End of an Era. Kay’s Gone.

End of an Era. Kay’s Gone.

A keeper of history, stories, knowledge, a lifelong local resident, and the hub of the Plum Island and Merrimack River fishing, Kay Moulton passed away this morning. In the early light, when she would normally be slowly walking down the hill from her house to the shop, she quietly left us. Cancer took our friend and confidant. Her five children, David, John, Cathy, Liz and Martha have been at her side.

She’s got another family too. Us. I’ve never known a person with so many friends. And customers. The customers she loved to see, chat with, and help at Surfland. Fishing includes a group of people broad and diverse, and Surfland is a place they all come and meet with a common interest. Your airline pilot, accountant, ditch-digger and brain surgeon all have a destination they equally belong. That’s Surfland. And Kay was the ringmaster to the daily show.

Until recently a local guy, Jim Chase, put it this way, “You know you’ve made it as a Plum Island fisherman if you walk into Surfland and Kay knows your name.” She knew a lot of names.

Kay and Surfland are so entwined it’s hard to talk about them separately. For a woman who didn’t fish, most everyone agrees she knew it all. Tactics, location, gear, styles, and history. History, history, history. Names of fishermen, changes in the area, who, what, when, why and how the area grew and changed.

Among the most interesting documents she’s built for us are her scrapbooks. The scrapbooks started in ’60, when she and Ray started taking pictures of fishermen and their catches at the shop. Not so many photographs that first year, but after that they grew into a remarkable photographic archive of every season for all the years since. You had a fish in the weighed-in sometime in 1967. She’s got the picture. Your 5-year-old kid who’s now 40? If they had a portrait done at the shop, it’s still there. Along side those images are clippings from just about every fishing-related story from all types of publications. It’s about the best archive of fishing in the area one could imagine.

In the next few weeks there will be a long list of stories coming from Kay customers. About how they knew her, liked her, loved her or hated her, about the first time they met, and the last time they saw her. Mine is filled with respect, love, and now a big pocket emptiness. Kay will be missed.

-Stickman

James Waldron
james@simplemics.com

Stickman is the resident web design guy at Surfland. We pay him in eels.

79 Comments
  • Rich Binell
    Posted at 10:17h, 30 June

    I’m so sorry. I met her twice. Sweet kindhearted woman. What a loss.

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 18:36h, 01 July

      I’ve known this wonderful woman for years. Many memories. The most poinent one is her teaching one of my boys how to tie a proper fishing knot. Her was 6 then. He is now 19 and a Navy Midshipmen. We I told him of Kay’s passing her cried. Me too…

    • Eric Gunnard
      Posted at 13:05h, 02 July

      I have spent many years visiting Kay. The past few years, my kids would join me. I didn’t matter that it was 5:30am. We all loved to talk to her and help with her puzzles. We will miss her and will always be in our prayers.

      Eric Gunnard and Family

  • Peter Sztramski
    Posted at 10:38h, 30 June

    She has been so kind to me since I was a small boy . I am bawling as I read this. It was my honor to know her. She was my friend and I will miss her deeply . Peter Sztramski

  • CBTA
    Posted at 10:56h, 30 June

    Heart goes out to the entire Surfland family. Kay, thank you for your unmatched knowledge and advice.

  • Russ and Phyllis
    Posted at 11:02h, 30 June

    Our prayers are with Kay’s family, as well as with all of her friends who had the honor of knowing this special lady. She will long be remembered. God bless her.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 11:19h, 30 June

    Kay will be missed everyday But her presence will be felt forever in Surfland and the Island my Heart and prayers goes out to her entire family I will treasure everything she taught me over the years

  • Marty Kriensky
    Posted at 11:23h, 30 June

    My deepest sympathies to the Moulton Family. I only had the privilege to know Kay for a few years, but the very fact a group of us travel to her store from Maine says volumes about her knowledge, decency and pride in her business.

