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The Best of Times on the ­Chesapeake Bay: An Account of a Rock Hall Waterman

Lived by Capt. Lawrence William Simns; written by Robert L. Rich Jr.

If anyone should write a book about being a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, it should be Capt. Larry Simns, who has worked the water for seven decades and has served as president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association for 40 years. His efforts on behalf of commercial watermen, Chesapeake Bay and the seafood industry are all but ­legendary.
    “There is no question in my mind that he is the wisest and most effective leader within the U.S. fishing industry,” says Jerry Fraser, publisher of National Fishermen and Workboat magazines.
    The Best of Times on the Chesapeake Bay gives an intimate look into Simns’ life on and off the water. In his own words, captured by Robert Rich, Simns, 75, talks of learning to be a waterman, fishing, crabbing, oystering and clamming and the ups and downs of each harvest.
    He speaks with such humor and openness on issues and circumstances he has dealt with over his lifetime in politics, the Maryland Watermen’s Association and state government that you’ll have a hard time putting this book down.
    I’ve worked with Capt. Larry Simns for over 35 years, and I consider him one of my mentors on politics, the Chesapeake, watermen and life itself. Through his stories, you’ll know him, too.
    The Best of Times tells his life through 65 fascinating autobiographical stories ranging from learning the water to working it to dedicating his life to watermen, their families and the Chesapeake.
    “If you ever wanted to understand the inner workings of a Maryland waterman,” says marine engineer Chuck Eser, “this is the book.”
    Buy yours at the Maryland Watermen’s Association, 410-216-6610, your local bookstore or online. Schiffer Publising: $19.99.