Billy Tyne(George Clooney) is a sword-fishing-boat captain out of Gloucester, highly competitive and stung by a string of poor outings. His crew is hardly back in port when he tells them he's going out again, even though it's October and the weather can turn ugly. Five join him: the young Bobby(Mark Wahlberg), newly in love; Murph(John C. Reilly), a devoted father recently divorced; Sully(William Fichtner), a guy Murph despises; Bugsy(John Hawkes), who's finally met a woman who likes him; and Alfred(Allen Payne), a quiet Jamaican. They catch little, so they sail east, with Tyne ignoring storm warnings behind him. Finally, the fish bite, but the ice machine fails. Should they head home through the storm of the century, or wait it out and lose their catch? Fearful, the women wait.