‘Deadliest Catch’ Season 15 News: Why Johnathan Hillstrand, Time Bandit Won’t Return

Johnathan Hillstrand, captain of the Time Bandit and on the Deadliest Catch -https://twitter.com/captjohnathan/status/953694229384937472

Deadliest Catch fans really missed the popular Time Bandit crew in season 14. Despite retiring in season 13, fans hoped that Captain Johnathan would be back filming for the fifteenth season of the Deadliest Catch. The fan favorite recently announced on Twitter he won’t be back for season 15. Why isn’t Johnathan Hillstrand returning to the Discovery show?

Deadliest Catch Retirement For Johnathan Hillstrand Ended

When Deadliest Catch season 13 began, viewers were told this was Captain Johnathan’s final year. He was retiring. This meant he was no longer starring on the Discovery show. Throughout his final season, the always emotional captain discussed his father and his proud Swedish family history. Then the season ended in true Time Bandit fashion! Whether happy or sad, the bad boys of the Bering Sea are known to blow up a few things. They honored John with a bang, as the sky exploded in a magnificent display of patriotic colors of red, white and blue.

Captain Johnathan’s personal life also changed. In the spring of 2017, Captain John married the former Heather Hamilton. The two met at church and had a long courtship before they tied the knot. Since his marriage, the happy couple have been active on social media sharing photos from trips to Hawaii, the racetrack and even the Kentucky Derby. Despite appearing blissfully happy in his personal life, his crab fishing work life has hit some bumps of late.

Major Changes in Captain Johnathan’s Life

Season 14 of the Deadliest Catch was without Captain Johnathan, but it did feature the return of Captain Josh Harris and the Cornelia Marie. The Time Bandit made way for the young captains of the Saga and the Brenna A. Yet, it appeared that John un-retired.

Captain Johnathan was very active on social media, clearly fishing crab on the Bering Sea! He explained on Twitter it was “the taxman” that brought him back fishing. Turns out he had other plans to start a brand new crab fishery, but the bureaucratic and slow paperwork prevented this for transpiring.  Captain John went back to fish Opies and King Crab sharing “Crab Facts” on social media. He even tweeted to Inquiring fans to ask Discovery to bring him and the Time Bandit back to the Deadliest Catch for Season 15.

Why The Time Bandit Will Not Return To The Deadliest Catch

Before the boats went out for season 15, it appeared that Johnathan was going to be back on the show. As TV Show Ace previously reported, Deadliest Catch executive producer Decker Watson tweeted that “@captainjohnathan might come back next season.” The award winner added, “Hope he does.” He also shared the possibility that Jake Harris will return to Discovery. Long-time fans were certainly excited. Yet, the unthinkable happened to the Time Bandit.

On October 13, Johnathan Hillstrand tweeted some very upsetting news. They were not going crab fishing because the main engine blew up.

“This is the first time in 38 yrs I’m going to miss a Bering Sea King crab season, besides the closer in the mid 80s!! Our main engine blew up so no season!!!!”

The next day, Captain John was his normal affable and positive self as he told fans “Everything is good,” and “These are the best of times.” By the end of October, he thanked fans for the “encouraging posts” and explained that the two Eddies, Junior and Senior, along with Axel, were returning the Time Bandit to Homer, Alaska. Meanwhile, John and Heather were moving.

Do you think that the Time Bandit should return to the Deadliest Catch for half of season 15? Would you like to see Captain Johnathan and the Time Bandit crew back on the show? Please share your thoughts in the comments, and the new season of the Deadliest Catch Season 15 will return to Discovery in the Spring of 2019.

Georgia Makitalo


  1. I think Jonathon should return when his boat is ready. God took Phil from us too soon please don’t take Jonathon from us too. We love him.

    1. I totally want the Time Bandit to return. I love Johnathan and really really miss him. Please bring him back

      1. You need to put him back on the show he was one of the great ones take off that mean deceitful ole guy that is not honest i can’t stand him he is disgusting and dishonest

  2. John should definitely return. Keith Colbert needs to go. He’s a prick and most everyone hates him and doesn’t want to see him anymore.

    1. Love Johnathon! He should return ASAP! Don’t like Harley — he seems mean — maybe by end of the season he’ll sweeten up!

    2. I agree. Keith is so rude and treats his brother horrible. Not sure why Monte ever comes back to help him. He’s so ungrateful!

      1. I would love to see the time bandit back. It is a must. Jake Harris back is just as important too.

    1. Captains Johnathan and
      brother Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit are the “bad boys of the Bering Sea”.They bring a lot “to the table” so to speak, for the show.
      As long time viewers of Deadliest Catch, we
      Have watched each personality face nearly catastrophic circumstances both on the sea and in their private lives.
      We’ve seen children grow up to fill captains chairs on their own boats. We’ve mourned (vicariously )for the loss of life of certain individuals and prayed for their boys. And now, we watch the veterans leave and or retire to more gentle lives.

      They deserve it…. BUT WE WILL MISS THEM!!!!!!

      If there is the SLIGHTEST CHANCE of keeping Johnathan Hillstrand , or even have him make occasional appearances, PLEASE , contract him!!!!!

