The author shows off a typical Sebago Lake lake trout taken while fishing Jordan Bay in February. Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

The news we have all been waiting for: There is ice on Sebago Lake!

Well, on Jordan Bay, at least. After a strange winter with mild temps followed by an arctic blast, Jordan Bay caught and currently has 5-7 inches of ice in almost all spots. The recent big storm and high winds resulted in deep snow near the shoreline, but a combination of bare ice and 2-4-inch snow cover on most of the bay.

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.

Ideal conditions for fishing and snowmobiling. With this news, anglers are out angling and snowmobilers are out snowmobiling. Guides Dan Hillier and Jon Peterson, two buddies of mine, headed out on the first of the month and reported icing a few whopper lakers. I saw the pictures, so no fish stories here!

The big bay skimmed over briefly, but with any winds, that will break up. I’m not confident that the big bay will freeze this year at all. Anglers reported fishing Frye’s Gut, but I wouldn’t venture too close to the opening of the big bay.

The big event on the lake is the Sebago Lake Ice Fishing Derby put on by the Sebago Lake Rotary Club. The 21st annual derby will be held Feb. 19 and 20. There are tons of prizes and the derby helps the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists by removing excessive togue numbers in hopes of restoring more salmon fishing. That weekend is also a free fishing weekend so anglers do not need a license. The two-day event also features a Polar Dip on Raymond Beach to raise money for the Feed the Need Program. Go to for all the details.

Sebago togue are abundant and are primarily found on the bottom this time of year. I catch most of my winter togue by jigging in water from 30-100 feet deep. Last year we were catching lakers in 168 feet. That was a first for me. I have my best luck by jigging in one spot for 15-30 minutes, then moving. I also use a flasher to monitor for fish activity by my lure. If I see a fish move in but don’t get a strike, I change jig lures. Sometimes adding a piece of shiner or sucker as bait seals the deal and generates a strike. Anglers are allowed five lines through the ice, so I always set four traps and jig one rod. I bait my traps with 6-inch suckers. I find that I get bigger fish, but the action is slower. Bigger but slower is a derby-winning strategy, but my trophy wall would prove otherwise.

For jigging lures, I always start out with a nickel Swedish pimple jig tipped with a piece of sucker belly or shiner tail. I also have good luck with tube jigs, especially white- or green-colored rigs.

For anyone wishing to try ice fishing, The Sebago Lake Anglers Association, in conjunction with the Naples Recreation Department and American Legions Posts 148 and 155, is hosting an introduction to ice fishing event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, on Long Lake. Access the event at Kent’s Landing on Route 302 in Naples. Food and hot beverages will be served all day, and all bait and equipment will be provided. SLAA club members will be on hand to assist anglers of all ages. Winter is finally here, get out and enjoy it!

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