Capt. Alex Hare was looking for a 'bigger piece of the pie'; buys Silver King
After fishing aboard the Silver King for more than half his life, the boat is finally his.
Capt. Alex Hare, 28, of Fort Walton Beach, has bought the 27-foot center console Cobia boat from Capt. Mike Parker.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” Parker said.
“It’s been in the process for quite a while. The man is a gifted fisherman. This was the right time,” Parker added.
“A man needs to know his limitations,” Parker said, borrowing a line from Clint Eastwood.
Nevertheless, Parker said the Destin fishing fleet has been good to him.
“I’ve been proud to be a part of the greatest fishing fleet in the country. These are the greatest fishermen, and I just really enjoyed being with them and part of this fleet,” said Parker, who has been part of the fleet for three decades.
Hare started with Parker when he was 12, working weekends and then summers. After five years with Parker, he worked on a private boat called the Jizzie with Capt. Chase Lake for a couple of years before returning to the Silver King.
Hare had just turned 18 and Parker was looking for someone to take over the helm of the boat. Hare got his captain's licenses and has ran the boat for the past six years.
So why buy the boat now?
"I’m ready … I was wanting a little bigger piece of the pie,” Hare said.
And this year proved to be the right time for both Hare and Parker.
“The Silver King wasn’t my dream boat,” Hare said, noting he didn’t want to rush Parker to sell his business and the boat. But he was ready to have a boat of his own.
“But it worked out. It’s a good starter boat. I love the boat, don’t get me wrong. I know this boat inside and out,” Hare said.
In the last month or so, he’s got to know the boat, literally, inside and out. Hare gutted the entire thing and did a lot of work to get it ready for the season.
The Silver King can fish up to six people and is a federally permitted boat, which allows them to fish in federal waters, which is from 9 miles out and beyond.
“Comfortably it fits four people,” Hare said.
“I usually only fish three or four at a time to keep from getting tangled up, but I can take six.”
And Hare is a one-man show.
“I’m going to do it myself for now, but in the next couple of years I’d like to find a kid my age (like he was when he started) and teach them the ropes. I’d love to do that,” he said.
And being the captain and deckhand all-in-one can be trying.
“Six people make it hard … but I’m young. I’m spunky. I've got a lot of energy … I can move around pretty quick,” he said.
Hare will offer four-, five-, six- and eight-hour trips. He’ll even do a three-hour but that would be mostly just catch and release for the kids.
If he gets a long trip on a calm day, he may venture out about 30 miles.
“But usually I stay within sight of land, usually about eight to 10 miles is where I like to hang out,” he said.
With the Silver King being a center-console boat there is no cabin.
"You’re always in the heat, in the sun,” he said with a smile on his face.
“But if it gets too hot, I can go pretty quick in this boat so we can turn the AC on pretty quickly,” he said.
And he does have a small bathroom on board.
As for what type of fishing he will offer, “I’ll do it all,” he said.
He personally loves to cobia fish and fish the cobia tournaments, which will begin next month.
“I love competing,” he said.
“I enjoy tarpon fishing when they are here in June and July … and the customers really love it,” he said.
“If I get the right crew, you can snapper fish first and then ride the beach home and tarpon fish,” he said.
And he loves to catch amberjack.
But his specialty aboard the Silver King is probably bottom fishing, especially with the kids.
“It’s a lot of action and it keeps them busy. Kids a lot of the time don’t care what they catch, they just want to catch something,” Hare said.
Parker spoke highly of Hare’s ability to work with the kids.
"All the customers like him,” Parker said.
“He’s particularly great with young people, with his instructions and teaching. He has a lot of patience with them. He goes the extra mile to make sure they have a good time,” Parker said.
Hare says the thing he likes best about fishing is the “anticipation.”
“The not knowing what’s going to bite ... trolling, especially. You never know what’s going to bite that bait,” he said, noting it could be anything from a sailfish to a Spanish mackerel.
“And I like taking people and seeing their reaction, the excitement. I really enjoy taking kids fishing because you can make their trip,” Hare said.
And he has already booked 30 to 40 trips.
“I’d say more than half of them are return customers that really want to help me start the business off right my first year. They want to come and support me … so that’s awesome.”
“The future is looking good, I’m excited,” Hare said.
The Silver King is docked at East Pass Marina. Hare can be reached at 850-226-3995.