Million Dollar Fish - Trip of a lifetime

Million Dollar Fish - Trip of a lifetime

Million Dollar Fish - Trip of a lifetime


There aren’t too many times you get the opportunity to fish a new location with an icon of the Australian fishing industry. Then throw in the chance to be able to win money while your fishing, not just a couple of hundred dollars, but Tens of thousands or maybe even a Million!!


Just recently I received a phone call from Natasha from Shimano head office to ask if I wanted to fly to Darwin and fish with Alex Julius for the Million Dollar Fish. I’m pretty sure she didn’t even finish asking the question, before I said “I’m in”! Before you know it, rods, reels and bags were packed and I was on a plane from Brisbane to Darwin, only 4 hours flight north!

The minute you hit the tarmac and are off the plane you know you are somewhere tropical, with hot humid heat hitting you immediately.  This means one thing, you are in an area where the waters are warm and the variety of the fish are going to be unlimited.

After a few hours of interrupted sleep due to excitement levels at their peak, I was up early and in the car to fish Hardy’s Lagoon, an extensive system that is lined with lillypads and pandanas, prime territory for hunting down Barra. We peppered every fish holding snag imaginable, with a few hits and misses from those iconic silver slabs, we still managed to land species such as sooty grunter, saratoga and archer fish.  Although the tail was between the legs, it just wet the appetite even more to land that Million Dollar Fish!


While that night I was tired from the heat of that day, the sleep never got any easier. I knew the next day we were going to fish a special location. Bynoe Harbour was a large wide-ranging river system lined with mangroves and snags, with gutters and drains breaking those surrounds. I’m glad I had locals Alex Julius and Roger Sinclair to fish with, because I wouldn’t have known where to start as everything looked so fishy. 


The local knowledge from these guys really helped, and it wasn’t long before we were in front of a drain which had mullet getting boofed from the surface left right and centre. We sat waiting patiently for these fish to push down close enough for us and before long, boom, I had a nice Barra smacking my hard body lure. Now I know fishing to anyone reading this is exciting, but when you know you have a barra on the other end of the line and it could be worth $10,000 or better still $1,000,000, it just takes things to the next level! Every time that fish leaped from the water my head was tilting, trying to see if it had tag in it!!  Unfortunately, he didn’t, but even so, it was awesome to land my first Northern Territory Barramundi, and even better to see him swim away after a couple of happy snaps!

Later through that session, seen Roger land a couple and Alex get himself on the board quickly as well, with a lot of banter in the boat getting slung around, ‘Is this the one’ , ‘here we go, I’m retiring on this fish’! All Barra were caught on various Shimano combo's but my two combo's of choice were the Chronarch / Zodias and Stradic FK / Raider. The day panned on with all of us chocking up a couple of fish each and retiring back to Alex’s place for a couple of well-earned cold beers.

What an initiative by Northern Territory Tourism, to come up with this concept!  You don’t need much arm twisting to make a trip to the fish rich water of the Northern Territory, but if anything is going to push you over the edge, it’s the chance to tangle with a Barra that could change your life and earn you a sweet Million Dollars!