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Saratoga - Scleropages leichardti & Scleropages jardini

For those that enjoy chasing fish for sport, one of the best freshwater sportsfish are saratoga. These prehistoric fish trace their ancestry back to Gondwanaland and have relatives throughout the world and are more commonly known as bony-tongues or arrowana overseas.
Australia has two species of saratoga, one of which lives entirely in central and southern Queensland. The southern saratoga's natural range is restricted to the Fitzroy River system but in recent years has been stocked into many of our lakes in southern Queensland including lakes Somerset, Wivenhoe, Hinze, Borumba and Cressbrook and the Brisbane River.
Although very poor table fare, saratoga are renown for their willingness to take both lures and flies and their acrobatic performances when hooked are the stuff of legends. Their hard, bony mouths make hooking and landing them difficult. Sharp hooks are a must for these fish.
The bodies of saratoga are relatively flat across the top half of the body and their eyes are also on the top of the head indicating this is a surface feeding fish. Keep this in mind if targeting them.
Shallow diving lures, surface poppers and surface flies are the best ways to get them to strike. Try a steady retrieve with long pauses in between for best results.
Saratoga are very slow to grow but will breed in our lakes unlike most of the other stocked fish in our dams.
In a bid to bring greater numbers of saratoga to the anglers of south east Qld, a newly formed stocking group, in conjuction with Quintrex boats are about to begin injecting hundreds of these great sport fish into Atkinsons Lagoon. But don't rush out there trying catch one just yet. It will take several years before they are of a catchable size.
There is a bag of one saratoga per person in possession and a minimum size limit of 50 cm.

Garry Fitzgerald.

The Author with a Sothern Saratoga

Related Topics:
Dawson River Fishing - Garry Fitzgerald
Australia's Arrowana - Garry Fitzgerald
A well Kept Secret, Cania Dam - Garry Fitzgerald
Borumba Dam Information Page
Atkinson Dam Information Page
Cania Dam Information Page
Somerset Dam Information Page

Advancetwon Lake ( Hinze Dam ) Information Page
Lake MacDonald Information Page

Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia