‘Deadliest Catch’: Here’s Why Wild Bill Wichrowski Says He Faced Major Adversity in Season 17

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Uri Schanker/WireImage)

If you have ever watched “Deadliest Catch,” you will know that things are rarely easy for the crews battling the frigid waters of the Bering Sea in order to score a major haul of crabs. However, according to one of the captains who appears in the show, he faced adversity like never before during its most recent season.

That captain is “Wild” Bill Wichrowski. He captains the ship, the F/V Summer Bay, as seen on “Deadliest Catch.” According to Looper, Wichrowski is definitely no stranger to fishing for snow crab and Alaskan king crab. He has worked out of Dutch Harbor since 1978. As fans of the show are aware, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is the home port for the crews who appear in the series.

“It was the most uncomfortable season I’ve ever had,” Wichrowski said.

Unsurprisingly, the global COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the efforts of the “Deadliest Catch” boats and their crews.

“The start of the season was the worst thing ever because we had to spend a quarantine, you couldn’t move around freely, vendors were shut down,” Wichrowski also said. “Half the fleet didn’t even go. Everything was so difficult, just to get off the ground and get out of town.”

Once this “Deadliest Catch” captain and his crew were at sea, things became easier. However, getting what they caught distributed also became a challenge due to COVID-19.

“Then the delivery, the deliveries were totally thrown off because a couple of shore plants had an outbreak. So instead of taking your load of crab and driving to town and waiting maybe 16, 18, 24 hours, sometimes it’s four to six days to offload the crab,” the captain said.

‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Describes Latest Season As ‘Most Uncomfortable’ of His Career

The global pandemic made the most recent season for this “Deadliest Catch” captain unlike any other.

“COVID was the most uncomfortable season I’ve ever had. And I’ve been coming up here since ’78, ’79,” “Wild” Bill Wichrowski also shared.

In addition to the challenges caused by COVID-19, Wichrowski and his crew also faced a pretty scary moment on the F/V Summer Bay. It was a very close call – one that could have caused the boat to sink.

“… but my last delivery, we were assessing the entry into St. Paul Harbor, and there was a boat waiting to come out. We had a pretty horrific moment there where we got rolled over on our side,” Wichrowski said.

Whether or not fans will see this event in an episode of “Deadliest Catch” was not known by the captain when he gave the interview. However, he did say he believed viewers would enjoy this season of the popular Discovery show.

“So I don’t know how this is gonna play out. No, I think the whole season was good,” Wichrowski said. “Horrible weather — we had icy conditions. We’re pushing farther north than we ever have. I mean, I’ve never fished as far north in 40-some years. There were boats that had no business being north.”