  • Mark Round
    Posted at 11:50h, 30 June

    I started going there as a kid with my dad, 55 years ago. I have gone in with my son now for 30 years
    Kay was always there and giving of knowledge.
    Thank you Kay for the wonderful memories.
    we will all miss you.
    Mark Round

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:04h, 30 June

    Kay was one of the nicest women I have ever met, I will miss seeing and talking to her. Liz, Martha and the entire Moulton family I am terribly sorry for your loss, she was one in a million. Take heart knowing how many lives she’s touched. I will forever remember her stories, knowledge and presence.
    Andy aka The Fog.

  • Eric Roach
    Posted at 12:29h, 30 June

    I don’t think I can put into words what I am feeling. Everything I can think of seems trite. I will so miss that wry smile.

    Liz & Martha: you took such extraordinary care of Kay these last few months; she was truly blessed to have such wonderful children. Love you both.

  • johnFusco
    Posted at 12:47h, 30 June

    So sorry for your loss . Kay was a lovely person. I`ll never forget the time she unlocked the shop to sell me bait in middle of the night some 35 years ago. RIP Kay. You will be missed

  • John Wade
    Posted at 12:55h, 30 June

    Thank you Kay so much. The little things you did for me-just being at that wonderful store-made my life love of fishing all the better. To Kay’s kin, all my love and prayers.

  • Dave DeInnocentis
    Posted at 13:09h, 30 June

    I’ve known Kay since the early 60’s. She made my world, and the whole planet, a better place.

  • gene guselli
    Posted at 14:09h, 30 June

    I’ve fished and known Kay for 45 years. My deepest sympathies to the family.

  • Bonnie Radke
    Posted at 15:31h, 30 June

    Randy and I always loved coming to Surfland early in the morning to visit with KAY. We would walk the beach and then come for the fishing report. Always friendly even when she was very busy. She and Martha always lead the “How to repair reel” section of the Plum Island Fishing Clubs How To Night in February. We will miss you a lot KAY, God Bless you and your family. Love. Randy and Bonnie Radke

  • Donald Sydor
    Posted at 15:53h, 30 June

    Kay was the heart and soul of SURFLAND. One of a kind! The fishing
    community now has a void. I was blessed by how she touched my life.

  • Larry
    Posted at 15:55h, 30 June

    Kay had the most beautiful and genuine smile, I and I know many many more will miss being greeted by Kay when coming through the door. My heart goes out to all in the Surfland family, most especially the Moulton’s.

  • Warren Perry
    Posted at 16:35h, 30 June

    I enjoyed coming in the shop early and just talking to Kay before I went fishing. I will miss her deeply. To all of the Moulton’s my deepest sympathy.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:09h, 30 June

    She was always nice to me. From the ist time 50 yrs back when I was a kid till the last time that I saw her this spring. She always made you feel important and after a time feel like one of her extended family. You will be missed Kay. To the girls and the family I share your deep sorrow.

  • Ross Reiley
    Posted at 18:15h, 30 June

    Kay was the real deal. I was definitely aware of her sizing me up in my early infrequent visits. Straight answers from her, always. Knew I had “made it” with her when she asked how the fishing was in Marblehead… Did not make it up there this winter, as I was dealing with my own mom’s passing. Both leave a void, a lost contact with the greatest generation. But I think one’s greatest measure in life is their children. And knowing Martha and Liz, I would say Kay and Ray dis themselves proud. Best to you guys. See you soon.

  • Brian
    Posted at 19:07h, 30 June

    My most sincere sympathies to all of her family and friends. Of all the times I have visited Surfland, she was always welcoming and treated us with respect and kindness. When she said, “what can I do for you?”, you could tell she was genuine.

    Kay, thank you for being such a great person to all of us for so many years. You have been an inspiration for how people should treat one another and for that, I will always remember you. God bless you Kay and may you rest in peace.

    Regards,
    Brian

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 19:52h, 30 June

    Ffh

  • Brian Sargent
    Posted at 20:26h, 30 June

    So sorry for your loss I remember buying worms from kay when I was just a kid thoughts and prayers to the family

  • Andrea
    Posted at 20:36h, 30 June

    A true gem of a human being who I have the deepest respect for and to whom I will be forever indebted to as a cherished grandmother to my daughter Erinn.
    To Liz especially, as well as to David, Kathy, Martha, Trapper, Becca and all the Moulton and Surfland family I send my sincere, heartfelt condolences. Godspeed Kay, may the waves carry you gently home.

