Landlocked salmon fishing on Sebago Lake, Cumberland County, Maine (October 8, 2012)

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Sebago Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C1) is considered a prime landlock salmon fishery in southern Maine. The state enhances the natural reproduction that occurs in the Crooked River by stocking the lake with juvenile salmon annually in the spring. I arrive in East Sebago off Route 114 at 9:30 am and am picked up at the shoreline by my sons Joel and Jonathan who have been trolling the area since early morning. They have focused their attention above and around the sunken ridge that lays about 1.5 miles to the east of East Sebago. This ridge rises from >100 ft deep and levels off about 35-40 ft below the surface of the water. It’s a fine morning: cool (lower 40’s), mostly overcast with heazy sunshine, and a gentle southwestern breeze. Rain is forecast for late afternoon. The surface water temperature varies from 59° to 61°F, and the fish finder marks fish 15-30 ft down. We’re using downriggers to troll our lures at these depths. We present spoons of different shapes and colors to figure out what the salmon want today. Jonathan caught an 11” baby salmon on a yellow-colored Mooselook spoon before my arrival. We seriously tease him about it!




One happy angler with his catch!

One happy angler with his catch!



Unfortunately, we can’t seem to hook any more salmon today, although I do get two hits on a DB Smelt spoon. It’s late afternoon and time to head back home. I decide to increase my hooking chances by tightening up the clip mechanism on my downrigger so that the line doesn’t release at the slightest touch. My rod shakes hard halfway between the sunken ridge and the shoreline, but then remains quiet. Mmm, that’s strange. I keep an eye on the tip of my rod when it shakes again a minute later. I quickly grab the rod, swing it up to unclip the fishing line, and feel a serious weight at the other end. It is a nice salmon, hooked at the last possible moment before we reach the shoreline. Unfortunately, it has already lost much of its stamina fighting the downrigger weight. There isn’t much fight left in him when I reel him up to the boat, which is a real pity because it’s a nice 21” fish. But he makes my day regardless! The fish gets releases to be caught another day.

The results: I caught one 21” landlocked salmon in five hours of fishing.


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