The documentary and reality TV show Deadliest Catch has been on the air for 14 years now. This is the groundbreaking television in terms of the genre of reality it records and shows to viewers. Created by Thom Beers and narrated by Mike Rowe, the show is aired by the Discovery Channel. The show revolves around fishing vessels in the Bering Sea. In the same setting, but a totally different playing field, another reality TV series was created and produced by that same team, Beers, and Rowe. This new one is called Bering Sea Gold and it airs on Discovery Channel every Friday night.
Bering Sea Gold documents the search for gold in an ocean environment, particularly in the Nome, Alaska region. From four boats that were featured in the first season, they now have featured 6 dredges (or boats) in Season 4. The story revolves around the captains of these dredges and their crew, their everyday activities and all the work that revolves around dredging. Here are some of the secrets and things these people do not let the camera see, dodgy activities they’d rather keep private. Then there are also some that the camera has caught over the course of the seasons.
25 Secret: Dredging is Dangerous
Watching the show, it seems like dredging is not that hard. But one would be mistaken. The show does not show the intricacies and the skills needed to pull off what these people are doing day in and day out. Dredging, the way these people do it, requires lots of knowledge. The danger may not be obvious, but that’s because these reality stars are the best of the best. Emily Riedel even said in an interview that they have had some really close calls.
24 Secret: Like Father, Not Like Son
Shawn is nothing like his father, Steve Pomrenke. Steve has a clean record, a regular-standards good man. Shawn may be the worst one in this reality show cast of people. We’re not saying that the Bering Sea Gold cast have halos over their heads; they all have their own little secrets. Shawn just stands out from the rest. He has been arrested numerous times for DUI (driving under the influence). He was even in an accident where his car was basically destroyed.
23 Secret: Emily Riedel's Net Worth
The only woman captain in the cast of Bering Sea Gold, Emily Riedel is a certified dredger, and now, kind of a celebrity. She’s been to numerous radio and TV talk shows and has her own group of fans. From 2012 when Bering Sea Gold aired its pilot, Emily Riedel’s net worth was estimated to be $250,000. This is what she earned from the reality show, and probably some other source of income, like the one she had with Zeke Tenhoff. Being on TV is lucrative, ain’t it?
22 Secret: Lawsuits
The reality is that the reality TV series Bering Sea Gold is the main reason Nome, Alaska’s tourism has risen. The ragtag crews of dredge boats have put this Alaskan city on the map. But there are still people from high up that don’t think so highly of them, and they are against the show and what it represents. They’ve gone to judges and courts, filing lawsuits to stop the show from filming. Even with all that, the show has just finished its 5th season.
21 Secret: Never Watches the Show
Some movie stars feel uncomfortable watching their own films, like Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep. Shawn Pomrenke is the same way, but not because he is uncomfortable. Our guess is that he is not really a TV-watching kind of guy. How ironic, a TV personality that does not watch TV, that is golden. He admitted this while explaining that he has no idea how much the other dredge ships are pulling in. But he is confident in his ability and knows his crew is doing well.
20 Secret: Drama is Inserted
There’s not much action and adventure going on in the actual dredging, so the producers, writers, and directors of the reality show have to spice it up a little. Bering Sea Gold is a powerful reality show not just because of the interesting work gold dredging entails, but with the characters as well. The drama is inserted into the personal lives of these people. A little onscreen push in the daily lives of these people makes for must-watch and compelling TV.
19 Secret: Cast Member Arrested
Vern Adkison is one of the shipowners in Bering Sea Gold. He owns, and in some seasons, is also the captain of the Wild Ranger dredge ship. In season 4, his daughters worked for him, too. His youngest daughter, Yvonne Adkison, worked as a deckhand, but what most people do not know was that Yvonne was arrested back in 2014 and was incarcerated for 2 years. We hope she comes back on the show and maybe talk about that whole ordeal.
18 Secret: Cast Member's Demise
It’s not a good thing when a cast member of a reality TV show suddenly dies. It’s not uncommon, but it’s also not a regular thing. With Bering Sea Gold, there was John Bunce. He worked as a diver for the dredge ship The Edge in Season 2, alongside Emily Riedel, who was then a deckhand. It was a tragic suicide, and the fans of the show were more angry than sad by the distasteful way the show used his death as a promotion for the next season.
17 Secret: Shawn Pomrenke's Status
When it comes to complicated people, Shawn Pomrenke probably takes the candle out of all the characters in the show Bering Sea Gold. Through the years, we have known that he has a son, Dylan. But his relationship status is unclear, he might as well just put “it’s complicated” on his profile. Some people say he is, in fact, or was once, married. But there are some who say he is single. A longtime girlfriend, probably Dylan’s mom, was rumored to have been his wife.
16 Secret: The Emily Riedel Story
Dredging in Alaska is what helped Emily Riedel get her bachelor’s degree. Dredging also made it possible to pursue her passion for the opera. Broke and fresh out of college, a friend told Emily about a job in Alaska that was kind of adventurous, but with no risk involved, and they get paid handsomely as well. She said she set off for Nome with only $300 worth of cash. She lucked out when the Discovery Channel wanted to document her crew. She was then part of the deck crew, now she has her own boat.
15 Secret: The Troubles of Scott Meisterheim
Scott Meisterheim lived in Nevada before he went to Alaska to mine gold aboard one of the dredge ships in Nome. He packed his bags and left everything else behind. That was not a good idea, though. By leaving everything behind, he also left some of his important responsibilities as a father. Gold from dredging could easily pay for child support, but he apparently hasn’t kept up and is charged with non-payment. There is a warrant out for him, a wanted man.
