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FISHING With Alex Julius

Holy snapping barra poop!
Million Dollar Fish Season 4 has just been catapulted into one of the biggest fishing competitions ever held in the world …if the not biggest which I truly suspect.
As you would have seen up the front of today’s paper, instead of one $1 million dollar barra, this Season 4 will have five barra each carrying a tag worth $1 million.
On top of that, the season has been extended to finish on 31 March 2019, which is a full month longer.
There are 100 $10,000 barra with red tags which, together with the five barra each worth a million bucks, are spread across the five regions: Darwin region, Katherine region, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands.
To achieve five $1 million tagged fish, three tags from the earlier seasons have been reactivated, and two new fish have been tagged.
But wait, there’s more: if the $1 million fish is not caught within the competition timeframe, all five fish will remain active post-competition between 31 March 2019 to 30 September 2019, with the first to be caught awarding the participant $1 million.
Once, hopefully, a million dollar barra is caught, the remaining four tagged fish will revert to $10,000 fish.
There’s also a special new category of 20 fish, with purple tags, worth $2,500 cash to the angler plus $2,500 to the angler’s charity of choice.
BetEasy Strategic Partnerships Manager Brad Fanning said the five $million tagged barra offer a huge incentive for interstate and local anglers to visit all five Top End regions because there will be one in each region.
“Last season we had thirteen fish caught worth $10,000 each, and with conditions prime for fishing the question is: when will the first $1 million barra go off?” Mr Fanning said.
BetEasy, which has taken over CrownBet as the new parent company, is forging ahead with its involvement with the ongoing MDF campaigns.
“There are now five chances  to catch a barra worth five million dollars, and there’s one in every region …we’ve got our checkbook open,” Mr Fanning told me.
One can only imagine the interest Season 4 will generate interstate with five chances to catch a barra worth $1 million.
As well, increasing the season by a month, which takes it well into the Runoff next year, will surely get lots of punters over the line who were considering an extended fishing trip to the Northern Territory.
Top-shelf fishing clients – those who book into upmarket lodges and big motherships – pay anywhere from $7000 to $10,000 for the privilege.
You could be looking at a stimulus worth millions for those places.
The next level down are anglers who book an extended trip with sole-operator fishing tour guides, and are accommodated at places like Aurora Kakadu, Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge, Crab Claw Island Resort and Dundee Beach Resort.
They pay less but there’ll be plenty of them – again, millions are on the cards.
Then there are all those self-sufficient anglers who will tow their own boats up here, or hire one on arrival… potentially lots more economic stimulus.
All of the above compounds when you start looking at the incidental costs of travel and accommodation in Darwin and outside.
Of course, as has become quite clear from the three previous MDF seasons, a huge economic spinoff has come from Territory anglers who hit the popular fishing spots in their droves.
It’s not for no reason that every single red-tagged barra caught over the last three seasons has been by a Territory local.
You can now register for MDF on the official website www.milliondollarfish.com.au, and that will make you eligible to win one of more than $25,000 in prizes online.
It starts next Monday, so start planning your next fishing trip for a shot at a barra worth some bucks.
Good luck!

kaitlin Gillespie barra
1. Katherine Tackle World’s Brendan de With helps Kaitlin Gillespie with her 106cm Victoria River jewfish caught on a barra lure.

christine Mansfield barra
2. There are still barra to be caught on the Daly River …just ask Christine Mansfied, pictured here holding her legal fish

Warren De With Barra
3. Katherine’s Warren de With has been hammering some great barra on his home turf Victoria River.