Who would have thought a show about the dangers of crab fishing in Alaska would turn out to be so immensely popular? The Deadliest Catch is one of the most popular reality television shows out there right now. It's shown on the Discovery Channel and is aired in more than 200 countries. It's now on its 13th season.
In some ways, the popularity of the show makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of scary situations going on out there, and the people that appear on the show are the real deal, some of them are so real, in fact, they have a bit of a hard time functioning in normal society. That makes sense when you think about it, I certainly would have a hard time functioning in their totally dangerous world, why should they be able to function in mine?
The thing is, though, even if this show is way more real then most, it's still reality television, and what does that mean? Well, it means there are many secrets about the show and about the cast members that they don't want you to know. Because what would reality TV be without secrets? Here are 15 secrets you probably don't know about The Deadliest Catch.
Might as well start with this one right off the bat. If you're going to call a show The Deadliest Catch, then it probably should actually be that. Then again, much of reality TV is a bit of an exaggeration, so it isn't that big a deal. In actuality, the crab seasons that the show follows, where they go for the red king crab and opilio crab, are not as dangerous as the Dungeness crab industry, in fact, the death rate is twice as much as in the fishing industry that is seen on the show. I get it though, I imagine if they called it The Second Most Deadliest Catch or Hey, This Catch is Pretty Deadly then they would not have nearly as many viewers, and that is the name of the game after all.
Almost all shows that are known as reality television are at least partly fake, and if you don't believe me, check out The Hills, and in all honesty, The Deadliest Catch is more real than a lot of them. But at one point, an episode was filmed in September 2008 where they portrayed a ship as being in danger of being sunk by enormous waves, but the reality of the situation was that the waves were not filmed until a month later. Sometimes, these things happen and producers of shows want to put a little more drama into something that is happening, but viewers don't like to be lied to either. It seems that was a somewhat isolated incident, though, and that the show is real for the most part.
This might sound prejudiced, but anyone that knows a lot of commercial fishermen have more than their fair share of issues when it comes to partying and Captain Elliot Neese is no different. In season 11, he left the show for apparently no reason, but later tweeted that he had been in rehab. Maybe that explains why a few years earlier, he had a restraining order slapped on him by his girlfriend at the time after he destroyed her television and burned her clothes in the fireplace. Really Elliot? Having a drug problem is a pretty bad look, but freaking out on your girlfriend and throwing all her clothes in the fireplace? That is totally bad form, even if you are on drugs, which I have to assume that he was.
As we continue through this list, you will see that a lot of guys on the show have had some problems with the law, and Freddy Maugatai is no exception. He was arrested after he got into a fight against a husband and wife in a bathroom of a hotel. He put the guy in a headlock and shoved the wife, but later said he was defending himself. Why are all of the good details left out of stories like this? Who cares that he got into a fight with a husband and wife in a hotel bathroom? The bigger question is, why did he get into a fight with a husband and wife in a hotel bathroom? Was it the men's room? The women's room? So many questions. He was later fired for an unrelated issue.
I wonder, who else on The Deadliest Catch might have had an issue with partying? Well, let's just start with Jake Harris who was arrested for a hit and run, driving under the influence, and driving with a suspended license after he crashed his BMW. Just in case you think this might be an isolated issue, he also has issues with drugs, in fact, at one point, his brother said that he was "lost in drugs." All of this is sad of course, even more so because it seems that Jake has had a problem with getting over the death of his father. But whether it's sad or not, at some point, you have to check yourself before you wreck yourself, and hopefully Jake figures that out soon since he was recently arrested for possessing crystal meth.
Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that you were on the run from the law, and just to make it even more interesting, let's say it was for something that was a pretty big deal, like you were wanted for robbing banks. What would you do? Would you go into hiding and live a quiet life or would you decide to appear on a popular reality television show? Joshua Tel Warner was wanted for a series of bank robberies in Oregon when he decided to appear on some episodes of The Deadliest Catch. He was recognized by law enforcement, was arrested soon afterward, and was sentenced to 9 years in prison. So to sum it up, hiding out in Alaska when on the run is a good idea. Appearing on television doing it is not.
Well, at least with all of the crew members doing all sorts of drugs and partying all the time, at least they have the producers to keep them on the straight and narrow, right? Well if you thought that, then you would be totally wrong. A production manager bought some cocaine from an undercover cop and then used it in front of him. He also told the officer that other people involved in the crew of the show were involved in drugs, which lead to more arrests. Seriously, is anyone on this show able to spend any time on the boat or even on the mainland without breaking a whole bunch of laws? It's hard to tell, but at this point, it sure doesn't seem that way.
