Biloxi Shrimper Pulls In His Nets For Good At Age 87

People at Point Cadet Marina just know him as "Captain Joe," the 87-year-old who climbed aboard his first shrimp boat at age 3 with his father.

"From the time I was three years old until I was six, he'd take me out with him every day he went out because momma worked and there wasn't anybody to leave me with," Joe Ross said.

But a life spent trawling for shrimp and oysters is nothing Joe Ross complains about. He says most of all he loves the fresh air and he'd still be working today, if his boat, the "Syble Joe", which he built himself, hadn't quit running last week.

"The engine needed $5,000 worth of work done on it and I didn't have the cash to do it," he said.

Ross says he doesn't plan to completely retire. In fact, he's considering looking for a job as a deckhand. His biggest concern is that development on the coast is destroying the seafood industry and areas he used to fish are now gone.

"Me and my brother would swim up there and we'd tie the boat to the railroad tracks," he explained. "So all of that you see here is built in and all that seafood, you know, no shrimp can grow in this concrete."

But overall, Joe is content with the life he built as a shrimper and he says he has no regrets in life.

"I tell you, I made a lot of money in my life and I lost it, but you can't take that with you no how," he said. "There ain't nobody that leaves here that takes that money with them, so if I ain't got none, I don't gotta worry about it."