There’s a reason why those captains continue to work the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea despite all the risks, dangers, and manual labor involved. In case you weren’t aware, crab fishing pays good money - even more so when you’re featured on Deadliest Catch.
So although those scruffy guys might not look like they’re sitting in the lap of luxury, they definitely have way more net worth than a lot of the folks who watch the show. Wondering how much they make and who is the richest captain on Deadliest Catch? We’re here to quench your curiosity.
The Richest Deadliest Catch Captains
Aside from all the crab they catch, the biggest crab fishing boats featured on the show get their kicks by giving the audience what they want. Hey, it’s still show business. So captains who manage to up their popularity on the show tend to get better chances of being recast. Needless to say, they also get paid more to keep them on the hit TV drama.
As of writing, the richest captain on Deadliest Catch would be none other than Sig Hansen with an estimated net worth of $4 million USD. The captain of the F/V Northwestern, Hansen has been on every season of the show and also serves as their technical adviser. So it’s really no surprise how and why he gets paid so much.
Hansen started out as a deckhand for his father during his teenage years, but was promoted relief skipper when he was 22 years old. By the age of 24, he became full time captain for the Northwestern. Some of the reasons why he’s become so successful at his craft is because his boat is frequently ranked a top producer. The Northwestern is also known for its exceptional safety record.
The guy has had lots of success since his stint on Deadliest Catch. From writing a book, to joining Celebrity Apprentice, and voicing an animated boat in the movie Cars 2, Sig Hansen has rightfully earned his place in show business - which explains why he’s ranked the richest captain from the hit TV drama.
How Much Do Other Captains Make?
Again, a large chunk of their money making power comes from how popular they are on the show. The more people like the captains, the higher their chances of getting recast, and the more the production would be willing to pay to keep them on screen and maintain ratings. More popular captains also stand the chance of getting more endorsement deals and other TV appearances.
That said, there are other popular captains on the show who have made a pretty decent living for themselves thanks to Deadliest Catch. They include:
Although most of the captains on the show seem to be doing pretty well for themselves, it’s important to remember that a big reason for their financial success relies on the show. In real life, crab boat can make a maximum of $200,000 per crab fishing season.
But that figure isn’t even set in stone. Ultimately, the amount of money a crab boat captain can make depends mostly on how much crab they can bring back to the dock. So it’s easy to see why more experienced captains tend to do better when it comes to earning their keep from strictly crab fishing.
As for the guys on Deadliest Catch, they make money in more ways than one. Aside from the crab, they also make money for their appearance on the show. According to insiders, a Deadliest Catch captain can make around $50,000 per episode. And with each season of the show with more than 10 episodes, it’s not hard to see how they manage to improve their net worth as the show goes on.
Endorsements, books authored, TV appearances, and other business deals that come as a result of their TV popularity also add to their salaries. Guys like Sig Hansen who have a proven record as one of the most efficient crab boat captains around also get paid for their technical consultant services that help the production staff come up with more realistic shows.
See our guides on how to get a job on a crab boat and how much deckhands make on Deadliest Catch for more information.
Better Pay Than It Seems
While the guys on the show might look lowly and gruff, they’re actually pretty well off in real life. And that’s thanks to years of experience crab fishing, along with the handsome paycheck that comes with an appearance on TV. So if you ever find yourself who is the richest captain on Deadliest Catch, just consider their popularity. The guy who has the most fans on the show is also going to be the guy with the best pay.