The Hillstrand brother became pretty big stars on The Deadliest Catch, so big in fact, that the Discovery Channel even offered them their own show called Hillstranded. Do you see what they did there? This all sounds cool except for the fact that the two brothers totally blew off the show, which caused The Discovery Channel to file a lawsuit against them. Their problems didn't end there, as they were also sued by a former deckhand who injured himself on a boat they were in charge of. He was awarded well over a million dollars in the lawsuit. It looks like these two brothers are a member of that group that come from nothing, get rich, then act like idiots, and go back down to nothing all over again.
If there's one thing that people tend to get pretty riled up about, it's when someone gets charged with doing something inappropriate with children. This is what happened with Sig Hansen, whose daughter from his first marriage, who is now an adult, filed a suit against him because he supposedly molested her when she was 2 years old. Hansen says it's not true and that his ex is behind the claims and has said, "This is nothing more than an old-fashioned shakedown. It's a completely frivolous lawsuit full of lies that my ex-wife made up to take away my daughter, and still uses to try to extort money from me. It's blackmail." He even has put up a website to tell his side of the story about what his ex-wife has done.
As you might imagine, a lot of people that live in Alaska and work in the commercial fishing trade in that area are not huge fans of The Deadly Catch. Because The Discovery Channel is funding the fishing expeditions on the show, other fishermen who are trying to compete with them are making next to no money, which also means they can't afford to pay good wages to fishermen. This is another example of how something being filmed turns "reality television" into something that is anything but that. As soon as the cameras are turned on and the money starts rolling in, what used to be totally real, turns into something that is pretty much fake.
If you happen to be an Uber driver, I would suggest that you don't pick up Sig Hansen. After some confusion about payment for the ride, he spat on the back of the drivers head and then later kicked the outside of the car, leaving a dent. He did the right thing and later apologized, at least. "I am terribly sorry for my behavior and am very embarrassed by it," Hansen tweeted. "I owe a bunch of people apologies, first and foremost to our Uber driver, who was just trying to get us home safely. I hope I can make that apology in person. I have no excuse and accept responsibility for my actions." Good on him for apologizing, but he still spit on the back of hit Uber drivers head — so incredibly lame.
People on The Deadliest Catch do work in incredibly dangerous conditions, and some of them, unfortunately, do die. But associate producer Joseph McMahon died far away from the set. He was shot in the death outside of his home when he went out to investigate a noise. The person that killed him was found dead the next day nearby of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No one knows why McMahon was killed or if he or his killer even knew each other. The moral of this story is that if you hear some odd sound outside your house at night, either call the cops or ignore it.
I live in Maine, so of course, pretty much everyone thinks that I eat a lot of lobster. The thing is, I hardly eat any lobster at all, and no one I know eats lobster either. The only time I do eat it is when I have visitors from out of town who insist on going somewhere to eat Maine lobster, because that is what everyone in Maine does, right? Well, no we don't and while I'm on the subject, I also have never worn one of those ridiculous looking lobster bibs in my life. Why am I talking about this? Well because the crew on the boats of The Deadliest Catch hardly eat any crab at all. For one thing, they would be eating their profits, and for another, it's way too messy to eat while on a boat. I guess it's just one of those things that when you have an abundance of something, you kind of get over it pretty quickly.
The crew of the boats on The Deadliest Catch are not the only ones out there that are dealing with the elements — the camera crew is as well. They deal with the same awful weather as the crew does, as well as the same dangerous elements, and they even do it without ever leaving the boat for three to five weeks. The only thing that is different is that the fishermen are going to continue to keep working on these boats, probably for much of their lives, while the camera crew will go on to other assignments. Still, you have to admit, these guys are pretty tough to go out there and hang with the crew on these boats during such uncomfortable, and sometimes even deadly, weather.
Who thought The Deadliest Catch would be involved in a hot political issue? Just like the rest of the world, what happens on the show is being affected by climate change, assuming you believe in such things. The water has been getting warmer, so the boats have had to move into different fishing areas that haven't been traditionally harvested. Some of these new territories are more dangerous than the ones that have been formerly used. The producers and crew on the show do their best to not get involved with all of the political controversies that surround climate change, but according to them, it's real and it's affecting their livelihood, not to mention all of the fish and animals that live in the area.