  • Sam S.
    Posted at 21:42h, 30 June

    Prayers and condolences to Kay, her family and friends. I’m going to miss going into Surfland and asking her how the fishing has been and she would always give me advice on what’s been catching with the phrase that always follows “I don’t fish myself, but I recommend” you will be deeply missed Kay.

  • Rick
    Posted at 21:49h, 30 June

    I have been to Surfland a few times and was always impressed with the customer service RIP Kay

  • Matt S
    Posted at 22:15h, 30 June

    This is very sad news.
    Condolences to Kay’s family.
    She will be missed.
    Sincerely,
    Matt

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 00:00h, 01 July

    I think the outpouring of condolence today speaks to the weight of Kay’s character. She was very, very real. Genuine. A hardworking New England original.

    To be direct: Kay soared. She earned the respect and admiration of so many anglers–in what is traditionally an industry weighted a *little heavy on the guy side. Again, that speaks to the strength of Kay’s character.

    Though there is a lot of life to celebrate, my condolence to Kay’s family and friends.

  • Michael-James Rennie
    Posted at 05:34h, 01 July

    For 4 generations she has been a part of my family. She ran a daycare for fishermen, she would give valuable advice, and make sure our equipment was working, bringing a keeper to Surf land was the equivalent feeling of bringing home a great report card, a picture was taken and hung on the wall for all to admire. My grand father, My father, Myself, My little sister, and even my son all on the wall, sometimes she would leave an extra picture in by bait bag of my sisters keepers to add a little salt to the wound. She was a great woman, a loving motherly instinct, and ALWAYS TOOK CARE OF US AS IF WE WERE HER OWN.
    Truly will be missed , truly….

  • One sad customer;
    Posted at 06:48h, 01 July

    Putting it simple….Kay was a doll, her daughters will keep her spirit going! Kay you will be missed. RIP

  • George Trout
    Posted at 07:10h, 01 July

    A legend and a really nice lady is at rest now. Sad…. We will miss her…

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 07:52h, 01 July

    My name is Dave and I’m a Kay customer … my deepest sympathy to Martha and Liz and all the Moulton family. I will never forget what a great smile Kay would give to the kids who came into Surfland, especially the girls. I guess it’s the spirit of taking a daughter fishing. Priceless. If I’m lucky enough to get to heaven, my reward will be another pancake breakfast gathering and great conversatipn with Kay.

  • Tom Charlton
    Posted at 07:52h, 01 July

    It is hard not to tear up while writing this. She was very kind to me when I started fishing on PI. I remember when I was started going there and was obsessed with power casting. Kay looked at me quizzically and asked, “why are you trying to cast way out there, we catch them right in the wash.” Over time, I came to look more forward to visiting Surfland and chatting with her even than I did to fishing there. She was a great lady and she will be missed. Rest In Peace!

  • Danielle
    Posted at 09:24h, 01 July

    Liz, Martha and everyone who held Kay in their hearts, I am so sorry for your loss. She was a brilliant woman who touched the lives of so many. I’ll never forget what you once said to me… “Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone”. RIP Kay, your stories, sense of humor and unbelievable memory will be surely missed ❤️

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 10:09h, 01 July

    Kay was a the epitimy of “one of a kind”! She did know me by name and could answer any question or repair any fishin rig ever presented to her no matter by anyone. Her wit & knowledge were like the sunsets on the water awesome! We will all miss this dear honest sweet lady dearly. Sorry for your loss.

  • Barry Clemson
    Posted at 10:14h, 01 July

    My condolences to the Moulton family.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:53h, 01 July

    Kay was an amazing women. She always had a smile on her face every time I walked into the store you felt something special. her kind heart and her knowledge will live on through all who knew her. R.I.P. Kay

  • John and Nancy Holt, Georgetown, MA
    Posted at 14:23h, 01 July

    Although we didn’t know Kay and her family until the past five or six years, everyone, especially Kay, greeted us with a smile and warmth with every visit to the store. When seeing Kay in the off season at one of the local restaurants, she remembered our faces and names. My wife purchased some of her crafts for Christmas presents, and even a warm fleece blanket which will have a special place in our home and heart. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to her family and friends. If the world could learn something from Kay, it would be kindness, patience, and treating folks like you’d want to be treated. Good old Customer Service and encouragement.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:33h, 01 July

    I still have my “I’m a Kay customer” tee shirt and I feel fortunate to have been one of her customers. While I have not seen her in years, she is the ruler that all other shop owners are measured by. Deepest regards and sympathy to the family.

