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>The Rights of Spring-Part 1

>You Don't Have to be Cold and Wet
>KP3 The Fishing Detective
>Beat the Snow-Try Big O

FALL 2013

>Extreme River Smallmouth Fishing, Then and Now!

>Is the Susquehanna and Endangered River?
>Spring Trophy Hot-Spot
>Boys of the Outdoors

FALL 2012
>Bassin' the Nanticoke River
Float and Fly Technique

>Northen Pike or Chain Pickerel?
>September is Big-Time For Outdoorsmen

>Summer Walleye Patterns

>Why Go Fishing?
>Tidal Largemouth Bass on
Top Water Baits

>Cranking Up a Limit of Bass


>How to Beat Cabin Fever
>Smallmouth Bass Food Non-Pareil
>Tidal Potomac River: Penrod Cove
>Insured To Fish, Drive & Survive

MARCH 2011
>Ken Penrod's 10 Seasons for Tidal Bass
>Big Fish on Deep Creek Lake
>Creature Baits for River Smallmouths
>Cold Water Susky Smallmouths

APRIL 2011
>Circle Hooks For River Smallmouth Bass
>Cold Water "Kitty Cattin" on the Tidal Potomac
>Spinnerbaits for Post Spawn-River  Smallmouth Bass

MAY 2011
>Structure Scan
>Snakehead Opportunities
>Fuel Tips for your Outboard
>Boys to Men-One Week, an Outdoors Lifestyle
>Pocomoke Bass Fishing 101

JUNE 2011
>Fishing From Algonkian Park on the Upper Potomac River in Late Spring Early Summer
>Soft Stick Bait Stratagies for
Post Spawn Tidal Bass

JULY 2011
>Booking a Fishing Guide for your Deep Creek Lake Vacation
>Catch River Smallmouth in Low, Hot Water
>Beat the Heat for Summer Blue Catfish

Cheap Chicken or Healthy Bass
>Fishing Northern Virginia 101: Getting Started
>How to Beat the Heat and Catch Some Nice Bass

>Cast & Blast
>September is Topwater Time on Deep Creek Lake
>Selecting the Proper Fishing Rod


The "Rights" of Spring-Part 1
By Capt. Ken Penrod III

Perfect Spring Combination- bright
green grass and bass.

The "right" lure - Case Magic Stik
with spinner.

The next few months will be your best opportunity to experience the Tidal Potomac bass fishery at its very best. This is the season when the bass magically appear at their biggest, hungriest and most aggressive- like an out of state mother in law’s unplanned visit at Christmas. It is that special time when we can suspend (hopefully) all the talk of their demise and enjoy the reincarnation of a long lost friend- the largemouth bass.  However, Spring alone is not a guarantee of bass fishing success and I have been the victim of pursuing many of the “wrongs” instead of the “rights” of Spring.  The “rights” of Spring have been critical to me in optimizing my fish catching success during this very brief but most productive time of the bass fishing year. So let me go over a list of my “rights” of Spring.READ MORE>>>

You Don't Have to be Cold and Wet
By Ken Penrod

A well-dressed angler will take care of his head, face, hands and feet.

Perhaps no outdoors activity challenges our ability to “dress” properly as does deer hunting. Get it right guys, or suffer.

I sit on a sloped area overlooking a wooded bench in about 6-inches of snow wondering when the buck from last night’s, smoky-camp, dream would show himself. I didn’t have a watch but I know it was an hour after Dad dropped me off before the first dull light peeked through the leaf-barren oaks. Every little sound, like that chipmunk digging leaves under a stump or distant rifle shots so far away—made my 12-year old heart beat like a drumming grouse. The boots I wore were two sizes too small—hand-me-downs from an uncle, and that Navy Pee-coat was too large, so holding heat was a job. I didn’t have good gloves but mom had tucked her church-going, hand knit gloves into my pocket the day before we left Portage, on our way to a cabin near Sinnamahoning, PA—and that made me smile.READ MORE>>>

Beat the Snow-Try Big O

We found that clear water and the last few hours of the day
were  most productive for our stay which was early January.

