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Author Topic: Saratoga and their Cartwheeling billabong acrobatics!  (Read 1895 times)

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Saratoga and their Cartwheeling billabong acrobatics!
« on: August 07, 2011, 06:57:20 PM »
Prehistoric Saratoga on FNQ’s Coleman River
A first timer on the Coleman River in Queensland’s far north could be forgiven for thinking they had stepped out of a time machine and onto the casting deck of the boat 20,000 years ago. A thick overhanging canopy of ancient tree branches is well developed for much of its length and aquatic life consisting of big fish, bigger crocs, and any number of mammals and marsupials use the river’s freshwater billabongs as a primary and vital source of water.   
The prehistoric and dinosaur-like Saratoga has seen many a sports angler travel from far and wide, even across the globe, to firstly test a paid fishing guide’s ability in locating the species, and then test their own angling skills, equipment and grace under pressure as the species cartwheel through the snags, lilly pads and virtually anything that gets in their way. Casting small three inch soft plastics pre rigged with a treble stinger, we were both surprised and delighted to find a thriving population of Saratoga not far from our bush camp which a group of Dubbo anglers recently called home for over a week, approximately 180 kilometres south east of Weipa in Queensland’s far north. 
The launching point for the boat was anything but standard, with Scotty Watkinson’s Skeeter delicately backed in off the edge of a rocky creek crossing and waded out between a boulder strewn pool that some would hesitate to launch a tinny from.  Using the electric motor, we uncovered a stretch rarely fished or even visited by modern day humans, with adolescent Barramundi, Sooty Grunter, Freshwater Long Tom and a handful of other species showing no fear in attacking a cast lure as soon as it hit the water.
Half way along the stretch, we knew it was no Barramundi when Matt Craft’s tight cast into the timber edge was ambushed by a sub-surface predator that exploded in a series of acrobatic cartwheels up and down the river for somewhere between 4 to 6 minutes.  A Saratoga just shy of 70cm soon came on board for a photo as all admired its large croc like armour plate scales, bony mouth and its beautiful colouration with pink and purple specks shinning in the sunlight.
With deep set eyes, huge head, and upturned jaw, the Saratoga is a predatory hunting machine that has survived the test of time, with the species survival being dated back literally to the time of the dinosaurs.   
Matt Hansen


Matt Hansen. Dubbo Catches and the Central West Angler Author. Lake Burrendong Classic President- Not for profit Catch and Release annual comp- Easter every year. All proceeds to re stocking. www.iwra.com.au
Sustainable Fishing - Not Freezer Filling!

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Re: Saratoga and their Cartwheeling billabong acrobatics!
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 07:38:00 AM »
Top stuff guys. They are an incredible fish too look at aren't they.

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Re: Saratoga and their Cartwheeling billabong acrobatics!
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 09:53:14 AM »
Thanks for the report Matt ,  would love to explore that neck of the woods sometime myself.

 

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