Andy Lamar was a charter member of the Narragansett Surfcasters and I had the pleasure of knowing and fishing with Andy, a renown Rhode Island surf rat who passed away a few years ago.  Anyway, this story goes back many years ago (possibly 1991 or 1992) when Andy and I went to Block Island for a weekend around the middle of October.  We arrived in the afternoon and began fishing at dusk on the last part of the outgoing tide at Cow Cove. We were to meet a fellow worker of Andyʼs at the 8:00 PM ferry and Andy left to meet him, sadly I do not remember his name but he was a young and inexperienced fellow who brought a freshwater spinning rod and no other equipment.

Andy came back and picked me up and we went to where we were staying.  I had an extra pair of waders and rod that I let this fellow use and we went out later that night on the building tide at Grace’s.  We were fishing eels and it was a night to remember.  I caught 4 fish from 18 to 25 pounds on 7 casts, plus a few more in the low 20s as the night wore on; the fish were in tight to the shore that night.  The younger guy caught a few fish in the teens but Andy struck out even though he had probably fished this spot a hundred times since the 1980s.

We were set to leave the following afternoon and after a few hours of sleep decided to go back to the same spot at about 10:00 AM on the next incoming tide.  Andy, as usual, a stoic figure with a Lucky Strike butt on the side of his mouth was slinging eels on his old 10 foot Lami and Ambassadeur 7000.  It was getting to the point where none of us were catching anything and had to make the ferry when Andy had a hit and landed a 33 pounder that took the trophy that year in the Narragansett Pier Saltwater Fishing Association’s yearly tournament for the largest striper taken on Block Island by a member of the club.

I often think of Andy and all the tricks he taught me over the years, he had many great stories that I wish he had written about. I ended up with his 10 foot Lamiglas after he passed and try to use it whenever I can.

Submitted by Club member Chuck Gricus

As it happens from time to time, our area was visited by schools of very large bluefish in the fall of 2016.  These gators are not only fun to catch as they explode on your lure and will chase down almost anything you throw at them, but will give you a real tussle when bringing them in.  One morning during this run, I arrived at the beach before sunrise and parked next to the only other vehicle in the lot, a beautiful, shiny Silverado.  Leaning on his open tailgate was a fisherman just pulling on his waders.  I said hi and did the same on my tailgate, but having the more basic equipment, I hit the surf first.  I waded out a good way, fished for a while, and as the sun rose, I spotted the splash of pencil popper off to my left.  Looking back over my shoulder, I saw the gentleman from the parking lot knee deep in the surf, not as far out as I was.

I hooked several of those monster blues.  Each time I walked them back to shore, I got an acknowledgment from my new “friend”.  Some time later – now with the sun being well up – and the bite subsiding, I returned to the beach and chatted with my fellow surf caster as he rested by the seawall.  We introduced ourselves, swapped a few stories, and walked back to our trucks, having spent a good morning in the surf.

Just before I left, Dick Mandeville came around my side of the truck and handed me the most beautifully crafted top-water lure I had ever seen.  He said he enjoyed watching me catch those big blues and said he wanted me to try one of his lures.

We stayed in touch since that day in October, even when Dick was hospitalized with a serious bacterial infection this past year.  He even bought a new, longer Airwave Elite rod to cast farther to hit those bluefish I was locked into that day.

After a lengthy recuperation, Dick recovered from his illness enough to attend our annual club Christmas banquet.  And I’ll never forget the sight of him walking up to the raffle table with a handful of his amazing plugs to drop off for the raffle.  No one asked him to do so – that was characteristically FishDoc.  He was always willing to give, to donate to a cause, to be just one of the guys.  But behind the scenes he worked tirelessly procuring the finest wood, turning it on his lathe, spraying and blending the paint, through-wiring the hardware, attaching triple split rings, and the best hooks to his unique and marvelous plugs.

Dick Mandeville lost his brave battle against that pernicious bug and left us on January 17th, 2018.

To those of us fortunate enough to still have his lures or have caught fish with them, he lives on and will be fondly remembered whenever one is clipped to our line.

Fish on, FishDoc!