It was the proverbial “pond” on the first day of the tournament. The excitement was high, but expectations were tempered, given the circumstances. We arrived to our spot a few minutes early, and we gently bobbed up and down as we waited for the clock to strike 9 a.m. Finally, my dad shouted, “Lines in!” from the bridge. The crew rapidly set out the spread of Iland lures rigged with ballyhoo, along with a single 13-inch bowling pin on each side for our teasers. I quickly climbed up the ladder to join my dad on the bridge. Barely able to get my chin over the rail, I kept my eyes on the spread even though I wasn’t entirely sure what I was hoping to see. Only a few minutes after our baits were set, four white marlin appeared behind the boat, one on each teaser and each flat line. The fish danced around in our spread, lit up with an assortment of electric-blue colors only offshore fishermen can appreciate. The memory is etched in my mind, and to this day, it is the first moment I remember offshore. What happened next wasn’t a work of art, but we did catch one of those four fish. As fate would have it, we tacked on a blue before the end of the day.