Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report
For Week Ending July 16, 2017

Notes: Our fishing report will also be posted to Ken's page "Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited" ( as will be our client photos.

 Ken Penrod's 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:

Sponsored by Under Armour, Ardent & Riverfront Campground.

LOU Lo-Po Club at:

Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.


The summer youth camp started on July 10 and the first week was a rousing success. The photographs on LOU and Camp Sycamore Facebook are evidence of a great week of camping, shooting, fishing, eating and the love of the great outdoors. Here is Ken's Camp Sycamore Youth Camp Report - Week #1:
Camp Sycamore. Cameron County, Sinnamahoning, PA: Our first week of summer camp is history and I'm home to pick up a new crew. We had great kids this week, most of which were veterans of previous Sycamore adventures. I don't like to use the last names of youngsters and ladies so a big salute-out to: William, Kingsley (staying two weeks), Evan, Timmy, Leo & Trevor (6th years). Assisting Ken was Christy, Lu Romano and Alan (15 years for Crit and Alan.)

It rained all week but unlike you, we had comfortable temperatures in the 70s & 80s. The creeks and river were "above normal" and will grow some because of the rain.
The George Stevenson Lake @ Sinnamahoning State Park is nearly back to normal after a lengthy draw down for dredging and approach work. This lake is our go-to as far as boating but not last year and not this year. As of now it is scheduled to reopen 1st of August. Still, we fished there by hiking across the dam to the far shore where the boys fishing from the bank. Leo caught a few as did Alan on Case Magic Stiks but overall was disappointing.

Below the spillway a few of the guys caught some fine smallmouth near dusk on the Whopper Plopper. Kingsley and Will caught quality smallmouth here.

Wykoff Run is a trout stream that empties into the Sinnamahoning Creek--and runs by our lodge. Year after year she is kind to the guys. They caught some beautiful brook and browns every da--and some of them went home with the "catcher."

First Fork, Potter County, Sinnamahoning State Park, 40 Maples: The guys fished here Tuesday evening and we combined that with great venison burgers, Costco hot dogs and sides for a great evening. Trevor and Evan caught some quality smallmouth here.

Sinnamahoning Creek is a tributary to the West Branch Susquehanna and our go-to for wet wading and river smallmouth. This creek was the recipient of 48,000 gallons of highly concentrated sodium hydroxide (lye) when a Norfolk Southern train negligently ran-away and dumped into Sinnamahoning Portage Creek wiping out the fish population (2006)--and our plans for years.

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and EPA each received upwards for 6-million dollars from Nortfolk Southern--and I dare you to find one penny spent on restoring the smallmouth population on the Sinnamahoning Creek. Where is that money is a question that should be asked and answered. Do not let anyone tell you that the creek is back to normal.

We fished that creek at the confluence of Wykoff Run and near Emporium adjacent to the golf course at a landing funded by private money.

Curwensville State Park is an impoundment on the West Branch Susquehanna and a beautiful facility. We are able to operate our power boats there with several miles of navigable water. The lake has substantial submersed aquatic vegetation and very few fish. The smallmouth we caught came on Case Magic Stiks and drop shot worms. Trevor was Top-Gun with three fine smallmouth.

See Ken's facebook page titled "Camp Sycamore" for photos and more.
Thanks to NRA; Case Plastics; Zipper Worms; O'Wacky Tool; Ardent; RiverPro; RAB Jig Heads; RAB Swim Jigs; Campground Special tubes in the KP Series; Lowrance Electronics; Sinnamahoning Sportsmen Club; Weinhardt Remodeling Company; Under Armour; Bushnell, Remington, Shooters Choice Riverfront Campground.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *** 1.6 at Point of Rocks on Sunday and falling. -- 78-82 degrees; water clear in Lander area.
LOU Guide Captain Kenny Penrod III (240-478-9055)- reports that he fished with clients on three different days this past week. The water levels and clarity changed dramatically from Monday to Thursday. On Monday - the water was stained except on the Virginia side where clear water made for excellent fishing. The fish were close to the bank and under shade trees. Topwater lures produced throughout the day but accurate casts were necessary. On Tuesday, we followed the same pattern and the boat caught several large smallmouths with two topping the 20" mark including Kevin Grolig's 20.5 LOU Fish of the Week. By Thursday, the entire river had cleared and the water level was below 2.0. The low water made traveling from Lander to above Brunswick hazardous in some areas. The clear water had moved fish into areas of heavy current and stationed near current seams. The clear, low water made fishing tougher than earlier in the week but long casts with topwater baits still produced some quality fish. The secret to catching big fish was to find strong current areas and throw topwaters all day at current seams. The bigger smallmouth will hit well-presented topwater baits - no matter the time of day. In the low, clear water it is necessary to make long, accurate casts. I would suggest trying 14 lb. Sunline braid with a 10 lb Sunline monofilament leader to increase the distance of your casts. Also, the mono leader will prevent the common problem of hooks tangling the braid during casts.
I am going to recommend for the millionth time that if you want to catch smallmouh bass in any river but especially the Potomac or Susquehanna - there is no better investment than to purchase my dad's book "Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass." I will say for the millionth time that knowledge and experience are your best fishing assets and no lure, rod, or boat will increase your fishing success if your fishing in the wrong places. This book will provide a lifetime of knowledge and all you have to do is apply the lessons.
Also of note- there were several inquiries concerning the reported MS 13 activity near the Lander boat ramp. This information came from a source close to a Park Police Officer. Due to the concerns, I called the Frederick County Sherriff's Office - 301-600-1046. This organization has jurisdiction of the boat ramp area. The Sherriff's office has made no recent arrests nor received any calls for service at the ramp. However, the C&O canal area is the jurisdiction of another law enforcement agency and I was unable to confirm any recent arrests or criminal activity.
LOU Guide Scott Johnson
(240-625-2550, reports -  Fishing continues to be good, but the fish are making us work harder to catch them now and are very spread out and following typical summer locations.  Also found this week was very distinct times when the bite was on, and then the fish would shut down. Took a lot of patience and sticking with what works to keep putting fish in the boat as well as fishing with different lures based on the area you are fishing.  Spinnerbaits caught fish in faster moving shallow water and chutes through the ledges, crankbaits and swimbaits were effective in slightly deeper water, rock flats, and swimming the pockets in the eel grass that is quickly emerging. Of course, Campground Special tubes put plenty fish in the boat working the deeper water and submerged ledges.  Fall fishing will be on us before you know it and its not to early to start booking for the upper Potomac or Susquehana.  Contact me at 240-625-2550 or email at

