NT fishing competition now offers 24 x barra worth a million bucks for 2024!

There are now more chances than ever, 24 in fact, to reel in a life-changing barramundi in the Northern Territory thanks to Australia’s richest fishing competition, Million Dollar Fish.

Joining the 12 x $1m barra already released, an extra 12 fish have now been tagged as $1m fish. This means there are 24 ‘big ones’ out there – the most in the history of the competition.

There are also 80 x $10,000 barra to be caught.

Million Dollar Fish, supported by SportsBet, is run by Northern Territory Major Events Company. CEO Suzana Bishop says someone is guaranteed to reel in a million dollars during Season 9, and the odds have never been better.

“We’ve kicked off 2024 with the most million-dollar fish ever and we are definitely giving away a million dollars this season, so there has never been a better time to visit the Northern Territory,” she says.

“This is a unique competition in a unique destination. Nowhere else in the world could fishing change your life like this. Head to the Top End and enjoy world-class fishing in our pristine waterways, plus the chance to become a millionaire!”

There are now 24 fish sporting $1m tags as part of Million Dollar Fish Season 9
There are now 24 fish sporting $1m tags as part of Million Dollar Fish Season 9

SportsBet NT Operations and Partnerships Manager Thijs Bors says there is just a few months of Million Dollar Fish Season 9 left.

“As the major sponsor of Million Dollar Fish, SportsBet is thrilled to be playing a part in making one lucky fisho a millionaire and helping dozens of others become $10,000 richer,” he says.

“With less than 10 weeks of Season 9 left, now is the time to register and get out on the water before it’s too late!”

Once a $1m fish is caught, all remaining fish, including those tagged at $1m, will become $10,000 fish.

Season 9 runs from 1 October 2023 to 31 March 2024. To claim any prize money from a tagged fish, you must be registered for Season 9 of Million Dollar Fish. This also automatically enters you into the Lucky Prize Pool, which includes thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs. Register now for free at www.milliondollarfish.com.au.

Which colour tag have you reeled in? AFANT explains all!

What do different coloured tags on fish in the Northern Territory mean?

A red-tagged barra is part of Million Dollar Fish. If you’ve registered for Season 9 and snag one of these, chances are you’ve won $10,000 or a cool mill.

But if you’re out fishing and reel in a barra with a green or yellow tag, it’s part of a community-based research program by the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) in collaboration with Fisheries NT.


Know what different coloured tags mean

AFANT’s CEO David Ciaravolo said it’s important for anglers to know what the different coloured tags mean. He also explained why it’s important to report your catch if it’s sporting a yellow or green tag.

“Some barramundi are tagged for research purposes,” he said. “These tags are yellow or green and are under the dorsal spines near the shoulder. Each tag has an individual tag number and a phone number so you can report the tagged fish.

“Whether you keep a yellow or green tagged fish is up to you, as long as it is legal size, and within your possession limit.

“If you do release the fish, you should leave the tag intact so it will continue to provide information every time that fish is caught.

“Although you won’t win any money by catching a green- or yellow-tagged barra, you will get a free fishing lure if you report the catch to us. You’ll also get a certificate with information about how far the fish has travelled and how much it has grown.”

Important information is collected through fish tagging

Mr Ciaravolo said every time an angler reports a green- or yellow-tagged barra, AFANT gains more knowledge about the growth and movement of the fish.

“The information collected through fish tagging contributes to the understanding of fish stocks, size, and age structures. It also informs us about trends in catch and release rates,” he said.

“For some catchments, scientists estimate the proportion of barra caught each year based on the tagging data reported by recreational fishers.

“The data may also be fed into periodic barramundi stock assessments. So it’s vital to help keep stocks healthy and secure the future of recreational fishing.”

Caught a tagged fish? Now you know what different coloured tags mean, visit http://afant.com.au/rec-fisher-research/report-a-tagged-fish/ and be part of sustainable fishery management.

