Northern Territory

Teen plumber breaks Million Dollar Fish record

2017’s Million Dollar Fish competition has smashed the season one record of ten $10,000 fish with Darwin teenager Wayden McHugh reeling in the 11th $10,000 barra near the Nightcliff Jetty.

The prize winning 61 centimetre barra was tagged and released in Darwin’s waterways prior to the competition, before lucky apprentice plumber Wayden hooked it with live bait off the rocks near Nightcliff Jetty last Friday 1 December 2017.

An avid fisho since a youngster, 19-year-old Wayden spent a nail-biting weekend waiting to find out if he’s the Territory’s youngest instant millionaire or $10,000 richer.

On learning he had caught a $10,000 fish Wayden plans to share some of his winnings with his fishing partner and live bait catcher, Uncle Roger and fix up his car.

“We’re going to cook up the barra for Christmas Dinner at my Nanna’s, using the whole fish with garlic and lemon, wrapped in foil on the Webber,” Wayden said.

Department of Tourism and Culture CEO Alastair Shields congratulated young Wayden on breaking the record reeling in the 11th fish prize-tagged fish of the competition.

“I encourage all anglers and their families to come to the Territory, try their luck at catching the Million Dollar Fish and enjoy our unique tourism experiences while they’re here,” Mr Shields said.

The Million Dollar Fish competition is a great initiative that has helped boost the NT’s reputation as the best place in the world to stay, play and fish and lure more visitors to the Territory during the wet season from October to February.

In Season 3 of the competition, 101 barramundi have been tagged and released across the Territory with 100 carrying $10,000 cash prize tags. That means there are still 89 $10,000 barra’s lurking and the prized Million Dollar Fish to be caught, plus a haul of prizes to be won just by registering for the competition.

The Million Dollar Fish competition attracts approximately 40,000 interstate visitors to the Top End for fishing each year, as well as an additional 40,000 Territorians that travel to fish across the year.

CrownBet CEO Matt Tripp said he couldn’t believe that eleven fish have already been caught so early in to the competition.

“We’ve officially broken the record of the most fish caught in any season, and who knows… the million might be next!”

“Season 1 saw 10 prize-tagged barramundi worth $10,000 each caught, season 2 reeled in eight $10,000 barra’s and with this latest catch of number 11 for season 3 the competition has awarded a total of $290,000 in cash.”

For information on NT fishing regulations and best practice catch and release methods download the free Northern Territory (NT) Fishing Mate app on your smart phone.

Source: NT Government

Featured Image: Waydeny McHugh with the prize-winning barra

Image courtesy of NT Government