Exclusive: ‘Dirty Jobs’ with Mike Rowe Juggles Surprisingly Lucrative Jellyballs, Preview

The new season of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on Discovery is a consistent eye-opener. The next episode will reveal a fascinating revenue stream for hard-hit fishermen looking for something to sell.

When life hands you lemons in the fishing game, it’s time to harvest jellyballs. Discovery sent TV Shows Ace an exclusive preview where Rowe is in deep.

The jellyball taste is allegedly bland, yet there is a market for it in countries like China and Japan, where according to NPR, “people have been salting, drying and rehydrating jellyfish in soups for centuries.” Their purported medicinal properties are said to alleviate arthritis pain.

Don’t laugh as the CEO of Carolina Jelly Balls, Steven Giese, told NPR that fishermen can reel in up to $10,000 a day by trawling for jellies, and, “In one jellyfish season, a fisherman can make as much money as he makes in three or four shrimp seasons.”

Who knew? Host Mike Rowe is now wading through southern waters in a cash crop that few Americans are aware of, the gelatinous tasteless (some say) jellyballs that happen to be in our coastal waters.

The Chinese love them, so our good ol’ boy fishermen are yanking up these slimy stinkers and selling and shipping them to a place where they are revered for health and cuisine.

Dirty Jobs gets jellyballed

The South’s new fishing industry sees shrimp boats off of South Carolina and Georgia trawling for cannonball jellyfish, and it’s been going on since 2013.

Rowe is fishing jellyballs. Pic credit: Discovery

In our clip below, Rowe is suited and booted for a day hauling jellyballs. He opens the episode saying: “Two very different families, two very different businesses [with] each one trying to carve out a slice of the American dream while making civilized life possible for the rest of us.”

Noting his up at bat first, Rowe adds: “I joined the brothers Boone, don’t try this at home as we embark upon an epic quest to capture whatever the hell this is.”

His fishing companion finishes the sentence, saying: “Lots of jellyballs.” It’s the catch of the day for Rowe, who even eats a raw one.

Epoxy and shine

Epoxy is a flooring coating system at least two millimeters deep, made up of two main components: hardeners and resins.

Later in the episode, Rowe is degreasing a floor and a restaurant, saying: “It’s a race against the clock, you got to do this whole thing in four and a half hours we probably shouldn’t be standing around as I join an intrepid father and son team determined to lay a coating of epoxy on the floor of a restaurant before the evening rush.”

The New Season

Rowe continues his fish out of water quest to champion all essential workers, is rolling up his sleeves to celebrate the next generation of hardworking people who have made civilized life possible.

“Just when I thought I was out,” joked Mike, adding: “Actually, I’ve been flattered over the last year by hundreds of letters from loyal fans, urging me to reboot the series, and I’m excited and honored to introduce the country to a new batch of hardworking Americans who aren’t afraid to get dirty. Also, I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year.”

In the season premiere, Mike joined those rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Every day, millions of people drive over bridges and along with our vast highway system. The work that goes into refurbishing them and maintaining them is tough stuff.

Mike apprenticed with the rod busters, who work in sweltering temperatures, as they twist, mold, and fabricate the iron framework of superstructures. Later, Mike traveled outside Tampa, Florida, to meet with rod busters tasked with completing a bridge in one day.

Discovery says:

Whether it’s a water tower cleaner, escalator maintainer, combat surgeon, or epoxy installer, each episode showcases the unsung heroes and the communities that rely on these essential jobs. Mike will also lend a hand to those on the frontlines protecting the nation from invasions, even when it involves glowing scorpions or destructive iguanas.

Tune in to learn something new every week with Rowe on the job:

Dirty Jobs airs Sunday at 8 PM ET/PT on Discovery and streaming on discovery+.

April Neale

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