Sebago Lake was really showing off for the 378 visiting anglers at the 2019 TNT Bassmaster Eastern Regional. If you are not familiar with the term ‘angler’, it means any person using a pole or rod and reel to catch fish. The main focus for the anglers participating in the Tournament on Sebago Lake is the largemouth and smallmouth bass, both species prevalent in these waters. B.A.S.S or Bass Anglers Sportsman Society is very specific about how they determine the lake in which they will hold these fishing spectacles. The conditions of the lake must be just right in terms of visibility, clarity of the water, mid-range temperature, bass habitat, and much more. Sebago Lake’s surface acreage is 30,513 acres and the average depth is 107 feet making it a sublime setting for these expert bass anglers. It would seem that at the end of the day, fishing really is a numbers game.
In order to sustain this species and keep the sport alive and well for all future generations, B.A.S.S. began using a catch and release program for the bass caught by anglers in sanctioned tournaments. Once the fish are caught and weighed in, they are released back into the lake or river from which they came. It is now mandatory prior to the start of each day during the tournament, that every boat is equipped with working live well aerators to help keep the fish alive throughout the tournament. Additionally, any angler bringing a dead fish to weigh in is penalized. This is catch and release; the concept of returning the resources back into their habitat with as little damage as possible so they are able to be caught again. This is especially important to the caretakers of Sebago Lake as it improves native fish populations by allowing more fish to remain and reproduce in the ecosystem. This practice provides an opportunity for increasing numbers of anglers to enjoy a successful catch.
Sportsmanship in every tournament is an unspoken rule. The rewards keep getting bigger and there seem to be more boats out on the water each year. It goes without saying that the teams honored this rule to keep the sporting event fair. “We talked about things after Day 1 to make sure people who didn’t do well were helped out; we communicated with one another to make things work,” Maine team captain Keith Aucoin said. “We were pretty spread out on the lake; we weren’t on top of one another. We stayed away from one another so we didn’t use up our fish”. This team strategy definitely worked in their favor as Laurence Hogue was the top boater for the Maine B.A.S.S. Nation state team, which finished first in the event’s team competition.“I think our win had much to do with us being familiar with the water because when it’s hard and pressured like this, fish are only in certain areas.” Aucoin said his team benefits from a good mix of ages and experience levels, as more senior members help coach and guide younger anglers.
Sebago Lake is one of Maine’s most important natural resources. It is one of the state’s largest lakes and, at over 300 feet deep, it is the deepest lake in New England. Point Sebago Resort is located on the pristine northern shores of Sebago Lake and is the perfect camping location for all ages. This 775-acre resort and 18-hole championship golf course have been a premier family vacation destination for 50 years. The picturesque location, award-winning activities for adults and children, entertainment programs, and nationally-recognized 18-hole championship golf course combine to create the perfect vacation destination. The resort offers numerous ways to stay with choices of vacation rentals, glamping, and RV sites.
If you are an avid angler, enjoy a day out on the lake, or even just enjoy the simple pleasures of being in nature: come see why the director of B.A.S.S. Nation said: “We had a great time up there this year! Can’t wait to get back…”