Tim Sughrue learned how to fly fish before he learned how to ride a bicycle. He has lived most of his life similarly, shunning the more common occupations and pastimes like desk jobs and watching football for all things outdoors. Born and raised in Bethesda, MD, Tim’s family vacations were to the wilds of Montana where he and his father donned waders and spent their days living a real-life version of A River Runs Through It.
Never thinking he could make a living standing behind a fishing pole, Tim went off to college, graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in wildlife biology and fishery science. The job market at the time was dismal, and Tim credits his father with giving him the nudge to leave suburbia and make a life for himself on the water.
He arrived in Rock Hall, Maryland, with little more than a pack tied on the end of a stick, hobo-style, and supported himself by pumping gas into the yachts of the rich-but-not-so-famous. His availability made him the first choice of watermen looking for extra help, and before long Tim became a fixture on charter boats, crabbing vessels and fishing boats.
Tim entered the white-collar world when the Department of Natural Resources called, offering him a job as a research biologist, a fancy title that translated into knocking on the doors of picking and shucking houses and asking questions. Once he got the answers, Tim realized that the fishermen were making a whole lot more money than he was with his clipboard and pencil. He readily gave up “the good life” and started his own small business buying fish at the shore and selling them to restaurants back home.
In 1996, Tim helped found Congressional Seafood, where he has built and overseen every aspect of the business from stem to stern. Besides running a successful company with hundreds of loyal customers, Tim spends countless hours educating others about the critical need for employing sustainable seafood practices so that watermen, Congressional Seafood, restaurants and others can continue to bring the ocean’s natural resources to the plates of diners everywhere.