    Dan Lynch
    Goffstown, NH

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:13h, 01 July

    Kay will be sorely missed. Not only was she knowledgeable and honest, she was always ready to share a story or even discuss things that were not about fishing. You always left the shop feeling good. My sincere condolences to the Moulton family.

    Al Gonsalves

  • Alan Whooley
    Posted at 17:38h, 01 July

    I noticed Kay was not in Surfland on my last visit to the store this past Sunday, and was very disappointed.
    I have been going to Surfland for the last 20+ Years and although I doubt Kay would have recognized me I always enjoyed dealing with her.
    My condolences to her family and everyone at surfland.
    I am very sorry to hear that she has passed away.

  • Dennis King
    Posted at 19:37h, 01 July

    I’ve been coming up to your bait shop for about thirty yrs , your mom was always great about giving out info on the latest fishing. So sorry about your loss.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 20:00h, 01 July

    So sorry for your loss.
    RIP Kay.

  • Jim Sagris
    Posted at 20:15h, 01 July

    Godspeed Kay, may you ride on the wings of angels. To the Moulton family, my deepest condolences. Kay was one of a kind. I remember one day some years ago, when I went into the shop looking for the newest RonZ lure and they were sold out. Kay looked up and with her wry smile said something to the effect that she couldn’t understand all the fuss over them when a good old slugo would catch the same fish. I’m going to miss that. So sorry for your loss.

  • Steve Lyman
    Posted at 10:48h, 02 July

    Met her a few times in the 80’s and 90’s when we would fish the reservation. We would always ask her to “give us the biggest sea-worms you had”… She would happily pick thru the flats of worms for us. She would also leave them hidden outside for us who couldn’t get there before the shop closed. RIP Kay.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 11:49h, 02 July

    So sorry for your loss! Kate will be missed by all.

  • Norman Brunelle
    Posted at 12:57h, 02 July

    Kay, I’m going to miss you so very much. I’m going to miss our conversations and barter and laughs. The world has lost a very special person and it will truly be hard to replace.

  • Rich C from Malden
    Posted at 15:45h, 02 July

    Kate will be missed by all.Rest in peace

  • Jack
    Posted at 18:14h, 02 July

    This womans light shown brilliantly on many occasions that I witnessed.
    My fave was this 20 yo guy comes down from Lowell or Lawrence with a broken reel his uncle said he could have if he could get it working. He hand it to Kay who disappears with it only to reappear in 2 minutes ” like brand new, just needed a new drag washer”. ( with a touch of cringe in his voice “how much ?”
    Kay: $3.72
    The look of relief and joy on the kids face was priceless. I could read his mind as he thought” now I can get a twelve pack and a sub.
    Thats how Kay rolled.
    She made things easy on people. Ill miss her.

  • Gary Plamowski
    Posted at 19:27h, 02 July

    It’s with a heavy heart to know I’ll never get to see Kay again.My mother passed away on May 9th I feel for your loss deeply May you find peace. I will never forget someone who gave me so much to remember . God bless your families.

  • Benmoussa
    Posted at 11:16h, 03 July

    So sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers to the family

  • Butterfly Bill
    Posted at 12:00h, 03 July

    I went to my first Plum Island Surfcasters Club end of the year Awards Banquet last fall. As I was sitting at my table, talking with my new fishing friends, I glanced over to see Kay surrounded by people waiting to talk to her. She was the most popular girl at the party! Like a nervous middle school boy, I tried to muster up the courage to walk over and ask her to dance, but there was never a break in the line of people waiting to talk to her. I got up and headed toward her table but instead took a left back to the bar to bolster my boldness. After I got my beer and turned around, she was gone! I missed my opportunity for that “last dance.” Prayers and sympathy to the Moulton family, “You lost a keeper.”

