After graduating from high school in 1975, Bill joined the Navy. When his military service ended, the big money earned by Alaska's king-crab fisherman lured him to the Bering Sea. There, he spent the next 20 years, ultimately working his way up the ladder to captain.
In 2005, he semiretired to run sport fishing tours out of Costa Rica and Mexico. In 2010, the show's sixth season, he broke into the tight-knit circle of Deadliest Catch captains. Two years later, Bill brought his son, Zack Larson, on board his ship as a greenhorn. Absent for much of Zack's childhood, Bill spent years trying to cultivate a relationship with Zack, but the two didn’t see eye to eye. Zack chose to leave his father’s operation and took a job on with Brenna A with Captain Sean Dwyer in Season 13; the following season, Sean bought quota out from underneath Bill which caused some tension between the boats.
Once notorious among the fleet for being a rugged maverick, Wild Bill has mellowed, as evidenced by his softened demeanor (as well as his silvering mane). Over the past few years, "Wild" Bill has conducted himself more like "Mild" Bill, though the random incompetent deckhand still can provoke the ire of his past self. In Season 14, Bill and his crew endured deckhand Spencer Moore going overboard, and orchestrated his reality-defying retrieval from the deathly waters. Bill also endured a painful hip surgery and physical therapy. Both of those incidents could have easily taken Bill out of the crabbing game, but he returns confident that he can catch crab and battle seas with the best of them.