Sebasticook River, Burnham

Key Species: smallmouth bass, pickerel, white perch, crappie, brook trout and brown trout possible

Best Way to Fish: canoe, bank Best Time to Fish: May and June MAG: 21, C-4

Description: This is a slow-moving river, best for warmwater species. It is easily accessible and a good spot to fish with children because of the wide variety of species available. Bank fishing, wading, and canoeing are all popular fishing methods. Dams at Winslow and Benton are also popular spots, with wading and bank fishing available. A hand-carry boat ramp is located above the dam in Winslow, and the river is navigable all the way upstream to Benton. Special fishing regulations include an extended artificials-only fishing season with a 16-inch length limit and a reduced bag limit on salmonids. Check the Open Water Fishing Regulations booklet for details.

Fishing index: The pool below the dam in Burnham is a good place to start. Use ultralight spinning tackle for the above-mentioned warmwater species. Small Mepps spinners can be deadly here on white perch and crappie. Small lead-head plastic-bodied jigs in chartreuse and yellow are effective too. Use Dardevles and Mooselook Wobblers for pickerel, casting the lures, allowing them to sink, and slowly reeling them back. Be sure to impart plenty of teasing action in order to stimulate pickerel. Smallmouth bass are taken on spinnerbaits and curlytail jigs. Watch the line as your jig sinks, because smallmouths often pick up the lure as it falls to the bottom.

On weekdays, you may have this place to yourself. However, this site can be a popular place on weekends and evenings in May, when local anglers come to catch white perch. If you want to get in on the action, or simply enjoy the social aspect of fishing, use light spinning tackle and worms or night crawlers. Most local anglers use bobbers, but you will get more hits (and lose more hooks) by fishing your worm on the bottom. A small split shot may be needed to add extra weight for casting.

You can launch a canoe above the dam, although there is no formal ramp. Upstream, you will come to some islands, as well as riffly areas, coves, and weed beds. Good smallmouth bass and crappie fishing can be found in this part of the river.

Directions: From Winslow, which is across the Kennebec River from Waterville, take Maine Route 100A north to Benton, where the road becomes Maine Routes 100 and 11. Continue north on Maine Routes 100 and 11 to Burnham, where you will see a dam on the Sebasticook River, right along the road.

For more information: Contact the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Regional Fish and Wildlife Headquarters in Sydney.

Sebasticook River, Burnham Photo Gallery

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