Bet You Didn't Know This Cool Trivia About Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch has been a hit since the show debuted on the Discovery Channel in 2005. On top of tracking the personal lives of the crew members and the moments they share, the show focuses on the crew’s tragedies and the risks they take. Crab fishermen have a dangerous job, and what happens off-camera is just as interesting as what you see on TV.
From how the show is filmed and edited to what the crew members' lives are really like beyond the show, there's a lot you don't know about Deadliest Catch. Let’s take a look at some of the best fun facts.
The Show Has Won a Lot of Awards
It's not common for a reality show to be nominated for an Emmy, but Deadliest Catch has been nominated several times for prestigious awards in different categories. The first time the show received an Emmy nod was in 2007 — when it received a whopping four nominations, including one for cinematography.
The Show Is Causing Problems in Alaska
On the other hand, residents of Alaska are a bit sick of the show. Local fishermen are struggling to earn a living because they are being edged out by the boats on the show. The fishermen who have been able to continue working are earning much less than most people in the job — just about minimum wage.
Climate Change Has an Impact on the Show
The crews on Deadliest Catch have to contend with a lot of environmental factors, but climate change is one that has been particularly impactful in more recent seasons. The water has experienced a four-degree rise in temperature, which has displaced much of the crab population in the area.
The Moon’s Effect on the Tide Is an Issue
There's no question that the moon affects tides, and tides affect fishing crews. A lunar event called a "supermoon" is especially dangerous for fishermen. During a supermoon, a full moon is as close to the Earth as possible, making it look enormous.
The Camera Crew Endures a Lot
The fishermen of Deadliest Catch aren't the only ones with a difficult job to do. The camera crew sails alongside them, braving all the same conditions. In fact, they spend so much time together, the fishermen and the camera crew tend to become close and develop friendships.
The Camera Crew Is Never 100% Safe
Working on the show is a risk, no matter what your job entails. Because the camera crew has to catch everything that's happening, they stay close to the fishermen as they perform the deadliest parts of their job. Everyone on board puts their life at risk, and many people end up with injuries.
The Cinematography Is Pro Level
Deadliest Catch has won the Emmy for cinematography several times, so they must be doing something right. Of course, most of the footage shot is never seen. The final show is condensed from tens of thousands of hours of footage. What you see in a season is only around 20 hours of that footage.
Some Scenes Aren’t True-to-Life
When it comes to reality shows, there's always the question of what is real and what isn't. On Deadliest Catch, everything you see actually happened and was caught on film. However, thanks to the art of editing, some scenes can still be a bit misleading.
There Are Three Narrators
If you watch Deadliest Catch in the U.S., you're probably used to hearing Mike Rowe narrating each episode. However, not every viewer around the world hears his voice. In the U.K., for instance, Bill Petrie is the narrator, and he reads from a different script. In Malaysia, the narrator is Nasir Bilal Khan.
Crew Members Don’t Eat the Crab They Catch
You might assume that living and working on a crab boat means eating like a king (crab) every night of the week. In truth, the fishermen don't eat the crab they catch. If they did, they would be cutting into their profits.
Captain Elliott Neese Was Fined for Catching the Wrong Crabs
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game hit captain Elliott Neese with a $3,000 fine because he was catching red king crabs that were too small. Neese actually got off lucky — originally, the fine was double that amount at $6,000.
Neese Was Also Accused of Harassment
Elliott Neese got into some trouble off the boat as well when he caused some physical damage in his personal life. The incident involved his girlfriend, but he wasn’t directly violent with her. Instead, in 2010, he wreaked havoc in her life, burning some of her clothing in a fireplace and destroying her TV.
Discovery May Sue if Agreements Aren’t Kept
In 2010, Deadliest Catch captains Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand were filming a one-time special called Hillstranded. The special showed fans a behind-the-scenes look at life on the boat. However, the brothers neglected to show up for their voiceover interviews, which seriously upset the Discovery Channel.
Captain Phil Harris Wanted His Stroke Filmed
During season six, captain Phil Harris, who had been on the show since the beginning, had a massive stroke while cameras were rolling. He told the producer, Thom Beers, that the film crew could continue filming and that he wanted them to catch what happened.
Harris Passed Away Following the Stroke
Eleven days after Harris had emergency brain surgery, he suffered an intracranial hemorrhage, which ultimately took his life. While fans were upset and saddened, Harris' sons, Jake and Josh, had an even harder time with the loss.
