‘Deadliest Catch’ 2017: Former Captains And Crew, Where Are They Now?

Now that the Deadliest Catch Season 13 will start on April 11, there are a lot of questions as to who is still on the show and who is off. Over the years, there has been a lot of changes on the Discovery Channel show including some of the boats, crew members, and captains. Let’s do a deep dive catch up with some of the former captains and crew from the Deadliest Catch and see what they are doing now in 2017!

F/V Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hillstrand will be on the Deadliest Catch in 2017 for his finale season as he is set to retire from crab fishing and the Discovery Channel show. The Cap-i-tan, as he is often nicknamed, is retiring from fishing after being on the show since the second season. The 54-year-old captain has been fishing for over 35 years, and it appears that the notorious prankster is retiring from fishing, it just sounds like he is just retiring from the icy and dramatic struggles of crab fishing on the Bering Sea.

Celebrity Net Worth reports that the Hillstrand family has a cornucopia of businesses such as Time Bandit Fireworks, Time Bandit Spirits, Time Bandit Entertainment, Time Bandit Productions and the Time Bandit Gear Store. Odds are, Hillstrand will keep plenty busy with any or all of these ventures, as well as hanging with his two kids and grandkids, as well as salmon fishing in the summer on his 38-foot boat the F/V Fishing Fever.

What about Captain Andy Hillstrand? He has not been seen on the Deadliest Catch in two years. On Johnathan’s Facebook page, fans asked about Captain Andy. It sounds like Andy did join the F/V Time Bandit crew for a short period this recent crab season, but whether fans will see him on the Deadliest Catch Season 13, it will all be at the mercy of the film editors.

“Captain Andy has been on the boat during the season (at short intervals) – we do not know what will be edited into the show.”

Time Bandit Captain Jonathan is retiring from fishing and the Deadliest Catch after this season.| Featured Image by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR
Time Bandit Captain Jonathan is retiring from fishing and the 'Deadliest Catch' after this season.| Featured Image by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR

Deadliest Catch alum, Scott Hillstrand looked like he was continuing in the family business, as he was shown fishing with his father, Johnathan, and his uncle, Andy. Everyone assumed that he was going to eventually take over for his dad as captain. Instead, he was infamously fired by his uncle and even served on the F/V Cornelia Marie for a short period to the obvious heartache of his father. Now, he is in Washington and owns Hillstrand Construction.

Another F/V Time Bandit fav and occasional captain was Mike Fourtner. According to his LinkedIn, Mike is currently both a firefighter and EMT, as well as works for commercial marine engine sale company. Although he has left crab fishing, he still fishes in Alaska, this time for salmon in the summer, under the midnight sun.

Both the F/V Cornelia Marie and Captain Josh Harris are now off of the popular Discovery Channel show as previously reported by Inquisitr in October. The late Captain Phil’s oldest son made it clear that he is still crab fishing and the F/V Cornelia Marie is still going strong, but they just will not be shown on television. Although Josh did not seem upset by this revelation, he did promise some “amazing things” in the near future. It sounds like we will jut have to stay tuned. It is just hard to believe that there will be a new season of Deadliest Catch without anyone from the Harris family.

Captain Casey McManus is also the current captain of the F/V Cornelia Marie. According to his Facebook, sounds like they had a great time getting the red crab, but there are no Bairdi this season.

“We finished red crab in record time. There is no Bairdi, so I have some time to kill I until we head back in early January for opi’s.”

Opi season was a heartbreaking one for the captains on the Bering Sea. The F/V Destination was lost at sea without even a distress call. According to ADN, Captain Casey and other captains helped set up a memorial fund for the F/V Destination. Casey also spoke of Captain Jeff Hathaway, who was so serious about fishing and safety that he refused to film for the Deadliest Catch.

Tony Lara became the temporary captain of the F/V Cornelia Marie temporary captain. Lara was a family friend of the Harris family and was there to help teach Josh Harris how to be and think like a captain. Sadly, Tony Lara passed away from a heart attack in 2015. TMZ reported that he was in Sturgis, South Dakota, during the big bike rally. He was staying with a friend when he was found dead one morning from an apparent heart attack.

Right after Captain Phil Harris died, Captain Derrick Ray commandeered the F/V Cornelia Marie. He ran a strict ship and was filmed having a lot of conflicts with Jake Harris. He had accused Jake of using drugs on board, and an officer was there when they reached Dutch.

Ray told Oregonlive that this experience was the worst fishing experience he ever experienced.

“It was the worst fishing season I’ve ever had in my life. And it was because we quit. It wouldn’t have been if we’d finished. They quit. I didn’t quit.”

He was also quite critical of the Harris brothers. When asked if he just had personality conflicts with the two boys, Ray disagreed.

“No. They didn’t want to be there. They’re not fishermen, neither one of them…. They want to make TV. Josh is not a fisherman and never will be. I think he grew up with Velcro on his shoes, because he couldn’t tie a fishing knot if you held a gun to his head.”

Now, according to his Facebook page, Derrick Ray has abandoned the icy Bering Sea for the warm winds of Hawaii. He is now a Kona coffee farmer!

What about Jake Harris? On the Deadliest Catch, Captain Phil would always say that Jake was the natural fisherman. Yet, Captain Phil’s experienced his own personal anguish when he discovered that his son had a substance abuse problem.

Jake was back on the show a few years and then literally disappeared from all media. That was until November. Jake Harris had met a couple that he hung out with at a local casino. All went well, and they gave him a ride home. That’s when things immediately turned. They assaulted Jake Harris in the car, then stole his money and threw him onto the highway. He wound up with serious head injuries and was in ICU for several days.

Josh Harris reported on Facebook Live that Jake is doing better. But there is no other information on what else he has been doing.

Captain Elliott Neese had been a captain of both the F/V Saga and before that, on the F/V Ramblin’ Rose. His mercurial personal life often interfered with his professional life, and Jake Anderson wound up replacing him as captain of the F/V Saga.

Most recently, Neese joined former F/V Cornelia Marie captain Derrick Ray on the F/V Aleutian Ballad taking people out on crab tours.

Cornelia Marie Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus won't be back on the Deadliest Catch in 2017. |Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Cornelia Marie Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus won't be back on the Deadliest Catch in 2017. |Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Scott Campbell Jr. was one of the younger captains, only 26 when he took command of the F/V Seabrooke. As he explained in his memoir, Giving The Finger: Risking It All To Fish The World’s Deadliest Sea, he explained that when he was young, he grew up in such a poor family that he did not know what real milk was. But at 15, his dad purchased a boat, and the two fished together.

Sadly, Junior had to quit fishing because of serious back issues and numerous back surgeries. Being the captain of a crab boat mean many hours of sitting in one place which became physically challenging for the young skipper, so the young skipper had to retire. He is now a co-owner of Cordova’s Coolers and along with his dad, Scott Sr., own the F/V Seabrooke.


Who was your favorite captain or crew that is no longer on Deadliest Catch? Do you have a favorite scene from the show? Share your stories and comments fellow fans below!

[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]