After an appearance as a skiffman in season two of the Discovery Channel’s reality series “Cold Water Cowboys,” the Cox’s Cove man was back in season three captaining his own boat — Crane’s Legacy — with a crew of longtime friends, Steven Park and Keith Cox.
Crane’s beginnings in the fishery go back to when he just 17 years old.
His grandfather, Ludrick Crane, the man he’s always called “Dad,” was getting ready to retire and needed help. So Crane joined his grandfather and grandmother, Theresa Crane, on the water.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
“Me being 17 years old, full of piss and vinegar and lots of dreams, but never realized the hard work that had to go into it, I didn’t take it seriously,” he said.
In his mind he felt his grandfather had bigger plans for him, but they weren’t his plans.
“I just wanted to buy a new Ski-doo, and a new dirt bike and go out partying with the boys. That’s what I wanted to do. And I had that attitude for a long time.”
Now 33, that attitude is gone.
After some rough times and some things he’s not proud of, Crane went to Alberta.
“It was time to grow up.”
When he came back in 2013 the banks turned him down for a loan to buy his first longliner. His grandparents stepped in and signed their home as collateral to help him get that boat, the Corrina Maria.
They took a chance on him and by doing so he found his place in the fishery.
“It’s my life,” he said.
“I worked at this. I don’t think I was destined to do this. It’s something that was in me, but I didn’t realize it was in me.”
His goal now is to pay honour to and build on his family’s legacy and at the heart of that legacy is Ludrick Crane.
On the show Crane often gave the impression of feeling like he had to prove something his grandfather.
“I wanted to prove to him that I could be the fisherman that he knew I could be,” he said.
“He trained me to be the best fisherman that I could ever be.”
Mr. Crane died two weeks ago, but Crane got to experience having his grandfather be a part of the show.
“It was the best feeling that I ever could imagine. I wish I had more moments with him.”
It also gave him moments with his own son, 12-year-old son Colby Pitcher.
Pitcher appeared in a halibut fishing episode where, concerned about meeting his quota, Crane was in a rush and didn’t have time to deal with the child.
Later after the fish were caught Crane was reminded of his early years fishing. “Of me not knowing anything when I was a child and Dad trying to have patience with me. I can see what he dealt with for a lot of years and how frustrating it must have been for him.”
It also reminded him of the good memories they shared together while fishing and he realized the prize was not catching his quota, but the time he got to spend with his son.
As for what’s next for Crane, he has signed on for another season with the “Cold Water Cowboys.” Filming for season four was to start this past week, but his grandfather’s death hit him hard and Crane feels he needs a bit of a break. But he’s sure he’ll be back at it soon.
What Rick Crane has to say about being a celebrity?
“At the end of the day I’m still little Ricky Crane from Cox’s Cove and not at any time do I think I’m any bit more, nor do I think I’m a celebrity.
“Some people look at me as a celebrity, but I’m not. I’m just an average fisherman that was lucky enough to be on a very successful TV show.”
Did you know Rick Crane was originally turned down for a role on “Cold Water Cowboys”?
After interviewing to join the crew of Wave on Wave with Andre and Michelle Jesso, Crane was deemed too experienced for the job. Later, when the Jessos needed a new skiffman Crane was offered the position.
Crane completed a fishing master class 4 at the Marine Institute in 2007
Learning from others
Last summer Crane had the opportunity to fish with Richard Gillett, captain of the Midnight Shadow for week. While not shown on air, Crane said it was a great experience and Gillett shared his experience of being a captain with him. “Richard has been around a long time and he knows what he’s doing.”