Youth angler catches 876-pound bluefin tuna

youth angler
The crew of Sea Drag'n Charters poses with Al Morris, Jr.'s 876-pound bluefin tuna.

Youth angler is experienced with big fish

Al Morris, Jr, 15-years-old, caught a giant bluefin tuna on Jan. 16 while fishing out of Morehead City. The Atlantic Beach youth angler was fishing with his dad, Capt. Al Morris of Sea Drag’n Charters, and Jeff Clark. The 876-pound tuna is the largest of the season so far to be caught out of Morehead City.

He was using a ballyhoo from Baitmasters of South Florida, which has been one of the most popular baits out of Morehead City amongst bluefin anglers this season. The fish bit in 40-feet of water, and measured 101-inches in length

The young angler is no stranger to big fish. In the past 12 months, he caught his first swordfish, a 100-pounder. He overshadowed that catch last March with a 400-pound swordfish. He fought that fish for four hours, finally boating the beast that he’d hooked about 1300 feet deep.

The 876-pound bluefin took up a good portion of the boat’s back half.

Angler’s dad expressed gratitude for great fishing

“We’ve really been blessed. The tuna gods have shined down on us. 2019 was a wonderful year full of memories, and we’re looking forward to even more in 2020,” said Capt. Al Morris (252-269-1346).

They are definitely off to a good start!

It’s also been a great season for several other bluefin anglers so far off North Carolina’s coast.

On the same day as Morris, Jr.’s big catch, Anthony Mendoza and Mike O’neal, both of Morehead City, also boated a big tuna. They were in a Carolina Skiff and caught their fish within five miles of the beach.

On Jan. 15, part of the Chasin’ Tails Outdoors charter fleet boated a 101-inch giant bluefin. This fish weighed over 500 pounds when cored out.

And on Jan. 20, the Strike Eagle crew of Capt. Andrew Gould and Rachael Applebee caught their 11th bluefin of the season.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1689 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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