Jim Bock knows boats.
The seasonal resident of Fort Myers Beach jokes that he’s lost count of how many boats he’s bought from Fish Tale Boats but he estimates he’s purchased 16 in the last 30 years.
That’s one boat every two years — and he’s loved each one of them.
The first boat he bought from Fish Tale was a 23-foot Grady-White. “I told myself I’d never be able to dock this thing it’s so big,” Bock chuckles.
Over the years, Bock bought — and docked — larger boats until at one time he owned a 50-footer. Today, he owns a 37-foot Grady-White. “It’s for sale,” Bock says. “After that, I don’t know what I’ll get.”
Bock learned how to boat as a teenager in his native Elkhart, Ind. “We lived on the river,” he says, recalling his youth on the water. “I could traverse easily eight or 10 miles.”
The retired mechanical engineer says he loves to use his boat to travel to the Bahamas, especially Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island. Giovanni, his favorite dockside restaurant, is located there and he says the fishing is superb for game fish such as tuna, marlin, and sailfish.
Closer to home, Bock enjoys taking his boat to the Dry Tortugas, islands in the Gulf of Mexico near Key West. Locally, he says the best place to see the sunset is at Big Carlos Pass.
Bock belongs to the Grady Club, an organization that brings together owners of Grady-White boats. The club takes trips as far as the Bahamas and as near as a local dockside restaurant. “That’s a great organization, a bunch of really nice people,” he says.
Bock says he’s always impressed by the camaraderie at Fish Tale Boats. Chris Alexander, longtime Fish Tale boat rigger, captained Bock’s boats, for example. “We’ve got really good friends at Fish Tale,” he says. “They’re good honest people.”