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FISHING With Alex Julius

Million Dollar Fish Season 4 is now into its seventh week, and clearly it’s not following the pattern of the three previous seasons.
The reason is that only three BetEasy tagged barra have been caught this season whereas, in the three previous seasons, there were 10, 9 and 14 barra caught respectively, and most came in the first six weeks.
I asked MDF official tagger, Bill Sawynok, why he thought there were far fewer tagged barra caught so far this season.
“It’s probably because we put some fish in slightly different places,” Bill told me.
“Yes, we released fish in the same systems, but not in the same places as in the previous three seasons.
“People going back to the places they were caught last year may not catch one.
“As in previous years, Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour combined is where we have released the most tagged barra, although we put a lot more in Bynoe than before,” Bill confided.
The most recent BetEasy tagged barra was caught land-based fishing up the top of the Adelaide River.
“That was a surprise; being dirty water, I didn’t expect a recapture there,” Bill said.
Anthony Patsalou, with the help of his cousin Anthony Savvas and childhood friend Chris Mellios, landed a red-tagged 68cm barramundi.
“We’ve been mates for more than 15 years,” Anthony Patsalou said.
“The fish hit the lure right at my feet and as soon as I brought it in my cousin, Anthony [Savvas], grabbed it and threw it up out of the water.
“He saw the red tag and threw it like he was playing cricket for Australia,” Chris said.
BetEasy Strategic Partnership Manager, Brad Fanning, said the most-recent catch shows that land-based fishos have plenty of chances to catch a prize-winning fish.
“Several fish, including our purple-tagged charity fish, are located in accessible locations so everyone has a chance to land a Million Dollar Fish,” Brad said.
I can vouch for that as I released a barra I tagged with a purple tag last Friday in West Arm in Darwin Harbour.
If you’d like to see it being released, log on to YouTube, find “NAFA Fishing and Outdoor Videos” and search for “Million Dollar Fish Charity Tag Release”.
I was given three purple tags to put in needy barra, and I hope to have the job finished in the next week or so.
All up there are 20 purple charity tags, each worth $2500 cash and $2500 to go to one of three charities.
A lot of Nhulunbuy anglers had their wish come true this week when Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, officially opened the new Community Boat Ramp at Melville Bay.
The upgrade, which provided work for local contractors and was driven by the Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club (NRFSC), also includes two new fishing platforms.
“Already we’ve seen a large turnout use the ramp for a family fishing competition, and there is no doubt it will prove a popular, all-tide facility that provides safe access to the water for a range of users,” Mr Vowles said.
Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club President, Anthony Bergamo, said: “The completed facilities have secured all-tide, all-weather, safe access to Melville Bay for recreational anglers and tourist operators.”

charity tag
1.    This Darwin Harbour barra sporting a BetEasy purple charity tag was tagged and released last Friday.

suzee Harris
2.    Suzee Harris with her ripper 91cm build-up barra.

steve harris
3.    Steve Harris matched his wife’s barra with another 91cm fish.

tegan blockey
4.    It was an all-family affair when daughter, Tegan Blockey, pulled in this terrific silver barra.