Johnathan Hillstrand Wiki/Bio: age, net worth, height, wife, kids, family.

Imagine sailing into the most dangerous waters on Earth, risking your life for a bounty of crabs. Imagine starring in one of the most popular reality TV shows of all time, captivating millions of fans with your adventures. Imagine writing and illustrating books for children, sharing your passion for the sea and its creatures. Imagine being a successful businessman, a devoted father, a loyal brother, and a fearless captain.

You might think this is a fantasy, but for Johnathan Hillstrand, this is reality. Johnathan is not just a fisherman, he is a legend. He is the co-owner and co-captain of the Time Bandit, one of the most famous fishing vessels in the world. He has been fishing for over three decades, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He has also faced many challenges, both on and off the sea, such as lawsuits, divorces, retirements, and comebacks.

In this article, we will explore the life and career of Johnathan Hillstrand, the man behind the legend. We will take you on a journey from his childhood in Alaska, to his rise to fame on the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, to his current endeavors as an author. We will reveal the secrets of his success, the struggles of his profession, and the joys of his family. We will show you why Johnathan Hillstrand is not your average fisherman, but a Bering Sea pirate with a heart of gold.

F/V time bandit captain Johnathan hillstrand
F/V Time Bandit captain Johnathan Hillstrand

Early Life:

Johnathan Hillstrand was born into a fishing family on August 5, 1962, in Homer, Alaska. As a third-generation fisherman, he developed a passion for the sea from a young age. He accompanied his father Johnathan Sr. on his fishing boat when he was only three years old, and learned how to catch fish by himself when he was seven. He followed his father’s footsteps and started his commercial fishing career at 17, without much interest in formal education. He graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School in Idaho in 1980, but did not pursue any higher studies. Instead, he focused on becoming an expert fisherman, learning from his father and brothers who also worked in the family business. Johnathan was a thrill-seeker who loved taking risks and challenges in his fishing adventures. He also had a passion for riding his Harley and watching sports in his leisure time.

Career and Progression

From a humble Deckhand to a seasoned Captain, Johnathan has mastered the art of commercial fishing. He honed his skills on the F/V Time Bandit, a 113-foot vessel that his father built in 1991. He chased lobsters along the New England coast for eight years, then switched to the more profitable King Crab in the icy waters of the Bering Sea. He also chased salmon fishing in the summer, when he shared the helm with his younger brother, Andy Hillstrand, who rose from a deck boss to a co-captain.

F/V time bandit captain Johnathan hillstrand

Johnathan is not only a fisherman, but also an entrepreneur. He runs several businesses under the Time Bandit brand, including fireworks, spirits, entertainment, production, and gear. He is also a writer, who penned a book called Time Bandit, which tells the story of his and his brother’s fishing adventures in Alaska.

Johnathan Hillstrand: The Unretired Crab Fisherman

Johnathan Hillstrand is a veteran crab fisherman and a star of the hit reality TV show ‚ÄúDeadliest Catch‚ÄĚ. The show, which premiered in 2005 on the Discovery Channel, chronicles the adventures and struggles of the Alaskan crab fishing industry. The show features the crews of several fishing vessels as they brave the perilous waters of the Bering Sea to catch the lucrative king and opilio crabs. The show has been a ratings success for the Discovery Channel, attracting millions of viewers and winning several awards.

Johnathan joined the cast of ‚ÄúDeadliest Catch‚ÄĚ in its second season in 2006, as the co-captain of the ‚ÄúTime Bandit‚ÄĚ, a 113-foot fishing boat that he owns with his brothers Andy and Neal. Johnathan quickly became a fan favorite for his charismatic personality, his daring maneuvers, and his humorous antics. He appeared regularly on the show until the 13th season, which aired in 2017.

In the 13th season finale, titled ‚ÄúJohnathan Hillstrand Legacy‚ÄĚ, Johnathan announced his retirement from crab fishing after 37 years in the business. He said goodbye to his crew and his fans with a memorable quote:

‚ÄúYou see me back out here again, kick me right in the nuts and gouge my eyes out. I‚Äôll do it myself ‚Ķ if I come out here again. I‚Äôll kick myself in my own nuts and poke my own eye.‚ÄĚ

However, Johnathan‚Äôs retirement did not last long. He made a surprising comeback in the 16th season in 2020, as the relief captain of the ‚ÄúSaga‚ÄĚ, a 120-foot fishing vessel that was in need of a leader. Johnathan stepped in to help the ‚ÄúSaga‚ÄĚ crew, while also mentoring the young captain Jake Anderson, who was a former deckhand on the ‚ÄúTime Bandit‚ÄĚ. Johnathan showed that he still had the skills and the passion for crab fishing, despite his earlier declaration of retirement.

Since then, Johnathan has returned to his original boat, the ‚ÄúTime Bandit‚ÄĚ, and resumed his role as the co-captain. He has also continued to appear on ‚ÄúDeadliest Catch‚ÄĚ, delighting the fans with his experience and his humor. As of 2023, Johnathan has made 196 appearances on the show, making him one of the most prolific and popular cast members of ‚ÄúDeadliest Catch‚ÄĚ.


Johnathan Hillstrand is not only a skilled fisherman and a reality TV star, but also a talented author and illustrator of several books. His works span different genres and audiences, from memoirs to children’s stories, reflecting his diverse interests and experiences.

One of his most popular books is¬†“Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World‚Äôs Deadliest Jobs”, a memoir co-written with his brother Andy Hillstrand and Malcolm MacPherson. The book chronicles the Hillstrands‚Äô adventures and challenges as captains of the Time Bandit, one of the fishing vessels featured on the Discovery Channel‚Äôs hit show Deadliest Catch. The book offers a glimpse into the harsh and dangerous world of crab fishing, as well as the personal stories and humor of the Hillstrand brothers.

