Discovery Channel often spotlights unconventional careers that are poorly portrayed in mainstream media. One such show is “Deadliest Catch,” which gives audiences a glimpse into life as crab fishermen in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Jonathan Hillstrand is the famed captain of the F/V Time Bandit, who featured heavily on the show over the first 14 seasons. However, he left the show with little explanation before filming on the 15th.e season. Jonathan is a husband and father well known for his love of pranks and his playful personality when the fishing boat is not at sea.
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Early life and family
Jonathan Hillstrand was born on August 5, 1962 in Alaska, United States to John Hillstrand, Senior. Jonathan is the second eldest of five children, his older brother David working on the Alaskan North Slope and one of his younger brothers, Michael, based in Georgia where he works as a medical professional. His other two brothers, Andy and Neal worked alongside him in the fishing industry. Although we don’t know the name of his birth mother – John Senior’s first wife – his stepmother Nancy Hillstrand is a positive force in his life. Nancy owns the family seafood distribution business and serves as the glue that holds the family together.
Jonathan also has a half-brother, Lincoln Brewster, who is involved in the Christian music industry.
As a third generation fisherman, it’s no surprise that Jonathan had his first experience on a boat when he was just three years old. It was the start of a lifelong passion, and he was fishing independently by the age of seven. Jonathan attended school like any other child, but he knew from the start that his career would not follow an academic path.
Although Jonathan graduated from high school, he immediately entered the commercial fishing industry, having applied for and obtained all necessary permits as a teenager.
Most of what Jonathan knows about sailing and fishing was taught to him by his father, John Sr.
Jonathan didn’t start his career in the family crabbing business, but spent about eight years fishing lobster off the coast of New England. The popular family fishing boat was designed and built by Jonathan’s father in 1991 and is still in use to this day.
To extend crabbing seasons, many Alaskan fishing vessels began hunting different crabs depending on the seasons and conditions. However, this can be extremely taxing on the crew, as it forces the boats to spend months at a time away from land, minimizing the time that can be spent away from work, and therefore with family.
The Hillstrand family have figured out how to make the most of the changing seasons and the crew they have. During King Crab season, Jonathan oversees the Time Bandit, while his brother Andy captains the boat during Opilio season. Neal, however, is the only engineer on the boat and therefore works during both fishing seasons.
When not at sea, there is a whole plethora of family businesses under the “Time Bandit” franchise name that need to be maintained. The family owns Time Bandit Fireworks, Time Bandit Gear Store, Time Bandit Entertainment, Time Bandit Productions and Time Bandit Spirits – which includes their own brand of vodka and a Bloody Mary mix.
Only in Alaska 🙂 “You can remove Alaska from Kid, but you cannot remove Alaska from Kid!” Grandma Jo pic.twitter.com/q4XRpi8eqg
— Johnathan Hillstrand (@captjohnathan) July 20, 2020
Their entertainment company offers a mobile escape room package and offers custom entertainment for weddings, parties, and more.
Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” premiered on August 12, 2005, and documents the high-risk lives of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. The frigid, erratic weather and sea regime pose a significant risk to fishermen on board their vessels, as they are often far from the sea and at hours of assistance.
The show documents the drama and lives of boat crews and their captains, and unlike other Discovery Channel shows that have been criticized for their simulated drama and tension, the events of “Deadliest Catch” are just too real.
Sometimes producers have been known to re-appropriate footage to create larger impressions of storms at sea, but such claims are rare.
The Time Bandit is something of a unique ship on the Bering Sea, as it has been custom-fitted by the Hillstrand family with comforts that make for a more enjoyable stay at sea. The 133ft boat has often been referred to as a houseboat as opposed to a fishing boat, due to amenities such as a sauna, dishwasher and cabins. The boat only takes a crew of six, and most of the time it’s the brothers who make up 50% of that crew.
The Time Bandit first appeared in “Deadliest Catch” in the second season and became a fan favorite until he was mysteriously cut after the conclusion of 13e season.
At the time, it was unclear what prompted Hillstrand to leave the show, with his comments and posts sending mixed messages to audiences around the world. Hillstrand told fans, “You see me here again, kick me in the nuts and gouge my eyes out. I will do it myself… if I come back here. I’m gonna kick my own nuts and pierce my own eye. He called his retirement from the show but continued to post photos of his fishing adventures, frustrating and confusing disappointed fans.
However, this retreat was short-lived, and by the time the 15e season unfolded, there were rumors that Time Bandit would return to the series. However, Hillstrand was forced out of the season when the engine of the beloved family boat blew up, propping them up for a significant period.
The Hillstrands were eventually forced to sell the boat, but were able to return for the 16e show season, to much celebration and excitement from longtime fans.
Jonathan Hillstrand has two children from a previous marriage. While he often mentions his son Scott, little is known about his daughter. Scott Hillstrand initially set out to follow in his father’s footsteps in the fishing industry, but was fired from the Time Bandit by his uncle, Andy. He now runs Hillstrand Construction Company and has a son named Sawyer.
Jonathan started dating Heather Hamilton, with whom
he had a long courtship, before the two finally married on November 6, 2017. Heather is happy to assume the surname Hillstrand and has several children from a previous wedding.
Posted by Johnathan Hillstrand on Sunday, July 26, 2020
Appearance and weight loss
Jonathan Hillstrand has a full head of pale brown hair and often sports a small beard. Although he has aged well, it is unclear whether or not he has lost a significant amount of weight in recent years. He is 1.85 m (5 ft 2 in) tall and weighs 80 kg (175 lb).
Net Worth and Salary
Jonathan Hillstrand has a host of businesses he earns his income from, from the entire Time Bandit franchise to seafood distribution businesses. The cast of Discovery Channel shows are also believed to be paid a hefty salary for their appearance. in the show. In addition to these ventures, Hillstrand is also the author of several books, both for adults and children. He has an estimated net worth of over $2.2 million, as of mid-2020.