Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report


LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 10619.

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:

LOU Fish of the Week: Largemouth:

Haidar Karoum: 20.5” with KP3

Fish of the Week: Toothy Critter

Kenny Roach, with KP

LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club:

20 this week-all with KP3—all on Frogs.

Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors

Captain Kenny Penrod (14)

Captain Ken Penrod (1)

Jim Whitt (2)

Shawn Johnson (1)

Haidar Karoum (2)


Its official, September was the driest on record, and October 2 was the hottest October day ever. It seems that weather has become the “news” for our vocation and lest you forget-2018 was the wettest year ever. It seemed that the Potomacs (Upper and Tidal) would be devoid of SAV (as a result of the scouring and dirty water conditions of 2018) in the springtime as April and May came and went with very little evidence to the contrary. Well, the hydrilla “kicked in” during summer months and there were “matts galore.” Not so on the “Upper” (free flowing Potomac) as it just never happened. Now, SAV doesn’t “grow” bass, but it does invite baitfish and guess who is coming to dinner.

We are exploring our own U-Tube channel and will keep you informed—and we are exploring a re-write of the Potomac River Bible. Our previous books were successful because we had an outdoor show every weekend from mid-January thru mid-March to promote and sell the product. We also had 45 vendors. There are very few shows and the big guys ate the little venders. So, to quote my hero—“We’ll see what happens.”

Check out our totally revised website ( because there is invaluable info and advise there for anglers that frequent the Upper Potomac River; Tidal Potomac River; Susquehanna River in PA; Juniata River; Upper Chesapeake Bay; Maryland Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers.

In the “Gallery” section—see your photos, then Meet the Guides; Get “Tide” and “Boat Launch” info; find out about LOU Magazine, Camp Sycamore; Cast & Blast; LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club; Ken Penrod’s 20-Inch Smallmouth Club and the famous DC Slam.

We are taking bookings now for next spring but you don’t want to miss out on what’s left of this year. The tidal Potomac is “smokin’” and all we need is a little more water for the Susquehanna to kick in.

Keep in mind that the FULL MOON (Hunter’s Moon) is on Sunday the 13th and that means higher and lower tides—and for guys like me—a “RUT” potential for sure.

October 27 will end our weekly reports but that has nothing to do with our fishing schedule as there is some awesome months ahead. We will post “Hot Spots” and News throughout the year. I’m not sure if we will do the Great American Outdoor Show so check-here often.


TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; 70ish; so clear; vegetation pulling loose; matts holding bass.

It depends the day and the tide and the angler’s talent and discipline—but bass fishing is red-hot in some areas and frustrating in others—and visa-versa some days. Look—it’s not supposed to be 96-degrees in October, and water temperature is not supposed to be 70s. Most vegetation should be gone—but it’s not. Remember-aquatic live has their own calendar and it has very little in common with ours.

Go to our website ( and see KP3’s video on “Froggin’ Matts” but hurry, that pattern may not last. Just so you know, “matt” bass don’t think those frogs are frogs. They are crayfish—and the gulls are eating them too.

Captain Kenny Penrod III (240-478-9055) provided the following tidal Potomac (DC to Aquia) Report – My Report is based on 6 days and 60 hours of fishing for largemouth, snakeheads and stripers on the river last week. Fall is a time of change on the river and last week brought plenty of change. On Monday, rain and cold had me shivering. On Wednesday, the temps were in the high 90’s and then on Friday – a front brought 30 mph winds and a 20 degree decrease in air temperature. The only thing that remained consistent was big bass were biting no matter the weather. The little stripers were chasing bait during low light periods. The snakeheads are transitioning but they are still hitting topwater baits. The cooler weather will have crappie bunched up soon. Congratulations to Haidar Karoum (chef and owner of Chloe Restaurant) for “Fish of the Week”. There were numerous entries into the LOU Lo-Po Club including Shawn Johnston and Haidar.


The Potomac water conditions – water temps have fluctuated from mid 70’s to almost eighty degrees. Cooler temps will have temps dropping this coming week. There is live hydrilla and “water celery” in many creeks but much of it has died or is dying. In some areas the grass has formed a “cheesy” canopy that crawfish molt on top. The amount of bait and food on the river is impressive – especially crawfish that have a red appearance. Also, huge schools of baitfish are now entering the tributaries. The clear water in the creeks reveal a lot of small bass. Big tides this past week are pushing out dead grass and destroying mats – so each day a good fishing spot can be destroyed by the next morning.


