Mason Lemair of Rhode Island shows off his first Sebago lake trout, caught while fishing with the author. Tom Roth / Lakes Region Weekly

Ray Lamair and his son Mason drove all the way up from Rhode Island to fish with me this past weekend. Their first time at Sebago Lake, they were intent on catching lake trout and salmon. We headed out on a perfect foggy morning and were trolling along the Dingley Islands in about 50 feet of water when my downrigger tripped. I handed the rod to Mason and he was on a fish! The incoming sixth-grader handled the rod like a pro and I soon had a nice 20-inch lake trout in the net.

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.

I was throwing everything at the fish that day. All my lines had Northeast Troller spoons in a variety of colors and patterns. I had one downrigger following the bottom with a nickel/copper hammered spoon. That’s been my go-to lake trout lure this summer. I had the other downrigger at 35 feet with a Pink Lady spoon. I had two fly rods off to the side, each tipped with an Orange Crush spoon, perhaps the best-producing lure of the summer for salmon. Finally, I had two planer boards set with four colors of lead core line with a Pink Lady and Orange Crush lure. By the end of the day, we had action on every set.

The next rod to bend was the 35-foot downrigger. It popped and I assumed it was a salmon. Imagine my surprise when Mason dredged in a 17-inch lake trout. Next, we had a hit on the fly rod with the Pink Lady and Mason brought in a small bass. We had a few hits and misses on the lead core lines and ended the day with a short salmon on the lead core line with the Orange Crush spoon. Mission accomplished for the Lemair boys on their first trip to Sebago Lake.

As September rolls in, the water cools, the lakes quiets and local anglers get in some great fishing. As much as I lament the end of summer – and this summer was hands-down one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed on the lake – I look forward to enjoying September fishing. As the water cools, salmon really come on the bite, as do lakers. The bottom-dwelling lake trout come up in the water column and it’s anybody’s guess what will be on the end of the line when a hit takes place.

This year, lures dragged at a good 2.5-2.8 MPH did the trick. Last year it was live or frozen bait trolled slowly. I may slow the boat down more this month and throw on some live or preserved bait. Dave Garcia of Naples Bait and Tackle hooked me up with a mess of preserved smelts so I’m itching to try those out. My plan is to run smelts on the bottom-down rigger sets with a big copper cowbell spoon. The salmon sets will be fly rods tipped with smelt on an adjustable bait rig.

September fishing action picks up with cool nights and cool water. Once October hits, anglers must abandon bait of any kind and stick to lures or streamer flies. Stay tuned next month for what’s catching fish then!

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