Lake trout fishing on Sebago Lake, Cumberland County, Maine (December 2, 2012)

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A cool, foggy, and drizzly morning on Sebago Lake

Sebago Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C1) is considered a prime landlocked salmon fishery in southern Maine. The state enhances the natural reproduction that occurs in its main tributary, the Crooked River, by stocking the lake with juvenile salmon annually in the spring. I arrive at East Sebago off Route 114 at 7:10 am to meet up with my son Joel. We are going to troll for landlocked salmon and lake trout above and around the sunken ridge that lays about 1.5 miles due east of East Sebago. This large structure, which rises from >100 ft deep and levels off about 35-40 ft below the surface of the water, is a well-known “fish attractor”. The morning is cool, foggy, and drizzly, which suits us just fine. The air temperature is in the low 30’s but there’s hardly any wind. We don’t see another soul on the lake. It looks like everyone else has stored their rods, even though there is still plenty of opportunity for open-water action even this late in the season… We select slender silver-and-blue DB Smelt spoons which have worked well for us on Sebago Lake in the past, and use downriggers to bring them to the right depth.




Joel shows off his first lake trout of the day caught on Sebago Lake

Joel shows off his first lake trout of the day caught on Sebago Lake



Our fish finder shows several schools of bait fish, all of which are invariably surrounded by larger predators. The schools are 20-30 ft below the surface. We constantly adjust our fishing depth to match that of the schools’. Joel’s rod suddenly twitches several times. He immediately slams his rod upwards to unclip the fishing line and hooks into a feisty fighter. The fish makes several deep runs but quickly tires out and emerges to the surface: it’s a decent 22.5” lake trout. We’re on to something! We reset our lures and continue to circle the structure for another 45 minutes, when my rod starts to twitch. I am rewarded with a much less impressive 17” baby lake trout…


Sebago Lake, Maine

Joel’s second lake trout from Sebago Lake caught 90 ft down.

It’s now 10:30 am and we need to get going. We decide to troll to shore instead of just buzzing back at full speed. I place my lure 12 ft below the surface in the hope of enticing a passing landlocked salmon on the way in. So does Joel, except that he keeps an eye on the fish finder, which shows a bunch of fish 80-90 ft down! He doesn’t hesitate and drops his rig weight down to 90 ft in the hope of getting into the vicinity of whatever is swimming at that depth. I snicker at him, but I really should now better by now… His rod suddenly shudders and he immediately hooks into a fish. He fights it to the surface and it turns out to be a nice 24” lake trout. I am humbled and also drop my line 90 ft down, but by then it’s too late because we are quickly approaching shore. Joel got the best of me today but revenge will be sweet next time around : )





The results: I caught a 17” lake trout, whereas Joel caught a 22.5” and a 24” lake trout in 3.5 hours of fishing.


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