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.

Fisho doubles the dough with a $20k barra

Another lucky fisho has scored himself $20,000 after hooking fish number 18 of Million Dollar Fish Season 8.

Kai Hale, 18, reeled in a barramundi worth $10,000 at the weekend. However, under the Double the Dough initiative, he has instead pocketed $20,000. Kai hooked the 105cm barra at Manton Dam, less than an hour’s drive from Darwin CBD, in the early hours of Saturday morning after a long chase and plenty of casting.

After grabbing a photo of the fish, Kai was close to returning it to the water, before something caught his eye –a tag covered in algae. Scratching back the algae he was over the moon to realise it was a Season 8 tag. Kai said he hoped to put his winnings towards purchasing a new car and entering a fishing competition.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I was happy enough it was a metery, let alone had a red tag in it,” Kai said.

“I thought maybe it was from an old season, but when we saw 2023 we were pretty happy.

“We would have had, I don’t know, 200 casts at that same fish before it ate, over about 45 minutes. We just followed it for ages.”

Season 8’s prize purse biggest ever

This season’s prize purse is the biggest yet, with nine barra worth a million bucks each now released in Top End waterways. You can still catch 82 barra worth $10,000, or $20,000 if you catch them on any weekend in March.

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. Kai chose Cancer Council NT. The donation was doubled to $2,000 as part of Double the Dough.

Season 8 of Million Dollar Fish, underwritten by SportsBet, runs until 31 March 2023. You must register for Season 8 to claim any prize money from a tagged fish. This includes the nine fish worth a million bucks, which remain eligible to be caught year-round. You’ll also be automatically entered into the monthly Lucky Prize Pool, which includes thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs including holiday and flights packages and fishing and camping merchandise and equipment.

Big pay day for Territorian in Australia’s richest fishing competition

It was a big pay day for local fisho Nicole Soltesz. The Territorian reeled in a cool $20,000 after hooking a Million Dollar Fish Season 8 red-tagged barramundi.

Carrying a $10,000 red tag, the fish was worth double the money as part of a National Gone Fishing Day promotion, with competition underwriter SportsBet pledging to ‘Double the Dough’ for any fish caught on Sunday, 9 October.

Nicole was out fishing with mates at Hardies Lagoon when she snagged the 62cm prize-tagged fish – her first ever barramundi! The Darwin fisho said she’d put some of the winnings towards a holiday, and the rest away in a savings account for now.

“I don’t go fishing very often so definitely wasn’t expecting it. It was a big surprise, we all looked at each other in shock when we saw the red tag,” she said.

There has never been a better time to register for Australia’s richest fishing competition and wet a line in the Territory, with prize-tagged fish swimming in waterways across the Top End.

Season 8 off to a strong start

NTMEC Head of Events and Operations Coryn Huddy said Season 8 was off to a strong start. “It’s certainly an exciting time in the Territory with excellent fishing conditions,” he said. “There are more chances to catch the Million Dollar Fish and an incredible offering of tourism experiences the whole family will love.”

The amount of cash up for grabs as part of Season 8 is the largest ever. Nine fish worth a million dollars are in five fishing regions – Tiwi Islands, Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land. This includes the Season 8 Million Dollar Fish, as well as those from every other season, which are still eligible to be caught.

Registered anglers also have the chance to bag one of the remaining 98 $10,000 barra, with two caught so far. Each time a $10,000 fish is caught, an extra $1,000 is donated to one of the official Million Dollar Fish charities, as nominated by the lucky angler. SportsBet doubled the charity money for this fish, and Nicole decided to give the $2,000 to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Darwin Star Ball Committee Chairman Justin Coleman said he was very thankful to Nicole Soltesz and all those involved with Million Dollar Fish Season 8.

“Starlight provides vital hospital programs in the Northern Territory for our sick kids,” he said. “Only with the help of the local community can we continue to bring the gift of joy, fun and laughter, helping to create brighter and healthier futures for our kids, families and communities.”

Odds in fisho’s favour for Australia’s richest fishing competition

SportsBet NT Operations and Partnerships Manager Thijs Bors said the odds are definitely in the fisho’s favour for Season 8. He said there are more red-tagged Million Dollar Fish out there than ever before.

