At 45 square miles, Sebago is Maine’s second largest lake and, with a maximum depth of 305 feet, its deepest. The lake is home to several species of game fish, most notably landlocked salmon, which bears the Latin name of Salmo sebago.
Boat fishing for salmon begins right after ice-out, which typically occurs in mid- to late April. At this time the fish can be caught in and around the rivers that feed into the lake. The fishery hits high gear in the first half of May. This is prime time for trolling spoons and flies near the surface on light gear, according to local sharpie Charlie Frechette of Sebago Marina. Hot spots include the waters between Spider Island and the Muddy River, as well as the area between the Songo River and Bear Point. Proven lures include the DB Smelt, Speedy Shiners and similar smelt-imitating spoons and plugs. Effective flies include the Magog Smelt, Barnes Special, Senator Musky and Winnipesaki Smelt. Frechette likes to run at least one lure close to the boat in the flat water of the wake and one long line set 100 to 200 feet back; best trolling speed is 3 mph.
Sunfish and other panfish are available in some parts of Sebago, providing fun for kids throughout the day.
Once June rolls around, the salmon and the smelt move to deeper water (50 to 80 feet), which triggers a switch to downrigger trolling. Frechette generally fishes 2 downrigger lines at 45 to 55 feet, and 2 at 75 to 85 feet. He says the salmon (and other game fish) will usually hold around suspended schools of smelt. A good fishfinder is useful for finding the smelt, but the presence of gulls sitting on the water can also indicate bait below. Again, the top lures are smelt-imitating spoons like the Speedy Shiner in Brown Trout, red/gold and chartreuse/silver patterns.
Another popular Sebago fish is lake trout, or togue. These fish can weigh up to 20 pounds, although a 5-pound fish is considered a good catch these days. While anglers often catch trout while fishing for salmon around the smelt schools, another method involves trolling large Murray spoons close to the bottom at 2 to 4 mph.
Sebago has an outstanding fishery for smallmouth and largemouth bass, with the month of June producing great light-tackle action around nearshore structure and shallow rockpiles. Poppers and flies work well at this time. The bass move to deeper structure and rocky bottom in 30 to 35 feet of water through the summer and early fall, when jigging soft-plastics and bucktails and fishing live bait (shiners and worms) become productive methods.
Sunfish and other panfish are available in some parts of Sebago, providing fun for kids throughout the day. Good spots include mud-bottom areas such as Turtle Cove and the Muddy River.
For information on access, check out Maine Lake Charts Inc. of Gardiner (207-485-0330). They publish an excellent—and essential—chart and boating guide for Sebago showing all of the lake’s ramps.
Bait & Tackle:
- Jordan’s Store (207-787-3866): For top-drawer fishing information, tackle, bait, guides and news, check out Jordan’s on State Route 114 near Long Beach in East Sebago.
- Port Harbor Marine-Jordan Bay (207-655-3845): Marina with on-site launch ramp and tackle shop.
Sebago Lake Fishing Charters & Tours (207-939-6971)
Reel Fishin’ Charters (207-310-0627)
Anglers over the age of 16 who wish to fish in Maine’s marine waters out to 3 miles from shore, including the waters surrounding its offshore islands, must register annually with the state. There is a $1 to $2 service fee to register. The permit expires on December 31.
The following individuals do not need to register:
- Persons under the age of 16.
- Persons fishing aboard a charter or partyboat.
- Persons renting a smelt shack from an individual who holds a commercial operator’s permit.
- Persons with a disability.
- Disabled veterans.
- Persons holding a saltwater recreational fishing license from another state.
- Maine residents who purchased a freshwater fishing license and who checked a box indicating that they intend to fish in saltwater.
- Maine residents fishing on July 4, Memorial Day weekend, or Labor Day weekend.
To register online, go to:
Seasons, Catch & Size Limits
For information on Maine’s saltwater fishing regulations, by species, go to: Maine Department of Marine Resources.