A 16-year-old just reeled in 400-pound fish during NC tournament

A 16-year-old just reeled in 400-pound fish during NC tournament
E.J. Nettles with the 400.4 pound blue marlin he caught Wednesday of North Carolina. (Credit: Ronnie Boone/The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - A 16-year-old South Carolina boy pulled a fish almost four times his weight Wednesday, during the third day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City.

The 9-foot blue marlin weighed 400.4 pounds, said a Facebook post by the tournament.

That's just four ounces above the cut off weight, meaning teen E.J. Nettles' catch almost didn't count, reported TV station WNCT.

"It's an awesome feeling...," Nettles told Kinston.com. "...I picked the rod up and fought him for about 45 minutes or so."

Nettles is the first teen to weigh in a blue marlin in the event's 60-year history, said a tournament Facebook post.

He lives in the Charleston area and was aboard the Rare Breed, a boat based in Sullivan's Island, tournament officials said on Facebook.

Rare Breed is currently in third place at the tournament, with a shot at $174,300 in prize money, if Nettles' catch isn't bested in the final three days of the tournament, said a tournament press release. The tournament ends Saturday, officials said in a statement.

Organizers said 183 boats are registered in the tournament.