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Alex's Column 16/02/2023

Surely a SportsBet tagged barra worth $1million will be caught soon in the NT’s lucrative Million Dollar Fish competition which is now into its eighth season.

Unbelievably, the 17th $10,000 SportsBet tagged barra has just been recaptured, bringing the prize total to a record-breaking $180,000.

Tim O’Hagan has registered for every Million Dollar Fish season, and caught this 17th 10K tagged barra from Darwin’s Fisherman’s Wharf where he often goes for a quick cast when the kids are asleep.

“I had to be careful not to wake the kids when I got home, but inside I was like: ‘yes’!” Tim said.

A total of 17 red-tagged barra with six weeks to go in Season 8 is just amazing.

However, after eight years, a barra carrying a million dollar tag remains the Holy Grail.

Why is that? Every season, one of the 80 to about 120 barra tagged for hopeful recapture is worth $1million.

In Season 4, there were two worth a cool mil’.

If they’re all still alive, there are nine of these big-ticket barra still swimming around in the wild.

With one exception, each year at least 10 tagged barra worth 10K are recaptured.

In Season 7 last year, there were 16 recaptured and this year 17 have already been re-caught.

That’s 17 out of 101 barra, or roughly one in six.

Again with that one exception, every season there is at least one in 10 tagged barra recaptures. And yet, as we near the end of Season 8, the million dollar fish hasn’t been seen for love of money. (Pun intended)

On top of that, the odds of someone catching a one mil’ barra are even better because all nine fish worth a million each can be caught 12 months of the year; ie until one is finally caught at which point the other eight will revert to 10k fish and in season only.

In pondering why a seven-figure barra hasn’t been caught, we know that the organisers haven’t been releasing these fish in obscure inland waterholes where no one fishes.

In fact, we’ve been told each season that the opposite is the case.

I’ll bet there are more than one swimming around in Darwin Harbour.

Plus, there are regular clues as to where SportsBet tagged barra were released, and the actual numbers on the million dollar tags have all been revealed. Just go to the website.

When you weigh it all up, given the improbability that a million dollar fish hasn’t been caught yet, surely… surely… one will be caught soon.

In the meantime, it was announced earlier this week that an exciting new promotion for Valentine’s Day will be part of the Fisho Feb campaign.

The first promotion is live on socials and will run from 14 to 19 Feb, giving the first lucky angler who catches a 10k fish an extra 5k for a mate!

The promotion is part of the Fisho Feb campaign which offers anglers the chance to earn cash bonuses via social media during the month of February.

The Valentine’s Day promotion does not apply to fish with a million-dollar tag. Head to the Million Dollar Fish website for details.

Don’t forget also that a new prize announced earlier this month is a five night/four day fishing package for two to the Arnhem Land Barramundi Lodge. This includes all interstate and NT flights.

This great prize, which finishes on 28 February, is sponsored by Great Northern Brewing Co, Arnhem Land Barramundi Lodge and Airnorth.


Tim O’Hagan caught the 17th SportsBet 10K tagged barra for Season 8 from Darwin’s Fisherman’s Wharf.


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