Olivia Roth, the author’s daughter, with a nice Sebago smallmouth she caught off the family dock many years ago.   Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

I can see my dad sitting in his plastic chair at the end of the dock. The sun is slowly sinking in the west and an orange hue hangs in the sky. He has an old cup filled with nightcrawlers at his feet and a cigar in his right hand. A bobber rests on the surface of the lake several feet in front of him. After a few minutes of no action, he pulls it in and casts it out to a new spot. Finally, the bopper drops below the surface and he is battling a whopper bass. I don’t know how many times this scenario played out, but I can assure you it took place every June for as long as my dad spent his summers on the shore of Sebago Lake.

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.

June is synonymous with bass angling as the bass make their way to the sandy shoreline to spawn and provide for some top-notch angling opportunities. Most days in June, when I was a youngster, Dad and I would work our small boat parallel to the shoreline and cast into it. I would often catch shore or a dock and Dad would have to maneuver the boat in and get me unstuck. When my casting was on target, I would often be rewarded with a battle with a feisty smallmouth guarding the nest.

My lure of choice was either a Mepp’s spinner or a small Rapala minnow. In theory, you could almost drag anything across a bass nest and elicit a strike. They are ferocious when it comes to protecting the nest. As I got older and got hooked on fly fishing, I would use a sinking line and a streamer pattern with equal results. Many times, Dad with put a shiner on a hook with a bobber about for feet above it and let that drift off the back of the boat as we worked the shoreline. It sometimes took a while, but almost every time we did this, we caught a bass. Dad preferred the old-fashioned topwater lures, especially on a still evening after a rain. He really got excited when a bass would smash his old jitterbug lure as it gurgled across the surface.

Modern anglers use tube jigs and spinnerbaits. I got into the spinnerbait craze a few decades ago and they do work. I think I prefer the tube jigs, however, as I can cause them to dip and fall and I believe this brings in a lot of strikes.

I fished on Sebago mostly as the family camp was there. Convenience was king. But I also fished local waters as well. Little Sebago Lake was one of our favorite “other” spots. With miles of rocky and sandy shoreline, Little Sebago was great for bass, too. We employed the same techniques, but if Dad or I got bored, we would slowly troll the shoreline and get bass and the occasional brown or rainbow trout.

June is the top month for bass angling in this region. Be sure to quickly play the fish so they can go back to the work guarding the nest, ensuring future angling opportunities.

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