'Deadliest Catch' Captain Busted For Illegal Crabbin'

EXCLUSIVE

022416-capt-monte-colburn-discoveryCaptain Monte Colburn from "Deadliest Catch" just paid the piper for a crime on the high seas.

Turns out the captain was on the hunt for crab in an area that was strictly off limits. The excursion went down in November, during the taping of his show.

The reality is ... he could have gotten away with it, but there was a non-deadly catch. When he docked his boat, Fish and Game officials inspected his catch and found a certain species -- Opilio crab that live in waters that are protected during that time of year. In other words ... busted.

Monte was slapped with a $750 fine, which he just paid.

BTW ... last season Monte enraged his brother, Capt. Keith, by pulling the same stunt.  

Fool me once ...