Kakadu National Park delivers third $10,000 barra for Season 9

A lucky fisho has caught the third $10,000 red-tagged barra of Season 9 in Kakadu National Park.

Loren Hanton was night fishing at stunning Yellow Waters on 31 October. She couldn’t believe it when the 63cm beauty grabbed her lure.

“I’d had no luck on the water, even though my partner had caught four fish, so I was thinking of leaving. Then I pulled in a 70cm barra, which totally changed things!,” Loren said.

“My next catch was the red-tagged barra, and when I saw that red tag I started screaming. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve registered for Million Dollar Fish every season and am a regular fisho born and bred in the Territory.

“I can’t believe I’ve finally caught my own red-tagged barra. I will 100 per cent keep on fishing to try my luck at catching another.”

Underwritten by SportsBet, Million Dollar Fish sees prize-tagged barramundi released in waterways across the Darwin, Kakadu, Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land and Katherine regions. This season someone is guaranteed to win a million dollars.

Loren, who was fishing with her partner at Kakadu National Park, wasn’t having much luck. She was considering calling it a night when she reeled in a 70cm barra. Filled with renewed enthusiasm, she kept on casting, then landed her $10,000 prize.

Every time a fisho catches a $10,000 barra, they can donate an extra $1,000 to the Million Dollar Fish charity of their choice. Loren chose Shoreline. The program began on the Tiwi Islands and provides education and employment opportunities for young Indigenous people.

Shoreline Managing Director Jason Ryan thanked Loren for her donation.

“We are absolutely delighted Loren nominated us as the recipient charity for the recent red-tagged barramundi,” he said. “The donation will go directly towards creating opportunities for young First Nations students in the NT to develop their skills on water and obtain marine certifications.

“We are excited to see more tagged barramundi caught and a lucky fisho snag the million-dollar prize!”

Loren’s catch means there are now 97 $10,000 barramundi still out there, plus 11 barra carrying tags worth a million dollars. That includes the two released for Season 9, and those released for previous seasons. A fisho must register for Season 9 to claim any prize money from a tagged fish. This also automatically enters them into the Lucky Prize Pool, which includes thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, such as holiday and flight packages, and fishing and camping gear. Register now for free.

Record breaking start to Season 6

It was a hat trick for eager fishos with three barra reeled in during the first few days of Season 6 of Million Dollar Fish.

With $35,000 in cash prizes going to three lucky fishos, it has been a ripper of a weekend of fishing in the Northern Territory.

Territorian Jamie Poniris was the first to hook a big one while on holidays at Kakadu National Park using a Territory Tourism voucher.

The 57.5cm, Season 6 red-tagged barra was caught at Yellow Water just hours after the comp was launched on 1 October, with his winnings going towards his brother’s upcoming bucks night later this month.

“I’ve been barra fishing for about 10 years and have registered for Million Dollar Fish each year since it started but I never thought I would be the one to reel in a red-tag,” said Jamie.

“I’ve got just about every colour and variety of fishing lure you can think of. I’d made one little modification to one in particular that I used out at Yellow Water which worked perfectly – one cast and that was it.

Jamie, who doesn’t like giving away fishing secrets, said he will be going back to Yellow Water to try his luck at catching the million dollar barra.

The second red-tagged barra was reeled in by Karama resident Wilfredo Riddick near the Nightcliff Jetty on Saturday, 3 October. Measuring 56cm in length, the $10,000 barra was released at the Nightcliff Boat Ramp just last week.

“I was fishing on the rocks near the Nightcliff Jetty – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the red tag. I’ll put the money to good use and upgrade my boat,” said Wilfredo.

“There were a few yahoos, that’s for sure. I went home and had a few celebratory beers over the weekend.

“I’ve always registered for Million Dollar Fish and get out fishing most weekends – I figured I would get hold of a red-tagged fish eventually.”

The third fish (the first Double Tag Barra of the season and a huge 98cm in length) was hooked on Sunday, 4 October, on the Mary River by ‘stoked’ Queenslander Ryan Curtis.

The Mackay resident, whose parents own Reidy’s Lures, used a Reidy’s custom vibe to reel in the lucrative prize earning him a whopping $10,000 and $5,000 to give to a mate who’s had a tough year.

“It was amazing catching the first Double Tag Barra,” recalled Ryan. “I was stoked with the size of the fish alone – when I saw the tags it just took it to a whole other level.

Ryan, who came up to visit the in-laws to do some fishing, said it was the first time he’d registered for Million Dollar Fish. “We thought we’d stay up here for a few extra weeks and have a go at it.

“I’ve been up here about five or six times fishing over the past 15 years – I just love it. I look forward to spending the cash on an electric motor to go and catch more barra.”

SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said it was fantastic to see three registered fishos already cash in just days after Season 6 began on 1 October.

“Anyone can win through Million Dollar Fish and I would encourage locals and visitors alike to jump online and register for the chance to become a millionaire,” said Brad.

“SportsBet love being involved in Million Dollar Fish and we hope we can award one lucky fisho a cheque for $1 million this season.”

Over 40 prize fish have been won since the comp began in 2015, but the elusive Million Dollar Fish is yet to be reeled in by one lucky fisho.

Are you keen to try your luck? Make sure you register now.