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44.15lbs. kingfish wins the 35th GJKT

The winning kingfish was caught by Al Morris and Kenny Crawford aboard the "Crawfish" Friday.

Al Morris of the "Crawfish" celebrates his winning kingfish of 44.15lbs. Friday.
Al Morris of the "Crawfish" celebrates his winning kingfish of 44.15lbs. Friday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Moving the 35th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament back to a two-day event rather than a one day shootout was an overwhelming success this year.

You can count Al Morris as one of those who really likes it.

Morris and captain Kenny Crawford aboard the "Crawfish" from Fernandina Beach caught the winning 44.15lb. kingfish on day two of the tournament, besting the day one winner by just over three pounds.

"The fish hit at about 1:15 in the afternoon," said Morris who reeled in the kingfish.  "It took us about 35-40 minutes to land the fish.  We are very fortunate, very blessed today to have a fish that size."

Fortunate is a good word for the crew of the "Crawfish" due to the fact that the fish was 'foul hooked' meaning the fish was not hooked in its mouth.

"We didn't know what we had due to the foul hook," Morris said.  "It's had to control, so we took our time.  When we finally got it up, we saw she had some meat to her, so we were very fortunate to land the fish."

The "Crawfish" not only took first place in the general tournament, but also won the aggregate category with a total of 81.75lbs.  With the first place finish, the crew takes home a 22-foot Contender boat with motor and trailer valued at $82,000. 

As winners of the aggregate contest, they win a 115 horsepower outboard motor.

Lewis Rogers aboard the "Bad Company" caught the biggest wahoo of the tournament at 66.95lbs.  Camden Owens on the "Fish Sandwich" won the cobia contest with a big fish of 42.65lbs.