Captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski
Captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski's motto is "hard work and honesty," though he has been known to use unconventional methods -- that partly explain the nickname "Wild" -- to keep his crew going strong.
While he has a potentially intimidating reputation, Bill can back up his words with the skills to get the job done. He has extensive experience as a naval engineer, boat electrician, and commercial fisherman. He is keenly aware of the risk inherent in his profession, one widely recognized as the world's most dangerous job.
After graduating from Norwin High School in 1975, Bill joined the Navy and moved to the West Coast. When his military service ended four years later, the big money earned by Alaska's king-crab fisherman lured him to the Bering Sea.
There, he spent the next 20 years, ultimately working his way up the ladder to captain. In 2005, he semiretired to run sport fishing tours out of Costa Rica and Mexico.
Discovery Channel producers first approached Bill to join Deadliest Catch early in the television show's run, but he declined. When interest in high-end fishing expeditions began to slow due to the economy, he decided to take Discovery up on their offer and return to crab fishing on the Bering Sea.
In 2010 -- the show's sixth season -- he broke into the tight-knit circle of Deadliest Catch captains. Two years later, Bill brought his son, Zack Larson, on board his ship as a greenhorn.
Once notorious amongst the fleet for being a maverick, Wild Bill's age continues to show in his demeanor (as well as his silvering mullet). Though Bill secured a new boat and crew, he still struggles to keep everything running smoothly. "Wild" Bill has been pretty "Mild" Bill the past few years, but if his former self does make a full return, it will probably manifest around his son Zack.
Absent for much of his son Zack's childhood, Bill has spent the last few years cultivating a relationship with his boy. Passing life lessons to Zack may even take priority over fishing. Bill feels Zack improved dramatically last year and has the potential to move up to the wheelhouse, but not any time soon.
That said, Wild Bill often favors deckhand, Nick McGlashan, who Bill feels is the epitome of a true crabber but cares deeply about Nicks struggle with alcoholism. After many years plying the Bering Sea in search of crab, Wild Bill is nearing the end of his fishing career. This season the captain needs to make sure he finishes strong and more importantly that he gets Zack prepared to fish when dad's not around.
Bill is originally from Irwin, Pennsylvania, east of Pittsburgh. In the off-season, he and his wife, Karen Gillis, make their home in Sonora, San Carlos, Mexico. Bill enjoys sport fishing, travel, horseback riding, NASCAR and golf. He supports nonprofit projects including Wounded Warriors and breast cancer charities.
In addition to Zack, Bill has a younger son, Jake Wichrowski, and a daughter, Delia Wichrowski.
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