The Best of Times on the Chesapeake Bay

Lived by Captain Lawrence William Simns
Written by Robert L. Rich, Jr.

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Today, the Chesapeake Bay watermen’s way of life is under pressure to survive. Captain Larry Simns has worked as a commercial fisherman in the waters of Maryland for nearly sixty years, serving as President of the Maryland Watermen’s Association since the 1970s. Through good and hard times, Simns has labored to keep working watermen profitable and relevant in spite of declining water quality and severe encroachment of prime fishing grounds. Here, find a funny, pointed and candid portrait of one man’s journey to lead independent, hard-charging commercial fishermen. In chronological order, Larry shares 65 stories reflecting memories of his “best of times,” peppered with views on everything from fishing to politics.

“The watermen culture was significantly different back in the sixties. To be successful as a waterman, a man only needed a good boat, a strong back, a touch of pluck and enough grit to survive the messy job of harvesting seafood”.
— Captain Lawrence W. Simns