Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report For Week Ending October 29, 2017


Smallmouth: John Ennis, (19.5”) Susquehanna, with Matt Greene

LOU LoPo Potomac River Largemouth Bass Club
(Sponsored by Lowrance Electroniocs and Ardent Outdoors)
Captain Kenny Penrod (21-Inches)

NOTES, NEWS & VIEWS: It was a good year. We didn’t lose a day on the Susquehanna in the spring because of high water—but the summer/fall drought hampered us some—yet we broke company records in total number of 20-Inch smallmouth caught—and the “longest” record was broken by a 23 1/8 th inch monster. A “rise” is on the way and we expect a great November, even December so get on our books asap.
The PA Fish & Boat Commission voted to continue the “Closure” for 2018 in spite of having reached their goals for recruitment. Their four “Public Meetings” were a farce where no more than 13 people attended any of them—yet they backed down and kept the dagger in the fishermen that use and help the resource most.

We are already taking reservations for the Susquehanna LOU Spring Trophy Hunt (mid-March thru April) at a rapid pace so don’t wait to get on our books.

The Tidal Potomac River rebounded nicely for 2017, especially for big bass and we posted well over 150 LO-PO Largemouth Bass Club entries. The return of aquatic vegetation the past few years has aided by concentrating bait fish and making it easier for anglers to find bass holding areas.

The Upper Potomac River surprised many and disappointed more—but explanation is in order: The “plus” was the amount of quality smallmouth bass. Our guys added seven KP 20-Inch Smallmouth Club entries and released a bunch of “candidates” that need a few more crawfish to qualify. The “negative” was the prolonged drought and massive surface grass that kept anglers frustrated and “away.”

Our Camp Sycamore (Ken’s summer fishing camp for boys) was another success even though our primary boating lake was closed and the Sinnamahoning Creek has not quite recovered from a “train-wreck pollution a few years ago. Some of the moms were glad to hear that we didn’t find any rattlesnake but they were happy to share in the trout the boys took home. So many elk and such nice white tail bucks—but the bear were hid well. The 2018 sessions will be in July so don’t wait to apply. We want well behaved boys between 12 and 18 that are totally into fishing and shooting. We do not roast marshmallows or sing songs here—we fish or shoot from dawn to dark. See our Facebook page at :

Our website, is being modernized so bear with us. After 30+ years Brent Nelson is stepping-down, but not “out” of “baby-sitting” the site. The new version will be available soon.

We would like to find new, energized guides, for a few open slots that include the Tidal Potomac, Upper Bay & Deep Creek Lake. Don’t apply if you need to make a living from this. I want “salesmen” that know how to promote, write, utilize social media and are self-starters. A resume is necessary and “weekend only” guys are not considered. Send resume to Ken at

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; low 60s; rising: 1.4 @ Point of Rocks, RISING to 5.7 by Tuesday

Smallmouth fishing had “picked-up” as waters cool and grasses die but the news for next week is a “rise” that will “flush” the dead grass and hopefully allow some fine fall fishing for smallmouth and musky.
The dead, floating grasses and low water between Brunswick and Edwards Ferry really hampered anglers and boaters much of the late summer and fall—but the bass didn’t take a bus for other waters!

The chilling water is a turn-on and it’s “Tube Time” for sure. Teaser tubes by Riverfront Campground will be your best friend. You want an Ardent (Edge) medium action, fast tip rod with a C-Force or Wire reel filled (to within 11/8th of an inch of the rim) 8# mono and I like the green color.

Look for bass along shoreline eddies during the rise. Usually smallmouth will move shoreward during rising water.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ** to ***, depending on barometer; mid-60s; clear but look for color; mid 60s.

The chilling effect has been a turn-on for bass and rockfish but the recent cold-front put a temporary halt to bass catches in areas. I had a 0-fish day in Mattawoman and I can’t remember having one of those in years. There are plenty of small stripers in the creek mouth where Rattlin’ Rapalas, X-Raps and white Case Magic Swims will score.

LOU guide Captain Kenny Penrod reports: The tidal Potomac temperatures have dropped rapidly and that has resulted in grass dying in the south – particularly in the backs of the tributaries. The fish are moving to hard cover and concentrations of fish are moving close to drops. Areas such as Grinders in Mattwoman and Fox Ferry and the spoils (north) are typical of the kind of spots fish will migrate to. I stayed south and last Sunday had a fantastic day with frogs but by the end of the week I saw a drastic decrease in hits. In the north, the fish activity increased but -for me- it has failed to live up to previous years. The smallmouth topwater bite never materialized all year and the concentrations of schooling stripers have not been located. The largemouths have been the most reliable and can be located on hard cover close to deeper water. Things change on the river yearly and this year- the frog fish in the south counterbalanced the usually reliable D.C. fall action. The fishing will continue into December and the fish will be on drops that have hard cover. The later the year – the more critical is tide – the lower tides have warmer water and stimulate a short feeding time in winter months.

This is the last report of the year and I can honestly say that 2017 was absolutely fantastic. There were 112 Lo-po fish brought aboard the KP3 boat this year. The months of March April and May were big producers. These are the pre-spawn and spawn months on the Potomac and big fish were shallow and accessible to the Case hand poured Magic Stik (#1 Lo-po producer). These are the months to be on the Potomac and chase your personal best largemouth. You also don’t want to miss the spring on the Susquehanna – which is world class fishing within two hours of D.C. I’m booking now for the spring ! It’s been a great year that included a 22.5″ smallmouth on the Susquehanna, two 20+ fish from the Upper Potomac on the same day, a 32 inch snakehead, and numerous personal best client fish. I will never forget the 2017 fishing and I thank all the clients and LOU sponsors that shared in this fantastic year. I live by goals and production and 2017 set some lofty benchmarks but 2017 taught me many things and I look forward to taking that knowledge to 2018. Call LOU or me – 2404789055- to book your spring trip now!

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: **1/2; <60; color coming; 3.5 at Harrisburg, rising to 12-feet by Tuesday.

It had to happen, the “rise” that is, but a little later than we would have preferred. This will shuffle the fish, alter the cocktail, flush the vegetables and change the game—but it does not mean that the deal is over. As a matter of fact, look to November and December to be almost 
spring-like” in bass activity.

LOU guide Matt Greene reports: I returned this week fresh off of my Disney vacation just in time for the late fall action to begin. The fish are still spread out this week but conditions changing in the right direction for some awesome fall fishing. I Susquehanna main steam started the week low and clear but received a slight rise and color change. We are looking to get a good amount of rain this weekend which will create good conditions moving forward. This week a number of baits work well including a swimbait, spinnerbait, Case Magic Stick, top water, jerk baits, and ned rig. The month of November is upon us and it is looking like it is going to be a good one. I do not have many dates available so please contact me asap if you are interested. 717-576-3735

LOU guide Jason Shay adds: Fishing has slowed down with the fish being split between summer and fall patterns. The unstable conditions have made the fish very finicky. We have been getting them on spinnerbaits, swimbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits. We are finally getting a good rise which should put them in wintering holes. Jason Shay, Life Outdoors Unlimited Susquehanna River Guide 
Instagram @Susquehanna_river_guide,, (717) 507-4377