The history of Fish Tale begins back in the early 60’s when the marina was nothing more than a fishing camp named Scottie’s Marina. There was a boat ramp, a fishing tackle store, and Dolly the Dolphin (a porpoise that could do tricks). At this time, the only access to Fort Myers Beach was by boat or a swinging bridge on the north end of the island. It wasn’t named Fish Tale until Harry Nichols bought the property around 1965. In the 1970’s, Fish Tale took on Boston Whaler, Robalo, Proline, and Grady White Boats. Fish Tale has been a Grady White Dealer since 1976! Although Fish Tale stopped dealing in Robalo in the mid 1980’s, we resumed as a dealer after Chaparral Boats acquired Robalo around 2001.
When Al Durrett bought Fish Tale in 1985, he decided to take on Chaparral Boats and we have been a dealer since then. Bruce Fricke, began working at Fish Tale in 1981, about four years before Al Durrett acquired the business from Harry. Bruce started as a rigger at Fish Tale and moved to sales in 1986 during Al’s ownership.
In 1996, Al Durrett sold Fish Tale’s Sales and Service to Bruce and Diane Fricke, who have owned it to this day. In October 2010, Bruce passed away due to infection and complications from Diabetes at the age of 53. He was survived by his wife Diane and his two sons, Travis and Justin. The Fricke Family owns and operates the Fish Tale Dealership.
Over the years the landscape of Fish Tale has changed immensely. During the time Harry owned the property, the original 3 barns and the Service Department were built, along with the original sales department that is now the storage office. In the early 1990’s, a neighboring property was acquired, which is where the new sales department is now situated. Shortly after is when the bulk of the marina’s renovations occurred. Starting with a new fourth dry storage barn, this was built around 1996. Then around 1997 all new floating cement docks were installed to replace the old wooden docks in the main basin. Also in 2000, an additional dry storage barn was added and the Ship’s Store moved to a new building. Numerous other projects and capital investments are constantly occurring to keep Fish Tale one of the most modern and safe marinas in Florida.
With all this past, Fish Tale has formed into a beautifully maintained, full service marina that spans over 8 acres and is able to hold around 250 boats in dry storage and around 95 boats in the water slips.