On the heels of a wrapped well-received first season of Deadliest Catch: Bloodline, captain Josh Harris of the Cornelia Marie is still to be found in action on Deadliest Catch season 16 for Discovery Channel.
Both he and co-captain Casey McManus are smoking the opilio crab hauls in the outer edges of the Bering Sea.
Now a father himself, Josh is the oldest son of the late Captain Phil Harris, and fans know that now he is the part-owner of the Cornelia Marie with Casey McManus.
The two found some fishing charts left by his late father in a boat remodel last summer. Thus, the Bloodline series was born from that fortuitous find. McManus and Harris headed to the Kona coast, met up with local fishing ace Jeff Silva, and six episodes of a new hit Discovery show were filmed in big, blue water style. More on that adventure is shared below in TV Shows Ace exclusive interview.
As fans know, Josh and his younger brother Jake Harris continued fishing after their father, Captain Phil Harris died. Captain Sig Hansen took on Jake while the Hillstrands’ Time Bandit brought on Josh. Josh dishes on those days and gives us up-to-date information on how his brother Jake is faring these days.
TV Shows Ace spoke to Josh on the phone this past Thursday for insight on the season, Bloodline, the fleet and more.
Josh Harris interview
Josh, have you been flying for Deadliest Catch and TV events since this whole COVID thing came on? How do you get about?
Josh Harris: Yes, I did fly. I flew from Las Vegas to Seattle, and there were four people on my flight and it was spread out. So obviously, I showed up in a Tyvek suit, which is the wrong thing to do at the airport, no matter what’s going on. (laughs) So I’m asked to remove that and, that’s understandable.
But, other than that, that’s about the extent of my travels. We’ve gone to Oregon, actually, I had to do some filming for Discovery. I went down there and that was right when Seattle was shutting down.
If you could have seen the fear in the eyes of the people from the hotel when they found out I came from Seattle (laughing). I came in to the hotel and I give the guy a high five, and he’s like, ‘Hey, you’re in a good mood. Where’d you just come in from?’ I said ‘Seattle…’
He immediately ran to get hand sanitizer. I mean, it was comical.
Will there ever be another Catch Con in Seattle?
Josh Harris: That is a great question. And I don’t know what they have planned for the future yet.
A lot of things kind of changed around with Discovery and what we’re doing, but I would imagine, [and] there was talk about it, I know a while ago.
That would be a great question to ask Discovery. I don’t know. I could ask them to get back to you on that one too, because that is kind of a curious thing. I get asked that quite a bit, a lot of fans really enjoyed that.
Did you captains enjoy it, too?
Josh Harris: I love the Q&A session too. A lot of people generally have some great questions, and so it’s always interesting to hear. To us…it’s our life, but the way that people perceive it are totally two different things sometimes.
I think it’s really cool to reach out to the people that are watching this show and to get some of those dying questions asked and answered. I think that’s always good.
If Mike Rowe ever falls out as narrator, you could totally take his place. You almost sound exactly like him.
Josh Harris: I hear that actually quite a bit. Yes. I’ve had a lot of people ask me to do different things for voiceover work and that’s something I actually want to pursue.
So hopefully one of these days they’ll be able to do something along those lines. I think it would be a lot of fun.
So I just interviewed Wild Bill Wichrowski about a couple of weeks ago and I got the sense from him that he was a little miffed that you didn’t ask him for advice from him on the blue water fishing…
Josh Harris: Well, the reason that happened that way is because we didn’t actually think that we were going to go do this [Bloodline]. It was a joke in the beginning, we found these charts when we were remodeling the boat [Cornelia Marie], and we kind of skimmed through them a little bit.
But then, when we [Casey McManus] went to lunch, we were really looking at them, these charts and it was like, ‘Hey, Casey, you and your parents, you guys have a house over in Hawaii, you want to go fishing out there?’
I’m like, ‘You want to go and try to chase down some of these marks and see if there’s any truth to it?’
He agreed, and we laughed about it. And that was over lunch. Five days later, we’re getting on an airplane and we’re going to Hawaii. We’re really doing it. They were already filming us doing the boat stuff. So they’re like, ‘well, we’ll, we’ll tag along to this. This sounds interesting.’
And they [Discovery] do a full blown show! We didn’t anticipate that we were going to shoot for this, it just kind of happened. I’ll say that there’s talks about still going back and doing another round [of Bloodline].
So if that happens, you better believe that we’ll be getting a hold of Wild Bill because out of all the fishermen that are existing that we work with today, Bill was the guy with all the know-how about this stuff. He has got the most vast knowledge of anybody up at the Bering Sea about fishing these types of fish, in general.
This was kind of an experiment that we did and it turned out to be really cool. I got to learn a lot about my father. It was a success all the way around, the viewership was good and I got to learn more about fish that I still can’t pronounce.
Also, I learned about what my dad was doing it in Hawaii, and running into people that he met and things like, [my dad] had a sign that’s on the walls still today in this office [which] is kind of funny to read what he’d wrote to people. Because I remember, back in the day, when we get together and do the Catch Cons and the stuff that he would write on people’s autograph cards.
It was pretty funny to read some of the comments that he had left for people, but I’m also hearing what he did when he was in Hawaii and the type of guy he was, and that was really cool.
Because a lot of times you forget over time, these little things. And so it was really enlightening. I could see how it could be a very, very viable business.
So… Mr. Wild Bill, Definitely! If we do the season two, we’ll be hitting him up, because he is the guru of the blue water fisheries. And he definitely has a lot of knowledge. I love that guy too. He’s a great guy.
