Deep in the heart of America's shrimping industry, the men of Bayou La Batre, Alabama prepare for the most important day of their season--the start of the Texas Open in the Gulf of Mexico. Dominick's three captains, known as Bullfrog, Redbone and Roundhead, race to the starting line and the potential saltwater gold that waits them. The past seasons have been tough and the stakes are high. Captain Bullfrog is a shrimp whisperer, determined to outperform his mentor, Captain Redbone, the grizzled veteran who is not giving an inch. Captain Roundhead has had a hard couple of seasons and is looking for redemption. They each run into trouble along the way and the decisions they each make to solve their problems says a lot about who they are.
As the Texas open kicks off, problems are not far behind. While Bullfrog hits the jackpot, Redbone is left with a twisted lazy line--a loss that could affect the rest of the trip. On the Miss Ashleigh a full net seems promising but turns out to be slab rock from the bottom of the ocean that damages the net. Just as the Miss Ashleigh recovers, they encounter problems with their generator. Despite Bullfrog's early stroke of luck, the Barbara runs into trouble when Mikey Mo has a brush with sharks, followed by a damaged boot that threatens to slow down the haul for the entire boat. Yet, from technical problems to sleep deprivation, Dominick's crews manage to come back strong, with Redbone redeeming himself with a huge haul of beautiful brown gold.
With the Texas Open in full swing the boats are banking on good hauls in order to cash in big. The captains are doing well and Roundhead lucks out hitting saltwater gold. Unfortunately Bullfrog encounters freezer trouble that threatens to hinder his success, and greenhorn BJ's inexperience is slowing things down on the Hannah. In difficult times the boats support each other--the Hannah and Ashleigh arrange a boat-to-boat trade to pass off some much needed supplies. But just as things turn around and the fishing gets good, the captains find out that they are dead in the path of tropical storm Don. When Dominick comes on the radio insisting the boats dock at the nearest port, it's a race to haul in their nets and get out of Don's path of destruction.
The storm has passed and the boats head back out to sea; and a deck hand's negligence leads to leaky bags.
The Texas Open nears the end and the shrimpers make their way home, but the trip includes boat pranks, a few shark encounters, and sad news regarding a shrimper's father.
Miss Ashleigh and Miss Barbara head back out for their second trip on the gulf, but are forced to dock due to Tropical Storm Lee. Meanwhile Redbone's record breaking haul is overshadowed by the news that his father has passed away.
After being battered by tropical storm Lee, Captains Bullfrog and Roundhead each race to reposition themselves for huge hauls back at sea, while Redbone, after spending time mourning his father, re-enters the race for saltwater gold in an entirely new location.