Bearing Sea Fisherman / Cast Member of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch / Entrepreneur
There aren’t many people tougher than Ryan Simpson, and some of his life’s adventures have been chronicled in the highly acclaimed Discovery Channel television show Deadliest Catch. Simpson’s life even started out tough as his mom actually went into labor with him in 1981 in Dutch Harbor, the main port featured in the show. She had to be emergency transported to Anchorage since Dutch Harbor, population of 1572 at the time, didn’t have the facilities to handle his birth.
“Since I was two months old I have been involved in commercial fishing,” said Simpson “There is no other experience in life that can give you what the ocean can provide. I have lost family and friends fishing, but it will never stop me from doing something that I love so much.”
Simpson is very active and has been involved in a lot of sports including wrestling, soccer, football, baseball, skiing, snowboarding, three wheeling, wake boarding, skateboarding, rollerblading, and ice skating. In fact Simpson was a successful college football player and served on special teams and as a running back. “One of the biggest influences on my life was coach Frosty Westering at Pacific Lutheran University. He used to say “The big time is not a place, it's a state of your heart. It's not something you get, it's something you become. Make the big-time where you are! We don't have a great day, we make it a great day! Be a tough-minded optimist. Home is where the heart is."
As a third-generation fisherman, Simpson was one of five boys and competition among them was tough. “It was survival of the fittest in my house,” added Simpson. “You had no choice but to be tough.” Simpson went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and then turned his full-time attention to the sea. Since 2004, Simpson has caught king crab, opies, brown crab, and blue crab in the bearing sea. “I got the opportunity to fish for Phil Harris on the Cornelia Marie for three years until he passed away from a stroke. Our families have a lot of history together, in fact when Phil Harris was 16, his first job was working as a deckhand for my dad. Phil’s father, Grant, was the engineer. After that I jumped around a few other boats and ended up on the Time Bandit with Jonathan Hillstrand for a final season on the Deadliest Catch.
“I have done almost every type of fishing from salmon, gill-netting, seining, long-lining halibut, black cod, trawling for Pollock and hake, to dungys fishing in Puget Sound, Washington.
“I have been born a fisherman and will die a fisherman, hopefully with all my digits! That’s why I got involved with Fixate. My dad actually lost a finger because of a metal ring injury and I believe a silicone ring would have prevented that from happening.