Fish Tales -Fall 2019

by: Kevin Stanton

photography by: Terry Pommett

The legend goes like this: One night back in 1977, Bill Sandole caught 400 pounds of striped bass off Madaket Beach with Red Sox great Ted Williams.

“Those were the days before size limits,” Sandole said. “We had so much fish on the beach we had to take multiple trips to bring it all back. I was using this homemade lure that mimicked the movement of a fish on top of the water.”

Jesse and Bill Sandole

That Ted Williams, the last man in major league baseball to hit over .400, was also on the beach that night fishing was pure happenstance.

“He came up to me and my girlfriend at the time and he said, ‘How about you trade me one of those lures and I’ll take a picture with you and your girlfriend.’ I couldn’t do it. I liked those lures too much,” Sandole said.

“He looked at me and said, ‘I’m not usually jealous of much, but I am sure jealous of you right now.’ He couldn’t have been a nicer guy.”

Without a plan in place for what to do with the fish, Sandole began selling it door to door, with a majority of his business at the time going to chefs and caterers. The first iteration of Sandole’s fish market was a small spot behind Marine Home Center with a walk-in freezer.

“The only problem with that place is that when the man who owned it died I found out I didn’t have an actual lease. I got a call saying I had to be out in 24 hours,” Sandole said. “I had to find a place to store 1,500 pounds of fish, which wasn’t easy.”


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