Q&A with Merv Hughes

Legendary former test cricket fast bowler and crowd favourite Merv Hughes has been coming to the Northern Territory for almost 40 years. He’s entrenched himself in the Top End’s fishing world, returning every year to fish our pristine rivers and azure blue waters, and competing in the Barra Classic for the last 16 years. Merv has been a keen fisherman since he was a kid growing up in country Victoria, spending time on the local rivers and creeks. Although Merv lives down south, the Territory is his second home and he can’t wait to take part in Million Dollar Fish Season 9. Merv shares his fishing insights with us.

What is your favourite spot to catch a barra in the NT?

I’d have to say along the Daly River. In the last 16 years I’ve been coming up here for the Barra Classic. Competing teams descend on Darwin from all over Australia, as well as overseas, to fish this week-long annual competition. It is arguably Australia’s premier barramundi fishing tournament and I always have a good time.

Where is the most scenic spot to go fishing in the NT?

There are way too many to choose from, but some of my favourite spots would have to be remote places like the Moyle River, which is about 200km south-west of Darwin, and the Goomadeer River in West Arnhem Land.  Other hard-to-get-to spots include fishing around Croker Island, Braithwaite Point and Junction Bay. Oh, and the Tiwi Islands are pretty special, too.

Where is the best place to grab barra for dinner in Darwin?

Hands down the best way to have barra is to catch and cook it yourself. You know it’s fresh. There are plenty of places in Darwin that will cook your catch for you, and if I’ve had an unsuccessful barra fishing trip, and there have been a few of those, I’ll go to Mr Barra down on Fisherman’s Wharf. You can buy a barra pack and just tell everyone you caught it! Otherwise, I’ll head to The Cav in the CBD and if there’s grilled barra on the specials menu I’ll have that.

What is the biggest barra you’ve ever caught?

Well, you know all the biggest ones are in the Daly River. I was out fishing with mates. There was a couple of us in one boat and Shane Compain, from Tackle World in Darwin, was in another. We were up near one of the s-bends and I hooked a huge one. It was massive – at least 120cm. I know this because Shane saw the fish before it got away. He said it was a monster. Shane knows a lot more about fishing than me, so I’m going to stand by that yarn. The second largest barra I caught was 86cm, and this time I got him into the boat.

Do you prefer land-based or fishing from a boat?

When I’m fishing down south I get seasick, but in the Territory the waters are calmer. So I do prefer to fish from a boat when I’m here, whether it’s in one of the rivers, creeks, estuaries or blue water. I also prefer boating because of the crocs. Don’t fancy meeting one of them on the water’s edge.

What is so special about fishing in the NT?

It’s just amazing up here. There’s so many beautiful spots to fish and great people to spend the day fishing with. Whether you go with friends or the family, you’ll take home the best memories and, of course, fish. Also, where else can you win a million bucks for catching barra? I’ve still got my fingers crossed for a red-tagged Million Dollar Fish, and I’ve got four fingers crossed to reel in the mill.

What is your best fishing memory in the NT?

It has to be nude fishing in Bynoe Harbour. I was with a mate and we were at Crab Claw Island Resort. We were watching the footy when one of our fisho mates from Darwin came into the bar and said, “The tide’s at its best”. We’d had a couple of beers and I was a bit half-hearted at first as I wanted to watch the Bulldogs play the Lions. Anyway, we went out and as we left, Bill Briscoe, the owner, reckoned we wouldn’t catch anything. It was during the dry season and the local fishos were wrapped up in coats, but coming from down south we were hot. So we stripped off and made up a song called ‘Nude fishing in the dark’ as we headed out. It was a great laugh and we weren’t taking things too seriously, but we caught four fish in 15 minutes. One was over a metre long. You should have seen Bill’s face when we slapped the biggest one on the bar and asked, “Can you cook this up for us, mate?”

What’s your top tips and tricks to help a fisho reel in a barra?

My number one piece of advice would be talk to the locals. If you’re new to the Northern Territory ask them where the best places to fish are, and the best times. They’ll know all about the tides, spots to avoid and how to reel in a barra. I’d also book a charter, especially if you don’t have a boat. I’m lucky to now have a few fisho mates who have boats, but for visitors, I’d ask around and book before you come up. If you’re short on time I’d go to the tackle shops for info. All those guys in there are fishos and are really knowledgeable. You’ve also got to remember the essentials – a good pair of sunnies, hat and long-sleeved fishing shirts, and keep hydrated.

