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The Life of a Fisherman’s Girlfriend Wife

Lauren Collins

Hello and welcome to the second edition of the Life of a Fishermans Girlfriend Wife!

As we come up on our one year anniversary of the day I finally married a fisherman, I thought I would share a few thoughts from what I have learned so far in marriage.  

You can still refer to my original post, Life of a Fishermans Girlfriend, because that post is still absolutely relevant, but read on for a few additions to that list.  I bet there are a lot of women out there who are in the same boat (pun intended).



When you get married, the general thought is "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours," right?

I beg to differ.

I'm OK with all his fishing gear taking over every storage space in the house (we will get to that), and being jolted awake at 3am to "Downeaster Alexa" (which is Ryan's alarm ringtone) but I am not OK with the laundry situation.

We're talking smelly, stained fishing clothing that will NEVER be allowed to touch my precious Lilly Pulitzer dress...ever.  Therefore, separate laundry piles are a MUST.  

Thankfully as a wedding present I asked for a laundry hamper that has two hampers inside, and voila, clothing crisis averted. 

The Basement

You would think we run a full fledged bait shop in our basement (more on bait in a moment).  

So when your significant other complains about only getting 1/8 of the closet space and one measly drawer in the bureau, kindly remind your significant other that your beautiful holiday decorations have no place to be stored because there is fishing gear literally EVERYWHERE in the basement.

Eels in the Garden Hose

​Pro tip for anyone who lives with a fisherman:  when using the hose to water flowers and there is little to no water pressure, be sure there aren't two dead eels stuck in said hose that will come flying out at your face upon inspection of said hose.

I should've known better when I grabbed the garden hose Ryan uses to aerate the eel tank. How was I supposed to know that two crafty eels had swum up the hose in a desperate chance to escape?

Of course the eels had subsequently died in their desperate attempt (becoming lodged snuggly in the garden hose nozzle) and were left for me to discover, as I tried to water my plants. 

On another note, I just want to make it clear that if you live with a fisherman, you might have a live eel tank in your yard, positioned right next to your deck, where you once would relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings.

10-Hour Tuna Trips

Sometimes as the wife of a fisherman, you have no choice but to be the first mate on a 10+ hour giant bluefin tuna trip.​

There is no glory in this job, only that you have to sit on a boat for 10+ hours with nothing to do but wait. Usually you sit there for 10+ hours and then just drive back to the marina with nothing to show for your hard days work.  

It's confusing, and until I catch a tuna for myself one day, I will not understand the nonsense of this "sit and wait" idea - but such is the life of a fisherman's wife.

Transporting Rods

​On any excursion we go on, there is always a fishing pole to be brought.  The car is never big enough for the three of us, so there I am squished up against the car door with a giant fishing rod separating the two of us like a wall.  

There's also usually a giant hook that has been carefully tucked away, but then at any moments notice could come flying at my face (an irrational fear of mine).  

House Decor

Now that we have our own home, living with a fisherman is kind of fun when it comes to the decor. However I will never hang up one of those singing fish mounted on plaques.  Since we live on the cape, it's been fun to decorate the house "Cape style" and incorporate fish things for Ryan.

I go around collecting big coral mirrors, glass fish to put on a table, rugs with striped bass or whales on them, pillows with anchors, quilts with seashells, watercolor prints of fish for the name it, I have it, and so tastefully done if I do say so myself.

But the fisherman that subsides in your home will never notice when a new decoration is put up.  You can of course put it on display and do a little dance around it and act like Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune, and he'll say "Oh that's nice", but really that's all you're getting.  So really, just decorate for yourself, he won't notice.  

The Aroma of a Decaying
Tuna Tail

Staying on the decor thought, what better decoration than a tuna tail?!

Especially one that is drying out in your garden shed, destined to be lacquered and nailed somewhere (hopefully in the yard and not in the house).  

Every time I walk to the garden shed to get my things to tend to my precious little garden, I am immediately smacked in the face with a wonderful aroma of a decaying tuna tail.  

That tuna tail, in addition to the live eel tank which smells of fishy pond water, creates a very relaxing environment to live in.  

