‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Johnathan Retired Last Season, So Why Is Time Bandit Captain Out Fishing Again?

At the end of Season 13 of the Deadliest Catch, F/V Time Bandit captain, Johnathan Hillstrand retired on his own terms, “in a blaze of glory.” So, why is there a photo of the crabbing boat, with a caption that Captain Johnathan is at the helm and leaving Dutch Harbor to fish for King Crab?

On October 16, on Captain Johnathan’s Facebook feed, Sheryl, who often does his social media, posted something rather surprising. Alongside a photo of the F/V Time Bandit, she wrote that Johnathan Hillstrand was fishing for King Crab, not as crew of the boat he co-owns with his brothers, but behind the wheel of the legendary crab boat!

‪”(Sheryl here) Today is the start of King Crab season, and Capt Johnathan is on F/V Time Bandit in the Captains chair, dropping the first pots!‬”

Several fans commented on this surprising status. One wrote an enthusiastic comment, “I knew he couldn’t stay away! Welcome Back Captain Johnathan!!”

Another fan surmised that Johnathan had to get out one more time,

“The last episode of Deadliest Catch said he was retiring from crab fishing. Guess he started thinking about it and decided, ‘One more time.'”

But a third poster pointed out the bad news, that the F/V Time Bandit will not be on the Deadliest Catch Season 14. Instead of the cameras being on the Hillstrand boat, they will be on the Harris boat, the F/V Cornelia Marie.

As the Inquisitr recently reported, the F/V Cornelia Marie is back on the Deadliest Catch for Season 14. The crab boat that Captain Phil Harris once made famous on the Discovery Channel show left Dutch Harbor on October 14, with a full camera crew. Yet, this means that there will not be a film crew for the F/V Time Bandit. The Deadliest Catch Season 14 will be without the pirates of crab fishing, the HIllstrand family.

Where was the F/V Cornelia Marie last year? Because of family obligations, Captain Josh Harris did not think it would make for good television to watch him at the hospital instead of on the Bering Sea–and this was before his younger brother and former Deadliest Catch star, Jake Harris, had been beaten up and left for dead on a Seattle highway. In addition, their grandfather, Captain Grant Harris, Captain Phil’s father, passed on.

This season, when the Deadliest Catch airs in the spring 2018, Captain Grant’s ashes will be scattered in the same spot as Captain Phil’s ashes.

Last season, while Josh Harris dealt with family issues off camera, on camera, Captain Johnathan had the time of his life, fishing near Russia and pulling in pot after pot of crab in amazing numbers. He ended his tenure as captain in his own terms, in a “blaze of glory.”


So, why is Hillstrand back at the helm of the F/V Time Bandit, and why aren’t the Discovery Channel cameras on the famed boat?

As of now, nothing has been announced by the Discovery Channel nor from Hillstrand. But, perhaps one of the Facebook posters had it right. Did Johnathan change his mind about retiring? Maybe. He posted something on social media in September that seemed very funny, yet, now appears very revealing in October, after the revelation that he is fishing for crab in the Bering Sea.

“Just had 5 months off with a month of salmon fishing. I am looking at this crab thing again!”


Do you think that Captain Johnathan changed his mind, or do you believe that the Discovery Channel allowed him to say goodbye to Deadliest Catch fans on television? Do you think that there is a chance that Captain Johnathan will be back on the show, or at least chatting with one of the other captains?

[Featured Image by Discovery Networks International]