Ten minutes into the ride, Jacik, 49, and Watkins, 51, encountered 2- and 3-foot swells. “It wasn’t a big deal,” Jacik says. “Mike’s boat could handle some waves, no problem.” The men continued toward the Christmas Tree, a nickname for one of their favorite fishing spots. Four miles offshore, the Christmas Tree was a reef made from remnants of an old gas well; it rose from the bottom of the bay and resembled, in Jacik’s mind, a decorated evergreen, with its spread of rusted valves. Old oil and gas rigs litter mile-long swaths of Galveston Bay, and much of the wreckage sits just above or below the surface. “It’s a big junkyard out there,” Jacik says, “but that’s where the fish are.” They continued toward open water as waves knocked against the hull.