Mar-e the Carper

Grandmother of eight, takes carping to the bank.

The quiet of a Sunday afternoon is shattered by the scream of a bite alarm, up quickly from her chair Mar-e grabs the rod, sets the hook, and the fight is on. "Looks like a common." says Mar-e. "I thought there were only mirrors in this river!"    Her laughter halts for a few minutes as the fish makes one last final dash toward the tree that lies in the water along the bank. "Gotta lean em this way to get it out of that tree. Don't want to lose another that way." Soon another fish is in the net and it's off to be weighed and photographed. " This is the toughest part of the job." she cries. " I'm more afraid of dropping the fish and making the fishing follies page."

Meet Mary Ryan. Known as Mar-e to her fishing friends, Mary is a well known figure in the Town of Rockland, Massachusetts working for the Rockland Fire Department as it's Executive Assistant.

No stranger to fishing, Mar-e has been fishing since she was a young girl. She and her dad went flounder fishing from many of the piers in the Quincy and Hull area. "That's one of the reasons I enjoy carp fishing." "It reminds me of the time I spent with my dad. We could sit together and talk and enjoy each others company." "I really like the social aspect of the many carp fishin's we have been to since we started carp fishing last year. It's always nice to meet new people and share stories. Not just about fishing either. Families play a big part of the lives of the people we have met along the way. " 

Mother of 4 sons and grandmother to 8,(5 girls, 3 boys), "I finally got my girls." she sighs.  Mar-e knows the joy of raising a family of boys. (husband included) "I never knew what they were going to bring me. Frogs, snakes, snails, you name, it I had it in my house." My husband taught us a lot about the outdoors and fishing. Me, being the only woman in the house, it was if you can't beat em, join em. So I joined in and we spent many wonderful hours in the outdoors with our kids."  "All of that was training for my career as a carper." Mary laughs. "Who could be afraid of picking up and holding a carp or sinking to your knees in mud after 37 years of motherhood!"

Grammy and Grandson Matt enjoy a cold rainy Sunday morning fishing the Merrimac

Mary got into carp fishing while working on a carp fishing story with her husband Elmer for . "Elmer met Scott Osmond ice fishing, who recommended we meet Vinny Jeffreys of Lowell to learn the proper techniques of the sport. "Well I caught a fish my first time out and I knew I had found a new past time. I just didn't know how far it would take us."  "From Maine, to the St. Lawrence, and south to Tennessee I have done a lot of fishing and met a lot of new friends. And this is just year 2 !" Thanks Guys!

Mar-e with her Personal Best mirror at 25 lbs 9 ozs from the Blackstone River, Massachusetts and 16 lb 6 oz common from Ogdensburg, NY. on the St Lawrence. " I have the biggest mirror and I caught the first mirror carp in my battle with Elmer for PBs."  "But my crowning moment as a carp fisherwoman came at a fishin in Maine." winked Mar-e. Fishing was slow with only a few fish being caught. The monsoon was in full swing with the rain pouring down when the alarm went off. "Your turn Mar-e!" shouted Scott, one of the organizers of the event, so to the rod I ran. Well when the fish finally showed itself, it was a sturgeon not a carp. Then everybody wanted the pole. Too late! And I had my fish of a lifetime."

"Carp fishing is a lot of fun and very exciting. They can be very challenging trying to bring them to the net. Speaking of the net...that's one of my favorite parts of day, netting other people's fish."

You should have seen Vinny go green when Mary showed up to net a big fish he had on. But She got him!. "I can say that I have only mishandled one netting assignment and I'm not sure it was all my fault. It did happen to be Elmer's first mirror carp when we were in Kingston, Tennessee, But who remembers such things." And the humor was obvious!

My first carp, caught in Lowell, MA and a recent capture when we returned to the scene of the crime.

Kingston, Tennessee My first mirror and another nice common.

The Blackstone River is another one of my favorite places to fish. Mirror after beautiful mirror carp. Plus the setting is so relaxing. I have a high stress level job and this is how I unwind. Why I'm so relaxed I don't even mind catching a common.

Cold weather does slow the fish but not the fishing for Mar-e. Whether on the ice or in a river, she will have bait in the water. "Now I have to catch a carp through the ice."

Isn't this a black angel carp?                 Here's a nice winter carp from the Charles River

Carp fishing has improved our quality of life through the people we have met along the way. One day I hope to bring a great grandchild carp fishing. Oh and did I forget to mention I’m the current “Bite Me Bait Co” Fisherman of the Year!