Target ancient wild native southern saratoga and other freshwater species while experiencing the Australian Outback! This multi-day fishing experience caters for one or two people offered during the dry season from May until December or the first floodwaters arrive.
The arowana are internationally renowned as premier sportfish that inhabit freshwaters across Asia and Northern Australia. The Southern Saratoga (Scleropages Leichartdi) are one of seven known species of arowana. The Fitzroy Basin, in Central Queensland, Australia holds the only native wild population of Southern Saratoga found on the planet. Southern Saratoga are one of the largest of the arowana and to grow to 1m (3 ft) in length, though more commonly caught in the 60-75cm (2-2 1/2ft) range. The primitive fish are olive green along the back and lighter along the sides and belly. There are one or two striking pink to orange spots for each scale.
Saratoga are slender fish with flat backs and a dorsal fin aligned towards the tail. The fish hunt and feed along the surface, making for fantastic sight fishing on lure or fly even in the turbid waters they inhabit. The lower jaw slopes steeply upwards and carries two fleshy barbels on the chin. The arowana are known for their bony mouths and the southern saratoga are no different. This can be the cause of frustration for anglers because, though they readily take presentations, it can be hard at times to get the hooks to set! Saratoga are very poor eating due to the presence of numerous fine bones, but the aerobatic displays make them a sportfishing spectacle.
– Vehicle transfers to and from Rockhampton Domestic Airport to various western river systems
– Camping in dome swags on camp stretchers (supplied) in the Aussie outback.
– Simple hearty meals prepared as a group
– Quality fishing outfits and lures / flies
– Property Access Fees
– Dedicated local guide
Hotel accommodation can be arranged at a extra price.
The Fitzroy Basin is the second largest seaward draining catchment in Australia. At 142,000 square kilometres, it is similar in size to England, South Korea or Florida. Our fishing adventures focus primarily on the Isaac, Connors, Mackenzie and Dawson Catchments several hours to the west of Rockhampton. Much of the river frontage and freshwater lagoons that the saratoga inhabit require access through large, privately owned grazing properties (Ranches).
Guided Fishing Downunder have negotiated exclusive access to these private properties so that you can experience fishing on some of the most productive southern saratoga waterways in the Fitzroy Basin. One of the big added benefits is that these locations see little fishing pressure. The waterways selected are in the most natural state giving the angler opportunity to hunt and catch saratoga living, feeding and behaving how they have for millions of years. Waterways are generally remote and fishing is land based, from kayaks of from our vessels depending on the areas visited and your fishing and health requirements.
Anglers who have mastered the art of flyfishing or lurecasting will be rewarded with more opportunities to cast at the cruising top water fish. Proficient anglers will also get their fair share of shots, with more patience required at times to wait for a fish cruising past less or easier casting windows.
Do you want to talk it all through before booking? No problems! Give us a call on 0400 221 055 and discuss you next fishing adventure today.
Getting to the Fitzroy
The Fitzroy Basin is situated in Central Queensland, Australia. Rockhampton is the best entry point for your southern saratoga fishing adventure. Rockhampton is a large regional centre with a Domestic Airport that has multiple flight options offered daily by the major airlines.
If your flight gets into Rockhampton before 1PM, we can pick you up directly from the airport and get straight on the road for the fishing adventure. The closest southern saratoga fishing grounds are a 2-3 hour drive away.
For those getting in later, there is a good selection of overnight accommodation options in Rockhampton where you will be picked up early the next day.
For those travelling from overseas, entry is via Brisbane International airport with regular flights for most major international airports across the globe.
Are you flying to the Fitzroy Basin via Emerald, Biloela (Thangool) or Moranbah for work and want to add a fishing adventure on to the start or end of your work trip? Guided Fishing DownUnder can also pick you up and drop off to airports and accommodation in these townships.
Southern Saratoga can be caught at anytime of the year. Guided Fishing DownUnder offer our Outback Southern Saratoga Fishing Adventures throughout the year. During the summer months saratoga are more active and fishing can be exceptional. However it can be hot and humid and the weather is a lot more unpredictable, with storms and flooding causing potential issues and late changes to plans. Fishing during this time of year will focus on the cooler morning and afternoons, with travel and rest periods during the heat of the day.
Fishing during the dry season, which spans from April to November is exceptional and also provides the most stable and reliable weather conditions. These are also the cooler months of the year, where daytime maximums are 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68-86 Fahrenheit).