Archive for the ‘Deadliest Catch’ Category

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

JH:  Johnathan Hillstrand, Captain of the F/V Time Bandit

MW: How did you get into the crabbing business?

JH:   My father was a Captain and owned a crab boat.  I grew up watching him go fish, and always wanted to go with him.

MW: Was the Time Bandit a family owned ship before you and Andy became the Captains?

JH:  My father and brothers and I built Time Bandit.  It has always belonged to us.

MW: How long have you and Andy been captain’s of the Time Bandit?

JH:  Since her launch in 1991.

MW: Now did you get involved with Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel? 

JH:  We were approached before the first year of Deadliest Catch, but we didn’t want to be bothered.  After we saw a couple episodes of the first season, when we were asked to join for the second season, we agreed.

MW: What has been your worst season on Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel?

JH:  The Opilio season of 2013.  The ice covered the crab grounds.  Our season kept getting delayed and extended.  We flew in and out of Dutch a couple times trying to wait out the ice, and finally had to give up and fish in the ice.  Time Bandit took a lot of damage that year trying to drive through ice.

MW: Tell us about the Time Bandit?

JH:   Time Bandit is 113 ft long and has twin Cummins QSK-19 engines running 600 HP.  She has a lot of special conveniences that we built in: a sauna, dishwasher, and three queen size bunks.  She sleeps 10.

MW: Give is a crazy story about out on the sea?

JH:  When we were kids, my brothers David and Andy and I were out in on Kachemak Bay in a small sailboat “for a three hour tour”.  The sailboat was a hollow shell with no foam and happened to have a small hole in it.  Our sailboat sunk out from under us.  It went down and was never seen again. We were a couple miles out, with no life-vests, and were treading water wondering how to get out of that mess.  Out of nowhere, our Sunday school teacher happened to sail by in her skiff.  She pulled us each out of the water and got us back to shore.  We all went to Sunday school that week!

MW: How do you like doing Deadliest Catch?

JH:  It’s been a great experience, giving me the opportunity to travel places, do things and meet people I would never have imagined.

MW: How different has it been with Phil Harris being gone?

JH:  It’s been real hard.  I miss him.

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MW: Give us a great Phil Harris story?

JH:  A few years ago, Phil and I were at an airport getting ready to fly back from somewhere.  Phil had somehow gotten his hands on a lighter shaped like a grenade, and had tried twice to get through airport security with it – but was told both times that he could not take the grenade lighter on board the plane.  He caught me coming towards the security line and told me to put it in my pocket. I told him it wouldn’t work, but he insisted.  We got into separate security lines, and I got through security with Phil’s grenade lighter!

MW: What can we expect for the Time Bandit and season 11?

JH:  Lots of new crew on my boat this year.  There may be some personality issues, some injuries, some close calls, and lots of bad weather.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

JH:  Thank you, and I hope you enjoy Season 11.

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
EN: Captain Elliott Neese, F/V Saga, as seen on Deadliest Catch

MW: You have said before since you were 2 years old you want to captain a crab boat. How were you introduced to crabbing?
EN: My dad was a crab fisherman. The first time I was on a crab boat was when I was 2 years old. I fell in love with crabbing and wanted to own a crab boat.

MW: When did you start out in crabbing?
EN: I started pot fishing when I was 16. Everyone else was partying over spring break and I went fishing instead.

MW: When you got to work the first time on a crab boat how was it?
EN: Amazing! I got paid full share within a day of being on the boat. I worked with a group of great guys. It was like living on cloud 9. It was the coolest thing ever.

MW: Had you been a part of Deadliest Catch on Discovery TV before you became the captain of the Ramblin’ Rose?
EN: Negative

MW: When you became captain of the Ramblin’ Rose did you think it was going to be so hard?
EN: It wasn’t hard at all. What you see on tv and reality are two different things.

MW: What would you have done different in season 8 of Deadliest Catch?
EN: I wouldn’t have let them film my family if I had known how they would show it.

MW: How did you feel about your family stuff being on TV?
EN: I would have felt better if they had told me the truth. They told me they were going to film fun stuff with my family. They filmed for 5 days, and only showed the bullshit. They didn’t show the fun family stuff we did.

MW: Tell me a story that was not shown on season 8?
EN: I can tell you about a story that was made up on Season 8. When they said my boat hit the ice with a guy asleep at the wheel. That never happened. I got woken up at least 300 yards from the ice and slowly drove the boat through it to get to St. Paul. And if you actually watch the footage, you can see the frame rate was changed to make it look like we were going fast.

