From the bait and tackle shop to the Norma K III to the Gambler, the folks in Point Beach's fishing community are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Michael M. Wells.
Brian Stensland, owner of Fishermen's Supply, Point Beach, said Wells, an avid recreational fisherman and regular customer, was the kind of guy who everyone liked.
"I don't know anyone, including me, who had anything bad to say about him," said Stensland, at his store on Thursday afternoon.
Wells' body was found in the backyard of a Long Branch home on Wednesday morning.
"He was very friendly, very outgoing," said Stensland, who had known Wells for 10 to 15 years, before Stensland even moved the business into it current location at 69 Channel Drive 10 years ago. "He always had his dogs with him, he loved his dogs."
Stensland said Wells would sometimes go out fishing on the Gambler charter fishing boat docked on Inlet Drive, Point Beach.
Another boat where he was known well was the Norma K III at Ken's Landing Marina, Point Beach. Wells was almost a daily fixture in the local fishing scene and will be missed, said Matt Sosnowski, boat captain.
"It was a big shock," said Sosnowski, who knew Wells for about 12 years.
"He was a really good guy, it's unbelievable," he said. "He was a really nice guy, he always liked to joke around with you.
"He fished with us two or three times a year, but I saw him almost every day from November until January," Sosnowski said. "He loved fishing. He always fished with a lot of friends. And he went all year."
Wells went out on boats owned by friends, but liked stopping in and talking to captains of the Norma K and other boats to see what they were catching and to chat, Sosnowski said.
He said he last saw Wells about 10 days ago and talked to him on the phone, as he regularly does, about a week ago.
Wells lived on Riviera Parkway in Point Borough and is survived by his wife, Diane, and two children.
On the Point Pleasant Patch Facebook page, Joanne Marchetti Torrisi, a Point Borough resident, remembered Wells warmly.
"I knew Mike as an acquaintance when our sons played ice hockey for Boro several years ago," she wrote. "This was when the team had just begun. We were doing fundraisers and anything we could to get the team going and funded.
"Mike was always willing to help out," Torrisi continued. "I believe he even had our team wide garage sale at his house! I am so sad. He was always nice to me. My thoughts and prayers to his family, especially his son Mick."
For information on the visitation and funeral, click here to view the obituary on the website of the O'Brien Funeral Home, Burnt Tavern Road, Brick.