Liz Ranco from Massachusetts shows off a nice Sebago lake trout caught while fishing with Tom Roth using lead-core line. Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

When I was a youngster and before my parents bought their place on Sebago, we would visit a variety of lakes in the summer to fish and relax. We brought along an old 6-horsepower motor and rented a boat if the cottage didn’t come with one. My dad would talk to the local tackle shops and get tips for fishing and by the end of our stay, we usually had the fishing dialed in. Some of my favorite stays were at Sebago Lake and Rangeley Lake, both fabled fishing locations.

Today’s summer visitors rent from a local rental company, or more commonly via Airbnb. Social media provides many tips on angling and the Sebago region has several Facebook sites dedicated to fishing her waters. Local guides, such as myself, cater to putting visiting anglers on the water and onto fish. We are geared up with expensive electronics, downriggers to reach the fish and a vast network of intel on where the fish are biting and where the bait is hanging out.

But what if a visiting angler wants to hit the big lake on their own? Last year when Leah Drinkwater opened up Sebago Outfitters on Route 302 in Raymond, fellow guide Glen Gisel and I helped her get her fishing inventory up and running. Along with fishing gear, she sells a lot of lake-themed items and visitors stop in for these goodies. I suggested she sell pre-rigged trolling outfits so newcomers to the lake can get down deep without a downrigger and they have been selling like hotcakes. She grabbed the idea and now sells Eagle Claw Starfire trolling rods outfitted with an Okuma reel spooled with lead-core line, leader and tipped with a dodger and the hot lure of the week (in this case a Northeast Troller orange crush spoon) that I set up. Drinkwater says these rigs are flying out the door by visiting anglers and those new to fishing Sebago who don’t have downriggers on their boat or their rental boat.

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.

Right now on Sebago, the salmon and lake trout are up high in the water chasing smelt and alewife. I’ve been using the same exact setup Drinkwater sells and running three to four colors of lead-core line out and getting fish. For those not familiar with lead-core line, it is a thin wire of lead, wrapped with nylon and each section of 30 feet is a different color. We run our lures at 2.5 to 3 mph and at that speed, the lead-core line sinks about 8-10 feet per color. We also run a 30-foot section of fluorocarbon leader before attaching a lure. I’m also having great luck trolling sinking fly line on a fly rod with the same lure. Nothing beats a Sebago salmon or lake trout on a fly rod.

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