buck morris

Capt. Buck Morris (left) received the Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Award in 2016 from S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series chairman Mark Rogers. Photo provided/S.C. Governor's Cup

South Carolina lost one of the legends of offshore fishing when D.P. "Buck" Morris passed away April 9 on his 96th birthday.

A U.S. Navy veteran and a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Morris is survived by sons Bucky and David and daughter Pam, three granddaughters, seven grandsons, seven great granddaughters and seven great grandsons.

The Morris family has been an active participant in the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series since its beginning. Morris was awarded the Wallace Pate Sportsmanship Award and in 2016 received the Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Award which honors leaders in billfish conservation in South Carolina.

“My first boat was a 21-foot boat and we barely went to 60 or 90 feet,” Morris said in a 2015 story about the origins of offshore fishing in South Carolina.

“When I first started going, you might see one or two boats on a weekend. If you went during the week you didn’t see anybody. There weren’t that many boats fishing back then.”

Morris said he had a depth finder and a radio, but relied strictly on a compass for navigation.

“For years, all we had was a radio direction finder (RDF) and a compass. We relied on that compass. The Morris Island and Sullivan’s Island lighthouses, they were a sight for sore eyes when you had been out there fishing and were coming back.”

His first boats were named after his late wife Princess. During the early days of the Governor's Cup the Morris family fished aboard a 41-foot Post named Sea Datsun and today the family runs a 51-foot custom Monterey named Major Motion.

Memorials may be made to South Carolina Memorial Reef, PO Box 12559, Charleston, SC 29422-2559 or Johns Island Presbyterian Church, 2550 Bohicket Road, Johns Island, SC 29455.