  • Dck Henry
    Posted at 14:27h, 03 July

    I spent most of my life in the fishing tackle distribution and manufacturing business. the highlight of most trade shows was to see Kay coming down the aisle to visit our booth. She was a wonderful lady who was loved and respected by everyone who knew her. She will be missed by all.

  • Dale Hubbard
    Posted at 14:56h, 03 July

    Prayers and sympathy to the Moulton family, “You lost a keeper.”

    I must sincerely credit Butterfly Bill who just coined that phrase, as I cannot think of more fitting words to describe Kay! Growing up whilst living aboard boats during the Summer on the Parker River, my brothers and I would venture over to Surfland for bait or tackle on a weekly basis. Whether it was stories of the fishing that ‘was’, or hopefully to come, or to how we did whilst clamming on the Newbury clam flats, Kay was keenly interested in hearing what my brothers and I were doing and up to. Heck, we grew up in that shop!

    More than one reel got a new lease on life from Kay and once I learned to work on them on my own, Martha was there to get me the right parts, with plenty of sage advice! To Martha & Liz and the rest of the Moulton family – you have my deepest sympathies as you surely lost a ‘keeper’. But speaking for all of us … we will ‘keep her’ in our thoughts.

    I don’t think I will ever bait a hook again without Kay smiling down on me … and telling me with that twinkle in her eye … that I should have bought the jumbo seaworms!

    With deepest condolences,

    The Hubbard Brothers
    “Four Buoys” – Newbury, MA

  • Kevin and Georgette
    Posted at 17:20h, 03 July

    Kevin and I feel blessed to have seen her just 10 days ago. We visited while she was out on her porch. Gave her a hug and kiss and we chatted for a while. We could have stayed all night but we knew she needed to save her strength.

    Many a time she’d pull out her scrapbooks and show us pictures of the island over the years. Every so often we’d come with a bottle of our wine for her. I think
    she’d share it with her friends. Brought her one a few weeks ago telling Martha this is good medicine. I don’t think she ever got a chance to have some, but if she did, I hope she liked it.

    Words cannot say how we feel right now. We hope her family knows, and I’m sure they do, how much she was loved. I don’t know of anyone who had a bad word about Kay. She was that much revered. Rest in peace, my friend. Gone but never forgotten.

  • John McQuade
    Posted at 18:10h, 03 July

    To all the Moulton’s , my deepest sympathies. Seeing Kay before first light on Sunday mornings was often the highlight of my week! I’ll never forget the time she told me to wait a miniute and ran up to the house and brought back some peanut brittle! I said to myself , wow she does like me!! But I’d like to give a special thanks to Liz. A few weeks ago the store was rocking and I asked about Kay. She said wait a miniute I’ll take you up to the house to see her. I’m so grateful I had a few final words with her. Thank you Liz. It meant a lot to me! Sincerely John McQuade!

  • Timothy Bowlby
    Posted at 22:51h, 03 July

    My thoughts and prayers are with the whole Moulton family, sorry for your loss. I always look forward to talking with her. Some of the best things weren’t always about the fishing around the lsland, It was the little things, how proud she was of her family, how nice the store looked and when she opened the scrap book that was the icing on the cake. I will truly miss her company

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 08:41h, 04 July

    I am sad to hear of Kay’s passing, such a beautiful person, loved to listen to her stories, recently with the flash flooding on the Island,we exchanged stories of the storms damage to our local towns, Kay took out the scrap books of earlier storms to see the difference in change they created in each passing storm. RIP Kay.