The Reward

​Even after all the funny nonsense I just described, I of course have to talk about the reward of marrying a fisherman.

Every day is a new adventure when it comes to helping run MFCC, whether it's exploring the dunes of Truro or racing through traffic to get to the dock for the chance to see Ryan's big tuna catch.  The fact that I can push through the crowd and say "Move! That's my husband!", is a proud wife moment, which is pretty much every day.

So I think I can live with the smells and almost everything mentioned above, but if there's ever another dead eel in the garden hose then the flowers will just have to wait for the next rain storm.​

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Lauren, this is EVERYTHING. Hahahha oh my gosh. Too funny. This is simply perfect. Please write more often.

  2. Your message made my wife laugh vigorously and feels your pain that she’s not the only one that feels that way.

    1. Haha that’s great Dave, glad you enjoyed it!

  3. One of Betsy’s criteria as we look for a retirement home is that it has to have a separate garage/shed building for Dex and all his “crap”. She always says this in the kindest and most loving way of course!

    1. It is amazing, Dex how much stuff we accumulate over the years of fishing. When I built my new home, the lay of the land allowed me to have both an upper and lower garage. In the lower garage, I was able to put a small Fridge and a shiner / eel tank thank in an alcove. As such, all the fishing gear new and old enters and exits through the lower garage and basement along with my kayaks, yard tools and tractor. The Mrs. really appreciates the lack of fishing clutter. As they say, ” Out of sight, out of mind.” However, I do have the problem of my now lightly used 13 year old 20 foot Edgewater that sits prominently on a paved area at the side of my upper garage. She’s always saying, ” When are you going to sell that thing ? ” For me, the old Cyndy-Lou has provided too many great catches and good memories to let go. This morning I will go down to the Native Brook Trout stream that runs through my property and see if I can pluck out a couple for a little treat tonight. My avid fisherman and bow hunting Son will provide some venison for consumption at a latter date as he always does. I feel that I am a very lucky, thankful and fortunate man.

    2. Ha! That’s such a nice way of putting it. Beautiful Ethan Allen furniture definitely does not go with fishing equipment!

  4. American eel is a fantastic nutrient source for plants, Lauren. Btw, if you need a little help leveraging some bling out of your abundant patience… i specialize in fishermans wife forgiveness. ;-P. This was great.

    1. Lol Ryan has tried to convince me to use pogies in the garden, but I shot that down pretty quickly! And I tell Ryan all the time I need a third ring!

      1. Sounds like with all this fishing paraphernalia you’ve got it, Lauren. It’s called suff-a-ring. 🙂

  5. This is great! I think my girlfriend would like to start a support group…

    1. I’m in!

  6. Hi Lauren! I am a big fan of MFCC, I love Ryans info and stories and I am now enjoying yours! Great job! I love fishing too!

    1. Thanks so much Leslie! I’m really excited to write more for the website 🙂

  7. Great article Lauren! As Ryan’s mom, I too have experienced much of what you have described. I still remember the day long ago when I thought Ryan had bought me a box of fudge. Little did I know that SEAWORMS come in a similar type box as does fudge. There it was, right on the top shelf of our refrigerator, for everyone to see!

    1. I’m seriously debating getting Ryan his own fridge for the basement lol!

  8. Thank you Lauren for marrying my son and taking all of his stuff with him. I warned you. Happy year 1.

    1. Ha! You’re welcome Jake!

  9. On the bright side, understand that the Mackeral scales that Ryan brings home can be used as sequins on your beautiful dress and that they will never come off. Then there is that precious flat of sea worms that may just find its way into the bottom of your refrigerator along with those rigged eels. You will have many new fury friends that will entertain you as they investigate the Tuna tail. Above all as you one day reminisce about your adventures together, you may share a hearty laugh and say remember when, Ryan ? I can say all this to you because my bride of 43 years has tolerated most of what you describe.

    1. You’re right about the scales everywhere!! That should be mentioned for sure – there are scales all over my nice camera for starters..not thrilled about it! But in the end I love it all – it keeps life interesting 🙂 Thanks for reading!


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