Sam King shows off the 770mm Saratoga he caught using a lure at this year’s Tag-A-Toga event at Lake Borumba organised by the Kingaroy Sportfishing Club (Photo: KSC)

March 13, 2024

A three-day Tag-A-Toga event held at Lake Borumba, near Imbil, on March 1-3 attracted 63 anglers keen to gain a better understanding of the lake’s resident Saratoga population.

Saratoga are an ancient fish, believed to date back to the Eocene era about 50 million years ago.

Although they have very poor eating qualities, Saratoga are renowned for their willingness to take lures and flies, and their acrobatic performances – once hooked – have made them a premier freshwater sports fish.

The Tag-A-Toga event is part of a long-term citizen science project pursued by the Kingaroy Sportfishing Club (KSC) which aims to collect data on the population and growth rate dynamics of Saratoga.

This was the eighth year the KSC have run the catch-and-release event at Lake Borumba, and the detailed data they collected also includes what lure / bait was used, the time of capture and the terrain where each fish was caught to help other anglers trying to land one of the species.

“The fishing this year was the most successful on record,” KSC vice-president Shaun Manthey said.

“A total of 131 Saratoga were caught and most were tagged with pink tags before they were released, which will allow us to learn even more about these ancient creatures.

“It’s also great to see people unlocking the secrets of landing these fish and this was proven with the results this year.”

The event is usually limited to 20 boats, but this year it was expanded to 26 teams due to the demand from previous participants.

The club thanked the staff at Borumba Deer Park for their venue and hospitality, along with sponsors BCF, Garmin Australia, Sunshine Mitre 10 and Australian Freshwater Fishing Charters for helping make the gathering such a success.

This year’s event was the ninth held at the lake, and it will also be the last because enough information has now been gathered about the Borumba impoundment.

Next year the club will turn its attention to Boondooma Dam, which also has a Saratoga population.

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The Kingaroy Sportfishing Club offers its members an opportunity for mateship, education and skills development in a family-friendly environment.

To learn more about fishing in the South Burnett or to become involved, contact them through their Facebook page.

Steve Doyle, from the Sunshine Coast, with a cracking fish he caught during the three-day event (Photo: KSC)
Karen Bradwell displays one of her top catches, which was released after being tagged (Photo: KSC)
Matt Cockram with a healthy specimen … KSC members have taken nine years to map Lake Borumba’s Saratoga population and discover the best techniques for catching this ancient fish (Photo: KSC)

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