Season 9 of Australia’s richest fishing competition is heating up, with fisho James McWilliam pocketing himself $20,000 after hooking a Season 9 red-tagged barramundi. Carrying a $10,000 red tag, the fish was worth double the money as part of the popular ‘Double the Dough’ campaign, which ran over the weekend.

James, who luckily called the Million Dollar Fish number to say he caught a red-tagged barra an hour before the Double the Dough initiative finished, reeled in his lucrative 82cm catch at lunchtime on Sunday, 19 November.

A member of Defence, James was on a day fishing trip with mates in Bynoe Harbour near Crab Claw Island Resort.

Million Dollar Fish, supported by SportsBet, sees prize-tagged barramundi released in waterways across the Darwin, Kakadu, Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land and Katherine regions. This season someone is guaranteed to win a million dollars. The season runs from 1 October 2023 until 31 March 2024.

Each time a fisho catches a $10,000 barra, they can donate an extra $1,000 to the Million Dollar Fish charity of their choice. SportsBet doubled the charity money for this fish, and James decided to give the $2,000 to Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Six lucky fishos have now bagged themselves a $10,000 barra since Season 9 began on 1 October 2023. There are still 94 red-tagged $10,000 barra out there, plus the 11 sporting the big million-dollar tags.

To claim any cash from a red-tagged barra, a fisho must be registered for Million Dollar Fish. Registering is free and easy. Anyone who registers automatically goes in the monthly Lucky Prize Pool to win thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes. To register or find out more, visit

“Double the Dough is a favourite among fishos, with heaps of people out on the water over the weekend trying to hook a red-tagged barra!

“We’re incredibly lucky to live in such a unique part of Australia that offers some of the world’s best barramundi fishing. Million Dollar Fish plays an important role in driving tourism and bringing interstaters.

“It’s also prime time for barra fishing at the moment, so I’d encourage as many people as possible to register for Australia’s richest fishing competition and explore our world-class fishing regions for the chance to score a million bucks!”

Natasha Fyles

Chief Minister and Minister for Major Events

“We’re thrilled to see a local fisho cash in through our ‘Double the Dough’ campaign. I’d like to congratulate James McWilliam on his prized catch, which will see him take home a huge $20,000.

“With more red-tagged Million Dollar Fish out there than ever before, the odds are definitely in the favour of the fishos this season. Remember, there are still 11 million-dollar barra out there, and we can’t wait to give away the million.”

Thijs Bors

Operations and Partnerships Manager, SportsBet NT

“My mates at work said they’d take me out on a fishing trip as I’d just got a new posting to Sydney, and it’s always been on my bucket list to catch a barra.

“We weren’t having that much luck and two of my mates were making sandwiches when I snagged the barra. I could tell he was big and my mates coached me as I reeled it in. We didn’t see the red-tag until it was in the boat and we all went crazy. I was stoked. I’m still shaking.

“We decided to keep on fishing that afternoon and by the time we got back the tide was low, so we had to wait. We didn’t get back to Darwin until late, and I was about to go to bed when I thought I better ring the Million Dollar Fish line.

“I’m so glad I did. I didn’t realise it was Double the Dough. I’m going to share my winnings with my mates, my mum and probably buy myself a new rod and some fishing gear.”

James McWilliam

The Winning Fisho

“Starlight relies on community support to help us deliver happiness to sick kids in the Territory. We’re so grateful to be involved in Million Dollar Fish again this year, and on behalf of the Darwin Star Ball Committee and Starlight Children’s Foundation we thank James McWilliam for his thoughtful donation.”

Jesse Butler

Hospital Program Manager NT, Starlight Children’s Foundation