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Alex's Fishing Column 11/11/21

Are we getting closer to a SportsBet $1 million tagged barra getting caught?

Only last Sunday David, Nolan, who was fishing in Fog Bay with Dundee Beach Fishing Charters, caught a 68cm Season 7 SportsBet tagged barra which will see David take home a cheque for $10,000.

This is the fourth caught so far in Season 7, not bad considering we are only six weeks into the current competition and it will run for nearly another five months.

But what I and many other anglers are wondering is when will one of the eight barra worth $1 million each finally be caught.

When you consider that some years up to 13% of the SportsBet red-tagged $10,000 fish were recaptured, then the likelihood of one of eight $1 million fish being recaptured is very real.

Don’t worry either that some of those big-dollar barra have been at liberty for a few years now because there have been many recaptures of tagged barra from previous seasons.

In fact, the longest time an MDF barra has been at liberty was a fish tagged in Season 1 which was recaptured in 2019, 1386 days or 3.8 years later.

It was great that this latest recapture was made by an interstate angler visiting the Territory to go fishing.

There are still another 96 barra out there carrying a 10K SportsBet tag, and eight more worth $1 million each.

My tip is that, when one of those high-end barra are caught, it will have come from Darwin Harbour.

I know for a fact that SportsBet’s Brad Fanning would be over the moon if one of the “Big 8” were caught.

This season, every $10,000 fish caught sees an additional $1,000 donated to a Million Dollar Fish Official Charity Partner.

David decided to gift the $1000 to Darwin Star Ball through the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Million Dollar Fish is run by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) on behalf of the Northern Territory Government, and is underwritten by SportsBet.

NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford said: “With plenty of tagged fish remaining in Top End waterways, there has never been a better time to jump in a plane or a car and fish the Territory for the chance to become a millionaire.”

Million Dollar Fish Season 7 will wind up on 31 March 2022.

To claim a prize-tagged fish or be in the running to win fantastic prizes as part of the monthly Lucky Prize Pool, you must be registered by visiting


Many Darwin anglers would know of the sad passing of five-year-old Max Kirby who succumbed to paediatric brain cancer on 9 May this year.

The son of Lincoln and Naomi Kirby, who operate Barra or Blue Fishing Charters, Max was just 19 months old when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called Anaplastic Ependymoma.

After initial surgery managed to remove only 30% of the tumor, the distraught parents were told another surgery would most likely not be possible even after chemo or radiation as resecting Max’s tumor was just too risky as it was wrapped around his brainstem.

They made the decision to seek another opinion and went to Professor Charlie Teo who managed to get almost all of Max’s tumor removed as safely as possible, adding more than three years of clear scans and great health post treatment.

Unfortunately, Max’s tumor returned and nothing more could be done for him.

Max loved to get out on the boat and fish, and was always eager to catch a bigger fish than dad.

In an effort to honour his life and to raise awareness of childhood brain cancer, the parents chose to fundraise for the Charlie Teo Foundation as all the money raised goes directly to research for brain cancer.

To this end, there will be an annual family fishing competition called Max’s Cast For A Cure.

The first one will be held on 13-15 May next year in the Darwin region.

There are several sponsorship levels and all contributions will be gratefully accepted.

For further information, email or phone 0419 916638.

AJ’s Spanish mackerel to a swipe at the deadly Classic Bluewater lure and that evening was transformed to succulent Sashimi.


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