Peter Belanger of Pennsylvania shows off a beautiful Sebago Lake salmon taken while trolling with the author. Photo by Tom Roth

The calendar has flipped to October, and I can’t believe how fast the summer and September in particular flew by. While heralding the start of fall, October also brings a virtual smorgasbord of outdoor activities for sporting guys and gals. It’s a wonder anyone knows where to start.

While this guide pulled his boat at the end of September, fishing still continues on Sebago and many of my guide pals are still running trips. As of Oct. 1, anglers must use artificial lures only and all salmon must be released alive. Anglers can still harvest lake trout per the usual rules (no bag limit on lakers up to 26 inches and one fish 26 inches or larger may be kept).

The salmon angling really picked up in August and went strong through September. They seemed to be all over the lake and hard to pinpoint, but once you found them, the bite was on. We relied on reports from other guides and anglers, and social media sure played a big role in gathering salmon intel. Electronic fish-finders help, too. If you locate a big ball of bait (generally smelt or alewives), troll through it and hold on. Another old-fashioned way of finding fish is to read the water and look for bird activity. Gulls swooping down and hitting the water are grabbing bait fish that salmon chase to the surface. Similarly, groups of loons or mergansers working an area spell bait fish. I saw all of these activities and adjusted my fishing accordingly.

Although the bait restriction is in effect, don’t despair. We have been having great luck with lures. Any of the products by Northeast Trollers seem to work and, in particular, the orange spoons with the “sparkly” finish slayed the salmon. I also had great luck with DB smelts in the silver/blue pattern and also did well using Live Action Twitch minnows, realistic-looking rubber fish.

Duck hunting opened up in this region on Oct. 1 and provides some great gunning for the waterfowl crowd. I hunted in Auburn for the opening day of the north zone and saw a good mix of mallards and wood ducks and even went home with some organic, free-range mallard breasts.

While grouse hunting is tough in this neck of the woods, a patient hunter with a good dog can bag a partridge now and then. I liked to hunt the old farmsteads in Raymond when I was younger. All the old properties and ancient apple trees that once produced fruit for the family, oftentimes right outside their door. Although neglected, many of these trees still bear fruit and it is not uncommon to catch a grouse pecking away at an apple at the base of such trees.

For some fast-paced gunning, you can’t beat pheasant hunting. The folks at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in conjunction with local sporting clubs raise and stock ring-necked pheasants at release sites in Windham and Gorham, providing some good sport for dog and hunter. Check out their website for details and remember that you need to purchase a pheasant permit.

Wild turkey season is open and hunters can bag five birds of either sex for the season, no more than two per day.

Archery hunters and have the month to practice their craft on white-tailed deer. This is a great time of year to get out before the woods become more crowded during firearms season.

This month is jam-packed with sporting opportunities. You can enjoy a true cast and blast adventure, fishing and hunting in the same day. You just need to get out there and do it!

Tom Roth is a freelance outdoor writer who lives in Raymond on the shore of Sebago Lake. He has been fishing and hunting in this region for more than 30 years and is a Registered Maine Guide.

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