Jonathan Hillstrand was a fan-favorite on Deadliest Catch, but after his stint as a crab fisherman ended with season 13 of the show, people are curious what he’s up to. And after all that time fishing on the series, how much crab was Hillstrand able to pull in?
How much money has he made, and what’s his net worth? Read on for details.
1. He Has an Estimated Net Worth of $2.2 Million
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hillstrand has an estimated net worth of $2.2 million.
Born and raised in Homer, Alaska, Jonathan has been fishing since he was 7 years old. He’s worked as a commercial crab fisherman since age 17.
According to the Time Bandit’s website, the crab fishing cabtain enjoys riding his Harley, NASCAR, and watching the Dallas Cowboys when he isn’t off at sea.
2. He and His Brother Were Ordered to Pay $1.4 Million to a Deckhand in a Lawsuit Against the ‘Time Bandit’
In June 2017, deckhand David “Beaver” Zielinski was working on the Time Bandit when a firecracker exploded in the launcher he was working with. His right hand and forearm were shattered as a result of the incident, which, according to the Inquisitr, ended his fisherman career.
The outlet reports that after the accident, Captain Hillstrand tried to convince Zielinski to claim the incident was from fishing and not fireworks. Why? According to Hillstrand, he was acting in Zielinski’s interest. He is reported as saying, “I suggested that perhaps we … could claim that Dave was injured by a crab pot or the pot launcher crushing his arm, instead of saying that a firework exploded in his hand. I made this suggestion because I wanted to help Dave. I wanted to make sure that Dave’s medical expenses would be covered, and I thought that by stating that Dave was injured in traditional fishing activities we could make it more likely that our insurance would cover Dave’s injury.”
In trial, Zielinski stated that he tried to launch fireworks at another boat after being told to do so. Although cameras were rolling when the incident occurred, the footage was reportedly lost.
A jury eventually decided that Zielinski should be awarded $1.4 million in compensation.
3. His Family Owns of a String of Businesses
The Hillstrands own a number of family businesses, including Time Bandit Fireworks, Time Bandit Spirits, The Bandit Entertainment, Time Bandit Productions, and The Time Bandit Gear Store. Jonathan busies himself with these different businesses when he isn’t busy working on the boat.
Hillstrand retired when season 13 wrapped up, after 37 years of crab fishing. In that time period, he was able to pull in more than 22 million pounds of crab, according to Fox News.
4. He Has Appeared in Geico Commercials
In 2010, Jonathan and Andy appeared in a commercial for Geico Insurance.
In an interview with Family Review Guide in 2016, Hillstrand was asked how Deadliest Catch has personally changed his life, and what the best thing to come out of it has been. He said, “You know what really makes my day? I have people that will come up to me and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s you! You made my whole summer.'”
He continued, “So it feels pretty good to make somebody’s whole summer. I’ve also had people that have said that, “They said I would never walk again, and watching how hard you guys work, I put my mind to it and I walk now.” So it’ll tear you up, some of the stuff. And the letters we get, you know. We’re an inspiration to a lot of people. It’s crazy that we didn’t sign on for it, but for a lot, we’re a role model in a lot of ways to a lot of people. Feels great!”
Describing the other perks of the job, Jonathan said that being on a small boat for up to three months at a time can be a lot like jail sometimes. “… a lot of people don’t have it in them, but the reward is the money. Like my guys on King Crab, it was a 12-day season, they made fifty-four thousand dollars. Not all of them have college educations, and they’re all young guys, and that’s good money.”
5. He Was Sued by the Discovery Channel in a $3 Million Lawsuit
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Discovery Channel sued Hillstrand, his brother, and other captains after season six filming because of schedule conflicts.
The men were reportedly under the impression that Discovery Channel had filmed everything that they needed to edit the season together, but additional filming in the form of pickup shots was still needed. Unfortunately, “Adding additional filming at this time would have negatively affected the schedules of the fishing vessels and the men put fishing first.”
Eventually, the two sides were able to reach a deal, and everyone was back on board to film the seventh season.