He’s so rooting for you to have a season two. He thought it was a great idea.
Josh Harris: Yes. I really hope so, it sounds like there could be. If that’s the case, then one of my first phone calls will be to Mr. Wild Bill. He’s just a brilliant man. And he’s got feathered hair like my father had. I mean, it’s the power of the mullets! His is more of a mane, not a mullet. He is a definitely an awesome guy, though.
And, [Bill is] one of the few guys I’m terrified of… but I love a lot. He’s a very big man, too. He’s not little, and you don’t really get the grasp of how big he is until he is standing in front of you to stop. I’ll tell you what, it’ll change your whole perspective on sh*t. That’s pretty impressive.
I want your perspective on captain Harley Davidson’s tactic, peeking in people’s pots. The fans scuttlebutt right now s about Harley and what he’s doing and how he kind of spying tactics.
Josh Harris: Yeah. You know…what is the smartest way to answer this… to each their own? We’ve got our way of doing things on the Cornelia Marie and I like what we do.
Everyone just kind of got thrown…in fact…whether I like it or not, it’s like dude, you’ve been fishing longer than me so I got respect for the man. Yes.. I mean, I do things a little bit differently… and that’s how I feel about that.
Who would you say in the entire fleet? Who are the two boats that you would say are in your team or in your crew, that you trust and really admire?
Josh Harris: Obviously the boat is not there anymore. It was the F/V Time Bandit. Just … they were my family—in a sense—that took me in. I love those guys.
And I have a lot of respect for Sig Hansen. He also helped us out and when my dad passed away by taking in my brother Jake, trying to get him to pull his head out of his keister. Which is a tough job sometimes, but he took that responsibility. That was really nice.
Even though we don’t usually fish together, because Sig likes to stomp everyone’s face into the mud. Sig is pretty good at what he does. But I’ll tell you what, any day that I beat that white boat [Northwestern], I usually go out and buy the bar a round of drinks, because that makes me feel really good. Doesn’t happen all the time. But when it does though, I’ll tell you what, it’s a beautiful day.
I love Jake Anderson. Jake is like family to me, he’s a really good guy. He actually just bought a house down the street from me too. So it’s kind of cool. He’s one of my favorite people, and I’ve known Jake since before he was on the show, before he’s fishing in Alaska. It’s really cool to see him grow and he’s a real good guy and one of my favorite guys out there. Yeah, absolutely love him to death.
And Johnathan Hillstrand is like my brother—slash—second dysfunctional father… he’s Jonathan Hillstrand. What more do you need to say? If you haven’t been “Harris-ed,” you’ve probably been “Hill-stranded.” (laughs)
That’s funny. All right. You mentioned your brother. How would, how is Jake?
Josh Harris: Jake is actually doing really well. He had to go away for some of the crimes he committed there for a little bit and, going on five months now. Mmm. He had one hiccup in five months and it was a very small hiccup, so no… he’s doing really good.
He’s got a good attitude and he’s definitely doing things that I thought I would never see in a lifetime. I talked to him about every other day. I’ve got high hopes for him. If he continues this upward track and with the treatment and stuff, he might have himself a spot on the Cornelia Marie again.
So, we’ve got our fingers crossed and he’s doing really well and excelling in all of his classes and stuff. So it’s a huge deal for me, and then for him too, obviously. But I foresee him most likely coming back to the boat in the near future.
That’s wonderful news to hear.
Josh Harris: Just shy under a decade.
You know, it takes some people longer. And is the important thing is that they get to where they need to be.
Josh Harris: Yes, 100%. I agree with you on that one.
What about your daughter? How is she doing?
Josh Harris: Fantastic. She’s seven going on 30. She has me wrapped around her little finger. Yes. She’s a really good manipulator. way too smart, at seven years old. I remember I was kicking cans around the road and stuff and she is watching documentaries and how to operate on dogs and cats.
I ask her, why are you watching stuff like this? So she will say, ‘Dad, I think the dog’s got cancer, but don’t worry. I can operate on it.’
And I will go, ‘The dogs got cancer?’ (laughing) you know? Then she watches, I Love Lucy in Spanish. Don’t know why, hours of it. I’m like, ‘This is before my time, kid, and I’m old! And why are you watching it in Spanish? You don’t even know Spanish?’
She answers me and says, ‘Si!’
Okay, whatever you say kiddo. Yes, she is just remarkable and she has a lot of my personality. We definitely know she got my ears, which I feel really bad for her. I know I was tormented as a child in school having big, huge ears. But she got her mom’s looks though, thank God her mom is a very good looking gal and I look more like a cartoon character, which is accepted in society this day and age, you know? (laughing) So that’s cool, I’m okay with that.
You guys finished pretty strong this season, you and Casey, don’t you?
Josh Harris: Uh, yes. I mean, if you mean strong as in, we didn’t throw each other off the boat? Yes.
We finished really strong. (laughs) I can’t let the poodle out of the little kennel, you kind of just have to watch and see.
There’s a lot of stuff I wish I could tell you right now. And unfortunately I can’t, but I can tell you one thing… it’s definitely worth watching, because we have our hiccups, you might cry a little bit. You might laugh a little bit. You might just shake your head and be like, what the hell were they thinking?
I mean, you just don’t even know what to expect from Casey McManus and Josh Harris.
Deadliest Catch: Season 10, episode 16 for June 16
True to what Josh said above, there’s a moment where Casey is giving Josh the business for an off-chart deviation in their fishing grounds, but revenge is sweet for Harris.
Josh acts on a hunch as captain as Casey McManus is doubtful…then has to eat his words:
Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 8p on Discovery.
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