South Mississippi charter boat captains upset over possible CMR nominee

The Coast’s charter boat captains aren’t happy with the man they believe will be the nominee to represent them on the Commission on Marine Resources and they’re letting the governor know it.

Ed Simmons didn’t have a charter boat license until a few weeks ago, said Tom Becker, president of the Charter Boat Association. Simmons, who had been a captain, hadn’t had a license for a couple years, Becker said.

Simmons is listed on the association’s website as captain of Daddy’s Money, a 38-foot boat that can take up to eight people for trolling, bottom fishing and island cruises.

Simmons said he believes the governor’s advisers, who are interviewing potential nominees, have or will recommend him for the CMR.

As far as not being active in the industry, Simmons said charters have been down since Katrina so he hadn’t taken charters for 18 months or so because he wanted others who need them more to get them.

“I have a full-time job,” he said. “They needed them more. I didn’t want to take food out of someone’s mouth.”

He said he’ll soon retire and be more active. He said he worked in the industry for years as a deckhand and then running boats for other owners.

Serving on the CMR, he said, would be an honor.

“I was kind of surprised,” he said. “But I think I could do a lot of good. It’s important.

Sunherald
3/26/14