Another genre that Johnathan Hillstrand explores is children‚Äôs literature. He is the author and illustrator of¬†“Adventures of Little Bird”, a series of children‚Äôs books featuring a pirate parrot and his friends, inspired by his own pet bird. The books are filled with colorful illustrations and fun rhymes, as Little Bird and his crew sail the seas, explore new lands, and encounter various creatures and challenges. The books aim to teach children about friendship, courage, and curiosity.

Johnathan Hillstrand also collaborates with his family members on some of his books. He co-wrote Adventures of Joey, Andy and Little Bird: A Pirate’s Treasure with his nephew Joey Hillstrand, based on their family’s adventures. The book follows Joey and Andy, two young boys who join Little Bird and his pirate crew on a treasure hunt. Along the way, they learn about history, geography, and culture, as well as the importance of teamwork and respect.

Johnathan Hillstrand’s books are a testament to his creativity and passion. He draws from his own life and imagination to create engaging and entertaining stories for readers of all ages.

Social Media:

Johnathan Hillstrand is active on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. He often posts updates about his fishing adventures, his family, his books, and his fans. He has over 165k followers on Twitter and over 46k followers on Instagram. 

Public Appearances:

Johnathan is used to getting recognition at places thanks to his status as a reality television actor. Some of the public appearances that Johnathan Hillstrand has made over the years are:

  • The Paley Center for Media‚Äôs Annual Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 6, 2010, in New York City, along with other TV personalities like Mike Rowe, Paul Teutel Sr., Andy Hillstrand, Buddy Valestro, Paul Teutel Jr., and David Salmoni.
  • The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012, in Homestead, Florida, where he celebrated with Tony Stewart in Victory Lane.
  • The Deadliest Catch‚Äôs Twitter For Tough Guys panel at Hyatt Hotel during the 2010 Summer TCA Tour on July 30, 2010, in Beverly Hills, California, along with other captains like Keith Colburn and Sig Hansen.

Net Worth-How Rich is Johnathan Hillstrand?

Johnathan Hillstrand is a wealthy American who has earned his fortune from various sources. He has earned a significant amount of money as a reality television star of Deadliest Catch, which showcases the dangerous and lucrative profession of crab fishing in Alaska. He is also a co-owner and co-captain of the commercial fishing vessel F/V Time Bandit, which was designed by his father and is featured on the show. In addition to fishing, Johnathan has diversified his income sources with various Time Bandit products, such as fireworks, spirits, entertainment, and merchandise. His net worth is estimated at $2.7 million.

Personal Life

Family & Siblings

Johnathan Hillstrand comes from a large family of fishermen. His paternal grandparents, Earl David Hillstrand and Mary Jane Lloyd, started the fishing tradition in the family. Johnathan is the second son of his parents. Johnathan’s oldest brother is David, who works in the North Slope of Alaska. His younger brothers are Andy, Michael, and Neal.

F/V time bandit captain Johnathan hillstrand
F/V time bandit co-captain Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand

Three of the five Hillstrand Brothers have worked together in the sea and also share the ownership of F/V Time Bandit. Johnathan and Andy serve as co-captain while Neal has worked as the boat’s chief engineer and primary cook. Neal also has performed on deck and in times of absolute necessity has taken the captain position.

Johnathan Hillstrand Step mother Nancy Hillstrand
Johnathan’s stepmother Nancy Hillstrand

Not much is known about John’s mother who married another man after her divorce from his father. As for John Sr., he got married to Nancy Hillstrand who currently owns the family seafood distribution business. Also, Johnathan has a stepbrother named Lincoln Brewster who is a contemporary Christian musician.

Wife and Kids:

Johnathan Hillstrand’s profession has also taken a toll on his personal life, as he has to spend most of his time at sea with his crew. He has gone through a divorce with his ex-wife, with whom he has two children.¬†His son Scott, who also worked on the Time Bandit before being fired by his uncle Andy, is now a father to a boy named Sawyer, making Johnathan a grandfather.¬†Scott currently runs the Hillstrand construction company.

Johnatha Hillstrand married to Heather hillstrand
Johnathan Hillstrand married to Heather Hillstrand

As they say, the second time is the charm, Johnathan has found love again with Heather Hamilton, who was also previously married and had children. They dated for years before getting married on November 6, 2017. Heather now uses the surname Hillstrand as a sign of her commitment to her husband.


Hobbies & Interests:

When not fishing Jonathan likes to go bike riding on his Harley and spend time with friends and family. He is also a NASCAR and NHRA enthusiast and an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

Physical Traits:

Johnathan Hillstrand has a height of 6 feet (182 cm) and a weight of around 75 kg (165 lbs). He has dark brown hair and brown eyes. He also has a distinctive beard and mustache.  Johnathan usually wears jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, and hats. He favors dark colors like black, gray, and blue. His style reflects his personality as a fisherman and a TV star.

Wiki/Bio Facts:

NameJohnathan Hillstrand
Place of Birth Homer, Alaska, United States
Age 61 years old
BirthdateAugust 5, 1962
OccupationCommercial Fisherman, Television Personality, Boat Captain
Net Worth$2.7 Million
Relationship StatusCommited
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse/PartnerHeather Hillstrand (m. 2017)
GrandparentsEarl David Hillstrand, Mary Jane Lloyd
ParentsJohn Hillstrand, Nancy Hillstrand (Step-mother)
Brothers David, Micheal, Andy, Neal Hillstrands
Height6 feet o inches (182 cm)
Eye ColorBrown
Hair Color Dark Brown

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