‘Deadliest Catch’: Jonathan Hillstrand Says ‘Everything’ About Working on a Boat is Hard

by Alex Falls

Deadliest Catch is one of the longest-running and most famous reality shows. For more than 15 years fans have been captivated by the dangers the crew members all face any time they set sail. The show focuses on the people who work in the risky business of Alaskan crab fishing. Its unflinching portrayal of the harrows these men constantly face keeps the audience constantly on the edge of their seats.

Some people might watch all of this danger and develop a desire to join these crews. Thrill-seekers need to be careful. It might look like a golden opportunity to earn money while getting an adrenaline boost. However, any crew member who has seen the challenges of the job will warn you that it’s even tougher than what you see on TV.

Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand held a Reddit AMA to discuss with fans the difficulties that come with working on the Deadliest Catch. One user asked the straightforward question of what was the toughest part of the job. To which Johnathan simply replied, “Everything about the job is hard.”

Take a close look at what we see on the show. It’s clear these jobs are extremely difficult as well as being downright dangerous. For starters, the weather conditions are some of the harshest in the world. The peak crab fishing season in Alaska occurs during autumn and winter. It’s also this time of year when the seas are at their coldest and most rough.

Not only that but the boat is being constantly thrown around as they work around all sorts of heavy equipment. Their giant crab pots can weigh anywhere from 600 to 800 pounds. The slippery conditions make getting caught between a pot and a hard place a very real and present danger.

Are Fans Turning Against Deadliest Catch?

Deadliest Catch has been on the air since 2005. Not only is it filled with harrowing danger, but it’s also filled with real people. The stories behind the crew captivate audiences as much, if not more so than the crab fishing.

Some longtime fans are beginning to express frustration with some of the directions the show has taken. These crab fishermen do their best to handle the incredible dangers in the Bering Sea. But some viewers have expressed the opinion that the show may be manufacturing drama instead of letting the characters be themselves.

Some point to the death of Captain Phil Harris as a turning point the show has yet to recover from. Fans recently discussed this divide in an open Reddit thread. One user wrote, “I can no longer watch this show. I’ve deleted my PVR scheduled recordings. No more for me. The drama they have introduced this year makes me cringe every few minutes.”

That sentiment was shared by another user who wrote, “I also agree with you that the show began going downhill after the season when Phil passed away. The show has taken on a real ‘reality’ feeling ever since. It’s enjoyable every once in a while because I like some of the characters but it’s definitely lost its original mission to be a real ‘reality’ show.”