Brian Lovering shows off a nice fall salmon taken while fishing with the author. Tom Roth photo

Turkey hunting, pheasant hunting and some of the best fishing of the season. Who doesn’t love October? On the water, Sebago angling is heating up. Salmon are on the bite during the early-morning hours and again after sunset. As the lake turns cooler, salmon come up closer to the surface and actively feed.

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 took my neighbor’s son and his friend out trolling the other evening. We were marking fish in 15-25 feet of water in Jordan Bay. I set both downriggers to 20 feet and put out two fly rods with sinking trolling line. I tipped the two fly rods with Northeast Troller orange crush lures and the downriggers had the old Wonder Bread pattern on them.

I hadn’t even started trolling for five minutes and we had a hit on the downrigger. It was a plump but short salmon. That would repeat itself three more times. Finally we got a hit on the port fly rod and the fight was on! The youngster played the fish, and I could tell it was a good one, but sadly he lost it before we got a look. This is salmon angling on Sebago in October.

Trolling with lead core line (4-6 colors deep), downriggers where you are marking fish (typically in 15-30 feet of water) or using sinking fly line works wonders on fall fish. Using orange and pink lures seems to work now, although I’ve always had my best luck on Sebago salmon with anything orange. As of Oct. 1, anglers cannot use live bait and all salmon must be released alive immediately. Lakers also come to these same lures and move about the water column, but I still seem to dredge the bigger fish off the bottom. Lakers can still be kept with the same regulation as earlier — unlimited fish except only one can be 26 inches or greater.

For feather chasers, fall turkey season is in full force. I had never hunted these birds in the fall as they don’t decoy and don’t respond to calls, but with an abundance of birds on my girlfriend’s farm, I decided to give it a go. I knew the birds were spending a good time of the morning in the back field, so I set up a blind near their favorite spot. Sure enough, on opening day I had an old hen drag her flock of youngsters right in front of me. I opted to take one of the young birds and leave the hen to produce more. After my easy hunt, I was hooked on fall turkey hunting. The key to my success was scouting the birds and watching them daily to intercept them.

Pheasant hunting is also another fall favorite for the wing-shooting crew. The folks at Fish and Wildlife, along with local sporting clubs, stock pheasant on wood lots and fields so we can enjoy the thrill of a large bird erupting at our feet. Hunters using dogs fare better but walking hunters can stir up birds and flush them. Be sure to zigzig when you cover ground, emulating a four-legged hunter. For a list of stocking sites, visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web page.

October is a prime month to enjoy a cast and blast day. Start your day chasing turkey or pheasant and end with a fishing trip. A true fall adventure.

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