  3. The Time Bandit is one of our favourites and we would love to see them back. They add fun and humour to the show. Too many of the originals are gone now.

  4. The Time Bandit and crew was the main reason I watched Deadliest Catch. When the Captains and crew of the Time Banit return to Deadliest Catch I’ll start watching again

  5. I AGREE IF Jonathan and the Time Bandit WANT to return then PLEASE LET THEM RETURN!!!! Bring them back for season 15 in the beginning and let them explain about the failed engine. Then bring em back in the middle of the season when they return to the fishing grounds.

  6. Please bring them back my husband who is on hospice loves to watch him he watches the reruns just to watch the time bandit and captain Jonathan

  7. Anyone able to find out why the hillstrand brothers and selling the f/v time bandit. It was posted up for $2.8 million today.

  8. I would love to see the Time Bandit back on, they helped make the show and really miss them on the show!!! Not the same without them!!!

  9. Would love to see them back !! They were the humorous guys and made the show fun to watch with their pranks and fireworks. I too cannot stand Keith. I turn the channel when he comes on.

  10. its “Colburn,” Captain Keith Colburn. You might not care for him as a fisherman, but does a lot outside of the show. Always has, and always will. There was a not so great captain, he isn’t on the show now.

  11. I love all the captain’s but let’s be clear about one thing it was The Time Bandit and crew who made the show on what it is today. After Phil (the captain of Cornelia Marie)passing the Time Bandit was needed to keep the fans spirits up. It would be very lovely and fun to see the crew again.

  12. We would love to see the Time Bandit return to the show. They’re the best badasses around and always make the best of whatever situation they find themselves in. We LOVE them!! Please bring them back, even if it’s only for part of the season!

  13. Jonathan Hillstrand & the rest of the Time Bandit family have EARNED their spot to remain in any part of the season they are available for. Boat problems are a fact of life for their livelyhood. It’s going to happen & shouldn’t remove them from the show because of if & when it does! Even if Johnathan wanted to fill in as help on another boat that’s needing a temporary co-captian. We would LOVE to see him and his witty character. No matter how brief it is. Preferably as much as possible. But anything is better then nothing, where HE is concerned!

  14. I would love to see the Hillstrands and the Time Bandit back on Deadliest Catch! Their enthusiasm for their job and fun loving attitudes always make the show enjoyable! I’ve missed them😉😎

  15. I would love to see the Time Bandit back on deadliest catch it was one of the best boats to watch and was by far my favorite.

  16. Jonathan Hillstrand on Time Bandit is the main reason I’ve watched Deadliest Catch. He’s unique and full of mischief. If Time Bandit doesn’t return for this season I’m going to be very disappointed as I’ve been a fan for nine years

  17. I have to say Deadliest Catch was not the same when Captain Phil passed away. Now no sign of the Time Bandit! Come on! Time Bandit is a must for me. Not the same without Time Bandit.

  18. The Hillstrand’s are Deadliest Catch!!! Bring them back or lose viewers! Would love to see time bandit back this year. Whether its Day 1 or the final episode. We want the Hillstrands back!!

  19. Please don’t leave and please please please don’t sell the boat. The kids don’t want the boat? I’m just so sad. Bring back Jonathan!!!!!!! And don’t let Cornelia go either!!! Or the Northwestern or The Wizard!!!!!! Please!!!!!!

  20. Bring back the TIME BANDIT. Even if it is a half a season. GIVE THE FANS WHAT THEY WANT. Keep this in mind writers. The FANS are what kept this show on for 15 SEASONS. If we don’t watch, You have no show. Cheers to you John and Andy. GODS BLESSINGS to you. LOVE in JESUS CHRIST FOREVER.

  21. I really miss the Time Bandit crew. I miss John’s sense of humor and how he makes fishing fun for his crew. The show is not the same and I actually am not thrilled with the show anymore. Please bring him back!!!

  22. I think the Hillstrand’s should come back to Deadliest Catch it’s just not the same without them!!!!!

  23. Jonathan and Andy made the show so much more fun to watch and yes, they have become a part of our lives. Bring them back!!!!

  24. My wife and I have been watching “ Deadliest Catch” since season 1. It’s not the show it could be without the F/V Time Bandit
    Need to see Johnathan ride another bull, lol
    Or better yet; Tie a car to someone’s pot, flipping Hilarious!
    Let’s see if we can get this show to it’s 20th season

  25. You should definitely bring back Jonathan Hillstrand and the crew! They made Deadliest Catch the show it is along with the other originals! They are so funny and love their personalities on the show. I have missed them since they left! I would be fine with Keith C. Do not like his rude personality and how he treats others. He thinks he’s better than anyone else. Had it with him. I like Monte but he should not put up with being treated like dogshit from Keith. He is very under appreciated. Keith wouldn’t be where he is without him it doesn’t seem. He depends on his brother a lot. Back to the Hillstands!! PLEASE BEING THEM BACK!!!

  26. I believe that the show is just not the same without Jonathan and the Time Bandit. I miss his humour. He is an awesome captain. Bring them back please.

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