Scenic City Fishing Charters gets anglers hooked on the Tennessee River

Contributed photo by Erik Almy / Richard Simms noodling on Chickamauga Lake. In noodling, also known as grabbling, people catch catfish with their bare hands.

If a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work, Richard Simms has landed himself a pretty great way to make a living.

"I've built quite the thriving business," says Simms, whose team at Scenic City Fishing Charters led about 450 trips last year. "When I was growing up in Chattanooga, the river was basically considered an obstacle to try to figure out how to get across. Now it just excites me no end to see how people have come to think of the Tennessee River as the tremendous natural resource it is."

Simms was never interested in working at a desk, and after snagging a degree in wildlife management from Tennessee Technological University, he spent the first nine years of his career with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.