‘Deadliest Catch’: How Much Do the Captains Make?

by Anna Dunn
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With all the buzz around Deadliest Catch, many might wonder how much the captains make. The fascinating documentary series takes a look at the lives of fishing crews on the Bering sea. It definitely will make you appreciate where a lot of your favorite seafood dishes come from.

The crews face incredibly challenging workdays that sometimes include mortal peril. Luckily, the Deadliest Catch captains are well compensated. Captain Kenny Ripka told People all about it.

“We don’t get paid a wage or a salary, we get paid based on what we catch and what we deliver,” he explained. “We’ve had years … where I’ve made upwards of $150,000 to $170,000.” However, that money is far from guaranteed.

If a fishing expedition goes poorly, it puts the captains at risk of not making much of anything at all. Thankfully, the Deadliest Catch captains are also compensated for their time on the show. There’s no official number about how much the cast members make, but it’s likely in the thousands per episode.

Captains Experience a Lot of Peril at Sea

The show’s captains may be well compensated, but they’re constantly risking their lives. Captain Sig Hansen once talked about one of his scarier experiences. In fact one time, after failing to chip some ice off of his ship, the whole vessel almost capsized.

“She was literally sinking underneath our feet,” he described to Outsider. “We did manage to start getting some of the ice off the nose on her side. We chopped and chopped and chopped. It took about 16 to 18 hours before she even started to get level again.”

He detailed that back when he was younger, he was more reckless about chopping the ice from the boat.

“That’s one of those things where you can say live and learn,” he said. “But you only get to learn that once or never again. It’s very dangerous. Boats capsize because of that ice and that’s very dangerous.”

‘Deadliest Catch’ is Now on Discovery+

Deadliest Catch has been on TV since 2005. If you’d like to catch up on the 15 years worth of the show, it’s now on Discovery+. It’s something that Sig Hansen was also excited about.

So I just got signed up [for Discovery+]. I’m flabbergasted, I’m amazed,” Hansen said. “Because it’s got Season one thru 17, everything we’ve ever done. And what I’ve enjoyed learning through this whole journey is you got fans from 8-years-old to 80. Man, woman, child. It’s amazing, the demographic.”

He’s right about the demographic. Deadliest Catch is a fun watch for the whole family. While it has its frightening and exciting moments, it’s also incredibly educational, showing you just how some of your favorite seafood is caught.

Deadliest Catch also airs new episodes on the Discovery Channel on Tuesdays at 8pm.

Outsider.com