Ever since “Deadliest Catch” premiered in 2005 on the Discovery channel, we have seen the struggles and misfortunes that the fishermen roaming the Bering Sea’s waters endure on a daily basis. In a profession as dangerous as commercial fishing is, it’s not unusual to hear about tragedies, sunk or lost ships, and even some premature deaths resulting from addiction or illnesses related to the stresses of the occupation.
Nonetheless, the fact that the men aboard these fishing vessels willingly take on so many risks working there, makes us wonder if the financial recompense behind this career is actually worth it.
So how rich are the “Deadliest Catch” captains? Do they have any side business when they’re off the fishing season? Or is commercial fishing not very prolific money-wise? This and more we will tell you in this vid!
The popularity of Keith Colburn doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Since he debuted in the third season of “Deadliest Catch”, he’s let everyone know that his word is law onboard the Wizard, regardless of whether that gained him the dislike or admiration of his crew.
Keith is the owner of the Wizard, his beloved fishing vessel, which was actually built in 1945 to replenish oil to other US Navy ships. After the end of World War II, the Wizard was eventually decommissioned and ultimately sold to a private party in 1974. Four years later the vessel was sold again, this time to a man named John Jorgensen who took it upon himself to transform it into a proper fishing vessel. In 2005 Jorgensen sold the ship to his long-time mentee Keith, who immediately took his place as the Wizard’s skipper.
Considering his impressive career in the commercial fishing business, and the fact that he’s the sole owner of the Wizard, we could safely estimate Captain Keith Colburn’s net worth at over $4 million.
While Keith Colburn is the face of the Wizard, everyone who has paid attention to “Deadliest Catch” knows that Monte Colburn has also worked hard for the ship as its occasional Captain.
Though Monte has done a good job covering for his brother Keith while he’s been away from for health reasons, that doesn’t mean their relationship is on good terms. As loyal viewers of “Deadliest Catch” remember well, in the 14th season Keith fired Monte after the latter allegedly mistreated a deckhand. Monte was rehired the following season, but the tension was evident: ‘This season coming up, I could really use him, but right now, I don’t know if that’s gonna happen’, said Keith to PopCulture.com in regards to the fact that he and Monte hadn’t reconciled.
Bringing the drama on board is what the Colburn brothers do best, but Captain Monte has also gone through some heartbreaking moments in the show, such as his alcoholic meltdown after knowing his friend Captain Gary Cobban Jr. died when the Scandies Rose sank.
Considering his long career as a Captain and crew member, we estimate Captain Monte Colburn’s net worth is over $1.5 million.
Steve “Harley” Davidson
Although Captain Steve “Harley” Davidson is relatively new in “Deadliest Catch”, he has become a big presence in the show but not for good reasons. He and his vessel the Southern Wind debuted on TV in 2019, and since then, Steve has been seen stealing from other ship’s pots, and having an overall rude attitude towards his fellow Captains.
This behavior hasn’t gone unnoticed by the show’s audience, understandably starting a huge backlash against Steve on social media. Some fans even went as far as to start collecting signatures online on the Change.org platform to take him off the show, in addition to sending innumerable messages to “Deadliest Catch”s social media accounts asking for his removal.
While the audience has every right to dislike Steve, his spot in the show seems to be safe for the time being. All in all, Captain Steve “Harley” Davidson currently has an estimated net worth of over $1.5 million.
“Wild Bill” Wichrowski
Just like his nickname hints, the ‘Wild Bill’ Wichrowski is been known to the “Deadliest Catch” audience as the grumpy Captain, one who’s never afraid of speaking his mind when someone was out of line in his ship.
However, the Bill you knew back in the 13th season is a different person nowadays. The once intimidating Captain of the Summer Bay has evidently become more passive and understanding with the passing of time, which has gained him both positive and negative feedback from the audience.
Off-screen, Bill is definitely a one-of-a-kind person too. He’s the most audience-oriented Captain of the “Deadliest Catch” skippers, often interacting with fans on social media, and even going as far as to start his personal website Capt. Wild Bill, on which he shares the latest updates on his life, his hobbies, career, and even selling customized merchandise of his personal brand.
Before becoming the Summer Bay’s skipper, Wild Bill captained several vessels such as the Kodiak, Zone Five and Cape Caution. Considering his outstanding career in the commercial fishing industry, we estimate Captain Bill Wichrowski’s net worth at over $3 million.
For the longest time, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand was one of the most popular and well-liked skippers in “Deadliest Catch”. At the helm of the Time Bandit, Johnathan and his brothers continued their family’s tradition, and made a life for themselves in the commercial fishing world for several decades.
Seeing how much of a fan favorite Captain Johnathan is, his retirement from the show in 2017 was a big shock for everyone. Although not a clear explanation as to why the Hillstrand family was retiring from TV altogether was ever given, it’s suspected that the brothers were unable to financially afford fixing the ship’s mechanical and structural problems.
Anyway, in 2019 the Time Bandit was put on sale for $2.8 million, later lowered a bit, but no signs of a possible buyer were ever known. However, much to the joy of his fans, in 2020 Johnathan made his comeback to TV as the co-Captain of the Saga. This awakened his fans’ hopes of seeing him return fully as the Time Bandit’s Captain, which was fortunately what happened the following season.
