Deadliest Catch

The Relationship Between Wild Bill And His Son Explained

The Relationship Between Wild Bill And His Son Explained

Bill Wichrowski wants to chat

Any job that requires a person to take on a certain level of safety risk not only puts an emotional toll on the worker but of course, on his/her family as well. Plenty of the brave fishermen hauling crab on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” are parents themselves, with children counting down the days till their safe return. And, in some cases, those children grow up to eventually become crew members on the very same boat. This is when the worry for each other’s safety often turns into a tight bond, supporting each other to not only stay alive but to also make a good living together.

Featured on the series since 2010, “Wild” Bill Wichrowski is one of those professionals who has to say emotional goodbyes to his kids before each crab season. Wichrowski’s official website reveals that he joined the Navy after high school, eventually leading him to take on the dangerous job of crab fishing in the Bering Sea. Fans know that Wichrowski is not only a tough, thick-skinned captain but also one with a family. Wichrowski’s official website notes that he is a father to a son named Jake and a daughter named Delia. However, it’s his son Zack Larson, who “Deadliest Catch” fans have come to know. That’s because Larson’s introduction to the series came with a fascinating reconnection between distant father and son.


Deckhand Zack Larson is one of Wild Bill’s three kids

Zack Larson making dad proud

It’s not too uncommon to see different family members working together on the vessels featured on “Deadliest Catch.” Examples include brothers Jonathan and Andy  Hillstrand from the Time Bandit and Keith and Monty Colburn from the Wizard. Sometimes, family connections span different generations, like the father-daughter duo of Sig and Mandy Hansen of the Northwestern. One other interesting parent/child tandem is “Wild” Bill Wichrowski and his older son, Zack Larson.

Larson is the product of Wichrowski’s previous marriage and previously had a distant relationship with his father, hence the fact he uses his mom’s last name. However, when joining his dad on the Cape Caution at the beginning of Season 6, their connection tightened before fans’ very eyes. When viewers at home are first introduced to Larson, one of Wichrowski’s three kids, it was clear that their relationship was as tumultuous as the sea they were working on. But a filmed interaction between the two captured a great moment when Larson made his dad proud.

After misjudging the number of crabs caught, Wichrowski expresses his frustrations with the inconsistent report to his crew. However, Larson is quick to push past the negativity and focus on remedying the situation. This led to a touching moment as Wichrowski declared to the camera, “Zack said we screwed up. I’m proud of him.” After a beat, he concluded with, “Don’t be the cause of the problem, be the remedy. He’s growing leaps and bounds.”


Even though Larson was getting this praise from his dad, as previously mentioned, it wasn’t always like this.

Bill and Zack’s relationship grew before fan’s eyes

Father and son crab catchers

“Wild Bill” Wichrowski, in the midst of a divorce, stepped out of his oldest son Zack Larson’s life when he was young. But, years later, the relationship between father and son made some positive progress in 2008 when Larson decided to join his father for the first time to catch crabs together. That relationship, albeit probably more professional than familial at first, grew steadily as Larson took on the position of greenhorn — as seen when they are both introduced to “Deadliest Catch” in Season 6, Episode 1 (“Slow Burn”). Although clearly under the extreme scrutinization of his dad, Larson appeared to have taken his wrath with a grain of salt.

However, most likely growing tired of his father’s constant direction, Larson jumped ships to become an engineer on the vessel the Brenna A, where he got to be under a new captain, Sean Dwyer. “I think Sean has a more diplomatic approach when it comes to our opinions. He really values them,” Larson said about his then-new captain.

Today, Larson is the captain of his own boat. His Twitter page lists him as the captain of the Elinore J. With what appears to be an increasingly stronger relationship between the two, Wichrowski has gone on social media to publicly congratulate his son on his new leadership role that equals his own. In the post, he wrote, “Zack, you will rock this and you know it! Nobody that’s hand in a position of authority often succeeds or maintains that authority status. You have earned this and I have all the confidence in you…. Go get em Zack!” Hopefully, fans will eventually get to see father and son go head-to-head in future episodes.





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