The newest skipper to join the cast of Cold Water Cowboys says Discovery Canada threw him into the deep end. Not only was this his first foray into television, but the fisherman was also asked to perform a job he'd never done. 

"When you shove someone out of a skiff that don't have a clue, it's a challenge that's for sure," Rick Crane told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning

For the last two seasons, fans of the documentary show have watched Newfoundland fishermen brave the elements to get their catch. 

Crane said he was first approached by the show when it was looking to cast a young skipper. But, at that time, he had issues with his boat and wasn't able to film.   

Rising tide

Last August, he said, he was asked to join cast members Andre and Michelle Jesso on their boat, the Wave On Wave, as a skiffman — something he knew very little about.

"Skiffman is the little boat that anchors the seine. When the big boat goes out, a lot of people thinks the skiff goes out to the big boat but it don't, it's the anchor."

'Sometimes they say too much ... at the end of the day I'm still their skipper.' - Rick Crane, of his lifelong friends turned crewmates

Crane said the job is likely the second most important position, after the captain.

Cold Water Cowboys returns in March and, this time, Crane is the skipper of his own boat.

His crew, he said, are made up of three friends who grew up together in Cox's Cove. They've all known one another since Kindergarten.

"Sometimes they say too much that they shouldn't be saying to me because, at the end of the day I'm still their skipper. But when we walk off the boat, I'm still going to be their buddy," he said. 

Viewers this season will get an inside look at the lobster fishery in the Bay of Islands, as well as the halibut fishery. 

Crane said he's learned about the shrimp and herring fishery through watching the program. 

"It was different than I imagined and it was pretty cool to watch it on TV," he said. 

"You've always got a mental image of how a fish is caught or how it's put on your plate, but until you actually see what the fisherman goes through to get your fish, you have no idea."

Behind the scenes 

He said the experience was filled with many moments that will never make it to air  — like the time a cameraman almost went overboard and had to be "grabbed by the scruff of the neck" and pulled to safety. 

"We lost a camera this year so someone in the Bay of Islands may find it in their crab pot," he said. 

Crane's new boat, Crane's Legacy, will be featured on the show. The name, he said, is an homage to the grandfather who raised him. 

"Hopefully she don't have too many problems because it is a new boat. New boat, new headaches."

Cold Water Cowboys returns Tuesday, March 10 on Discovery Canada.