MW: Do you feel that you were a misunderstood captain on season 8?
EN: Misunderstood? No. Mis-portrayed? Yes. I feel like if they would just show the truth, things would be great. It’s like playing a game with somebody who already knows the outcome. They just twist and turn everything the way they want. If I was such a bad guy to work for, why do I still have guys working for me that have been with me a couple years, and guys still calling me wanting jobs?

MW: How will things change for you in season 9?
EN: In Season 9, I own my own boat. I should be shown truthfully, and everything goes professionally and well on the boat.

MW: Will you have a whole new crew?
EN: No.

MW: What happened with you and the owner of the Ramblin’ Rose?
EN: I went into partnership with the owner of the Ramblin’ Rose to buy the F/V Saga.

MW: If you lived in a perfect world of crab fishing how would it be?
EN: I would sit on the beach in Mexico, and have somebody else driving my boat.

MW: What do you like to fish for more King or Opilio?
EN: Opies because when you get on them, you can really put a smack on them. You can put 200,000# of crab on the boat in 2 or 3 days. The lease fee on the opies quota is lower so you can make more money.

MW: What do yo do on your time off?
EN: I hang out with my beautiful girlfriend and my kids. I like to go to Mexico to visit family, go spear fishing with my dad. The nice thing about crabbing is when you’re off you have money to do what you want and all the free time in the world.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
EN: To all the people who doubted me, I love to prove you wrong. There’s a new kid on the block who’s taking over this town, aka the Bering Sea.

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself.
ZL: My name is Zack Larson and I work on the fishing vessel Cape Caution which also happens to be captained by my dad, Wild Bill, and is featured on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.

MW: Did you know from an early age you wanted to be a crabber?
ZL: No, growing up I never thought about fishing as a career. Even into my early twenties, I still hadn’t given it a thought.

MW: What did you think when your dad said “come out with me crabbing”?
ZL: He didn’t give me much time to think about it. I believe I had to quit my job in 10 days to catch the flight to Alaska. I figured it gave me a chance to really know my dad and test myself as a man in a harsh and dangerous world.

MW: What do you remember about that first day?
ZL: That it seemed to never end. Crabbing isn’t a nine to five kind of job. Our workdays can last over 50 hours. And normally we work easily 20-hour days. I was already used to working 10- to 12-hour days at my previous job. But nothing can prepare you for working on a crab boat.

MW: Tell me about starting out as a greenhorn.
ZL: Starting out as a greenhorn was extremely difficult for me. I wasn’t used to getting yelled at and made fun of all the time. I had next to zero fishing background and I was also the captain’s son. Life wasn’t easy for me and it took getting used to. I was used to working with people that had degrees or went to technical college for training. There isn’t a school that trains you to be a crabber. The deckhands are your teachers, and sometimes the teachers get tired of you. I was lucky to have some great deckhands and my dad on board.

MW: How was it being on the F/V Kodiak with your dad Wild Bill?
ZL: When we are fishing I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my dad. He is in the wheelhouse and I’m running around on deck. The time that we get to spend together is priceless. Normally when we are going back to port or have long distances between our string of pots we can chat. Nothing crazy, normal father-son talk. About life, women, money and cars. It is something that I didn’t have growing up, and I think my dad also didn’t have these talks with his dad. The conversation may seem bland, but they mean a lot to both of us.

MW: Was there ever a time you said F–K this I am going home?
ZL: About every fishing trip. The long hours and sometimes terrible fishing eats away at you. When fishing is great, you’re not thinking about being home and loved ones. When fishing is terrible, everything that is sore starts to bother you, everything anybody says annoys the hell out of you, and you start to question your career choice.

MW: Do you think it would have been easier for you to work for another captain in the fleet?
ZL: Sometimes I do think that, but I know I still can learn a lot from my dad. My next move is down into the engine room and that is where my dad is an expert. I believe my dad has a few more years left in him, and I need to take every opportunity I can to learn from him. Then I will be able to work for another captain and not look like a jackass.

MW: How has it been since your dad Wild Bill is now captain on the F/V Cape Caution?
ZL: The Cape Caution is a really great boat. It hasn’t fished crab in a long time and we have been getting her back into shape. The best part of that boat is the owner. He wants to see that boat be profitable and is investing a lot of money back into the boat. My dad is the perfect guy for that boat. He can see a problem and know how to fix it or get the right people down to the boat to fix it.

