‘Deadliest Catch’: Captain Johnathan Explains Why He Returned To The Bering Sea To Fish After ‘Retiring’

Johnathan Hillstrand is asking fans to tell Discovery to bring back the Time Bandit.

'Deadliest Catch' Captain Johnathan Explains Why He Is Back With The Time Bandit Crab Fishing
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Johnathan Hillstrand is asking fans to tell Discovery to bring back the Time Bandit.

During Deadliest Catch Season 13, prankster F/V Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hillstrand announced his retirement. With each episode, he was getting closer to ending his storied 37-year crab fishing career with what he called a “blaze of glory.” After fireworks and a heartwarming “Johnathan Hillstrand Legacy” retrospective episode, fans said goodbye to the very popular captain. So, imagine the surprise for those diehard fans who still follow the F/V Time Bandit captain on social media to discover that he went back out to the Bering Sea!

Johnathan has returned to crab fishing, and instead of the Hillstrands being filmed for Season 14 of the Deadliest Catch, Josh Harris and the F/V Cornelia Marie have returned to the Discovery show, making fans wonder about this “retirement.” There is now an explanation from Captain Johnathan, who has finally posted on Twitter explaining why he has returned to the Bering Sea and that he wants to return to the Deadliest Catch.

On April 10, which coincidentally was the Deadliest Catch Season 14 premiere date, Johnathan explained that the tax man is the main reason why he is back fishing.

“Yes I’m still fishing! The dam [sic] tax man and those bill collectors won’t let me quit! No cameras except my I phone here 🙂 let Discovery channel know if you want Time Bandit back next year 🙂 love you all!!”

This appears to be the abridged version of why John returned to the Bering Sea. There are seemingly additional reasons why John returned.

Back in January, Sheryl, who creates the social media for the F/V Time Bandit captain, answered fan questions. She lumped together the cornucopia of questions asking why Johnathan was not retired and why he was out fishing without Discovery cameras.

“Johnathan says he is retiring. Is he really, or is he just teasing us? Did Capt Johnthan totally retire, or is he going to go on occasional trips, just so he won’t have “fishing withdrawal”? Are you fishing another fishery, Johnathan?”

Sheryl then explained that “plans were made” for Captain Johnathan Hillstrand to “retire” from King Crab and Opilio Crab fishing. The intention was to “start a brand new crab fishery this year.” Yet, what prevented this was “paperwork and permits” that never “came through,” thus, the F/V Time Bandit Captain is back on the Bering Sea fishing King Crabs and Opies. There was no explanation as to why the crab boat did not return for the latest season of the Deadliest Catch.

Yet, could the F/V Time Bandit return for Deadliest Catch Season 15? According to his tweet, Captain Johnathan certainly hopes so.

Last season, Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus from the F/V Cornelia Marie went out fishing without cameras, but they are back on the show this season, so it is not out of the question that the Hillstrands could return.