THE thrill of reeling in a fish is usually enough, but when there's big bucks on the line the euphoria comes alive.
This is exactly what happened recently when Murray Cod Reel of Fortune prize went off within the Murrumbidgee River system.
Organised by Aquna, the competition is the Riverina's first tagged fishing event, giving anglers a chance to reel in $30,000 in cash prizes up until the end of August.
Good fortune and fishing prowess has now come the way of participant, Mark Williams, who has snapped up the competition's sought-after "goodwill fish", pocketing $5000 personally and donating an additional $5000 in prize money to his charity of choice within the Murray-Darling Basin system.
Mr Williams, who caught a tagged Murray cod near Narrandera while visiting his parents in the region, has selected OzFish Unlimited as the beneficiary of his angling efforts.
The not-for-profit organisation supports recreational fishers to protect and restore fish habitats.
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"Who would have thought I'd be lucky enough to tag-and-release a winning fish and be in a position to help a local charity like OzFish Unlimited install six large, woody habitats into the Murrumbidgee River near Yanco in NSW," Mr Williams said.
"It makes me happy."
The Murray Cod Reel of Fortune restoration project will provide vital homes and feeding grounds for native fish, and aligns with Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod's ongoing commitment to making a positive impact on the planet through targeted community initiatives.
The project will get underway on July 23.
The competition is still continuing where 10 legal-size, tagged Murray cod where released into the Murrumbidgee River between Wagga and Hay.
According to Mat Ryan, managing director, Aquna, the competition is about generating a competitive spirit between recreational anglers.
Freshwater fishing rules apply for Murray cod, as per the NSW DPI regulations.
Interested anglers can register at http://reeloffortune.aquna.com.
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