Do you have a lucky lure?

Reidy’s The Judge is my go to lure. It has to be in green and gold, Australia’s colours. I find if I’m not having much luck, I’ll go back to this lure and, most times, I’ll catch a fish.

We can’t wait to see Merv back up in Territory throwing in a line. Click here to check out Merv’s thoughts on Million Dollar Fish Season 9!

Is this the final winning barra of Territory fishing comp’s Season 8?

Season 8 of Territory fishing comp, Million Dollar Fish, has been the biggest ever and, with just hours to go to the end of the season, ecstatic Borroloola resident Asman Rory landed a $10,000 barra.

Asman went night fishing on Wednesday to catch a meal for his family at his favourite secret spot near the McArthur River Crossing. He ended up hooking the 90cm winning fish, which is the 20th fish of Season 8.

With a fading torch battery, Asman didn’t realise he had bagged a $10,000 barra until hours later when he ran into some friends who started inspecting his catch. He didn’t believe it was a winning tag until he scratched back the algae and saw it was red.

With adrenaline pumping, Asman called his partner to share the good news, before racing home to celebrate in person. He hopes to use the money to buy a car for his family.

“I went to this favourite spot and I always catch barra in it, but this time it was different. I felt something different,” Asman said.

“So I called out to the land like I always do, to the ancestors. When I first got down there I started flicking around, and I caught a small one. So I asked the ancestors for one more, you know, only one more I asked for, and that was the $10,000 barra. It means the world to me and my family that this has happened.

“Our fishing is the best. You know, just protect our waterways, our environment, and pick our rubbish up. Keep our pristine environment clean and rubbish-free for future generations.”

Asman chose Shoreline, an education program that provides career pathways for young Indigenous Australians, to receive his $1000 charity donation.

Season 8 of Million Dollar Fish gives out largest amount of cash

Season 8 has seen the largest amount of money given out in the history of Million Dollar Fish. In total, 20 winning fishos have shared $230,000.

Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) delivers the Territory’s popular fishing competition, underwritten by SportsBet.

There’s also still time to become a millionaire, with all nine fish carrying tags worth a million bucks eligible to be caught year-round. To claim any cash, you MUST be registered for Million Dollar Fish Season 8. All $10,000 fish cease to be active at 11.59pm tonight. Registrations also close.

Register now for free.

 

 

 

Fishing regulations to keep in mind this festive season!

Anyone who tells you that size doesn’t matter is not living in the real world. What fisho doesn’t want to go home after a hard day on the water and hear the words, “wow, that’s a big one!” It’s worth keeping in mind though, that catch sizes, fishing regulations and knowing your limits are all super important.

Fishing regulations are imperative when it comes to snagging a barra in the waterways of the Territory’s Top End.

To beat the odds of a flop at “Lake Disappointment”, you need to know the legal size for a barramundi. It is 55cm from nose to the tip of the tail. Anything smaller than this is a big no, no and must be released back into the water. This rule is the same right across Australia.

Northern Territory guides and conservation conscious anglers also have an unwritten law about those big boy barras. Anything from 90cm upwards should be quickly photographed and released. That’s because when a barra reaches 90cm in length it changes sex and becomes a female breeder.

Know your limits

Like anything in life, you gotta know your limits.  In the Territory, the bag limit for barra is five, with special controls of three barra per angler in Kakadu National Park, and the Mary and Daly River fish management zones.

While rules are in place to keep recreational catches at sustainable levels and reduce the potential for localised overfishing, that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your enjoyment at dinner time by dishing up a sizeable tale on your catch of the day.

If you’re ever in doubt over fishing rules, restriction zones and the best way to release a fish, and don’t want to come up short, head to the Northern Territory Recreational Fishing Controls guide at www.fisheries.nt.gov.au or download the NT Fishing Mate app for a simpler option.

Good luck out there! And make sure you’re registered before you hit the water.

Angler reaps reward from Territory fishing hotspot

The Territory’s Daly River has turned into a Million Dollar Fish drawcard, with another Season 8 $10,000 fish caught there. Lucky fisho Nathan Corpus is the most recent angler to bag a $10,000 red-tagged barra at the Territory fishing hotspot. Two other fishos caught their red-tagged barr at Daly River earlier in the season.

