crab before Christmas. The captain and crew were able to go home and spend this time with their families.
Even though Captain Elliott found St. Matthew blue king crab to fill his holds, it wasn't with the joy he anticipated. In his exuberance in finding this bounty of blue king crab, the captain and crew forgot to ensure they were legal size.
Captain Elliott Neese steamed the boat toward the Bering Fisheries to offload. When he arrived, State Wildlife Troopers were waiting at the docks. On December 18, 2011, they boarded the Ramblin' Rose for a routine inspection.
Nick Butryn, Trooper technician, states that he found a substantial number of crabs below the legal size limit of 5.5 inches. Nick Butryn also said that that's the most he's ever seen in an offload. It was estimated that 5.5 percent of the total amount of blue king crab in Captain Elliott's tanks were undersized.
The blue king crab were seized and forfeited to the state. Elliott Neese was issued a citation and he is waiting his arraignment in Unalaska District Court on January 4, 2012. Perhaps he could blame it on the fact that he is the youngest captain in the fleet and didn't know any better.
On a lighter note, Elliott did make the cover of October 31, 2011 Brass magazine. The article is titled, "The View From The Captain's Chair" written by Jens Odegaard. In reading through the article, Elliot is studying for his captain's license. In Alaska, you don't need a license if your boat is less than 200 tons, like the Ramblin' Rose. Elliott has bigger dreams and intentions. He wants to move on to ships over 200 tons.
We wish him well and hope that he has better days.
- Blue King Crab