Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending 8/30/20

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 83020

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Ken Wrote “The Books” on Regional Fishing.

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

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“Laura” didn’t do much to us, or for us—and that’s ok-some would say, but notice it or not, we are stabilizing. Acorns are falling from oaks, nights are a little cooler and resident goose and dove season begins in a few days. MD archery in 12 days.
I spent much of the week setting tree stands and organizing hunting stuff—and tomorrow I will drive to my PA cabin to take care of some details.
Fishing is improving and weekends look like weekends-of-old with boat traffic and last-of-summer shenanigans. Soon, real soon, grasses will die off and your job gets easier.
My report is brief.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; clearish; high-70s; 1.9 at Point of Rocks bumping to 3.7 by Tuesday.
The river is all but abandoned and that’s a good thing. Get over it guys—it will be a few years before your numbers improve—but it’s time to improve you, by fishing smarter. See, when fish are so plentiful that just about ant cast gets a bite—you begin to think that you are pretty-damn-good at this fishing thing. Now, you have to be pretty damn good to catch a dozen.
That Whopper Plopper will catch the biggest fish of the day if you commit to it.
Campground tubes on 6# Excel monofilament, on Ardent rods and reels are the real deals.
Case Magic Stiks on 3/0 hooks—or wacky rigged, can’t be beat. Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Case Magic Swims (on 3/16th ounce RAB swim jig heads) are great search baits—but “search” ledges, chunk rock and shade.
If you are seeing geese anywhere on the river—let me know.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2 to ***; high 70. 80 some days; lots of surface grass; local storms have some tribs stained
The full moon is very soon, September 1, and it’s called the “Corn Moon” this year—not Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon will be nearest the autumnal equinox (September 22-23) so is bumped into October (two full moons) so October 1 is Harvest moon and October 31 (Hunters Moon). Both dates are significant for deer hunters and boaters and anglers should know that tides will be higher—and lower.
There hasn’t been much fresh water drained to the tidal portion this year so the salt-wedge has crept further upriver than the norm. That’s nothing detrimental but it does alter addressing and inhabitants. Yes—those are blue crabs you are seeing and yes-those are crab pots all over the main stem. Typically, water above Quantico is referred to as “Tidal Fresh” but I-95 has measurable salt.
DC area took a downward turn this week but not so bad as to leave it. You should dedicate a day to fish between Key Bridge and Chain Bridge. It’s all no wake and you should keep your outboard trimmed up—but fish it like the Susuehanna River near Duncannon. Shallow-dive crankbaits, Johnny Cunningham tubes (Riverfront Campground), Brian Barnes Big Shaky (Big Mouth Lure Company) and Jeri Toner (Fishing Complete) Zipper Grubs and Zipper Worms.
The Washington Channel is a “lake unto itself” and can’t be rushed—and that’s a good reason to go there because most impatient anglers shy away. Plan to stay the entire day. You cannot fish all the good-stuff in one day. Tide changes everything. Crankbaits (Bomber 7A or Rapala DT-8) on the drop-offs along Fort McNair—but if nonproductive, move in and cast tubes and Stiks to the wall where new hydrilla grows. NOTE: the Military Police, at times, can and will ask you to move away from the wall. Do it.
Start on the red side of the river, just inside the Anacostia River, and fish downstream to nearly Bolling AFB. It’s a rip-rap pattern with varying depths but all lures work if you use them appropriately. Case Magic Swim is a no-brainer and so is the Penrod Special by Big Mouth Lure Company. I’ll never fish anywhere without tubes by Johnny Cunningham.
Look To: Regan Airport rip-rap; Entry both sides at Pentagon Lagoon; Railroad bridge foundations; inside Roosevelt Island (stay trimmed up).
Blue Plains to Pomonkey Creek is a lot of water and a lot of opportunity so: Learn the sewage treatment plant habitat—and it’s abundant. Those pilings are awesome and the discharge water is cooled than ambient; Fox Ferry Point is beast know if you hit a piling or a rock trying to run the east side of Alexandria. It’s one of the few remaining “beast-man” habitats extending from east to west as a former pier with stone jetties and wood piling that formed a very large pier. Many of the piling are unseen now, not because of deterioration, but from boaters. Fish this when you can see a few piling tips. Crankbais, tubes and weighted plastics.
Penrod Cove is always a good stop, but again, you can spend a day here.
Barges between WWB and Penrod Cove. We had 12 bass from there this week on firetiger pattern crankbaits. We also lost 10 crankbaits. Well, “we” is exaggerated—and “we” cannot be photographed.
Pomonkey Creek is a great summertime stop but it’s time consuming, grassy and worth the hassle. No “up-on-plane” here guys. Penrod spinnerbaits, buzzbait at wood; falling tide best, Snakehead bonanza.
Just about any of the tidal tribs between Piscataway and Aquiai are worthy but I like Mattawoman and Chickamuxen.
Fish both according to tide. Stay near the mouth on high water—and go inside during falling water. Snakeheads eat any bass lure but Spro frogs and Big Shakys do the deed.
Buzzbait the pads and offer Case Magic Stiks.

LOU Guides for 2020
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 and trout streams in Cameron County, PA-near Sinnamahoning..
Captain Dave Kerrigan, VP of Smallmouth Operations @ 301-252-5322;

Captain Brian Barnes @ 302-745-4668,

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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; Simms Fishing; Costa; Power Pole; NRA; Zipper Worms; RAB Jig Heads; Campground Tubes; Riverfront Campground; AlumaRyder; (Dave Kerrigan); Guidefitters; NRA; Maggie Penrod.