It's raining fish

A Darwin woman has caught the fourth $10,000 fish in the Million Dollar Fish competition. 

Sue Swindale landed a 75 centimetre $10,000 prize-tagged barra from the Mary River Bridge Lagoon on Saturday.

“Fishing is my peace. My husband Ken and I fish every weekend, we do all the billabongs - Corroboree. Hardies, Shady Camp and we love to fish and stay at the Mary River,” Ms Swindle said.

Ms Swindle has landed some big fish in the past, catching an 89 centimetre barra at Hardies and an 87 centimetre barra in the Elizabeth River, and she has a brag book to prove it.

“We have been taking the grandkids fishing when they visit the NT with us since they were six weeks old, they’re now 16 and 12 and our brag book records every fish caught in the boat.”

Ms Swindale added that she had been fighting to land the 75 centimetre prized barra for a little while when husband Ken scooped it up and noticed the red tag.

“I didn’t know the red tag meant a prized fish – I thought it was either a tracking device or maybe last seasons – then we saw the tag had season three and it’s just been a waiting game to see what it might be worth,” she said. 

Ms Swindale’s catch is the fourth barramundi worth $10,000 to be caught as part of the NT Government’s Million Dollar Fish competition.

The Million Dollar Fish competition kicked off on October 1 and the $1 Million tagged barramundi still to be caught.

Another winning barra was reeled in by 18-year-old William Budd off the Southport Boat Ramp, Berry Springs – a regular fishing spot across the road from his house. 

James McDonald caught a 63cm prize-tagged barra in Shady Camp Lagoon while fishing with mates.

NT resident George Voukolos pulled the first winner from the water late last week. 

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.

Unlicensed fishing tour company

Meanwhile Northern Territory police have charged a 59-year-old New South Wales man after he was caught allegedly running an unlicensed fishing tour company.

Water Police Senior Constable Sean Stanley said the man had been advertising the charters in a shop and online.

“Water police travelled to Limmen Bight, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, where the man was arrested in the process of conducting a tour,” he said.

He has been issued a Notice to Appear on November 15 for:

·       Unlicensed fishing tour operator

·       Unregistered fishing vessel (x2)

Senior Constable Stanley said these rogue operators are undercutting professional, licensed guides.

“There are many costs involved to be a licenced fishing tour operator – including licence fees, registration and insurance,” he said. 

“As a result, unlicensed operators may charge substantially less. The unsuspecting punter on board these operations think they’re getting a good deal – but if they are injured while on board the vessel, they are not covered by public liability insurance.”

Senior Constable Stanley said Water Police will continue to target unlicensed tour operators in the Territory.