Mary Queen of Carps

Beloved old fish gets the royal treatment in England.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Anglers in the United Kingdom have lost their king...of trash fish, that is. His name was Mary and he was a carp. He resided in Wraysbury, Berkshire, and was named for the girlfriend of the first angler who caught him in 1987. All of 56 pounds at his peak weight, he had his own fan club, whose members longed to catch him with their cheese balls and tiny hooks. (Stop laughing. They don't have any bass or walleye to speak of. Carp is their warm-water fish.) By 1996 Mary had become the biggest freshwater fish of any species to have grown naturally in the wild in Britain, but poor Mary had a weak heart, and was found belly up at the tender age of 29.

For all of Mary's heft, he was nowhere near being Britain's oldest carp. That claim goes to Raspberry, a female living in Redmire Pool, Herefordshire, who is believed to be at least 60 years old.