One fisherman won AU$10,000 ($7,000) after catching a prize fish that was being hunted by a 6.5 foot crocodile.
Amateur angler Brian Ahrens was off the coast of Australia’s Northern Territory on Friday 30 minutes after a fishing trip when he spotted a barramundi with a red marker. Ahrens knew that the label meant that he could win $10,000 by catching the fish in the “Million Dollar Fish” contest held in the area every year.
Now in the sixth season of the competition, which runs from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, over 120 tagged barramundi will be released at locations throughout the Northern Territory. Those who catch the fish will be eligible to win prizes worth up to AU$2 million, including 100 fish bearing a red tag. Seven barramundi are marked with a AU$1 million tag, with the jackpot prize going to the first person to catch a barramundi.
Ahrens from the small town of Humpty Doo said he has lived in the Northern Territory for 13 years and almost always goes fishing at the Bridge Lagoon where he caught the award-winning barramundi. The fish are popular with both professional and recreational anglers because they are large, their meat is of high quality and they can easily be lured by artificial bait.
When Ahrens tried to catch the fish, he spotted a 6.5 foot crocodile chasing him. The predators, which can grow up to 10.8 feet long depending on their sex, can lurk under water for up to an hour before they locate their prey and drift into the water with their powerful tails.
About catching the fish, Ahrens said in a statement: “A crocodile seemed to be very interested in him and made a bit of a fuss about the fish. When I wrapped him up, I saw the crocodile on the surface chasing after him.
“I was so excited when I saw the red mark, but trying to land the fish on my own was quite a challenge – I was glad to finally get him in the boat!
The fish was 26.7 centimeters long, which means it was probably about three years old according to the Northern Territory government. Barramundi can grow up to 39 inches long until the age of eight.
Ahrens said he would use the money to pay off his mortgage.
Brad Fanning, head of foreign affairs for the SportsBet betting company, said in a statement: “Catching barramundi is a challenging task in itself, not to mention when you’re dealing with a crocodile. I think Brian Ahrens has well deserved his $10,000 check”.