Is this Australia's unluckiest fisho?
ANDREW Veal may be the Territory's unluckiest fisho, catching a $10,000 barra two weeks before the official competition started - making it nothing more than a fish with a plastic tag in it.
On what could have been his last fishing trip for months, the Herbert resident hopes the poorly timed catch will be the last in a bad run of incidents which include him slicing open his hand, undergoing surgery for a broken back and struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Veal decided to go for one last fishing trip in early October, before major back surgery was due to keep him housebound.
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"I only got a week's notice to operate on my back, which was quite quick, and I thought I'm not going to be able to do anything for quite some time … I'm going fishing," he said.
"I had a plaster on my hand, couldn't hold my rod properly, a buggered back so I couldn't stand up, and I caught the tagged barra, two weeks before the season started.
"I rang the MDF and they said too bad, so sad."
Mr Veal said the money would have come in handy for his pile of medical bills.
"I haven't worked since November because of the operation, so I'm a bit broke as it is," he said.
"I've definitely got some bad luck from something, that's for sure."
While it went through his mind, Mr Veal said he had to be honest, and didn't consider keeping the fish and the tag until the competition began.
"It's just dishonest and I couldn't live with that.
"It's really easy to freeze your fish and thaw it out but I didn't want to be a part of that.
"I kept the tag as the memento, a $10,000 piece of plastic."
Originally published as Is this the NT's unluckiest fisho?