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Here's What Convinced Rip Carlton To Finally Join Deadliest Catch

When Patricia Lee captain Rip Carlton went to Alaska as a naive teenager, he knew nothing about fishing. "I just went up to try to earn some money to go race cars in Europe like every 18-year old, I mean why not?" he said in an interview with OPB.org. The job he was doing involved unloading the fish from the boats, but he was curious about the work of the fishermen. "I asked the guys about fishing and they go, 'oh yeah we can make a lot of money.' And I'm like, 'oh yeah, really?' They go 'yeah, but it's really hard and it's really dangerous' and the light went off in my head and I said, 'oh that sounds perfect.'"

Now 46 years later, the Oregon fisherman has made his first appearance on Season 18 of "Deadliest Catch." Carlton acknowledges that he's been asked many times over the years, but was worried participating in the show would slow them down. "We don't have time to do much screwing around," he told OPB.org. "That's what we would call it when they had all the boats that were on the show would have to be in town at a certain time and we're just in and out of town cranking out trips."

But luckily for "Deadliest Catch" fans, an unexpected conversation helped change Carlton's mind.

Carlton's son convinced him to join the show

After years of being asked to join the show, and repeatedly turning down "Deadliest Catch" producers, Carlton ended up having a change of heart after airing his grievances to Arom Starr-Paul, who moved up to a "Deadliest Catch" co-executive producer in 2017 (via IMDb). "What changed my mind is actually the gentleman, Arom Starr [Paul], that's running the show now, had talked to me and I kind of told him my hesitation," Carlton told OPB.org. "He said, well, I think we can work around that. You've got so much crab to catch, we'll work with you." Those words made Carlton consider joining the long-running series, but a conversation with his son pushed away any hesitations that remained.

"Dad, in 20 years when you're gone, I'll be able to stick that little memory stick in the computer and show my kids and go, 'that's my dad,'" Carlton recalled his son, Derek saying to him. That was all he needed to hear to finally sign the dotted line. Patricia Lee dominated the earnings game on "Deadliest Catch" Season 18, so don't be surprised if Rip Carlton and his crew start getting a lot more screen time in future seasons.