PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Although “Deadliest Catch” Captain Bill Wichrowski spends a lot of time out at sea, he’s never far from Pittsburgh in his heart.
“I was playing billiards with a guy who had a wad of hundred dollar bills in his pocket, and he wasn’t too bright,” said Wichrowski. “I mean, I was taking hundred dollar bills off him on the pool table and I asked him, I said ‘Are you a criminal?’ He says ‘No, I’m a crab fisherman.’ and I said wow if you are making this kind of dough I’m going to be a rock star one day.”
He was right.
He’s become a rock star as a captain of a crab fishing boat on the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch.” The Irwin native says a lot of what he learned growing up here helps him now on the Bering Sea.
“There’s a lot of hats you wear driving some of those boats,” he said. “Everybody sits on the couch and looks at it, but I mean you are a psychiatrist, a psychologist, you know, you are an attorney sometimes.”
Bill has been back in town all week. He’s hung out at Steeler training camp and did a little work for the spoof movie Carpnado – and his mom caught up on what’s happening with the Buccos.
“We watched the Pirates play last night and I sat on the couch,” he said. “She’s 87 and she had something to say about every player. You know, ‘This guy was a bum and this guy was awesome. I don’t know why we got this guy. Oh, the team couldn’t function without us.’ It was hilarious. She’s on it.”
When he’s not fishing for a living, he’s supporting the sport he loves. He encourages kids to get off their computers and phones and learn to fish. He also is a warrior in the battle against breast cancer.
“A lot of my fan base — it’s like 57 percent women, so — I just thought it would be appropriate, you know, give back to those who care about me,” he said.
And he says he continues to learn much from the people who live around the three rivers.
“Pittsburgh has an attitude,” he said. “It has sarcasm which has followed me through. Just the can-do, this is kind of an industrial kind of place. There’s a lot of hard-working blue collar guys. I mean, you guy to the sports stadiums and it’s a bunch of good hard working people.”