Harris’ Son Leads a Troubled Life
Although he may be the more skilled fisherman of the two brothers, Jake Harris has led a very troubled life. On top of losing his father, he has had addiction- and substance-related struggles, plus brushes with the police.
Captain Sig Hansen Has Had Two Heart Attacks
Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern, is one of Deadliest Catch's most popular and beloved stars. He has enjoyed major success, thanks to the show. However, in 2016, the show caught the first of his two heart attacks on camera.
Captain Jake Anderson Has Faced Tragedy
Jake Anderson appears to have his life together now, but he has been through a lot to get there. Addiction and personal tragedy have played serious roles in his life. For two years, Anderson was homeless due to alcohol and drugs. On top of that, he has faced a lot of family tragedy.
Captain Sig Hansen Got Into an Uber Fight
Fan favorite Sig Hansen once got into an altercation with an Uber driver. Hansen was under the influence of some type of substance and began to act nasty to the driver, kicking the side of the car and spitting on him. At first, he denied that any of this happened, but it was eventually proven that the story was true.
Captain Blake Painter Had Addiction Issues
Blake Painter, the captain of Maverick, was on the show for two seasons. Painter had loved fishing since the age of three, and when he was 19, he purchased his own boat. Sadly, in 2018, Painter was found dead at the young age of 38.
Deckhand Freddy Maugatai Gets Into Trouble Often
Freddy Maugatai, a deckhand on Deadliest Catch, is known to be a bully and a troublemaker. For example, he once tried to get tusks from a dead walrus, throwing himself into the freezing water without his clothes on. That's tame compared to his other troubles with the law.
Crew Member David Zielinski Was Injured by Fireworks
David Zielinski, a crew member on Deadliest Catch, sued the Hillstrands after being injured by fireworks during a Seattle Seahawks celebration. Zielinski said the Hillstrands had directed him to light the fireworks, which then blew up inappropriately, burning his hand and arm and shattering several bones.
The Show Helped Catch a Bank Robber
Joshua Tel Warner, one of the crew of the Wizard, was on Deadliest Catch for nine episodes. During that time, he had some difficulties with other crew members. Unbeknownst to producers, from 2007 to 2009, Warner was responsible for a number of bank robberies in Oregon.
Associate Producer Joseph McMahon Was Murdered
Deadliest Catch is no stranger to death and tragedy, but this atrocity happened off-air and far away from the boats. Joseph McMahon was an associate producer on the show when he was sadly killed. McMahon heard a noise outside his home and went to check on it. He was shot outside in front of his home.
Captains and Crew Members Earn a Lot
While the captains and crew members on Deadliest Catch look like typical workers, they make a lot of money for being on the show. For example, Bill Wichrowski has been in the industry since the late ‘70s. He has worked as everything from an electrician to a captain, and his net worth is approximately $3 million.
Their Hours Are Crazy
Fishing captains and crew members work hard for all that money they earn. A typical shift can last up to 30 hours without a break. During that time, the pace of the work is fast and often dangerous.
Despite the Name, Crabs Aren’t the Deadliest Catch
The difficulty of the catch depends on the types of crabs that are being fished. Despite the show's name, snow crab and red king crab aren't the deadliest types to fish. Dungeness crabs actually have the highest death tolls for fishermen, but that's due to lacking fishing guidelines.
It’s Still an Extremely Dangerous Job
Even though the Deadliest Catch crews aren't fishing for Dungeness crabs, they still have a high-risk job to do. Commercial fishing has one of the highest fatality rates of any job. Plus, Deadliest Catch is filmed on the Bering Sea, which is unpredictable and hazardous a lot of the time.
There’s a Deadliest Video Game You Can Play
You don't have to take your life into your own hands to get in on the action. There's a Deadliest Catch video game from Liquid Dragon Studios that was created with the help of Sig Hansen. Players can go fishing on the boats they see on the show.
There Are Deadliest Catch Books
If the show doesn't give you as much insight into crab fishing as you want, there are books you can read to become even more of a dry-land expert. For example, Deadliest Catch: Desperate Hours includes stories written by the crew members, depicting events that happened at sea. Getting more in-depth information about stories you're already familiar with can really enhance the experience.