Who’s going fishing today?
Some of you will probably already be out there, plying the waters for a barra with a tag; a red tag to be specific.
I’m sure you all know the reason: today is the first day of Million Dollar Fish Season 6.
If you haven’t hit the water yet, and you’re reading this early, then there’s a terrific low tide to catch in Darwin Harbour where there is surely a whole bunch of tagged barra waiting to receive your lure.
Even if you launch on the early incoming when there’s enough water to get your boat in – say, at Elizabeth River Palmerston – and hit the drains on the right side downstream, you’re in with a shot.
That’s where a Million Dollar Fish tagged barra came from a couple of years ago.
Another spot for a quick launch and access to harbour barra water is the Dinah Beach boat ramp.
Get in as soon as you can and race over to Blesser’s or Reichardt Creek where there are many great drains to chuck lures at on the incoming tide.
At both ramps, you should be able to launch around 2.00pm, which allows ample time to get to some drains and work them for an hour before the tide is too high.
Down Daly River way, where red-tagged barra have been caught each season, the tides are good at lunchtime for a cast off the old crossing.
If you do that, you’ll be armed with the knowledge that two $10,000 fish have been caught there previously.
It’s not a huge spring high tide, but it’s big enough to get up to the crossing, and I reckon there’ll be plenty of anglers lined up and giving it a shot.
For the weekend fishos, the tides are ideal for both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour.
They’re also not too bad for getting yourself purposefully stuck up a hole up in the Howard River or Tree Point Inlet.
The incoming tide at the mouth of King Creek in Shoal Bay is another very real option.
However, take a cast-net in case the water is too dirty and you need to catch some live bait.
Most other options this weekend are in the freshwater.
Corroboree Billabong and Hardies Lagoon are proven red-tag waters.
Further afield in Kakadu, the world is you oyster in terms of landlocked waterways.
The iconic Yellow Water near Cooinda has produced two 10K barra in previous seasons, and it won’t surprise if another one or two turn up this season.
According to SportsBet’s Brad Fanning, “SportsBet is delighted to be partnering NT Major Events and the NT Government in what is most definitely Australia’s greatest fishing and destination major event.
“SportsBet is giving you seven chances; there are seven barra out there in Top End waters with red tags worth a million dollars each.”
“We would like nothing more than to hand over $1million to the first angler to catch one,” Brad said.
Should one of the big-prize barra get caught, the other six will revert back to $10,000 fish.
It was also interesting for me last week to visit the Darwin Aquaculture Centre where about 30 wild-caught barra were being looked after ready for tag and release just before season start.
These fish were all tagged then released into the same waterways they came from, which is a good thing.
Wayne Baldwin inserts a SportsBet red tag into one of many wild-caught barra looked after at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre before being released for Million Dollar Fish Season 6.