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Tag Comp Awards Thousands

Tag Comp Awards Thousands

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Regional Victoria is experiencing a fishing tourism boom, with the Golden Tag competition racking up a huge $100,000 in prizemoney paid to winners since being expanded and relaunched.

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Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the competition is having big benefits on the tourism industry, with fishers travelling across the state to chase up to $10,000 for landing a tagged fish.

The competition started in March 2020 to encourage tourism after bushfires in Gippsland and the Victoria’s North East, before being suspended as Victoria dealt with the Coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.

An expanded, state-wide competition was relaunched at Loch Sport in November 2020 to encourage visitation to more of regional Victoria.

In the months since, tagged fish have been caught all over the state from flathead at Mallacoota, to Murray cod in the Wimmera, to trout near Bright and much more.

The lucky fisher to chalk up the $100,000 mark was Gary Arthurson, one of many East Gippsland residents who knows all too well how difficult 2020 was. Gary was fishing at Tamboon Inlet last month when he landed a tagged flathead and collected $2,000 to reach the competition milestone.

All up, in excess of $270,000 has been paid for more than 70 catches since Golden Tag began and there are still approximately 1000 tagged fish swimming in Victorian waters.

Some of the speciesincluded in the Golden Tag competition are flathead, bream, luderick and whiting in Gippsland, brown and rainbow trout in the North East, Murray cod and golden perch north of the divide and popular marine species such as kingfish and southern bluefin tuna off the South West coast.

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