Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending August 24, 2020

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 82420

Mailing Address: 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705

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

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

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August in DC is as brutal as anywhere in the USA some years, but add-in the humidity and it’s just not conducive to comfort. When you anglers complain, just think about the roofers, pavers, iron workers and concrete guys.
Those wicked thunder storms are short lived but some are damaging—so I’m sending a warning to you: “when the sky gets dark and the fish are biting like crazy-be sure you are close to your launch because you are going to get pounded.

Another tip about the “sunny” life we live is: those scaly spots on you face and arms are “hints” of cancer so see your dermatologist every year. I did on the 20th and had 23 “spots” frozen.

Remember, Maryland “early” goose season begins on September 1 and our Cast & Blast events are very popular where we fish the Upper Potomac from my RiverPro while the shotgun lies close-by in case those pesky birds tempt you. Oh, yeas, we do “set-up” with decoys too but geese are used to fishermen—they get nervous about ill-placed coys and inadequate cover-up.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *; low 70. Color some places; bumpy; 2.0 with a bump to 2.7 Tuesday.
I’m sure you guys that fished between Seneca and Whites Ferry were cognizant of the extraordinary “security” along/on the river as President Trump was there about-not fishing, thank God.
There were eras when Maryland DNR had a person of consequence that knew there were other waters in Maryland not called the Chesapeake Bay—but that’s way-old news. Maryland fresh water angling (except for the Godly trout) is an afterthought, after-budget. In-the-way of rockfish, crabs and commercial watermen. I’ve been fishing the upper Potomac since 1963 and I’ll bet the amount of money spent by MD on that fishery would not equal funds for the Bay for a month.
I find it difficult to fight for MD fresh water guys because of your silence. DNR has a so-called BBC that was a joke from Day 1, BUT the quieter you are, the more absent they become. They will hang their hat on a 30,000 fingerling stocking but that’s like throwing a lawn-chair off of the Titanic to lessen the weight.
Butch Ward is rolling over in his grave—and I am simply tired of fighting—without any help.
My “Scout.” Bill Giles had the river “all to myself” again, on a Saturday—and that’s “telling.” It’s pretty low, but pretty fishable, yet 4-5 hour trips yield a few bass and a few cattish.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *-*** depending on tide and barometer; 80ish; color in tribs by localized storms
I “grade” the rivers/waters on a scale based on “what should be vs what is happening” and that’s based on so many days actually doing it. Guys saying they fish a river for 30 years is insignificant—unless that guy has fished that river 20-200 times per year. My point is-be careful of club-talk and don’t pay any mind to TV shows.
Always look to tide charts for the week—and our website ( has that info. For the most part-a day dominated by a falling tide is best but don’t think you can’t do well on higher water.
Summertime is always tough and that’s a fact, so don’t be discouraged when you have a poor day. There is so much food and so much cover—and you may notice that there are so few indulging. Covid, lack-of-money and not-so-great results account.
The DC area is still my go-to but in areas we seldom ever searched. The few-good spots are so fragile that I just will not pin-point them to you-except to say “they are very near my last-few-years go tos.”
I know it sounds like a broken record but (I’m the guy with witnesses, 200 days a year on water, and a resume) if you are not using Case Magic Stiks on a 3/0 worm hook; Big Mouth Penrod Spinnerbait; Case Magic Swim on an RAB swim-jig head and a chartreuse-dominant crankbait capable of 5-7 feet of depth—I can’t help you.
Key Bridge and underwater foundations of an old C&O Canal Aqueduct have been simply “fair.” Upriver, the color has helped and shallow dive crankbaits and Campground spinnerbaits will take smallmouth when nothing else will.
There are rockfish in the Channel and main stem but remember—you may not keep them-if DC followed MD.
Rip Rap along the airport and across the river, from Anacostia to Bolling can be special.
The golf-course look around I-95 looks good and shelters some bass but the “Barge Cemeteries” are better
Pomonkey Creek on outgoing; Pohick Bay on flood; Belmont Bay when you can find a spot and Leesylvania rip rap can be on your stop-list.
Mattawoman is getting inundated with kyakers, snake-hunters and bass anglers—but-it’s the best trip of the entire Potomac, and there are places to fish that no-one else does. I do like the “outside the 6-MPH” zone better on high water, and I do like some areas inside, on high water-just not the norm-run.
Snakeheads are saving sport fishing in freshwater Maryland. Blue Catfish may be the real problem. Anyway-frogs on braid on MH gear in the thickest mats you can find-is a good idea. SAV is dominating the spatterdock “edge” so look for the “new” edge.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: **; low 70s; color off and on without reason; 3.0 at the Harrisburg station; 3.3 on the Juniata at Newport
Hey—it’s summer. The river is bumpy-low and hot, so bass fishing is tough but catfish are everywhere—which is becoming a problem. I do caution wet waders of bacteria-infection from such low, hot water-but is it any worse that this bullshit Covid (excuse me).
You river-lovers should be reaching out to John Cunningham of Riverfront Campground for boat, canoe, yak &, campsite rentals and Johnny will shuttle you, upsteam, on the Juniata or Susquehanna, for drift-limits of your choice.
Hey—it’s summer, on a river system harmed by farming and flooding- and past years have spoiled bass fishermen..
You must be a prudent boater, especially in the areas of our report (Montgomery Ferry to Fort Hunter) or hire a professional with specially-constructed jet boats—and experience (there is a difference).
I love the top water opps of dawn and like the reflex-strike that Big Mouth Lure Companies spinnerbaits provide. Nothing beats Campground Special tubes and you buy them at the exclusive “Riverfront Campground Store.”
I fished the Atlantic, almost, below OC in a VA creek with a few great buds—for flounder, using killi-fish as bait on a bottom rig where we kinda-struggled, but kinda had the best time in years. Our tally was 9 flounder—none of keeper size, but we had porterhouse steaks and flounder filets at Bob’s Ranch to begin Carol’s birthday weekend. My mystery compadres include John Mizka, Bobby Mullis, Alan Mullis, Carol Mullis (birthday girl) and my best bud Maggie. Christy and Gus Mullis joined us for dinner at Yellow Fin in Selbyville.
Nothing quite like flounder.
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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