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Alex Column 8 March 2024

There’s no doubt that the Million Dollar Fish organisers are deadly serious about someone catching a barra worth $1 million.

Just last week, another 18 SportsBet-tagged barra were upgraded from a value of $10,000 each to $1 million each.

Now there are 42 tagged barra swimming around out there that are worth a cool million bucks each.

SportsBet NT Operations and Partnerships Manager, Thijs Bors, said: “In January, we converted 12 10K barra to million dollar barra and then another 18 last week.

“The goal was to have million dollar fish in each of the five regions.

“This year, we didn’t hide any fish by releasing them in unlikely locations but we released them in popular spots.

“In Corroboree, for example, there are two tagged barra measuring 80cm-plus and one about 60cm, and importantly you can access Corroboree via The Rockhole.

“In the Adelaide River, there are multiple $1 millon fish upriver which were  released at various points.

“Of course, they can swim a long way as instanced last year when an out-of-season barra which was tagged near Goat Island swam all the way to the mouth where it was recaptured,” Thijs said.

NT Major Events has placed a map on the Million Dollar Fish Instagram and Facebook pages which shows where all the million-dollar barra are.

I understand that both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour have significant numbers of barra worth a mil each.

With all the rain and flooding, there has only been one SportsBet-tagged barra caught in the last three months.

There was one caught on the Daly River in early December and since then just one more in January down at the McArthur River near Borroloola.

“We’re getting a bit worried,” Thijs said.

“With the possibility of another monsoon before the end of Season 9, we just want more tagged barra caught soon.

“There’s now a 40% chance that a tagged barra will be worth $1 million.

“However, we’re still trying to keep it a competition.

“Once it goes off, the remaining nominated million dollar fish will revert back to 10K each,” Thijs explained.

So far this season, there have been eight tagged barra recaptured, which is a far cry from the record 20 last season.

“In January, we passed $1 million paid out since the competition started,” Thijs said.

“A big reminder that this competition can be won by anyone – the first fish of this Season 9 was caught on a hand line from the shore in Darwin Harbour.

“We all know someone who has started to come to the NT for a fish rather than elsewhere because of Million Dollar Fish.

“We’ll definitely be going into a Season 10; at SportsBet, we’re keen for it to go on indefinitely.

“We love it, NT Major Events love it, fishos love it, industry loves it, and I’m sure the NT Government loves it,” Thijs said.

Make sure you register before your next fishing trip by going to

That will also put you in the running to win one of the great prizes given away online each month.

Barry the Barra, SportsBet NT Operations and Partnerships Manager Thijs Bors and Colin Carthew celebrating that one lucky angler will take home the million dollars this season.

Skydivers land at Cullen Bay to celebrate the launch of Million Dollar Fish Season 9.

Loren Hanton caught the third 10K barra in Season 9.


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