Southern saratoga (Scleropages leichardti) is a freshwater Australian native fish. It belongs to the subfamily arowanas (there are a number of arowana species throughout the Asia/pacific) and like all of these species, they are a mouthbrooder.
Southern saratoga are native to the Fitzroy River system, however they are also found in many of the freshwater impoundments situated on the Mary, Dawson and Burnett rivers. Many South East Queensland dams have also been stocked with them. Hinze, Wivenhoe, Somerset, North Pine, Kurwongbah, Borumba and Ewen Maddock have registered stockings.
Saratoga prefer slow flowing or still water with structure in it. Timber and areas with lily pads are areas they like to hide or use to ambush any food that may swim past. They are known as an aggressive and territorial fish.
Lures are the preferred choice of most anglers. Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, hardbody lures and surface lures will all produce a reaction from a saratoga if thrown into the right areas. Fly fishing is also a very successful way of catching saratoga. Larger surface flies and wet flies are your best options. Saratoga are not a regular capture by anglers using bait. They are occasionally caught on freshwater shrimp and yabbie baits.
Southern saratoga are considered a poor eating fish, with most anglers considering them a sports fish and returning them to the water after capturing them.