MW: Do you want to be a captain like your father Wild Bill one day?
ZL: I think that should be every deckhand’s vision for himself. I want to run a boat. Am I close to being ready? Hell NO! I have so much to learn and hopefully when the time is ready, I can step up and deliver.

MW: What can we expect this season from you?
ZL: Well I can’t reveal a whole lot, but I would say I continue my rise up the deck and possibly a little tension between my dad and myself at some point.

MW: What do you on your time off?
ZL: I’m like most men, with a cold beer and friends. I am normally in Mexico in the same town as my dad. We golf together on Mondays and enjoy the sunny weather. Not a lot of sun going on in Alaska.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
ZL: Thank you for your interest in fishing and in Discovery’s Deadliest Catch. If people want to ask me questions, I’m usually good at answering them on Twitter. You can find me @ZackLarson. Thanks again.

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

NM: I’m Nick McGlashan, the deckboss on the Cape Caution captained by the great Wild Bill.

MW: How did you get involved with crabbing?

NM: Crab fishing has been in my family for generations. My dad was a crab boat owner and captain for 30 years. My uncles ran boats. Two of my aunts were deckhands on crab boats. One lost at sea.

MW: What was the first crabbing boat you were on?

NM: My very first crab boat I ever fished on was named the Westling owned and captained by my father Bruce Lanford at the age of 13.

MW: How was it being a greenhorn?

NM: I was a greenhorn at a young age in the derby days working for my dad who was a hard ass and turned me into a man at a very young age also. He was a screamer and I remember never doing anything right. He said that I must let no one out work me. That trait is still instilled in me. I would leave school for weeks at a time to go crab fishing and have to bring with me school work to do whenever I had a chance to do it.

MW: Tell me about getting your start on the Kodiak?

NM: In April 2012 I lost my job on the Arctic Mariner where I had been working for 6 years. Wild Bill hired me at the bar in Dutch Harbor as his new deckhand aboard the Kodiak. I worked with Zack and Mike V.

MW: Now you are on the Cape Caution. How has it been so far?

NM: the Cape Caution didn’t fish crab for almost 6 years and was a bit neglected and not used to the punishment we were about to throw at her. It was a difficult time to make the boat operational. She threw everything she had at us. That boat did not want to crab fish! With time and effort of dedicated deckhands and captain it will be a successful crab fishing vessel.

MW: How is it having Wild Bill as a captain?

NM: Working for Wild Bill has been one of my greatest memories. He takes care of the boat and pushes us to become better on deck and as a person. I have a lot of respect for the man. He wants to break us with long long hours of nonstop physical work. My kind of captain. I’ve known him for many years his friendship with my father goes back almost 40 years.

MW: How is it working with his son Zack?

NM: Zack is one of the nicest guys I know. He’s a hard worker that thrives to be just like his father Bill. We have a lot of laughs together. I’m happy to say we get along great.

MW: Give me 24 hours in your life on the Cape Caution?

NM: I can some up 24 hours on the Cape Caution with saying that there is a lot of yelling laughs and pure frustration. When Bill says lets shut down for a bit at the end it feels good to sleep knowing that we worked harder than we ever have before.

MW: Are you excited about the season being on Discovery?

NM: I can’t wait for everyone to see what we overcame this season on Deadliest Catch. The equipment broke the crew broke. It’s quite the journey. We overcame so many obstacles.

MW: Can you tell us what to expect for this season?

NM: Who came out on top? You’ll have to watch and see. But I can tell you it’s a well recorded story of pain and suffering.

MW: If you could pick another Captain to work for whom would it be, and why?

NM: if I wasn’t working for Wild Bill I would work for Scott Campbell Jr. he is also close friends with my father and I’ve known him for years. He wants to just work as hard as he can and have fun and wants a crew who also wants that. And he will make you money. A def. plus. There’s opportunity with him.

MW: What do you do on your time off?

NM: I try to work as much as I can. I am young and love to work. When I am not working I spend a lot of time traveling. I snowboard, rafting, I enjoy seeing my family, most of which I see in Dutch Harbor, Akutan and St. Paul. I enjoy the college life maybe a bit too much. I’m working on it but damn it’s fun.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

NM: I see myself in the future owning and running crab boats. That’s my dream. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a crab fisherman, now I am. I am living my dream. My dream is on the Discovery Channels Deadliest Catch and you must watch every minute of it!

 

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