Chance to catch a $10K fish worth $1m in promotional value
IS it time to plan a massive tagged fish competition for Lake Somerset or Lake Wivenhoe to provide sport and generate regional economic benefits?
The success of this year's tagged barramundi initiative in the Northern Territory offers plenty of reasons to consider something similar here.
While I was in Darwin last week, two anglers caught barramundi carrying $10,000 tags.
You can imagine the excitement that caused the winners and other anglers.
It was priceless promotion for the Northern Territory as a holiday destination.
Under the Tourism Northern Territory's Million Dollar fish campaign, 76 barramundi were tagged and released.
- POLL: Would the Northern Territory's million dollar tagged fish campaign work in our nearby freshwater lakes?
One barra was worth a million dollars to the lucky catcher.
The other 75 tagged fish will yield $10,000 if caught before the February 29, 2016 deadline.
People planning a fishing trip or to chase the lucrative reward only had to register on a website while in the Northern Territory.
The first tagged fish was caught in Darwin Harbour when a dad was having a day out with his son.
"We can't believe we caught one of the tagged fish,'' Darwin resident Liam Hale said. "We always go out fishing as a family and thought we'd try our luck.''
A second fish was caught days later by Brendan Pringle, who knew how valuable his catch was once safely in the boat.
His friend confirmed the sighting of a red tag, meaning $10,000 was on the way.
The competition launched on October 1 was a hot topic of conversation in the Territory.
Sponsors like Qantas, local travel agencies, BCF, XXXX Gold and CrownBet provided vital backing to the campaign.
Popular former Queensland and international cricketer Matt Hayden was chosen as the face of the tourism promotion.
"Fishing the Top End is like nothing else,'' Hayden said.
"Just being immersed in nature and the big skies over the outback. It's a unique holiday I think all Aussies should experience.''
As campaign ambassador, Hayden provided handy tips and a video presentation, which can be viewed on the website: milliondollarfish.com.au
While the Territory is in the spotlight this year, imagine what value a similar campaign could achieve in our nearby freshwater locations with bass, golden perch or Murray cod the tagged targets?
Lake Somerset and Lake Wivenhoe have been well stocked for many years by some of Australia's most knowledgeable fishing people.
Their involvement, coupled with the right Council and corporate financial backing, could be beneficial for Ipswich and our beautiful valley locations.
The chance to catch a $10,000 fish would surely lure more tourists to the region.
Would the Northern Territory's million dollar tagged fish campaign work in Ipswich's nearby freshwater lakes?
This poll ended on 05 November 2015.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.