I had one of the best weeks of the year by simply being observant and looking at the food. No big bass is going to waste energy chasing baitfish when crawfish are so prevalent and accessible. It’s a pattern (like most patterns) that happens every year and all one needs to do is look at the seagulls at Smallwood to know the beginnings. I would suggest that you “match the hatch” and throw crawfish imitators where crawfish are most likely to be. Why do you think that a Bigmouth Chatterbait is such a big producer – well two reasons? One it’s a perfect crawfish imitator. Try adding orange or red to the skirt of trailer. The other is because a Chatterbait is a perfect bait if you come into town or only fish weekends. Just go into creek, find grass or wood or pads, put trolling motor down, and then cast/reel. Also, there is no Chatterbait that “hunts” like the Big Shakey and I’ve tried them all. I’m a big fan of black/blue with a black blade but I did start adding some red/orange over past three weeks. I would suggest that you watch other fishermen because for the most part – they are all doing similar things. I think it’s important to be a extremely cognizant of the tides, habitat, food, bird life, fish movement, etc and you will catch a lot more fish by slowing down. Remember that every second of every day – any given inch of water in the Potomac becomes a new spot because of current changes and rising/lowering water. The fish are not under your control – they are controlled by their environment – and there are bite windows that can make or break your day but you best be in high probability areas and watching your Lowrance tide graph.


The stripers can be caught by throwing small topwaters or crankbaits during low light. Look for bait around points. The snakeheads are around holes in the grass or against marsh banks. It’s important to be observant because they often reveal themselves through their movement in n extremely shallow water. A last word on fish movement. There are a lot of different species in the Potomac including carp, gar and other fish that like to breach. A gamefish – bass – rarely if ever breach in the middle of the water and when a gamefish does chase or strike food near the surface it’s distinguishable by its sound, surface disturbance, location and presence of food. An angler in my boat should not get distracted by irrelevant fish breaching. There’s two things I have yet to see – a breaching carp being caught by a client that insists on casting to them because “they are jumping” or a snakehead that busts through a mat to take a bait.


In DC – if temps continue to fall – I’ll search for bait schooled up and moving through hard cover. If I see that – then I catch fish. It’s been almost three years that I can say that I have had an excellent DC fall.


I want to apologize to all my friends that live in the Mattawoman area. I do have a bass boat but I am not like many of the bass fishing antifada that insist on breaking the law and ruining the experience of the upper Mattawoman. I was a police detective for 27 years. I headed the homicide, internal affairs, and intelligence section. I made countless arrests and taught interrogation. There is one thing consistent to people that believe that the law pertains to everybody else but them- they have the mentality of a 12 year old. The DNR should be aggressively enforcing the 6mph zone in Mattawoman and it’s cheating if a tournament boat break the law and they should be disqualified. If the DNR is reading this – I would love to send you my resume and help enforce these laws. I can type a statement of probable cause and know what “evidence” is necessary to win. If I see it during tournament day – I’m going to provide that info to the tournament director and tournament participants and ask why cheating is tolerated and violators not disqualified. It’s not only the arrogance of a spoiled child but embarrassing to most of us that respect the habitat and laws to protect.


If you are interested in a half or full day on the tidal Potomac – contact me via phone or email. I am not doing any upper Potomac or Susquehanna at this time because of low water levels. Take care and good fishing.


UPPEER POTOMAC RIVER: *; low, bumpy and clear; (bacteria alert). <70, 1.0 at Point of Rocks with a tiny rise to 1.3 by Thursday (maybe).

I don’t have any encouragement for you other than a prediction that cooler water will help—and so will more water.

I’ve asked MD DNR for specific information as to the failed stocking plan and asked for a “disease” assessment but remember—it is not DNR’s duty to control or monitor pollution and disease. I’ve never been happy, since Bob Bachman left DNR, that that fishery was anything but “incidental,” without budget and without any public reporting mechanism. By the way—are you drinking upper Potomac River water?


SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: **; <70; quite clear and summer-low; 3.5 at the Harrisburg station and 3.5 at the Newport gauge on the lower Juniata. Look for a “small” bump this week.

I’m accustomed to writing glowing reports about Susquehanna River bass fishing success, but that’s been diminished somewhat by extremely damaging floods last year, and although not addressed by PFBC “yet.” it is interesting to remind that “They blamed angling, banished bass fishing for periods/years and banished tournament fishing during that period—for far less population demise.

NOW, just so you understand me—the Susquehanna River is STILL the best smallmouth river in the Chesapeake Bay drainage—hands down. It’s just that you have been spoiled and ordinary fishermen became pros overnight. Settle down and slow down.


Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground (717-877-2704) Duncannon, PA) has your back—because he rents drift boats and will shuttle you upriver for floats back to camp. He is also your go-to for Campground Tubes, the tube we live-and-die with.

There are sectors doing better than other, but in our absence, may recommend Jason Halfpenny and Jason Shay.


A “bump” for my “pards” in the Biz go out to RiverPro Boats (problems improving); Big Bee (always there for me); Ardent rods and reels (yep, you can buy better, but not economically, and why do you want to pay 4 times for the same value. Hey “Pard,” it’s not the rod—it’s the decisions, experience and get-that-run-and gun stuff out of your head.



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