First red-tagged barra caught just three hours into Season 9

The barra are really biting for Million Dollar Fish, with one lucky angler hooking the first catch of the season within hours of Season 9 of the fishing competition beginning!

Zain Lopez was fishing at Stokes Hill Wharf by the Darwin CBD at 3am on 1 October 2023 when he hooked himself a red-tagged barra worth $10,000.

“I’ve fished that spot so many times and couldn’t believe it when I reeled in a barra with a red tag! My partner and I were speechless,” he said. “I caught the fish on my second cast. I go fishing most weekends when I can, and there is even more incentive and motivation to get out and wet a line now thanks to Million Dollar Fish. I’ll keep on fishing for more red-tagged barra!”

Bag $10k or a million bucks

The Million Dollar Fish fishing competition offers anglers the chance to bag $10,000 or become a millionaire by catching a red-tagged barra. With the million guaranteed to be reeled in this year, there’s never been a better reason to fish the Top End. Tagged fish have been released across the Territory’s main fishing regions – Darwin, Kakadu, Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land and Katherine.

Each time a $10,000 barra is caught, the lucky fisho can donate an additional $1,000 to a Million Dollar Fish Season 9 Official Charity Partner. A further $10,000 will be donated to an Official Charity Partner when a Million Dollar Fish is reeled in. Official Charity Partners are Cancer Council NT, Shoreline, Starlight Children’s Foundation Darwin Star Ball and for the first time, Riding for the Disabled Association Top End. Zain chose Starlight.

Season 9 of Australia’s richest fishing competition began on 1 October 2023 and runs until 31 March 2024. Remember, you must be registered for Season 9 to claim the prize money if you catch a red-tagged barra.

This also automatically enters you into the monthly Lucky Prize Pool. Epic prizes include return airfares to Darwin with Airnorth, Britz campervan getaways, Great Northern vouchers, Engel goodies, Shimano Fishing Packs and more. Register for free here.

And they keep on coming… another two tagged fish caught

Australia’s richest fishing competition continues to live up to its name, with two more $10,000 tagged fish caught. The record-breaking Season 8 only began on 1 October 2022, and eight fishos are already sharing $90,000 worth of prize money.

Komang Budiana, of McMinns Lagoon in Darwin, caught the seventh fish on 19 October. He bagged his winning barra at Stokes Hill Wharf.

“I caught the fish using live bait and was about to go home when I caught it,” Komang said.

“There were a few people watching on the wharf as I reeled it in and everyone was freaking out!

Komang, who got into fishing during COVID, has become something of a barra addict. “Whether it’s really hot or raining, I’ll still go fishing,” he said. “I’m saving up to get my younger brother over to Australia from Bali to study, so I’ll use my winnings for that.”

Victorian angler catches red-tagged barra on last day in Darwin

Victorian angler Ranae Eels caught fish number eight on the same day in Bynoe Harbour while on a fishing charter with Barramundi Adventures. The Victorian resident was celebrating her last day in Darwin with a day on the water before heading home.

“I can’t believe I caught a red-tagged barra on my last day in Darwin,” said Ranae, from Ballarat. “I’ll probably put the cash towards a boat and maybe a dog. We’ve been travelling around Australia and will head back home to Ballarat for Christmas, but we’ll be back in the Territory next year to try and catch another tagged fish.”

Each time a Season 8 $10,000 barra is caught, an additional $1,000 is given to an official Million Dollar Fish charity of the fisho’s choice. Komang and Ranae both chose Cancer Council NT.

There are still 92 $10,000 barramundi swimming around Territory waterways, in addition to nine fish worth a million dollars. This includes the Season 8 Million Dollar Fish, plus the other big ones from previous seasons, which are still eligible to be caught. Prize-tagged barramundi have been released across the Tiwi Islands, Darwin, Katherine, Arnhem Land and Kakadu.