Nathan’s 58cm catch at Daly River on 27 November brings the total number of tagged fish caught in the first two months of this season to 16. This is the same number of fish caught during the whole six months of last season.

More than living up to its reputation as Australia’s richest fishing competition, Million Dollar Fish, underwritten by SportsBet, has now seen fishos walk away with $170,000. One lucky fisho won double the dough, while three Territory charities have shared in $17,000.

Fisho nearly missed season’s must-have accessory – a red tag

A talented fisho out on the river with mates, Nathan saw one of them drop a metrey before a much smaller fish took his own lure. He was so busy trying to flick his catch off so he could chase something bigger that he hardly noticed it was sporting this season’s must-have accessory – a red tag.

“My mate Russell (Hanton) and I were fishing somewhere we wouldn’t normally fish – it was full of snags,” Nathan said. “I cast and hit the bank, got it off, then got a tap and started winding like mad. It wasn’t a big fish, so I was busy trying to get it off my line so I could focus on something bigger. I almost missed the red tag because it was covered in green gunk.

“Russell read the tag and said, ‘I think you’ve got a $10k fish!’. When we caught up with our mates in another boat they asked if we’d caught any dollars – which means a metrey. I said, ‘Yeah, I caught 10,000 dollars!’ I still can’t believe it.”

The winning fisho donates an extra $1,000 to a Million Dollar Fish charity of their choice, every time a $10,000 fish is caught. Nathan chose Shoreline, an organisation that provides career pathways for young indigenous people.

There’s 84 $10,000 fish still waiting to be caught, plus nine fish carrying a tag worth a million bucks. Season 8 runs until 31 March 2023. You must register for Season 8 to claim any prize money from a tagged fish. This also automatically enters you into the Lucky Prize Pool. This includes thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs including holiday and flights packages and fishing and camping merchandise and equipment.

Fishos continue to cash in with red-tagged fish frenzy

It’s raining red-tagged fish in the Top End, with two more prize-tagged barramundi reeled in during Season 8.

Daly River’s Darryl McLeod hooked his 76cm barra while land-based fishing at the Daly River Crossing on Thursday, 13 October. Worth a cool $10,000, Darryl plans to put the cash towards a boat. Luck seems to be on Darryl’s side. He bagged a $10,000 barra last season as well. His partner Kaitlyn Ahfat is also a winner, having reeled in her $10,000 catch back in Season 6. All three tagged fish were caught at Daly River Crossing.

“I was so happy and excited when I saw the red tag,” Darryl said. “I’m going to put the cash towards a new boat and hopefully go catch the Million Dollar Fish!”

Darryl’s was the third fish caught in Season 8. It was closely followed by fish number four, caught by Kurt Williamson of Dundee Beach. He hooked himself a 56cm, $10,000 barramundi in Bynoe Harbour on Friday, 14 October.

Kurt, a self-confessed barra addict, said he plans on putting his money away for Christmas time. A professional fishing guide, Kurt was stoked to finally get his own red tag in the bag. He’d witnessed one of his Queensland-based clients reel in a Season 7 $10,000 fish in March earlier this year.

“I’ve been trying to catch a red tag for years,” Kurt said. “I’ve always registered for Million Dollar Fish but never thought I’d catch one. I was very surprised when I saw the tag. I’m not too sure what I’ll put the money towards yet, but it’s a nice little bonus in time for Christmas.”

Each time a Season 8 $10,000 barra is caught, an extra $1,000 is given to one of the official Million Dollar Fish charities, as nominated by the winning fisho. Darryl decided to give his cash to Cancer Council NT, while Kurt opted to donate his $1,000 to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. SportsBet underwrites Million Dollar Fish.

 

First red tag in the bag for Million Dollar Fish Season 8

Territorian Sharna Brennan has found herself $10,000 richer after reeling in the first red-tagged barramundi as part of Season 8.

The keen fisho reeled in the 90cm prize-tagged barra at Manton Dam on Thursday, 6 October. Sharna says she’ll put the money away for a rainy day, but admits the winnings will likely be spent on new fishing equipment eventually.

