Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending September 22, 2019

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 92219.

Office & Mailing Address @ 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705

Cell @ 240-447-2206 (Best Way), Office Device @ 30-937-0010.

“See our Facebook Pages for Fishing Reports, Photos and “Club” Activity.”

First-Hand Reporting Since 1982—NOT part-time guess work.

Professional Guides Since 1982

We Wrote “The Books” on Regional Fishing.

Licensed, Drug Tested, Commercially Insured, Time Tested.

Expert Fishing Instructors for:

Tidal Potomac River <> Upper Potomac River <> Susquehanna River

Juniata River <> Upper Bay <> Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers

Visit our other Facebook Pages below:

Notes: Our fishing reports and client photos will be posted to Ken’s Facebook Page, “Life Outdoors Unlimited” and our website,

“Ken Penrod’s Life Outdoors Unlimited” (

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

Sponsored by Ardent & Riverfront Campground.

LOU Lo-Po Club at:

Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.

LOU Magazine at:

Camp Sycamore at:

NOTES NEWS: & VIEWS: There is something to “climate change” because our region has set records recently for rainfall, heat and soon-to-be-drought—if you look at the “narrow window.” Truth be known, and that’s the key—we simply can’t look at recents—even 100-year recent, to make that determination. Al Gore had us dying in 2000 and a new prognosticator, a recent bar tender in a taco shop, says we are “gone” in 12 years. But, damn, our fishing year was fairly screwed up when compared to the past 10. YET—the short term, the novice recollection, may be most vocal but do you trust a new doctor or a very experienced one? The truth is that much has changed in our region and it is weather related—as well as man-made, and at times, each compliment the other. “Procreation success combined with climatic and human interface and disease is key to population health and growth.”

Last year is old news—but it’s the news that has bass fishing success upside-down in a lot of places. You do know that 2018 set records, in our region, for rainfall and flooding. You forgot that I’ll bet. Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground located on the Susquehanna/Juniata River, has to evacuate his facility SIX times—during the summer when it’s normally :drought” conditions.

The bottom line is: don’t get discouraged because in my 38 year career, the same has happened 5-times. The fix is already in place because the rivers are vacant—and they shouldn’t be, for good anglers. More in reports below.

I am remise in not mentioning the loss of Pee Wee Powers, a Bass Federation colleague (Virginia president) and later. A full time BASS Tournament Official. I got to know him when I was President of MD BASS Federation and attended many Bassmaster Classic events as a BASS Federation awards recipient including Man of the Year and Federation of the Year. Pee Wee was not a pee wee, but rather a stud of a man that the likes of which are irreplaceable. He never met a person he didn’t like.    

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *; 70s; clear. 1.1 at Point of Rocks and steady.

The river is pretty much abandoned and that’s because fishing has been horrid. A report from a very savvy client just about says it all:

“Hey Ken,

Fished Lander from just after Sunrise until a about 12:15. I was the only boat on the river. As I was leaving the parking lot someone with a boat was coming in.

One 12 inch fish to show for our efforts. it was the only “bite” i had all day.

Water was 70 degrees. Gauge was 1.0 at POR.

Fished from the sawbuck down to below Huffman rocks. Fished VERY slowly targeting where they should be….

My buddy had a bunch of “tail” bites on the ned rig but no hook ups.”

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: * to ***; mid 70s; drought clear; vegetation weakening;

Captain Kenny Penrod III (2404789055) reports the following on the tidal Potomac – After 6 days and 70 hours on the Potomac this week, I only have one question – what exactly is the “fall transition”? Is it another term that bass fishermen use to identify and validate themselves as competent bass fishermen like the term “tournament fisherman”. I know what’s written about the “fall transition” but the information provided is as confusing and contradictory as a Vegan Democrat trying to explain why they feed meat to her cat. The info provided is that shorter days and cooler nights lead bass to evacuate summer patterns and mass exodus to…. where? Shallow water, deep water, hard cover, live grass, drops, backs of creeks, near spawning areas, near winter areas, find bait, cover water, crankbaits, deep water, shallow water, etc etc. However, I only read what fisherman write about this time of year and I can’t find any scientific info on bass movement to explain this puzzling time of year.   I learned a long time ago that in order to be an “expert” in anything that results are usually irrelevant and all you have to do is master certain looks – “the all knowing look” and the “slightly amused look” while not talking too much where people eventually ascertain that you don’t have all the answers. This is my fifth year as a full time guide that spends almost every day on the Potomac and it’s my fifth year where when asked about “fall transition” fishing I’ll probably just smile and say very little.


The water temperatures dropped into the low 70’s by Friday but the temps will probably rise this week with warm temperatures. Last weeks clear skies, east winds, higher than normal tides, clear water, rising barometer – probably didn’t help fishing. The hydrilla is dying but several creeks still have – by looks of the human eye – Green hydrilla. Some of the grass has the “cheese” look that usually signals big bass potential. This week I frogged “cheese” grass, I punched “cheese” grass, I cranked grass/pad edges and creek drops, I wormed and jigged, I covered water with moving Lures, I focused on hard cover, I downsized, I upsized and I fished from Pentagon lagoon to Quantico. The best results was throwing a crankbait to grass edges, throwing a Bigmouth Chatterbait to drain areas at low tide or frogging mats that had clean water beneath them. I like to fish “spots” but some had more luck just putting the trolling motor down and running the left side of the creek going up and the right side going down.


