A scary early childhood fishing experience kept Josh Harris from fishing on the Cornelia Marie with his father, Capt. Phil Harris. After going out on his own, Josh ended up engineering on another boat, where a serious shoulder injury put him back on land. A few years later, while Josh was cod fishing and working in a processing plant, his dad goaded him to get back in the saddle, “If you want to be a man, come on out and prove yourself. If your brother can do it, so can you.” It was then he joined his brother, Jake, as a deck hand on the F/V Cornelia Marie.
On his MySpace page, you’ll find this self-description: “Hi, I’m Josh Harris. I stand six feet tall. I have dark hair and dark eyes. Some people think I look like a terrorist when I haven’t shaved in a couple of days. I have over sized ears that are dynamically arrow-shaped for speed and I love sports. I currently fish in Alaska. Starting to slow down a little bit, but don’t get confused, I still know how to have a good time.”
Josh, like his brother Jake and his Dad, loves fast cars. According to an article in Motor Trend magazine, “Before he entered the family business with his dad, Phil, Josh Harris was busy tuning his imports, but now he’s happy with his tricked to the gills 2006 Infiniti G35, which has a 2008 motor in it and other mods. Unlike his dad, who tries to support U.S. automakers, Josh Harris has no qualms buying Japanese.” Like his dad, Josh loves street racing, and he’s proud to say he got smoked by his dad once when they were both on I-405 near Seattle at the same time.
“Dude, I’m not even joking. I’ll be chillin’ and have a car full of girls. I’m trying to be the man and all of a sudden, they’re like, ‘oh my god, I think that’s a Ferrari coming!’ and it’s the old man’s red Z06. He pulls up right next to me — my car’s very distinct, I’ve got shaved door handles, the body kit, and it’s all carbon fiber, so it looks really different from most cars. I see the window rolled down, since his windows are tinted. His mullet’s flailing in the wind. He looks at me smiles, flips me off, and starts doing circles around me.”
Harris says he randomly bumped into his dad because his dad just loves to fire up the Z06. ”He’s always driving, he’ll wake up at 2:30 in the morning and call me ‘Hey, you want to go to Steven’s Pass?’ That’s like 100 some odd mile drive and I’ll say, ‘I’ve been in bed for a couple hours here,” Harris laughs.
Josh is now the head of the Harris family. His father passed away on February 9, 2010, and in a rarity for reality TV, the television show documented his father’s passing. This was very hard for Josh, as he felt it was like “living through his Dad’s death twice.” Josh now has the responsibility of managing the six different businesses his father started, including the Capt. Phil coffee brand.
In an interview with the LA Times, Josh was asked about filming Phil’s passing. “It was my dad’s want and will to have all this filmed and aired,” Josh Harris said. ”The show is a story about our lives. And nine or 10 months out of the year, we’re up north in Alaska on a boat together, and it’s just what we’ve done. My dad couldn’t speak so he wrote on a piece of paper and those were his wishes and he wanted the story to be told.”
Josh went on to state that he doesn’t “remember the last couple days with his father, because he blocked it out”. So, in a way he’s grateful for the memories that were captured by the camera.
As to the future, after discussions with Phil’s doctors, Josh learned that some of his dad’s veins were almost completely restricted. He was told that his dad’s death was 100% smoking caused, combined with the stress of his job. As such, Josh is doing what he says is harder than catching crab in the Bering Sea: he’s quitting smoking. “My brother and I have gone into this wellness kick. I’m going to promote not smoking as best as I can throughout the US. If I can save one life, I don’t want anybody to have to go through the shit we just went through. It’s the most horrible thing ever.”
The Harris spirit runs deep in Josh. His close family and friends have given him and Jake such wonderful support. Just like his dad, Josh wants to live every day to the fullest. “We’re extremists all the way around, because the typical story of the fisherman is a guy who goes out and busts his ass for three months and comes home and blows all of his money in the first three weeks because he might not be coming back. You want to live life to the fullest. No regrets, balls to the wall. Live hard, play hard.