Golden tag frequently asked questions

When did the promotion start?

1 March 2020.

Why has Golden Tag been suspended? (as of 9 July until further notice)

The Golden Tag promotion was established to support bushfire affected communities and business by encouraging visitors and recreational fishing tourism back into bushfire affected areas. The current COVID-19 stay at home orders and state border closures are inconsistent with the aims of Golden tag which is to encourage visitation to fire affected areas.

How long will it go for?

The golden tag promotion will run for 12 months from the official start date of the competition, finishing on 28 February 2021.

How many fish have been tagged?

More than 1,000 fish have been tagged for the promotion.

What if I catch a tagged fish outside of the official dates?

Fish caught prior or after the start and completion dates will not win the angler a cash prize. Fish caught during one of the COVID-19 suspensions will not be eligible for one of the cash prizes. We will, however, provide a special Target One Million merchandise pack for any recaptures of fish outside of the promotion period.

Note that fishers will be expected to sign a statutory declaration that they have caught the fish in line with the terms and conditions.

What species are tagged?

In East Gippsland, black bream, dusky flathead, tailor, luderick, estuary perch and King George whiting have been tagged. In the North East, keep an eye out for Murray cod, redfin, brown trout and rainbow trout.

How does the tagging work?

In most areas we've tagged fish from already existing populations within healthy waterways, that have had minimal impacts from the fires. These fish were caught, tagged and then released for recapture by a lucky fisher. Some fish have also been stocked in certain lakes and impoundments (e.g. trout).

Where can I catch the tagged fish?

They're around communities including Mallacoota, Cann River, Bemm River, Orbost, Marlo, Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers, Omeo, Dartmouth, Mitta Mitta, Corryong, Falls Creek, Tallangatta and Bright.

How do the prizes work?

To win one of the prizes up for grabs, you'll need to catch a fish with a golden tag and report the details of your catch, with photo evidence, to the Victorian Fisheries Authority (see ‘how do I claim a prize?’ below). The first ten fishers to catch a fish with a golden tag and report it will win a $10,000 prize. All tagged fish caught and reported after these first ten will be worth $2,000 each for the duration of the promotion.

How do I claim a prize?

If you catch a tagged fish, first record the fish’s length. Photograph the fish with the tag still in place (make sure you take a secondary close-up photo of the tag which clearly shows the number), then remove the tag (cut it off carefully close to the fish’s skin) and keep it in a safe place. Contact the Victorian Fisheries Authority on 03 9658 4737, and provide your name, contact details, tag number, species of fish, waterway, location the fish was caught and overall length.

Do I have to keep my fish to claim a prize?

No, you’re welcome to catch and release if you wish, or if the fish is undersize or oversize (dusky flathead and Murray Cod). Before releasing your catch, take a photo of the fish with the tag still in place and remember to remove the tag. Also make sure you take a secondary close-up photo of the tag which clearly shows the number.

Who can claim a prize?

No registration is required. The prizes are eligible for any recreational fisher with a Victorian fishing licence (unless they are exempt) who catches a tagged fish by legal methods.

Can you win more than once?

The $10,000 prize was limited to one per individual, however the $2,000 prize can be won multiple times.

Can spearfishers get involved?

Yes, provided they’re in areas where spearfishing is permitted and carefully follow the rules and regulations. Spearfishers will also need to provide a greater level of detail when reporting their tag to prove their fish was caught via legitimate methods, in a permitted location (e.g. photos that show the speared fish with tag and the exact location it was caught – GPS coordinates would help.)

Read up on the rules for spearfishing here.

What do the tags look like?

The tags are standard T-Bar fish tags and are specially marked yellow with the following wording on the tag “VFA WINNER Golden tag Ph 0396584737”.