The good news is that I’m starting to catch larger fish. The good news is that I’ve never seen so many small bass in the creeks. The good news is that there is a plethora of food – especially crawfish and baitfish. The good news is that I did find a spot where big bass were crashing the frog and cruising – so it feels so close. The good news is that those big largemouths look so healthy and boy are they strong. The good news for snakehead fishermen is that they are more than willing and pretty easy to target.


This “fall transition” or whatever you want to call it – is real but they are out there somewhere and by the looks of them – they are feeding.


Grass report – the hydrilla in Mattawoman, Quantico, Chixamuxen, Neabsco and Powell has formed mats and looks green in some places. However, it is starting to show holes, canopies and lanes. The birds are picking crawfish off the tops.


Recommended patterns – shallow diving crankbaits thrown to grass and pad drop off edges on outgoing tide in low light, matted “cheese” grass canopies that has clean water beneath with a frog, creek dropoffs with a Campground Tube.


Snakehead Report – If you are interested in your first snakehead – now is the time to go.


The rates are 300 for half day or 400 for a full day.




SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: *1/2; 70s; clear; 3.2 at the Harrisburg gauge and 3.4 at the Newport station on the Juniata.

It’s been many years since I’ve provided a “negative” fishing report on a water we specialize on but facts are facts and these river sectors are not fishing well for any species. Now, remember, we speak of the lower 20 miles of the Juniata and the “trophy” sector of the Susquehanna, specifically between Montgomery Ferry and Harrisburg. There are sections of the West Branch and the North Branch that are doing better.

Cities like HARRISBURG, Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC, are the first and loudest to cry out about civic duty and climate change but they are also the dirtiest, blatant polluters of the river they stand on in the country. It’s disgusting what Harrisburg is doing, especially to their neighbors downstream—and what Pennsylvania as the major contributor of fresh water to the Chesapeake Bay is doing to that estuary.

Meet our Guides/Fishing Instructors

Captain Ken Penrod: (National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame) Cell: 240-447-2206;; Facebook; LinkedIn; Instagram, Twitter @ken_penrod.

Tidal Potomac; Upper Potomac; Susquehanna River; Juniata River; Maryland Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers; George Stevenson Reservoir.

Captain Kenny Penrod 111, VP of Tidal Bass Operations @ 240-478-9055

Captain Dave Kerrigan, VP of Smallmouth Operations @ 301-252-5322;


Captain Brian Barnes @ 302-745-4668,


Meet My/Our Partners.

The following are our sponsors and partners. Some are all encompassing within my group—and some are personal to the guide. All are valued.

RiverPro; Mercury; Lowrance Electronics; Ardent Outdoors; Big Mouth Lure Company; Yeti; Patagonia; Case Plastics; Kuiu; Power Pole; NRA; Zipper Worms; RAB Jig Heads; Campground Tubes; Riverfront Campground; Big Bee (KP3); Columbia Design & Graphics; Guidefitters; NRA; Costa; Simms, Lance Carowick (Website Design & Consutant) & Maggie Penrod CFO & MFB


BOOKS by Ken Penrod

Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass ($25)

Fishing the Upper Potomac River (Out of print)

Ken Penrod’s Top Ten for DEMARVA ($25 short supply)

Fishing Lake Anna ($50, only 10 left)

Tidewater Bass Fishing ($50, only 9 left)

Send checks to PPC Publications at 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705. Be sure to specify the title/titles.


2020 Camp Sycamore Dates

July 6-10

July 13-17

July 20-24

July 27-31


Our summer camp for boys between the ages of 12 & 18 will fill up quickly so dn’t hesitate to contact Ken about attendance. Our website pretty much describes our 38 year old program, but most important is that we ONLY want boys that are totally into fishing, shooting and woods & water activity. This is not a camp for disabled (bless you) or undisciplined boys. We require a face-to-face interview to ensure that we are all on the same page—for the good of your son, and our camp. Ken is a well know outdoorsman, author, guide, hunter and Hall of Fame angler. Our counselors are top=of-the-line, experienced, certified and wonderful—as in Alan Mullis, Christy Mullis, Maggie Penrod and Brandie Sherry.

Seldom met a kid I didn’t like—but some parents cancel that.

There is nothing like this in the USA. Only 6-8 per session, conducted from my lodge in North PA, alongside a trout stream—adjacent to a wilderness area. We meet in Ken’s house on Sunday eve and you just promise to retrieve you son on Friday evening—unless he is staying for Two weeks.

Fee is $1000 per week and $2300 for two weeks (stays the weekend).

There is an application process. With mandatory deposit, then our interview. Once accepted—there is NO refund for any reason.