“It’s prime time for barra fishing at the moment,” he said. “So I’d encourage as many people as possible to register for Australia’s richest fishing competition and explore our world-class fishing regions for the chance to score a million bucks!”

Million Dollar Fish Season 8 opened on 1 October 2022 and runs through until 31 March 2023. To be eligible for any prize money, anglers must have registered for Season 8. By doing so, participants go into the monthly Lucky Prize Pool. This includes thousands of dollars’ worth of incredible prizes such as holidays, flights, and fishing and camping equipment.

For more info and to register, visit


Another Million Dollar Fish ‘Most Wanted’ in the bag!

Jaylene Budd is the latest lucky fisho to land a tagged fish as part of Australia’s richest fishing competition Season 7.

She thought her knife was blunt when she couldn’t slice through the barra she bagged on Sunday. But closer inspection showed the real reason for her struggle – a red tagged barra worth $10,000.

Jaylene, who has been hunting for Australia’s Most Wanted fish for several seasons, is the 15th lucky fisho to land $10,000 from Season 7. She caught her 65cm fish while land-based fishing near the Finnis River boat ramp. While some tagged fish swim many kilometres, this one was hiding out just two kilometres from where it was released.

“I’ve been fishing since I was a kid and out fishing most weekends,” Jaylene said. “I’ve registered for Million Dollar Fish for years, and my husband caught a $10,000 barra in 2017. I caught the fish, and a few others on Sunday, but just threw them all in the freezer without noticing the red tag. I didn’t see it until I took the fish out to fillet it yesterday!”

For every $10,000 fish caught, the angler gets to donate an additional $1000 to the Million Dollar Fish-affiliated charity of their choice. Jaylene chose the Starlight Children’s Foundation Darwin Star Ball, as her young son once spent three months in hospital.

Northern Territory Major Events CEO Tim Watsford said this season has turned out to be the biggest yet, with plenty of keen anglers joining the search for the ones that got away.

“What a season it’s been! That’s 15 fishos with an extra $10,000 in the bank thanks to Million Dollar Fish, the competition that rewards people for doing something they love in one of the most unique places in Australia,” he said. “There are plenty of chances to bag a tagged barra yourself, with almost 100 fishy fugitives still swimming around out there.”

SportsBet underwrites Million Dollar Fish, which is Australia’s richest fishing competition. It sees scores of tagged fish released into the Top End’s five iconic fishing regions – Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands.

Season 7 ends on 31 March 2022, but the eight fish carrying tags worth a million bucks remain active year-round. You MUST be registered for Season 7 to claim any cash. Registrations close on 31 March 2022.


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.”



Second Season 7 tagged barra caught!

Season 7 of Australia’s richest fishing competition, Million Dollar Fish underwritten by SportsBet, continues to deliver, with lucky fisho Danilo Mallari landing the second prize-tagged barra of the season. Danilo, from Darwin, caught his lucky 85cm $10,000 catch while land-based fishing at Cullen Bay.

It was a birthday barra surprise for Danilo, who celebrated his 50th birthday just last week. The catch follows the first $10,000 fish caught last weekend by Reece Prior at Daly River, also by land-based fishing, after the season began on 1 October 2021.

“We were planning to go to Mandorah for a fish this morning, but decided to stay in Cullen Bay due to the tides,” Danilo said. “We were only fishing for around half an hour when we caught the tagged barra. It wasn’t until we put it in the esky that we saw the red tag. I’ll split the prize money between my wife and children, and buy more fishing equipment to try and chase the Million Dollar Fish. I’m very thankful for the Million Dollar Fish competition and to have this opportunity – this is the first year I’ve registered for the competition and I’m so glad I did!”

For every $10,000 fish caught, the lucky fisho gets to donate an additional $1000 to an official Million Dollar Fish charity partner. Danilo chose Cancer Council NT as the beneficiary of the prize money.

Tanya Izod, Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Council NT, said she was delighted the charity was chosen.

