IT WAS the chase for the Northern Territory's Million Dollar Fish.

Well, not quite.

Spending a week in Darwin that includes games against North Melbourne and Geelong (on Thursday night), Gold Coast players had a few pockets of down-time to fill in.

So, following a recovery session on Monday morning at the Darwin waterfront, Matt Rowell and Jack Lukosius hit the ocean.

Transported by local company Offshore Boats Fishing Charters, the pair headed out to chase some lucrative fish.

The Northern Territory Major Events Company runs the 'Million Dollar Fish' competition for six months each year, tagging 100 barramundi. One of those 100 is worth, you guessed it, $1 million, while if you're lucky enough to catch another with a lucky red tag, you can win $10,000 apiece.

Now, the competition officially ended on April 30, with a Katherine teenager winning the life-changing prize, but several tagged fish remain out there, and the boys were keen to try their luck.

Rowell and Lukosius got kitted out – "all the gear and no idea" as one member of the football department chuckled – and were joined by some members of the club's media team to capture vision and yours truly to document it.

It was a relatively short window to hit the water, but with a midday launch and temperatures topping 34 degrees, it probably wasn't smart to be out there until sunset with a game three days later.

The guides wasted no time in taking the two boats 15 minutes away to some mangroves where the players cast their lines for the first time.

With quite a gentle day on the water easing Rowell's worries about seasickness, the young midfielder could concentrate on the important stuff – how he was going to catch a fish and outdo Lukosius.

"This is positive. We're on here. This is our turn." Rowell is 'Captain Positive', even when it's slow going.

Whether it was manifestation or luck, Lukosius felt a tug on the line, wound the reel, watched a fish skip over the water a few times and managed to reel it in. Thankfully, it stayed on the lure and the boys safely got it into the boat.

Lots of whooping and hollering ensued – as you'd expect. Even though there was no money up for grabs, the boys were hopping to see a tag, but no luck there.

It wasn't much later when it was Rowell's turn. The rod started to bend, the boat got excited, and just like he does on-field when there's a tackle to be made, there was no way 'The Fox' was letting this go.

Maybe we'd found a good spot? Alas, no red tag again, but a couple of fish to take home.

We persisted a little longer with no luck, before venturing a little further to pick up some crab pots our hosts had generously put out earlier in the day.

Empty. Empty. Empty. Empty. Empty. Empty. Bang! In the second last of eight pots there was success with a mud crab. As the boats eased another 100m or so for the last collect, bang again! Another one.

It seemed like a nice way to finish the three-hour stint on the water.

A couple of fish and a couple of mud crabs wasn't bad for half an afternoon's work.

I did have one favour to ask the boys once we'd docked and got off the boats though.

With a surname like mine, Whiting, it's no surprise my nickname around the footy industry is 'Fish'.

So, for the purposes of social media, I politely asked Rowell and Lukosius that since they couldn't land the Million Dollar Fish, perhaps we could snap a picture of them landing the 70kg version – me.

It was pretty silly, but thankfully they're good sports and played along, giving us all a good laugh to finish the day.