  • Helen & Phil
    Posted at 09:12h, 04 July

    Saturday morning ritual, head to SURFLAND BAIT & tackle (PLUM ISLAND, not VIRGINIA BEACH) to see the “girls” and listen to the stories of the week, fishing reports ,new product, gossip,new adventures & happenings, what ever is interesting enough to talk about. When Phil moved back to this area, he called Surfland, asking if the stripers were in,person said they’ve been here all along,so excited he headed to PI with fishing gear to striper fish for the day, stopped into Surfland to get some advise for this area, Kay listened to his excitement and sadly had to break the news, stripers have not arrived yet,still a month or so too soon,Phil said he called this morning for the report,looking at his recent calls.. didn’t call Plum Island, called Surfland Bait & Tackle on Virginia Beach!,Kay smiled and said,you’ll be ready when they show up.. we still laugh about it to this day

  • Paul lambert
    Posted at 10:52h, 05 July

    Sympathy’s to the Moulton family. When vacationing from Florida Surfland was always my first stop to visit with Kay. Will always remember when I first moved to Fla. I had applied for a job at Clearwater marina. Put Kay down as a reference and I am sure she is why I got the job. She will be missed. She was one of a kind. The heart and soul of Surfland.

  • Aaron
    Posted at 14:20h, 05 July

    My heart goes out to the Moulton family. I just fully got into chasing stripers, she was the best at being friendly and giving great advice. She will be missed

  • R Polcaro
    Posted at 17:39h, 05 July

    Kay you will be missed. My dad who’s passed a few years back took me to surfland when I was 7 years old those pictures ever burnt into my mind of a 60 pound striper my favorite was the shorter guy holding the fish over his back . Tail hitting the floor behind him . I’m turning 50 this month my dad will live on in that scrapbook as his buddy’s in the 1970 era . Remember she’s leave a flat of worms in the old beach wagon in the parking lot . Or when me and my brother would stop in for spinners and beads to make our own rigs . Just from what we bought she’d know who’s boys we were from . She’d say you fishing the island . Not tonight Kay were fishing THE ROCK . She’d simply smile and say that’s right . Your dad always did real well over there and hand us a heavy box of worms . Thanks for the memories you’ll be missed .

  • Bill Biswanger
    Posted at 19:07h, 05 July

    Kay I first met you almost 50 years ago. You were full of knowledge then and carried it with you every time I would call you for a FishFinder update for my article. Always friendly even when you were busy you would say. “we got fish” I might have had to pull a little more from you but you were always kind to me. I met you many dozens of times with my kids in tow and you were always nice to them and had a smile. God bless you Kay. Rest easy. Martha can take it from here.

  • Joshua Gulinello
    Posted at 12:49h, 06 July

    Sad news, I’ve been going to Surfland for over 20 years. I always asked Kay for the scoop on what’s working and where, she always pointed me in the right direction. Fishing the island won’t feel the same.

  • Pete Hofstetter
    Posted at 15:05h, 06 July

    I was very saddened to hear of Kay’s passing. She was a wonderful woman who always provided a warm comforting smile and friendly hello when I entered the shop. We spent many memorable times talking fishing, family and life in general together over the 40 plus years of friendship. She will be missed by many including all the members of the PISC. My sincere condolences to Martha, Liz and all the Moulton family.

  • Bob Spiro
    Posted at 18:06h, 06 July

    Dear Martha, Liz, and all the Moulton Family,
    It was a shocker to read about Kays passing in yesterday’s paper. My most sincere condolences go out to you all.
    Kay was special to all who were fortunate to know her. I cherish the memories of chats we’d have when I would just stop in to say “Hi”.

  • Richard A Peterson
    Posted at 18:32h, 06 July

    To the Moulton Family you have my sincere condolences. Kay was a wonderful lady and will be missed.

  • Pete Sabine
    Posted at 16:39h, 08 July

    I used to fish Plum Island all the time until I moved to New Hampshire. A couple or 3 times during the summer I would make my way down and Kay would always greet me with a, “Hi how have you been?” She didn’t call me by name but she knew who I was. I would always reply, “How are you doing? You’re looking great.”
    She always like that. She will be sadly missed. She was a very nice woman.

  • Edward Bonczar
    Posted at 12:46h, 09 July

    I knew Kay for over 50 yrs and she built my first cod jig rod that I still have and use. Whenever there was a problem with my old Garcia Mitchel 302 Kay was the “go to” for a fix. I will miss her saying good mornings at 5am and her advise on where to wet a line, the changes that accured to the island over time. As I promised her that I will someday have my picture on the 50lb wall and when that day comes I will thank Kay for the better then 50 yrs of friendship. One great lady that will be truly missed.

