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.

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.

Our top tacklebox tips this festive season!

While organising your tackle is a personal thing, you don’t want to be out on a boat or fishing by the water’s edge only to realise your bits aren’t up to scratch and you don’t have the right gear in your tacklebox to land the big one. Make sure your tacklebox is up-to-date with our top tips.

Check out these top five tacklebox tips and you could be in with a chance of winning a red-tagged barra … or at least be popular at dinner time.

Tidy your tackle:

When it comes to storing your tackle, separating out the reels, lures and line is key. There’s a range of storage systems to chose from. Just take your pick from bait boxes, bags, dry packs, lure wraps, leader holders and soft plastic wraps.

Rack up your rods:

Rods can easily get lost or broken without proper storage. Get them upright and organised with a rod rack, all ready to grab for a trip.

Lure ‘em in:

Have a few (maybe a dozen) lures in your box, like some soft plastics, wobbler-type metals and a couple of hard-bodied minnows in small to medium sizes. Bouncing a frog lure across water lilies and using surface popper lures at night are worth a try.

Take a hard line:

Buy god quality braid and leader. One recommendation is 30 pound braid and 60 pound leader on trolling rods. Another is 50 pound braid and 60 pound leader on bait fishing rods. Also, exposure to light weakens even the best line over time. So keep it shaded.

Pack essentials:

A pair of long-nose pliers to retrieve lures or hooks form fish, a sharp knife for cleaning and filleting your catch and a measuring device so you can check if your fish is legal. Here, size really does matter.

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

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.


$120,000 Christmas Present

The chances of bagging a prize-tagged barra have never been higher in the history of Million Dollar Fish, Australia’s richest fishing competition.

Christmas has come early with 12 additional $10,000 fish released across the Darwin region. Million Dollar Fish, underwritten by SportsBet, is now in Season 7. This is the first time more fish have been released once a season has started, and is in addition to 100 $10,000 fish released for the start of the season on 1 October. There are also eight fish carrying the big one – a tag worth a million dollars.

Dubbed ‘All I want for Christmas is a Million Dollar Fish’, the campaign is to encourage more people to hit the water for the chance to catch a prize-tagged fish, with hopefully several fishos bagging an early Christmas present.
Million Dollar Fish is run by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) on behalf of the Northern Territory Government and underwritten by SportsBet. NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford said there has never been a better time to go fishing in the Northern Territory.

“The Million Dollar Fish competition is just one of the Territory’s unique attractions, and plays a significant role in luring visitors to the Top End. This new incentive gives people 12 more $10,000 reasons to visit,” he said.

“Now is the perfect time to book a holiday to the NT and experience our pristine, world-class fishing locations.”

Collectively worth $120,000, the 12 barra bring the total number of active $10,000 Season 7 fish to 107, with five already caught by lucky fishos. This season, every $10,000 fish caught sees an additional $1,000 donated to a Million Dollar Fish Official Charity Partner. Once the Million Dollar Fish is caught, an additional $10,000 will be donated to a Million Dollar Fish Official Charity Partner.

SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said Christmas has come early for anglers.

“SportsBet is thrilled to be rolling out this exciting Christmas campaign. How often do you get to play Santa and give fishos the gift of an additional $120,000 worth of prize-tagged barramundi to catch?” he said. “Remember, you must be registered to claim any Million Dollar Fish winnings. Registering is quick, easy and free, so register now, get out on the water, and Christmas might just come early!”

Million Dollar Fish Season 7 started on 1 October 2021, and will finish on 31 March 2022. To claim a prize-tagged fish or be in the running to win fantastic prizes as part of the monthly Lucky Prize Pool, you must be registered.

Register Now

Daly River delivers another $10,000 barra

Lucky angler Darryl McLeod is celebrating after bagging a tagged barramundi worth $10,000 in the Million Dollar Fish competition. Darryl is the fifth fisho to win cash thanks to Australia’s richest fishing competition, underwritten by SportsBet. Darryl reeled in the prize-winning 89cm catch on Friday night while land-based fishing at Daly River Crossing, an iconic Top End fishing spot. He was fishing with partner Kaitlyn Ah Fat, who bagged herself a $10,000 fish in Season 6.

“I’ve registered for Million Dollar Fish every season, and when I pulled in a fish with a red tag I couldn’t believe it. I was pretty happy! I fish at this spot all the time and have been fishing since I was little, so it was good to finally land a tagged barra,” Darryl said.

There are still 95 fish worth $10,000 swimming around Top End waterways, plus eight chances to score the big one – a million bucks. That includes the Season 7 Million Dollar Fish, plus those released in previous seasons, which are still active. As soon as one of the fish carrying a million dollar tag is caught, the remaining seven turn into $10,000 fish.

Million Dollar Fish is delivered by the Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC). NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford said the competition continues to deliver for fishos each year.

“We are less than two months into Season 7 of Million Dollar Fish and five lucky fishos have already landed themselves a $10,000 bonus. We’ve seen locals and tourists win, from boats, land-based fishing and a fishing charter. Any fisho really can win,” he said.

SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said you don’t even need to go fishing to win with Million Dollar Fish.

“As the major sponsor of the Million Dollar Fish competition, SportsBet is always thrilled when someone catches a tagged fish. And don’t forget – simply by registering you go into our Lucky Prize Pool, so you could win awesome prizes without even wetting a line,” he said.

For every $10,000 fish caught, the winning fisho can donate $1000 to the official Million Dollar Fish charity of their choice. Darryl chose Starlight Children’s Foundation, which supports the Darwin Star Ball. Darwin Star Ball Committee Chairman Justin Coleman welcomed the funds.

“We’re so excited to be a part of the Million Dollar Fish campaign again in 2021. Starlight has been there for sick kids throughout the challenges of the past 18 months. Only with the help of the local community can we continue to be there for sick kids in the NT when they need it most.”



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.