Red-tag barra bonanza in lead up to very merry Fishmas!

NT Government

Million Dollar Fish is the gift that keeps on giving, with yet another angler cashing in as part of Australia's richest fishing competition, underwritten by SportsBet.

Territorian Steven Coulton is the latest fisho to bag himself a prize-tagged barra, with the lucrative catch reeled in at Wagait Beach on 6 December.

Caught off the bank of his front yard, the Wagait Beach resident was pleased to find himself $10,000 richer. He plans to split the cash with his mate Andrew Bates who was with him when he hooked the lucky catch.

It wasn't until the pair were filleting their 75cm barra that they realised the fish had a red tag in it. Now with an extra $5,000 in each of their pockets, the lucky duo say they'll spend their winnings on new fishing tackle, paying off some bills

As part of Season 7, every $10,000 fish caught is worth $1,000 extra to one of the Million Dollar Fish official charity partners. Steven chose Cancer Council NT. Once the Million Dollar Fish is caught, an additional $10,000 will be given to a Million Dollar Fish official charity partner.

The chances of becoming a millionaire, or even $10,000 better off, have never been higher. Still swimming around in Territory waterways for Season 7 are 104 prize-tagged barra worth $10,000 and eight fish worth a cool $1 million.

Regardless of skill level or experience, all fishos are encouraged to hit the water for the chance to reel in a Christmas cash bonus.

Million Dollar Fish Season 7 finishes on 31 March next year, meaning there's plenty of time to push the boat out or explore the Territory's land-based fishing locations.

Remember, all fishos must be registered to claim a prize-tagged fish. Registering is free at [] and you also go into the monthly draw to win great prizes. They include a Great Northern Tiwi Island Breakaway, Shimano fishing combos, Anaconda vouchers, Britz campervan getaways, Engel fridges and freezers and Top End fishing holidays and experiences.

Quotes from NT Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford:

"It's fantastic to see so many anglers cashing in through Million Dollar Fish Season 7. We are already up to our eighth red tag and, with the current Wet Season conditions conducive to barra fishing, we're likely to see plenty more fishos hook onto prize-tagged barra before the end of March.

"Million Dollar Fish does so much for our region in terms of giving back to local businesses, putting the NT in the spotlight and getting interstate visitors to the Top End between October and March.

"We are proud to deliver this iconic competition and look forward to seeing more local and interstate fishos win big through Season 7!"

Quotes from SportsBet External Affairs Manager Brad Fanning:

"It's been a whirlwind few months, with eight barra now caught as part of Million Dollar Fish Season 7. On behalf of the team at SportsBet, we are absolutely thrilled to see yet another $10,000 fish reeled in and an additional $1,000 donated to Cancer Council NT.

"While fishos are well and truly beating the bookie this season, SportsBet is proud to support Australia's richest fishing competition knowing the huge benefits Million Dollar Fish brings to the region.

"Just last month an additional 12 barra worth $10,000 were released into the Darwin region by the big man in red. There are still 11 of the beauties swimming around Top End waterways, so get out there for the chance to reel some Christmas cash!"

Quotes from winning fisho Steven Coulton:

"We were just sitting on the beach last night with three rods out with live bait when we hooked the $10,000 fish.

"I just happened to grab the rod with the red-tagged barra on it - we pulled it up and actually left it for 20 minutes in the dark. To us, it was just another barra.

"We sort of looked for a tag initially, but we were looking in the wrong spot. It wasn't until we were filleting the fish and started cutting down the backbone when we realised it had a red tag in it. It was pretty crazy, we had a couple of cordials on the beach to celebrate. Very exciting!

"We'll put the money towards bills and buy some more tackle and fishing gear. It's Christmas time, so there's bound to be a box of cordial bought somewhere. Andrew will also put some cash towards creating a new merchandise range for fishos."

Quotes from Cancer Council NT Chief Executive Officer Tanya Izod:

"'This is fantastic. Even in these difficult times, Territorians have shown huge support for the Cancer Council.

"This donation will go directly to funding our nurse-led cancer clinics to provide nursing support to cancer patients. It's wonderful to have such support for Territory cancer patients."

Image: Winning fishos Andrew Bates and Steven Coulton

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