  • Ralph Upchurch
    Posted at 14:59h, 09 July

    I’m not ashamed to reveal that I was all weepy upon learning of Kay’s passing. Although I am blessed to still have my mother at age 96, in reflecting on my relationship with Kay, there was a little bit of mother-son there. That must explain why I am so moved. Kay was wise. She commanded respect and deference from all who knew her. One of the first and best surf fishing lessons I ever learned came from Kay, when she taught me how to “work” a drifting bait in the river current. I also credit her with teaching me essential knots, not to mention selling me my first salt water rig over 30 years ago.

    And for those 30 years, I especially enjoyed our first encounter each spring. Kay’s eyes would light up as I came to the counter, and she would ask how long I would be on the island, fill me in on the latest action, and update me on the changes to the sand bar that had occurred over the winter.

    My deepest condolences to Martha, Liz, the rest of the family, the staff at Surfland, and to other folks like me, who were blessed to know her and will greatly miss her.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:37h, 10 July

    Always courteous, always kind, so long and thanks for all the fish. Wishing you all peace during this time of loss.

  • kirk farrell
    Posted at 20:38h, 10 July

    In the 70″s I was fishing the refuge, I hooked up with fish after fish, played them , lost them, reeled in empty monofilament. Soon my box was empty of lures. I headed to Surfland, I told Kay apparently I cant tie a knot. No she explained you have encountered a school of Blue fish and she passed me a handfull of steel leaders and we then selected replacement lures, remember mine were all gone. I got to recount this to Kay last summer and we marveled at the huge numbers of blues that were around back then. I remember making 9 trips down and hooking up 6 times with all the blues the arms could bring in. Kay taught me about fishing that day. I am hanging around Plum Island again these days off and miss seeing her already.

  • Bob Antonucci
    Posted at 12:35h, 17 July

    My Brother Al and my lifelong buddy Donnie and I will miss Kay. She was our land based fishing guide lure maker, reel fixer, custom rod maker and bait supplier, along with her wonderful family who worked at the shop. We always caught fish with Kay’s suggestions. Martha it’s your turn.
    Love to all of you.

  • Andy Norton
    Posted at 17:45h, 18 July

    I’ve been vacationing in Ipswich in late July for years.I was shocked and saddened to hear of Kay passing.I hope the love of friends and family is a comfort to those she left behind.She is one in a million and will be dearly missed by ALL of us who grew to know and respect her.

  • Bruce Shaw
    Posted at 18:07h, 23 July

    To all of Kays family i just want to say how truly sorry i am to here of your moms passing.I thought the world of Kay.She always had a big smile and a lot of good advice.I never worried about bait because i knew Kay would be there in the morning when i got there.If i was going to be early in the morning she would wrap the bait to keep it cold and leave it outside in the back of her truck.I learned a lot over the years from Kay and i will truly miss her.

  • Derek Benoit
    Posted at 16:11h, 24 July

    I’ve been out of the fishing loop, focusing on health and just read this. I’m literally sick to my stomach. More than an icon of New England, she was one of the kindest, most helpful people I’ve ever met. I doubt she would remember my name, but I will miss seeing her smile and greet everyone, even us lacking in fish catching talent, with kindness and warmth. RIP, Kay. God Bless.

  • Andrew Holmes
    Posted at 10:16h, 27 July

    A great Lady has passed but our memories of her and Surfland will continue. I feel blessed at having had the opportunity to visit with Kay in June 2018. The first time that I met Kay I was a little nervous to meet someone so well known in the fishing business, I wondered whether or not she would have time for my small problem.I was uplifted by the kind and professional attention that I received. There have been many visits since then, and still, the same great welcome and service.
    Thank you Kay and thank you Surfland.
    Andrew Holmes

  • Jay Traynor
    Posted at 18:44h, 08 August

    I am so Sorry to hear this. Some of the joy of my trips to Plum Island has been taken . A remarkable Woman in many ways. She was always so helpful and knowledgeable. I’ve even picked up one of her expressions, a lot of the guys like this, when I talk about fishing. She will truly be missed by many. Till we meet again.

Post A Comment