The second season of Million Dollar Fish will have even more prize hooks to lure anglers and promote tourism in the Top End.
Registrations opened today for the competition to begin on October 1 when 101 barramundi will be tagged and released at fishing locations across the Northern Territory.
One will carry a million-dollar prize tag and the other 100 fish will be worth $10,000 each if caught.
An extra $160,000 of bonus prizes will also be awarded, making one of Australia’s richest fishing competitions even richer.
Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Adam Giles, said the second season would build on the success of last year, which attracted more than 43,000 registrations from 62 countries including 25,800 people from interstate and 14,600 Territorians.
Ten prize-tagged barramundi worth $10,000 each were caught in Darwin Harbour, Daly River, Corroborree Billabong and Bynoe Harbour.
The competition also generated national and international media coverage worth more than $22 million.
“There’s no doubt the Northern Territory is home to some of the best fishing in the world and everyone wants to catch an iconic Northern Territory barramundi,” Mr Giles said.
“The Million Dollar Fish competition is timed to influence travel to the Top End during our low season from October to February.
“Last year’s competition generated spin-off benefits for local businesses, with marine dealers reporting a boom in outboard motor servicing, servos selling more fuel and tackle shops and fishing tour operators reporting increases in business.
“Season Two will have a strong focus to encourage anglers to stay, play and fish in our regions like Arnhem Land, Kakadu and Katherine which all offer incredible fishing.”
Special “Insider Tips” videos featuring well-known Northern Territory fishing identity, Alex Julius, have been created to give competitors the best chance of catching a tagged barra.
Mr Giles thanked major sponsor CrownBet for continuing to support the Northern Territory and providing cash prizes for Season Two.
The additional bonus prizes for Season Two include five HelloWorld holidays to five different regions in the Northern Territory flying Qantas, a Jayco Camper Trailer worth fridges, Shimano and BCF Fishing Tackle, JMGilles Classic Lures, Accor Hotels for Le Club points, Qantas flights, XXXX GOLD cartons and a fishing charter.
The bonus sponsor prizes will be drawn monthly from July 2016 to February 2017.
“This means everyone who registers will have the chance to win prizes right up until the end of the season, even if they weren’t able to find a tagged fish,” Mr Giles said.
Registrations are open from today online at milliondollarfish.com.au
CrownBet chief executive Matt Tripp said the Northern Territory is the ideal location to stay, play and fish.
“As a proud Darwin citizen, CrownBet is thrilled to partner with the NT Government to present season two of Million Dollar Fish where there’s $2 million up for grabs,” Mr Tripp said.
“We’re committed to driving tourism and economic benefit to the Territory and we’re confident that this year will be even bigger than season one where fishos hooked 10 barramundi and $100,000 of prizes.”
Cricket legend Matthew Hayden joined the launch of Season Two in Darwin today and will again return as the competition’s official ambassador.
“I can’t wait to get out on the water with some mates and turn our next NT fishing trip up a notch,” Mr Hayden said.
“There really could be no better time to book that must-do NT holiday. Reeling in one of the winning fish would be a sure-fire way to make your Top End trip even more unforgettable.”
Tourism NT has worked with stakeholders including the Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT to ensure the competition complies with sustainable fishing and best-practice tag and release.
The competition will run from 1 October 2016 to 28 February 2017 and participants must register online at www.milliondollarfish.com.au to compete.