Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Passing of Doc Hayek

Doc fished almost nightly for decades and
caught a lot of fish. He loved catching
big blues with poppers.
The RI oceanfront lost a real good fisherman yesterday.  And, I lost a good friend.  It is with sadness that I tell you that George "Doc" Hayek passed away yesterday in a hospital after undergoing major surgery several weeks ago.
Doc was also an
accomplished striper
fisherman.  He fished
the Bay, the RI
oceanfront and the Cape.
Doc was a well known figure along the oceanfront and along the Bay for decades.  He would fish almost nightly. He had a love for the surf which he often told me was like a tranquilizer to him. Like most of us who surf fish, he loved putting the waders on and casting while wading into the sandy surf, in the quiet Bay or along a rocky bar.  He especially enjoyed fishing the Narragansett shoreline with his friends.
He could turn a lousy night of fishing into a barrel of laughs.  He would often tell one joke after another and would have all of us in stitches for hours with his humor.  For him, fishing was a way of relaxing, getting together with friends and enjoying the whole experience.  If we caught fish it was a bonus.
He also was one who would strike up a conversation with all he met. And, he never forgot a name. He would often guide novices and strangers in the fine art of surf fishing and would give others tips on how to cast, plugs to use and hotspots to fish.  He had one of the longest casts I have ever seen and could often reach fish that were breaking way out in places like Matunuck and Pt. Judith, two of his favorite places to fish.
In recent years, Doc did less and less fishing due to deteriorating health.  Yet, he still had that desire.  Several days before he was to undergo major surgery we talked together and he mentioned he might meet me along Gansett for one more shot at fall fishing.  He also talked about how he was going to do more fishing in the spring after his recovery. That desire to get out and fish was still with him until the end.
To all who knew him and fished with him, Doc will be sorely missed.

Doc fishes along the south shore of RI with a friend on a beautiful sunset night.