The men left a launch in Clearwater, Florida, at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Nick says the fishing was good. "You dropped your line, a fish was coming out within minutes," he says.
The weather, however, was cold and the water was rougher than usual. "We talked earlier in the week that we might not go out that far because of that reason," Nick says.
Still, Nick says they decided to go all the way out. "It was one of his favorite spots," Nick says. "I'm not an avid fisherman, but he knew what he was doing. It was his last weekend before he left to Oakland for camp, and he wanted to make one last trip."
It took nearly four hours to reach the spot. Though they brought beer with them, Nick says there was no heavy drinking. "With the conditions going out there, that definitely was not the case," he says.
Nick says the choppy waters made him seasick. Feeling ill, he says he put on his ski jacket to warm up—a decision that later saved his life. Everyone else wore wind pants and wind jackets. "Marquis had shorts on," he says. "It was cooler out, but the sun was out a little."
In the late afternoon, the weather got colder and the wind picked up. "We knew a storm was coming," he says. "We knew that it was going to get rough out."