By Ken Penrod

It’s not cheating when a northern-guy takes a sabbatical in January and February, especially since “global-warming” has cast her ugly net over ungrateful citizens that crave hook-setting and wrist casts. Shop early enough and airline tickets prices actually beat or are cheaper than the cost of driving a thousand miles. Use credit cards wisely all year and the air is free. Then of course, some may wish to tow their own boat and that’s cool—or should I say “warm”

Lake Okeechobee is 730 square miles of shallow water (average less than nine feet) and the second largest lake within the USA boundaries, second only to Lake Michigan, yet it is only 15 feet above sea level. It’s said to contain one trillion gallons of water and is the headwaters of the Everglades. When you try to understand our national debt, think of it as 18 times as voluminous as the Big O.READ MORE>>>


KP3 "The Fishing Detective

An Introduction to Life Outdoors Unlimited’s Newest Fishing Guide
By Capt. Ken Penrod III

"KP III with a big Potomac bass caught the spring of 2014."

I know that it is hard to believe but the best bass fishing of the year (Spring) on the tidal Potomac River is fast approaching. It is also a fact that the fantastic fishing- like Spring- comes and goes like a breath. I find myself excited with anticipation as I write these words and I plan to be on the river every possible day to experience the phenomenal fishing that still exists on the river during these magical months. The fishing last Spring on the Potomac was fantastic for me and I can’t wait to see what this Spring holds in store. The bass have been in different locations for the past 6 or 7 years but one thing that is always consistent is that there is no place that I would rather be than on the Potomac River on a Spring day fishing for largemouth bass.READ MORE>>>



"Extreme" River Smallmouth Fishing, Then and Now!
By Ken Penrod

Legendary angler Butch Ward of Clear Spring, Maryland, changed the way and the willingness that river smallmouth bass anglers pursued their quarry—and he did so 30-years ago. He pioneered cold water fishing, jet boat fishing, deer hair; spinnerbaits; stonecat and tube arts and when you think about it, he doubled or tripled the traditional season. Butch had no kids but he acted as such to many young club members, the Maryland BASS Federation and friends willing to absorb his lectures and sometimes—tirades. He willingly spoke of his fishing mentors, especially Donny & Ed, but would bristle if someone mentioned other examples.READ MORE>>>

Boys of the Outdoors
By Ken Penrod

Just look at the fish our boys catch!

Many of us didn’t realize how well-off we were as youngsters, especially when we had fathers that loved hunting and fishing and shared those arts with us. We thought everyone lived the same life. I can remember my dad carrying me along a trout stream in Cameron County—at the ripe-old age of five. It was so cold that my fishing line kept freezing to the guides of the rod—and I really wanted to go back to camp—but I would rather die than tell dad. READ MORE>>>


Spring Trophy Hot-Spot: Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania

By Dan Grulke

This early spring season smallie fell for a Rapala X-Rap jerkbait.

If you are an avid bass fisherman, then you know that spring-time is one of the best times of the year to catch your a “trophy” no what species you prefer to pursue.  Anglers can choose from spring-time trophy rockfish season; the tail-end of “gator” sea trout season (Elizabeth River); the ramping up of crappie season, and of course the beginning of the spawning season for largemouth bass of the Tidal Potomac River. However, my number one favorite--and all around choice for best chance to succeed in a quest for a trophy would be the Susquehanna River, in Pennsylvania, for smallmouth fishing.READ MORE>>>


Is The Susquehanna River Endangered?
By Ken Penrod

Ugly sores on smallmouth bass are becoming more common. Something is wrong and someone is covering it up.

Hell yes!

