Million dollar fish on offer in Top End

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Fishing is already a serious activity in Darwin with its abundant tropical marine life, but it is about to become more so with $1 million on offer for an angler who pulls in a lucky barramundi.

The Million Dollar Fish competition starting next week involves the tagging of five barramundi.

Be the first to catch one with a red tag and the lucky angler will get $1 million.

How likely anyone is of achieving the feat is unknown, given the fish are being dropped all over the Top End.

It is the fourth year of the competition and no-one has done it yet, so three tagged fish from past years are being reactivated assuming they are still swimming around.

If the first major prize fish is caught, the remaining four will become $10,000 fish – which have been caught before – to go with another 100 fish worth the same with gaming group BetEasy providing the cash.

There will also be 20 fish with purple tags, worth $2,500 cash to the angler plus $2,500 to a Territory-based charity.

Former Test cricket champion Matthew Hayden is the event’s ambassador and said on Wednesday fishing in the Top End was a unique experience.

He praised the work of local indigenous fishing guides and encouraged tourists that enter the competition to meet up with them to find barramundi.

“Fishing changed my life in so many ways, having a high pressure job in professional sport and the water enabled me to just be able to decompress,” he told reporters.

Last year there were 4500 interstate visitors for the competition helping contribute $8 million to the local economy, Tourism and Culture Minister Lauren Moss said.

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