Information For Visitors

Fly Fishing - Saratoga in the Savanna

The Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical Queensland in conjunction with Jabiru Safari Lodge is pleased to offer anglers an exclusive opportunity to experience the thrill of targeting these wonderful fish, in an environment second to none.

The Gulf Saratoga Scleropages jardini is an ancient fish, from the Osteoglossidae (Bony Tongue) family, one of oldest on the planet. Having been around since the dinosaurs ruled the earth; they have not survived this long without being a cunning, top line predator in their Australian tropical freshwater habitat. Just look at that upturned jaw, those deep set eyes at the top of their head and that huge, bony mouth - you have a surface feeding predator if there ever was one.

For eons they would have cruised tropical Australia's billabongs and lagoons, lurking just below the surface, hiding amongst lily pads and water plants, just waiting for that unwary insect, frog or bird to come too close.

These much sought after species cannot resist a well presented surface fly or popper. Cast close to a sub surface structure and 'blooped' tantalizingly across the mirror surface, their crashing strike is a spectacular sight. Their golden bronze body flashes in the clear water and is just visible for that millisecond before it all erupts as the Saratoga's jaws engulf the fly on the surface. You must have your wits about you though, as that tough bony mouth does not offer an easy hook up.

A quick strike from your free hand is required to set the hook and then the contest begins. Saratoga fight doggedly all the way to the angler, jumping and gyrating in their efforts to be free...possibly even more spectacular to that other prime northern target, the Barramundi. They are in esteemed company indeed.

A series of 12 interconnected lagoons, creeks and channels weave their way across the 5,000 acre Reserve, with lagoons ranging in size from several hundred acres to much smaller intimate habitats. Fishing uses barbless hooks and all fish are returned unharmed.  A record is taken of all the fish caught, to assist in the conservation management of the Reserve.

Accommodation & Activities

Visitor activities within the Reserve are managed for the Conservancy by the operators of Jabiru Safari Lodge. For more information on tours, activities, accommodation and special events, please visit: www.jabirusafarilodge.com.au or contact the Visitor Centre on (07) 4093 2514.

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Jabiru Safari Lodge At Mareeba Wetlands