Darwin resident Beau Cartledge has reeled in the fourth $10,000 red-tagged barra of Million Dollar Fish Season 9.
Beau hooked the 76cm barra while out fishing at Shoal Bay on Friday, 10 November, with his best mate Dean Lucas. Dean was visiting from Western Australia, and the mates will share the windfall.
Supported 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. The season runs from 1 October 2023 until 31 March 2024.
Keen fishermen Beau and Dean were fishing at Shoal Bay early on Friday morning when Beau reeled in the red-tagged barra. The mates had agreed they’d split the cash if either one of them caught a prize-winning barra.
“Dean and I had spoken about catching the Million Dollar Fish and we were just fishing pretty much,” said Beau. “We’d caught a couple, and we were fishing in an area where there was heaps of fish and we could see signs of good fish.
“We just fished and caught fish, and it was good when the fish hit the deck. We’d both seen the tag at the time, so it was pretty wild.”
“You never think catching a red-tagged barra can happen to you”
Beau has registered for Million Dollar Fish for nine years to catch a red-tagged fish. “You never think it can happen to you,” he said. “It’s always there in the back of your mind, but … you sort of understand that 100 (tagged) barra that people let go compared to how many barra are out there in Darwin waters is unfathomable.”
Beau hasn’t decided what he’ll do with his share. His mate Dean, who hails from Karratha, said he’d love to spend his cash on another trip to the NT with his family.
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. Beau chose Starlight Children’s Foundation Darwin Star Ball.
Star Ball Committee Chairman Justin Coleman said they were so thankful to Beau and all those involved with Season 9. “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.”
There are now 96 $10,000 barramundi swimming in Territory waterways, plus 11 barra carrying tags worth a million dollars. That includes the two million-dollar barra released for Season 9, and those released for previous seasons. All are still eligible to be caught.
To claim any prize money from a tagged fish, a fisho must be registered for Season 9. 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 at www.milliondollarfish.com.au.