I grew up in Portage, Pennsylvania, and virtually every day I walked alongside of a creek, orange in color, from coal mine run off that went unabated throughout the region. I remember thinking that “something is really wrong” but no one did much about it and those that could, didn’t because coal was gold and virtually every man’s job depended upon it. Like the present, we had a cabin in Cameron County, Pennsylvania, where the trout streams ran clear and clean—but almost overnight, the Sinnamahoning Creek, a tributary to the West Branch Susquehanna turned orange and everything that lived in her died. Strip mining for coal killed her—and no one did a damn thing about it.READ MORE>>>


Float and Fly Technique
For Suspended or Schooling Fish

By Dan Grulke

LOU guide Dan Grulke and son Hunter with a respectable black crappie taken on a float & fly.

A seldom used technique that works on many freshwater species of fish when they are suspended or schooling, especially in the fall, is the Float and Fly technique.  This technique is deadly on bass, crappie, yellow perch, and trout and can be used effectively on both lake and river fish. The rig consists of a bobber stop, bead, slip bobber, split shot, and a fly, swimming grub, or other lure depending on what species you target. READ MORE>>>

Bassin' the Nanticoke River

By Ken Penrod

This tidal river gets mixed reviews from the many fishermen that pursue largemouth bass in the region. She “grades-out” from awful to awesome, depending upon whom you ask, and often the same angler will use both terms from time to time.

The Nanticoke River is a beautiful tidal tributary on the Delmarva Peninsula with a Delaware origin and flows southwesterly thru vast marsh and wetlands. Part of what makes fishing difficult on this system is the vast amount of cover in the form of spatterdock, fallen trees, boat docks, sea walls and in the upper reaches, submersed aquatic vegetation.


Northern Pike or Chain Pickerel?

By Capt.Brent Nelson

Can you tell the difference between the northern pike and the chain pickerel?  Anyone that has pike and pickerel within their range should learn to tell the difference between these two species. Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake and Loch Raven reservoir are the only waters in the state that I know of, that has both species.  Throughout my years fishing and guiding on this highland reservoir, I’ll often over hear misinformed “dock talk” and anglers confusing the identification of the two. A typical fish report will go like this. “Yea, we caught 4 bass and 14 pike.”  More often then not, the pike they are referring to are chain pickerel.  Both species are related and Deep Creek Lake's chain pickerel are far more prolific then northern pike. MORE>>>

Chain pickerel always possess what looks almost like a teardrop beneath each eye.
Northern pike have dark greenish sides as well, but these fish lack the teardrop mark under the eye and have spots on their sides versus chain links.


September is Big-Time For Outdoorsmen

 By Ken Penrod

September is one of those months that just don’t get the respect it deserves. For most it’s the end of summer, the beginning of school and the end of fishing in many regions. I’m not sure why so many pack their fishing rods away at the end of the summer but they do. Dads are busy with kid’s baseball and soccer moms are ferrying the others to and from practice and games. Most see September as the end of good things to happen—but I see September as one of the more exciting months of the year. It may start out summerlike but you will be wearing jackets by the end. You may be wading the upper Potomac in tennis shoes—but you will need waders by the end also.



Summer Walleye Patterns

By Dan Grulke

On the waters that we offer guide service, there are plenty of opportunities for catching these tasty fish. Known for their table-fare and lack of fight, walleyes can be a challenging quarry during any season. I will give you some tips to help you be successful on your next fishing trip.
           There are several lakes in the NOVA area that are supported by VDGIF that hold a good population of Walleyes. My first choice would be Lake Brittle in Gainesville followed by Burke Lake in Fairfax County. Both Lakes are stocked on a regular basis but do not support natural reproduction. At both of these locations, fish irregular bottom structure, drop-offs, and long points that drop-off near the main lake bed or channel. A walleyes diet is compromised primarily of fish so follow the schools of baitfish/forage and you will be near the walleye. Because both of these lakes receive an extreme amount of pressure, and second. most of these anglers are aware of structure fishing, there are some special tactics that will help you be successful.  MORE>>>


Why Go Fishing?
A Thanks To All Who Made The Time

The teacher, student, and next generation.