All in all, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand has an estimated net worth of over $2.2 million.
Regardless of his young age, Josh Harris has already made a name for himself in the commercial fishing industry. Many long-time fans of “Deadliest Catch” remember him well from the show’s earliest seasons, in which he and his brother Jake gave off the impression of wanting to be everywhere other than fishing for crabs on their father’s boat.
However, the tragic death of his father Captain Phil Harris in 2010 impacted Josh in more ways than can be counted. He went on to work on other ships, before saving enough money to buy the Cornelia Marie with his associate Casey McManus, who also takes the helm of the ship from time to time.
Later, two other investors named Roger Thomas and Kari Toivola joined in, but it’s Josh who is still in charge: ‘If Josh only has a minority share, what’s the point?’ Well, he doesn’t only have a minority share – he’s the biggest individual shareholder still’, said Casey McManus in an interview to Yahoo, reaffirming that purchasing the ship is Josh’s way of honoring his late father.
Considering all these aspects, we estimate Captain Josh Harris’ net worth at close to $800,000, but seeing that his career is still in its beginnings, we’re sure his fortune will only keep increasing.
He’s definitely one of the most well-liked Captains in “Deadliest Catch”, though his appearances in the series have been unfortunately shadowed by his personal tragedies.
Jake’s fishing career started in his early 20s, when he moved to Alaska searching for job opportunities. His beginnings were as a greenhorn, but soon he escalated many spots in the ship’s hierarchy, before becoming the right hand of Sig Hanse, Captain of the Northwestern.
After losing his older sister to a long-time illness in 2009, Jake’s father was killed the following year. Nonetheless, instead of ruining Jake’s will to continue, these tragedies actually inspired him to become sober and obtain his Mate and Master’s US Coast Guard licenses, qualifying him to take the Captain’s seat. He then became the Kiska Sea’s co-Captain, but the experience was short-lived, and left him with no option than to go back to the Northwestern in 2013.
Only a couple of years later, Jake saw himself achieving his long-time goal of Captaining the Saga, which he also owns. All in all, things are apparently going well on the business side for Jake, leading us to estimate his net worth at $1.8 million.
While some people join in the fishing business out of necessity, for Captain Sig Hansen this career is more about continuing his family’s tradition. As it happens, his grandfather was a pioneer in the crab fishing industry decades ago, passing on the occupation to Sig’s father and then to Sig himself at just 14 years of age.
Along with his brothers Norman and Edgar, Sig went on to work on the family’s boat Northwestern all year round, from being a deckhand to becoming Captain in under a decade.
At the helm of the Northwestern, Sig Hansen has consistently broken the ship’s own fishing records, in addition to winning several of the general seasons of the Bering Sea’s fishing boats. Sig’s fame also surpasses that of “Deadliest Catch”, appearing in shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Apprentice”, in addition to voicing a minor character in the movie “Cars 2”.
Due to his Norwegian heritage, Sig was inducted to the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2014, adding another title to this man’s highly successful career.
While Sig has unfortunately suffered two heart attacks over the course of his years in “Deadliest Catch”, his health is fortunately better nowadays. All in all, Captain Sig Hansen’s net worth is estimated at over $4 million.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell for you, then you’re surely not paying enough attention to “Deadliest Catch”. Mandy has been appearing in the show since 2014, working under the guidance of her father Sig.
Although Mandy was a greenhorn on the Northwestern for a long time, in recent years she has taken a more active role in the ship’s activities, eventually becoming the vessel’s relief Captain in 2018. Currently, Captain Mandy Hansen’s net worth is estimated at close to $1 million, but that will surely increase as she keeps taking the helm of the boat.
If it isn’t evident enough, Casey McManus has been vital in the revival of Cornelia Marie after the death of Phil Harris. Despite having more experience in the field than Josh Harris back in the day, Casey actually helped him to step up and take control of Phil’s boat.
Casey’s financial support isn’t the only important thing in their association, as he and Josh have been each other’s relief Captain season after season since 2014: ‘now it’s a ‘get-out-and-go-fishing-as-a-team’ thing. It’s just kind of nice to have both of us up here. It’s easier on both of us, stress-wise’, he told Yahoo in 2017.
Finding new shareholders to take the Cornelia Marie to new levels is partially Casey’s doing, as the mutual support him and Josh enjoy has been a deciding factor in making everything work well for the ship: ‘Now that we’ve got those partners in, they made it a really sustainable, a really viable business’, he admitted.
Considering all of this, we estimate Captain Casey McManus net worth at over $700,000.
How Rich Were Some Other Past Captains?
People understandably are more interested in knowing the financial situation of the current Captains in “Deadliest Catch”, but many other people also wonder how rich some of the show’s past Captains actually were.
In the case of Phil Harris and Tony Lara, both were former Captains of the Cornelia Marie but unfortunately died suddenly. On his part, Captain Tony had an estimated net worth of $1.5 million at the time he died in August 2011, but any side businesses he might have owned are unknown.
For the legendary Captain Phil Harris, his net worth at the time of his death was estimated at $2 million, resulting from his career in the fishing industry and his powdered coffee business “Captain’s Reserve”.
Nonetheless, when it comes to the families that these two memorable Captains left behind, we’re sure that money is the least important thing on their minds.