“A huge thank you to Danilo for donating to Cancer Council NT,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have such huge support for cancer patients in the Northern Territory. This donation will go directly to funding our Nurse-led cancer clinics to provide counselling and support to cancer patients in the NT. Every person who fundraises or attends an event, or volunteers on our programs, becomes part of the fabric that supports cancer patients and their families through their treatment.”

SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said Season 7 was shaping up nicely.

“It’s great to see a second $10,000 fish caught already!” he said. “Season 7 is off to a great start, and SportsBet is hopeful someone will land the big one this season. Two fish in the first seven days of the competition is fantastic. Get out there, get fishing, and get catching yourself some dollars. Remember you must be registered to claim any prize money.”

There are still 98 fish carrying $10,000 tags swimming around in Territory waterways and eight fish worth a million bucks, as all Million Dollar Fish from previous seasons are still active. Over the course of the competition, a Million Dollar Fish has now been released in each of the Top End’s five main fishing regions – Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu, Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands.
Season 7 of the Million Dollar Fish competition runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

To be in the running to claim any winnings from a red-tagged fish you must be registered for Season 7. Register for free at




Finniss River fish brings Season 6 tally to five!

Another Territorian is counting his lucky stars after reeling in a Season 6 red-tagged barramundi this week, earning him a whopping $10,000.

William Talbot, the fifth fisho to hook a prize-tagged fish this season, was wetting a line off the bank at the Finniss River mouth when he bagged the lucrative 70cm catch using live bait late on Monday, 5 October.

“When I first reeled the barra in, I didn’t realise it had a red tag. I took it up to the bank and it wasn’t until my girlfriend started screaming that I looked down and saw the tag,” he said.

“I’ve registered for Million Dollar Fish for the last few years but never thought I would be lucky enough to hook a red tag – I still don’t believe it.”

Tagged last month in Bynoe Harbour for Million Dollar Fish Season 6, the $10,000 barra travelled an incredible 64km to the Finniss River mouth before being caught.

Born and bred in the Top End, Mr Talbot has been living at Dundee Beach for over 20 years and said he couldn’t wait to splash the cash on some home renovations.

“I’m going to put the $10,000 towards building a new workshop and a verandah. My mate’s a builder so I’m going to get him to give me a hand,” he said.

Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford congratulated local fisho William Talbot on reeling in the $10,000 catch.

“We are just over a week into Million Dollar Fish Season 6, and already we have seen five lucky fishos hook prize-tagged barra across the Top End,” he said.

“Season 6 is the biggest and best to date, and at this rate it’s shaping up to be the most memorable with more prize-tagged fish caught than ever before.”

SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said SportsBet couldn’t be happier to be awarding another local fisho a cheque for $10,000.

“The fishos are certainly on top in the competition so far and I have a feeling we might be in for a record-breaking season,” he said.

“The weather conditions are very favourable towards barra fishing at the moment, so I hope the stars align and one lucky fisho can hook onto one of the seven Million Dollar Fish included in Season 6.”

Are you FOUR real? Fourth fish caught!

Australia’s richest fishing comp is shaping up to be a record breaking bonanza with another red-tagged barra reeled in only days after the official launch of Season 6.

Mad-keen fisho Rowan Francis bagged the biggest catch of his life when he lured in a $10,000 barra, measuring 57cm in length, while fishing with his family at Yellow Water in Kakadu on Tuesday.

“My partner and the kids were asleep up the front of the boat and I was with my son when we hooked the fish. They thought we’d seen a croc when we started screaming,” he said.

“We fish Yellow Water a lot so it was awesome to reel in a $10,000 fish there. The barra was only 57cm but any size is good with a red tag.”

Mr Francis said he’d registered for Million Dollar Fish ever since it started back in 2015 but never thought he’d catch a red tag.

Now $10,000 richer, he plans to take his family of fishing fanatics on a bill fishing holiday.

This was the fourth Season 6 Fish caught since the comp opened on 1 October, bringing the tally to an all-time record high of four barra caught in six days with $45,000 in prize money given out to registered fishos from the Territory and around Australia.

There are still 97 $10,000 barra swimming around Territory waterways, along with four Double-Tagged Barra and seven barra worth a million bucks waiting to be caught.

Will you try your luck at becoming a millionaire?

To register for your chance, head to