By Dan Grulke
I was fortunate growing up in that I had two caring parents, no worries about food, a comfortable house, and our Christmas tree was always packed with presents. But what I found most important of all was my parents, one uncle in particular, and friends whom had the time, patience, and understanding to take me and teach me fishing.
I started fishing early at the age of five going to Butterfield Lake in New York with my Dad, Uncle Earl, and my brother on family vacations during Memorial weekend. My Dad and Uncle Earl would troll for pike in the mornings and leave my brother and me at the campground with the ladies. MORE>>>

Tidal Largemouth Bass on Top Water Baits
By Dan Grulke

Though low light conditions are generally best for top water fishing, there are some situations that are equally as productive. One of those is fishing hollow body frogs over and through matted grass beds.  MORE>>>

Insured To Fish, Drive & Survive

By Ken Penrod

I was pulling my jet boat on a Sunday morning in 2009—a little rain, but scant traffic, with some country music as company and on my way to Lander, my favorite launch for upper Potomac smallmouth bass. I was extra excited that 6-AM as one of my guests that day was to be a 12-year old whose father assured me that “this boy was into fishing.” I love teaching fishing but I love teaching fishing to youngsters especially.

I was traveling in the far right lane, just before the Connecticut Avenue exit on the Beltway, when I heard a noise to my left and when I glanced that way, I could see an out-of-control vehicle crossing all lanes on a course I could do nothing about. He was going to hit me at about 60-MPH—and he did. More>>>

Smallmouth Bass Food Non-Pareil
By Ken Penrod
I write this article with about 10 days left to prepare for my guide season. That may not seem like such an ordeal to some of you but my “beginning” is a little different than most guides. I will literally move to Duncannon, Pennsylvania, for about six weeks and I need to pack for all kinds of weather—all kinds of fishing conditions—all kinds of boat and motor issues. There will be days when my cold weather gear is not quite enough and there will be days when a tee-shirt is sufficient. More>>>



How to Beat Cabin Fever
By Dan Grulke

Sometimes Mother Nature freezes our best laid fishing plans and in the Mid-Atlantic region the month of February is the biggest offender. Even the best winter hot-spots can go cold and snow and ice storms can make it impossible to even get to these destinations. Without an outlet, the outdoorsman’s mental stability can get crazier than a three tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. My solution is to prepare for the up-coming season by following the following outline. More>>>



Structure Scan
By Captain Alan Mullis

I can’t begin to talk about Structure Scan without first touching on the HDS units themselves. Lowrance HDS units are available in a 5”, 7”, 8”, and 10” screen size. The five and seven inch screens only split in two panes while the eight and ten inch will give a four panel view. The eight and ten inch screens also have convenience buttons and a zoom wheel behind the cursor control. However, the five inch unit will do anything the ten inch unit will do; you just have to menu through until you find the adjustment you are looking to change. One of the most prolific complaints I hear is “I just bought my Lowrance unit four or five years ago and now it’s out dated.” Well, I believe that Navico has helped to solve that problem with the Plug & Play head features of their Lowrance and Simrad units. More>>>

Ken Penrod’s 10 Seasons For Tidal Potomac
Largemouth Bass
Best How-to Article in Fisherman Magazine, 2009
By Ken Penrod
Like many of you, in my early years, I drove to the river with preconceived plans based on our seasons. Wow, was I wrong much of the time.

I’ve been obsessed with tidal
Potomac River largemouth bass for about 40-years, the last 26 as a full time professional guide. Forty years sounds like a lot of time but “thousands” of days are more credential-worthy. I chose not to believe generally accepted bass behavior because the “written and documented accounts of bass” were of impoundment fish.” There were no reliable studies of tidal water bass—so I assumed the challenge

For about 30-years I have been keeping day to day fishing logs, most in the form of fishing reports, and I have learned that it’s water temperature, not air temperature and human-season that dictates fish behavior, thus, their seasons. More>>>