Two mates are $2000 richer after a fishing trip to Lake Charlegrak, where they snagged a golden tagged murray cod.
Horsham angler Geoff Miller said he and his friend Kevin decided to try their luck at Lake Charlegrak after hearing about the tagged fish.
"He wanted to try out Kevin's sight imaging on his sounder, and Charlegrak was good water so we decided to go," he said.
"We talked about it on the way over, even to the point where we made an agreement that if one of us was to catch a tagged fish we would share the winnings with the other."
Geoff said he and Kevin never expected to actually catch the tagged fish, after a long day of nothing and having seen other anglers with a few cods already.
At around 5pm Geoff started reeling in a cod with a strange object protruding from its head.
Geoff thought it was one of many umbrella grass seeds that fouled their lures until the fish surfaced closer to the boat.
Once the pair realised they nervously operated the landing net to bring the fish aboard, unsure whether it was a $2000 or $10,000 dollar fish.
Geoff said he plans to spend his reward on more fishing supplies, with some of the winnings to go to his fishing partner.
"I suggested 50/50, but he said he wouldn't take that much off me so we ended up dividing it 90/10. I honoured the deal so he got a landing net fee of $200," Geoff said.
The Golden Tag competition was organised by the Victorian Fisheries Authority in an effort to attract more tourism out to Victoria's regions.
Geoff said the Golden Tag inspired the pair to travel out to Lake Charlegrak.
"Great initiative, we made the decision to go out to the lake partially on the basis of catching the tagged fish. Our expectations weren't too high but it was a pleasant surprise to catch the fish," Geoff said.
Under the program, tagged fish were released into several waterways across the state. The tagged fish are worth $2000 or $10,000 if caught, with the exact amount only being revealed once the fish is presented to the Fisheries Authority.
The $2000 cod was the last tagged fish in Lake Charlegrak, but more have been placed around the Wimmera, in places like the Wimmera River, Taylor's Lake, Lake Fyans, Lake Purrumbete and Rocklands Reservoir.
For more information, visit https://vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing/golden-tag-promotion
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