Luck seems to run in Sharna’s family, with her husband catching the first ever $10,000 fish of Million Dollar Fish back in Season 1. He reeled in his prize-tagged barra from Darwin Harbour.

“It was very exciting – we saw the red tag as we were netting it,” Sharna said. “There were a few screams, that’s for sure! We’ll put the money away in a bank account for now, but it will probably end up going on some new fishing equipment.”

Prize purse biggest yet

This season’s prize purse is the biggest yet, with nine barra worth a million bucks each now released in Top End waterways. This includes the one from Season 8, and those from every other season, which are still eligible to be caught. There are also 99 $10,000 barra waiting to be caught by registered anglers.  SportsBet supports Million Dollar Fish.

Fishos donate and extra $1,000 to one of the official Million Dollar Fish charity partners for every $10,000 fish caught. Sharna chose Cancer Council NT.

“At Cancer Council NT we know that screening and early diagnosis saves lives,” said Cancer Council NT CEO Tanya Izod. “This donation will go directly to funding our new cervical cancer screening clinics. They provide screening and cancer prevention training to women across the Northern Territory.

“A huge thank you to Million Dollar Fish for supporting Cancer Council NT again this year and the best of luck to all our fishermen and women out there.”

Season 8 of the Million Dollar Fish competition runs from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. Fishos must register for Season 8 to claim any prize money from a tagged fish. This also automatically enters you into the monthly Lucky Prize Pool, which includes thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes, including holidays, flights, and fishing and camping gear. Register now for free at www.milliondollarfish.com.au.

The search is back on for Australia’s Most Wanted Fish!

There’s never been a better time to wet a line in the Northern Territory, with Season 8 of the iconic fishing competition starting tomorrow.

Anglers from across Australia are encouraged to join the search for Australia’s Most Wanted Fish. They could become a millionaire by simply registering for free, fishing the NT, and catching a prize-tagged barramundi.

Million Dollar Fish is delivered by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) on behalf of the Northern Territory Government. SportsBet underwrites the competition. Each season, prize-tagged barramundi are released across the five Top End fishing regions, including Darwin, Tiwi Islands, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land.

A total of nine barramundi worth $1 million have now been released (at least one in each region), including the Season 8 Million Dollar Fish, plus those from previous seasons. All are still eligible to be caught. Once one of the nine is caught, the value of the remaining eight changes to $10,000 each.

An additional 100 x $10,000 barra have been released, and whenever a $10,000 fish is caught, the fisho can donate an additional $1,000 to an official Million Dollar Fish Charity Partner. A whopping $10,000 will be given to a charity partner when a lucky fisho bags a Million Dollar Fish. Season 8 Charity Partners include Shoreline, Cancer Council NT, and the Darwin Star Ball, supporting the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Season 8 shaping up to be the best

NTMEC Head of Events and Operations Coryn Huddy said Season 8 is shaping up to be the best yet, with prime fishing conditions, strong registration numbers and more prize money up for grabs than ever before.

“Excitement is ramping up for Million Dollar Fish Season 8,” he said. “After a mammoth Season 7, we are gearing up for another big six months and can’t wait to award more lucky fishos with huge cash prizes.

“With our world-class fishing and incredible tourism experiences, the Territory is a must-do holiday destination for the whole family. Combined with the chance of banking a million bucks, now is the perfect time to book a holiday, register for Million Dollar Fish and explore all the Territory has to offer.”

Registering for Million Dollar Fish Season 8 means automatic inclusion in the Lucky Prize Pool, with thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, such as Top End holiday packages, Airnorth airfares, Engel fridge-freezers, Shimano fishing packs, Britz campervan getaways, Million Dollar Fish merchandise and more.

SportsBet NT Operations and Partnerships Manager Thijs Bors said the latest instalment of Million Dollar Fish follows a record-breaking Season 7, which saw local and interstate anglers share a whopping $160,000 of prize money.

“We look forward to delivering another successful season, and wish all anglers the best of luck searching for Australia’s Most Wanted Fish!” he said.

To register for free or find out more, visit www.milliondollarfish.com.au.