Ladies and Gentlemen, Anglers, committee, judges and crew, we are gathered this week to enjoy the worlds greatest sport. We are going blue marlin fishing.

Our foe is not one or many other teams. It is the greatest of gamefish. Yes, we will compete against one another for top position at the end of the tournament. But truly we are competing against the magnificent blue marlin. She will first test our captains to find her. Then she will frustrate our mates as she moves from bait to teaser to bait and fades away without dining on their best offerings. She will attempt to steal a fine meal from our anglers. She will try our anglers, captains and mates as she shows all her skills and strengths in her best effort to win a tug of war for victory on the high seas.

On the occasions where we win that battle we will run up another flag to indicate another score in the game of life. We will already be winners, because we have shared time and struggle with this radiant blue beast we love so much. And we will share her beauty with our team mates, who are some of our best friends. The memories will be our best prizes.

When we think of memories we thank God for helping us remember the pioneer fishermen who blazed new trails across the ocean so that we could enjoy the pleasures of their discovery of this fertile fishing area. Please God allow us to improve on their fishing techniques. May we follow in their footsteps as we leave better fishing for those who come after us.

We ask God, who created both the sea upon which we fish and the fish that fill that sea for protection from danger during this fabulous game. We also ask that he protect all the anglers and crews, the boats and our foe, the blue marlin during this tournament. May we all fight well and live to fight again in the worlds greatest sport.

God bless one and all. May your fish be big and your thrills last a life time. Go catch those big fish.

Capt. Bouncer Smith