A Queensland angler is counting his lucky stars after reeling in a $10,000 barramundi in the Northern Territory as part of Million Dollar Fish Season 7, which is underwritten by SportsBet. Known as Australia’s richest fishing competition, Million Dollar Fish sees a number of tagged fish released across Darwin, Katherine, Tiwi Islands, Kakadu and Arnhem Land.
Guy Gibson from Yeppoon hooked the 57cm barra while on a Dundee fishing charter with a group from around Australia. They had scored themselves a free trip to the Territory after winning a competition.
Guy is one of many fishos who have hit Territory waterways off the back of a new campaign called ‘Australia’s Most Wanted Fish’, which was launched to increase the chances of the Million Dollar Fish being caught. Earlier this month, anglers were given the clue the Season 7 Million Dollar Fish was last seen in Darwin Harbour wearing a red tag and have since been hitting the water in droves to track him down.
This was Guy’s first time visiting the Territory, and he says he’ll be putting some of his winnings towards another Top End holiday to try his luck at uncovering the whereabouts of Australia’s Most Wanted Fish, as well as investing in some new fishing tackle.
“The dream was to land an elusive barra in the NT, so we were cheering to get one with a red tag in it. I was so excited, I think my legs were shaking for about half an hour after we landed it,” he said.
Emma Cartwright, owner of Dundee-based fishing charter, Anglers Choice Fishing Safaris, said she was thrilled the group could finally make it up to Darwin for their fishing trip after having to delay the holiday several times over the past two years due to COVID restrictions.
“Everyone comes to the Top End to catch a barra, and Guy did just that, but with a red tag in it,” she said.
“They were so impressed at the diversity of fishing at Dundee, finishing the day with not only barramundi in the esky, but golden snapper, jewfish, blue bone and giant trevally.”
With every $10,000 fish caught, the angler has the opportunity to donate an additional $1,000 to a Million Dollar Fish affiliated charity of choice. Guy chose Shoreline, a Territory organisation that creates programs and pathways to sustainable careers for young Aboriginal Australians.
Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford said it’s been a bumper season for Million Dollar Fish, with 14 fishos winning cash right across the Territory.
“This has been our biggest season ever, and we hope to see even more anglers cash in before the end of March,” he said.
“We look forward to rolling out the welcome mat to more visitors like Guy and his mates, who travel to the Top End for our incredible tourism experiences and give a welcome boost to local businesses and the wider economy.”
SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning said he was thrilled to be awarding another interstate fisho a cheque for $10,000.
“It’s prime time to catch a barra in the Territory at the moment, so I’d encourage everyone to register for Australia’s richest fishing competition and hit the water for the chance to find this fishy fugitive and take home a cash reward of $1 million.”
With the Million Dollar Fish still on the swim, authorities have made fresh calls for even more anglers to join search efforts to uncover the whereabouts of the head fishy fugitive, along with seven of his scaly relatives who also carry cash rewards of $1 million. Around 97 other Season 7 gang members are at large and carry a $10,000 reward.
Season 7 of the Million Dollar Fish competition runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. However, the eight million dollar tags remain active year-round. As soon as one of those eight fish is caught, the remaining seven turn into $10,000 fish that are only valid during the official season.
To claim any prize money from a tagged fish, you must be registered for Season 7 of Million Dollar Fish. This also automatically enters you into the Lucky Prize Pool, which includes fantastic prizes such as a Great Northern Breakaway Trip, Anaconda vouchers, Engel goodies and Shimano Fishing Packs. Registrations close on 31 March 2022. Register for free at www.milliondollarfish.com.au.