14 Secret: Big Daddy Steve Pomrenke
Shawn’s father is the owner of the dredge ship Christine Rose, big daddy Steve Pomrenke grew up in Minnesota. He was a mechanic first, but his dream was to mine gold in Alaska. He was able to do it after working hard and getting enough money to start the dredging business. With his son by his side, he is now one of the most successful dredge ship owners in Nome. His net worth is reported to be $5 million, hello big daddy!
13 Secret: Emily and the Opera
Even before Emily Riedel learned about dredging, her heart already had a special place for the opera. She always wanted to be an opera singer, dredging is just a means to an end, and at that end is the opera. Among her idols are Marilyn Horne and Anna Moffo. She dreams of becoming a successful opera singer just like her idols. But having her own dredge ship now, and getting fame and fortune from the show, this dream may have taken a little break.
12 Secret: The Show and the DNR
From the moment the show Bering Sea Gold gained traction from viewers, the Department of Natural Resources in Alaska has had their hands full. People from everywhere are asking about and perhaps would like to get a piece of the action the people in the show are getting from the mining. The DNR released a statement on their website contradicting what the show is telling its viewers. The city of Nome only has two public areas for recreational gold mining, and there are no more gold claims in the city.
11 Secret: Stressed Stars
Any kind of job has its own ups and downs, doing one thing over and over again every day can be stressful enough on its own. Can you imagine doing your job and having to tiptoe all the time because you know you are recorded? This is how stressful it can be for the crew of the dredge ships featured in the Discovery Channel reality show. There are multiple cameras set up at every angle of the ship and the crew has commented on being uncomfortable about them at first, leading to stress.
10 Caught on Camera: The Reunion Episode
There are times where reality shows luck out with their stars. Precious moments where they did not have to orchestrate a scene or add a little drama to it. Such an episode happened in Bering Sea Gold. This was when Vern Adkison and Scott Meisterheim had a little altercation caught on camera. A lot of the audience thought it was just for show, but it was pure and unedited reality TV at its best and finest, and it was priceless!
9 Caught on Camera: It Gets Better and Better
As shows carry on the season after season, so goes the growth, maturity, and complexity of its characters. This is not just the case for Bering Sea Gold. The haul they get season after season gets heavier and heavier, too. This means a higher income after every end of each season. Out of the 7 vessels featured in Season 4, the Christine Rose was the most consistent. The ship hauled in gold worth $1.3 million, the highest they got out of all the seasons.
8 Caught on Camera: They Get More Famous and More Famous
Discovery Channel’s Bering Sea Gold is a show with a decent number of viewers, at an average of 2.65 million viewers over the first 3 seasons. The show has produced a total of 65 episodes in 5 years, and people have been seeing these reality TV personalities for that same amount of time as well. As the different seasons' progress, the stars get more and more famous, going on various interviews and shows as guests, and raking in more and more gold as a product of their hard work, documented on a day-to-day basis.
7 Caught on Camera: Shawn Pomrenke Likes to Involve the Fans
Reality television is a compelling and very influential form of entertainment. It shows us real people, real experiences, and we somehow relate to them, especially to the stars. But the effect on said stars can vary widely. Take for example the TV personality who seems to be allergic to fans and you will never catch them taking a selfie or signing autographs. Shawn Pomrenke is the opposite (although he never watches the show), he goes online and reaches out to fans in social media to promote the show and to connect with the audience as well.
6 Caught on Camera: The Eroica
Classical music and opera lovers kind of got it when they saw Emily Riedel’s dredge ship’s name. The Eroica, aside from being Emily’s vessel, is also Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. Its Italian name is Sinfonia Eroica, translated into English as a heroic symphony. This ship is owned and captained by Emily Riedel, and was introduced in the show in Season 3. It did well at the end of Season 4, finishing 4th out of the 7 vessels documented by the show.
5 Caught on Camera: It's in the Blood
When you are born into something, like a livelihood, then grow up to get really interested in it, then end up doing it yourself, is a joy for the father. Such is the case with Shawn Pomrenke. Steve learned about dredging, but Shawn grew up around it. It is in his blood, and he is proud of it. There is nothing more he loves than to mine gold and to work alongside his father on their vessel Christine Rose, the most successful one in the history of the show.
4 Caught on Camera: Spin-off
Gold mining in Nome is popular in the warmer seasons, but now the show Bering Sea Gold spun-off the series to document dredge ships and their crew, who brave the cold winds and mine gold during the winter as well. The spin-off is titled Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice and has produced 4 seasons with an entirely new cast, and some familiar vessels and faces from the original show as well, like Vern Adkison’s Wild Ranger and Emily Riedel’s The Eroica.
3 Caught on Camera: The Troubles Of Scott Meisterheim Part 2
Scott Meisterheim seems to be a deeply troubled man, and it is not a good start in the morning for a person such as him to be greeted by a crew documenting your every move at work. Scott has been known to pick fights with the filming crew and is also notorious for turning up for work smelling of alcohol. If only he paid child support, then maybe he would be a less intense individual, and won’t take it out on innocent cameramen.
2 Caught on Camera: Emily and Zeke
They are the Ross and Rachel of the reality TV show Bering Sea Gold. Instead of New York, it’s Nome, Alaska, and their apartment is a dredge ship. Over the show’s seasons, Emily Riedel and Zeke Tenhoff have been in an on again and off again relationship. They might as well have fought in one episode and shouted that they were on a break! Zeke was the person who introduced dredging to Emily. They are no longer together, off again, and have a healthy platonic relationship now.
1 Caught on Camera: What an Inspiration
One can see how the show inspired dredging by looking out at the sea in Nome. From a few boats, before the show began, you can count up to 100 on a busy day now. It got so popular that Alaska’s DNR had to set up a public mining spot in Nome. Then the show really took off and the DNR had to appoint a second public mining spot for inspired and aspiring gold miners. Kudos to the Discovery Channel and Bering Sea Gold!