Deadliest Catch Star Missing: Elliott Neese Absent in Season 9 Promo

Elliot Neese Rick Gershon/Discovery Communications

Something's fishy. Season nine of Deadliest Catch premieres on Discovery next Tuesday, April 16, but in a sneak peek, there's a glaring omission among the fleet of fishing vessels gearing up for another crab-fishing season: Elliott Neese, captain of the Ramblin' Rose, who had his share of professional and personal difficulties last season.

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Prepping to head out on the Bering Sea, Neese's colleagues have varied reactions to his so-far-unexplained absence. "In all honesty, I'm kinda not surprised Elliott isn't here this year," muses the Northwestern's captain, Sig Hansen. Counters Scott "Junior" Campbell of the Seabrooke: "He should be up here; he should already be ready to go."

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Among Neese's travails last season: At sea, he feuded with Ramblin' Rose's owner during an ice storm, and also failed to pull in decent numbers, and was even cited for snagging undersized St. Matthew blue king crab. At home, he and his girlfriend Valerie Gunderson (mother of his two kids) butted heads, with her kicking him out of their home and eventually accusing him of harassing her via texts and phone calls.

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But according to Twitter, Neese is indeed in Alaska right now. "Back in AK so much nicer here than down south Im over the city," he tweeted on Thursday. "Crew showed up today really gettin to work on the boat we have 2 months to do a total retrofit/ makeover I hope we can make our deadline!!"

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