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. 

The last paragraph explains why I feel some urgency to introduce myself as Life Outdoors newest Captain and fishing guide that specializes on Potomac River largemouth bass. The best time of the season starts much earlier than most people believe (Spring for me begins when water temperture is 42 degrees and rising) and I don’t want to lose the opportunity to share this remarkable time period on the river with you.

As way of introduction, I am Ken Penrod 3rd, son of Ken Penrod Jr, the owner of Life Outdoors Unlimited. I have fished my entire life and wanted to be a professional bass fisherman since age 11 when I read my first Bassmaster Magazine. Fortunately or unfortunately my life was directed to a more practical and dependable form of paying the bills. This Summer I will conclude 27 years as a law enforcement officer. I was truly led to a profession that not only provided a living but provided that income in a way where I lived consistently with my personal values and codes. Law enforcement also led me to a wonderful, accomplished, exciting, passionate, interesting and memorable career. I had past assignments as diverse as homicide, internal affairs and SWAT while becoming nationally recognized in the field of human trafficking investigations. I finished my education while on the department and obtained a Bachelor’s from Maryland and attended Johns Hopkins for my Master’s Degree.  I am a very lucky man because fate molded me and led me to a career that I was meant to do and now I am being rewarded with the opportunity to pursue the life and career of my dreams.

As far as my fishing life, my dad was my tutor. My dad instilled a passion and love for fishing that is very difficult to explain to rationale people. I believe at some point in my childhood that even he became concerned about my dreams and enthusiasm of being the next Rick Clunn. However, he always supported my interest and love for fishing. He  provided me my first baitcasting rod and would go out of his way to drive  me to the “Bass Pond” where I learned how to catch bass with Mann’s Jelly Worms. He drove me to our cabin near Landers on the Potomac River where I would anchor a leaky john boat and cast Rebel crankbaits to the front of islands to catch spawning smallmouth as he and my uncle laughed at me for using lures. He taught me how to read currents and drift my bait so that beautiful Brooke Trout would quickly dart from beneath rocks that framed pristine stream pools. He would drop me off at Mattawoman Creek in our first bassboat where I learned how to make my spinnerbait bounce off submerged pilings in order to provoke angry strikes from bass. At dark, my dad would come back to Slavins Ramp with the boat trailer to pick me up while I excitedly related tales of my day’s catch. My adult experience would teach me that not many dads did what my dad did for me and I grow more appreciative of the time he spent with me as I get older. He taught me more than how to catch fish- I learned to love the entire experience of being on the watrer or in the woods. There is not a time that I am on the water or in the woods that I don’t think of my dad.

Spring is the time to catch bass whoppers on the Potomac

I would fish bass tournaments all over Maryland and Virginia at a very young age. Because of my dad I had the opportunity to fish with some very good and knowledgeable local fisherman including Butch Ward, Glen Peacock, and Pete Cissel. I got a little mad and jealous when my dad founded his fishing guide business- I had been told for years that I could never make a living fishing! I am very proud of my dad for proving himself wrong! Although I say I’m the newest guide for Life Outdoors- I may be in fact its most tenured employee. I guided for my dad in the earliest days of Life Outdoors (Outdoor Life Unlimited at the time) and still remember a married couple I took out on a rainy day on Mattawoman in an old aluminum Bass Tracker where we caught nearly 100 bass off “Trash Point.” I was so proud of myself when my dad related taking the same couple out the next day and although they were catching fish with my dad- they repeatedly asked him to take them to his “son’s spot.”

I never took a full sabbatical from fishing but my career did take a priority for many years. I guess it was more important to me to prove myself to people than to make myself happy.  That changed when a girlfriend died of leukemia at an age when people aren’t supposed to die. The next month after her death I bought myself a Triton jet boat and stalked my old fishing haunts. I have never since lost my true love..

Len- "One of my favorite people- Lenny- with a Spring Bass."

Today I fish out of a 21 foot Ranger with the latest electronics. I am committed to becoming the best guide and fisherman on the Potomac River. I don’t know if that will happen but I found that the true secret to success is hard work and I have that ability. I can promise you a prepared, professional guide. A guide that shows up on time, dressed professionally and with a clean, organized boat. I promise 100% effort. I understand customer service and assure you that I will do everything in my power to assure that you have a pleasant day- a day of escape. I also promise that your welfare and safety will never be jeopardized. I can also customize the fishing day to your fishing skills. I can help you catch your first bass or I can teach you how to use heavy jigs in pads to catch your biggest bass.

All that being said- there is no place like the Potomac River in the Spring. The fish are accessible, big and in large numbers. There is nothing like a warm weekday in March when pre-spawn females move up after a long winter to feed and you are the only one on the water. A Spring day on the Potomac allows you to experience the rejuvenation of life on the water and in yourself. Spring will be here sooner than you think and I am getting everything prepared. So consider trying a “rookie” fishing guide for a full or half day trip this Spring on the Potomac. I have everything that you will need- all you have to do is book the trip and then enjoy your day.


KP3’s reunion with LOU has been a long-time coming. His career in law enforcement includes many awards and hopefully some reward, but just as he was #1 in his class at the academy—he will not be satisfied until he is #1 in his new career.

KP3 can be reached at 240-876-2144 and Kenneth.Penrod@montgomerycountyco for the time being. We will post new contact information in the future.

KP3 is a USCG licensed Captain, has a MD Guide License and is commercially insured.