• Jonathan Hillstrand was born in Alaska and is the second oldest of five children.
• He is a third generation fisherman and had his first experience on a boat when he was three years old.
• Jonathan owns the family’s fishing vessel, Time Bandit, is the captain and the family owns several businesses under the Time Bandit name.
• Jonathan is married with two children from a previous marriage and a stepbrother in the Christian music industry.
• He has a net worth of over $2.2 million as of mid 2020.
The Discovery Channel often sheds light on unconventional careers that are poorly portrayed in the mainstream media. An example of such a show is “Deadliest Catch”, which gives audiences a glimpse into the lives of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Jonathan Hillstrand is the celebrated captain of the F/V Time Bandit, who was featured heavily on the show for the first 14 seasons. However, he left the show with little explanation for filming the 15e season. Jonathan is a husband and father known for his love of jokes and a light-hearted personality when the fishing boat is not at sea.
Early life and family
Jonathan Hillstrand was born on August 5, 1962 in Alaska, USA to John Hillstrand, Senior. Jonathan is the second oldest of five children, his older brother David works on Alaska’s North Slope, and one of his younger brothers, Michael, lives in Georgia where he works as a medical professional. His two other brothers, Andy and Neal, worked alongside him in the fishing industry. While we don’t know the name of his birth mother – John Senior’s first wife – his stepmother Nancy Hillstrand is a positive force in his life. Nancy owns the family business that distributes seafood and acts as the glue that holds the family together.
Jonathan also has a stepbrother, Lincoln Brewster, who is involved in the Christian music industry.
As a third generation fisherman, it’s not surprising that Jonathan got his first experience on a boat when he was just three years old. This was the beginning of a lifelong passion and he was independent fishing by the age of seven. Jonathan went to school like any other child, but he knew from the start that his career would not follow an academic path.
Although Jonathan completed his high school education, he went straight into commercial fishing after applying for and obtaining all necessary permits when he was still a teenager.
Most of what Jonathan knows about seafaring and fishing was taught to him by his father, John Sr.
Jonathan did not initially start his career in the family crab fishing business, but spent some eight years fishing for lobster off the coast of New England. The esteemed family fishing vessel was designed and built by Jonathan’s father in 1991 and is still in use today.
To extend the crab fishing seasons, many Alaskan fishing vessels began to hunt different crabs depending on the seasons and conditions. However, this can be very stressful for the crew as it requires the boats to be out of the country for months at a time, minimizing the time that can be spent away from work and therefore with the family.
The Hillstrand family has figured out how to make the most of both the changing seasons and the crew they have. During the day During the King Crab season, Jonathan oversees the Time Bandit, while his brother Andy pilots the boat during the Opilio season. However, Neal is the only operator on the boat and therefore works during both fishing seasons.
When they’re not at sea, there’s a slew of family businesses under the “Time Bandit” franchise name that need to be maintained. The family owns Time Bandit Fireworks, Time Bandit Gear Store, Time Bandit Entertainment, Time Bandit Productions and Time Bandit Spirits – which includes their own brand of vodka and a Bloody Mary mix.
Only in Alaska 🙂 “You can take the kid out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the kid!” Grandma Joe pic.twitter.com/q4XRpi8eqg
— Johnathan Hillstrand (@captjohnathan) July 20, 2020
Their entertainment company features a mobile escape room package and offers customized entertainment for weddings, parties and more.
Discovery Channels”Deadliest catchpremiered on August 12, 2005, and documents the risky lives of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. The freezing cold and erratic weather and sea pattern pose a major risk to the fishermen on their vessels, as they are often far out to sea and hours away from help.
The show documents the drama and lives of the boat crews and their captains, and unlike other Discovery Channel shows that have been criticized for their simulated drama and suspense, the events on “Deadliest Catch” are all too real.
The producers have been known to occasionally re-appropriate footage to create more impressions of the storms at sea, but these accusations are rare.
The Time Bandit is somewhat of a unique vessel on the Bering Sea, as it has been custom fitted by the Hillstrand family with comforts that allow for a more enjoyable stay at sea. The 43-foot boat is often referred to as a houseboat rather than a fishing vessel, due to amenities such as a sauna, dishwasher, and staterooms. The boat only has a crew of six, and usually the brothers make up 50 percent of that crew.
The Time Bandit first appeared in “Deadliest Catch” during the second season and became a fan favorite until it was mysteriously cut off after the late 13th century.e season.
At the time, it was unclear what caused Hillstrand’s departure from the show, his comments and posts sending mixed messages to audiences around the world. Hillstrand told fans, “You see me back here, kick me right in the balls and gouge my eyes out. I’ll do it myself… when I come here again. I kick myself in the balls and poke my own eye.” He called his withdrawal from the show a retirement, but continued to post pictures of his fishing ventures, frustrating and confusing the disappointed fanbase.
However, this retirement was short-lived and by the time the 15e season rolled around, there were rumors that Time Bandit would return to the show. However, Hillstrand was forced to sit out the season when the engine of the beloved family boat exploded, leaving them ashore for a considerable period of time.
The Hillstrands were eventually forced to sell the boat, but were able to return for the 16e season of the show, too much celebration and excitement from old fans.
Jonathan Hillstrand has two children from a previous marriage. Although he often mentions his son Scott, little is known about his daughter. Scott Hillstrand initially planned to follow in his father’s footsteps in the fishing industry, but was fired from the Time Bandit by his uncle, Andy. He now runs Hillstrand Construction Company and has a son named Sawyer.
Jonathan began dating Heather Hamilton, whom he dated for a long time, before the two finally got married on November 6, 2017. Heather happily takes the surname Hillstrand and has several children of her own from a previous marriage.
Appearance and weight loss
Jonathan Hillstrand has a full head of light brown hair and often has a small beard. While he’s aged well, it’s unclear if he’s lost much weight in recent years. He is 1.85 m tall and weighs 80 kg.
Net worth and salary
Jonathan Hillstrand has a slew of businesses that make his income, from the entire Time Bandit franchise to the seafood distribution business. The cast of Discovery Channel shows are also reportedly paid a sizable salary for their performance on the show. In addition to these businesses, Hillstrand is also the author of several books, both for adults and children. He has a net worth estimated at over $2.2 million, as of mid 2020.