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER *** - 4.9 at Harrisburg but rising to 5.7 by Tuesday- 74-80 water temperature, clearing but expected to stain with coming rise.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted today to keep in place for at least one more year a closed season on bass fishing in the middle and lower Susquehanna and lower Juniata rivers during the traditional spawning period from May 1 through mid-June.

Please read this article where biologists document the true threat to the Susquehanna smallmouth bass population. In sum, its pollution!! Fishermen and fishing pressure is never mentioned as a threat or a cause.

LOU Guide Matt Greene- (717-576-3735)- reports, "This week the river finally started clearing up and dropping to normal summer time conditions, but another batch of rain came through and will bring the river back up again. The first two hours of the morning has been giving me some great top water action. The rest of the day has been a mix of spinnerbait, swim jig, and swimbait. The rise coming down the main stem next week will just change the baits and not the action."

LOU Guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377)- reports, "The fishing has been great!! The fish are smashing spinnerbaits and swimbaits in cleaner water- some of the water is stained due to the recent rise. The mornings and evenings are best because the fish are using low light to aggressively feed."

; water temperatures 80's and slightly stained.

The fishing continues to be excellent on the tidal Potomac River. Our LOU Lo-Po Largemouth Club roles have swelled to nearly 100 over 18-inches long. This Club will honor the largest fish of the year with a Lowrance Elie sonar/GPS unit and one of the members will win an Ardent rod and reel via draw.

KP3 reports: KP3 (240-478-9055, reports- "My boat is still at the shop but reports continue to confirm that largemouth, smallmouth and stripers are still hitting topwaters in the morning around Washington DC. The sun will necessitate a change to dropshots and Campground tubes that are fished around current breaks such as bridge and dock pilings. Also, I was catching quite a few bass in underwater grass beds at higher tides using a shallow diving crankbait. The next month or so will also find me searching for milfoil and other grass beds down south. In the morning I will fish a buzzbait or frog. In the afternoon, the swimjig is effective but more likely I will be pitching or punching plastics. Also, don't forget to try the backs of the tributaries- even in high temperatures. I hope to have my Ranger back soon- I miss it and I miss being out on the river doing my work. I apologize to those I had to reschedule.

Fall is prime time for the DC Slam where smallmouth, largemouth and stripers school in Washington DC. Also, it will soon be frog time in the grass where morning and evening trips to the prolific grassbeds can produce hair rising strikes by giant bass. Call me to schedule a full or half day trip.

Deep Creek Lake - Effective immediately, we will not be taking reservations for fishing trips on this lake When this changes, it will be announced.

LOU thanks the best:
Under Armour <> RiverPro <> Lowrance <> Ardent <> Sunline <> Case Plastics
Big Mouth Lure Company <> Zipper Worms <> Mizmo <> RAB Jig Heads 
Riverfront Camp Ground <> Campground Special Tubes <> NRA <> Mercury Motors
Power Pole <> Columbia Design & Graphics Company <> Patagonia <> Yeti

LOU Guides
Captain Ken Penrod @ 240-447-2206: Captain Dave Kerrigan @ 301-252-5322
Captain Kenny Penrod @ 240-478-9055; Captain Brian Barnes @ 302-745-4668
Captain Keith Barker @ 301-509-2102; Bret Winergardner @ 301-616-9889
Jason Shay @ 717-507-4377; John Stygler @ 717-368-3802
Matt Greene @ 717-576-3735; Scott Johnson @ 240-625-2550

Waters & Guides:

Tidal Potomac River: Captain Ken Penrod; Captain Kenny Penrod; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Dave Kerrigan.
Upper Potomac River: Ken Penrod; Kenny Penrod; Scott Johnson; Dave Kerrigan
Deep Creek Lake: Bret Winegardner.
Susquehanna & Juniata Rivers: Ken Penrod; Dave Kerrigan; Jason Shay; Kenny Penrod; Matt Greene; John Stygler; Scott Johnson
MD Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers: Captain Brian Barnes, Captain Keith Barker & Ken Penrod
Upper Chesapeake Bay: Captain Brian Barnes
Ken's Companies:
Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited; Ken Penrod' s Mid-Atlantic Fishing Reports
Ken Penrod's Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Ken Penrod's Seminar Series
Ken Penrod's LOU Magazine; Ken Penrod's Tournament Services