Tom Roth’s late father, Jerry Roth, sits with a plump brown trout caught while trolling on Little Sebago Lake. Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

Mud season, tax time and unsettled weather aren’t the most exciting things about spring, but ice-out fishing is perhaps one of this angler’s favorite times on the water. I have so many great memories of April fishing trips past that I decided to visit a few of them this month and take the reader along as I reminisce.

Little Sebago Lake has always been a spring favorite for me. I started out fishing it close to 30 years ago with my old fishing and hunting partner, Rene Lavoie. We trolled streamers and lures along the shoreline in April and May and were rewarded with a variety of the trout species stocked there over the years. I then began taking my dad on an annual trip to Little Sebago. He lived on big Sebago Lake, but liked chasing trout. We had our last fishing trip on Little Sebago before he passed, so it holds a special spot in my heart.

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.

Of late, the lake has been stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout, along with a good dose of brood stock rainbows. I prefer the old-fashioned method of trolling sinking fly line with lures or streamer flies, and I work parallel to the shoreline, staying in anywhere from 8 to 20 feet of water. Little Sebago has some rocky structures and gravel bars that reach out into the lake, so you have to watch the depth finder all the time.

Favorite fly patterns here have always been the gray ghost and Barnes special, but most any pattern imitating a baitfish should do well. Small trout spoons such as Al’s goldfish, Thomas buoyant or small Mooselook wobblers also work well on the lake.

Another spring spot for me is Coffee Pond in Casco. This idyllic little pond nestled in a hollow just off Route 11 is stocked with splake and brook trout and has a good smelt population. The launch is shallow and small and only accepts small boats. I keep a square-stern canoe with a small outboard motor that is just the ticket for Coffee’s launch. Trolling the shoreline this time of year will be quiet as the kid’s camp and most camp owners don’t show until summer. Anything resembling a smelt works well here. Live baitfish are outlawed but I have used frozen smelt successfully and Gulp minnows in the smelt pattern work well, too.

If you want more splake action, Trickey Pond in Naples is for you. On top of splake, Trickey is stocked with brook trout and salmon. Larger spoons like the Northeast Troller patterns in orange or copper work well on Trickey. Mooselook wobblers in orange also work well. It’s fairly easy to stay in consistent depths when trolling the shoreline at Trickey Pond, as it is generally consistent, but a good fish finder and an app like Navionics will keep you on course and alert you to bottom changes.

As spring blossoms bloom and the days get longer, it’s a great time to get out on the water and chase trout and salmon on some of our smaller waters. You’ll see me out there, so be sure to wave.

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