Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending May 16, 2021

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 51621
Mailing Address: 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell @ 240-447-2206 (Best Way).
PLEASE—never communicate with me via Messenger. NEVER; NEWLY constructed with lots of information. See the “About”, then “Galley” section for photos and “Programs” for club and youth camp information.
“See our Facebook Pages for Fishing Reports too.
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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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:
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LOU Magazine at:
Camp Sycamore at:
REMEMBER—We have eliminated our land-line phone so contact should be at 240-447-2206 or
Youth: Dillon Ennis
Largemouth: Lou Romano
Crappie: Dillon Ennis
Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors
Ken: 3
Richard Ennis
YOUTH: Dillon Ennis
Lu Romano
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; low 50s; tidal clear; poor tidal flow
It was cold and windy much of the week and northerly wind kept the tide quite low, even stalled, all day long but by the weekend, the temps zoomed and the river flushed. We will be wishing for “cool” in the months to come but the bass would prefer a lower barometer and warmer nights.
In the Washington DC sector there are lots of stripers between Memorial Bridge and Fletchers as well as some pretty nice smallmouth bass. I’m using the Case Magic Swim and Campground swim-jig heads on Ardent rods and reels with Bass Pro Excel monofilament for everything including Campground tubes, Magic Stiks and the swim. The better largemouth targets are the railroad bridge, Key Bridge and adjacent, underwater foundations of a former aqueduct, Pentagon Lagoon, the dropoff along Fort McNair in the Washington Channel where Big Mouth Lure Company’s Big Shakey and “Penrod” spinnerbait shine. Airport rip rap and Naval facility side are crankbait friendly and I like the KVD square bill and Rapala DT6.
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge sector has been easiest to fish during the strong northerly winds and we did quite well here. Smoot Bay, Penrod Cove, Charley’s Cove and Belle Haven pools are harboring post spawn and pre spawn bass where Case Magic Stik, Campground Tubes and Magic Swims are productive. Most of our Lo-Pos came from here.
From Piscataway to Pomonkey, main river fishing was hampered by the northerly winds but grass at Greenway Flats, wood in Pomonkey, docks in Pohick and assorted habitat in Bulltown Cove is worth the time.
Belmont Bay, Mattawoman, Chickamuxen, Blue Banks and Aquia grass beds attract most anglers-but plenty of bass too.
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: **; low 60s; with some color; 6.1 at The Harrisburg station and falling to about 5’ by Tuesday. The Juniata at Newport reports 5-feet and falling slowly.
America’s fascination with smallmouth bass reached new heights and river smallmouth bass offer the best of any angling experience so our region has been fortunate, mostly because of the Susquehanna and to a lesser degree, Potomac, James, New and Rappahannock. The “Susqy” is rebounding from devastating floods of 2018 and farm practice pollution—but remains the BEST smallmouth river of the entire Chesapeake Bay system.
It’s pretty much post spawn but look for a new, lesser spawn during the full moon period later this month.
Look for bass in moving water and around ledges that offer ambush positions. Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Big Shakeys are great ways to find the scattered mommas but a Case Magic Swim on an RAB swim-jighead is too. It’s topwater time also so search the submersed island calmed spots with Big Mouth buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers and Ricos.
This water level will soon become summer-low and “bumpy” so plan your trip well. If you aren’t very experienced, hire a guide.
The Amity Hall pool is “kind” during semi-low levels and “fishy” most days. Remember that Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground rents boats and provide shuttle service for floats back to his campground Reach Johnny at 717-877-2704. He’s the man to order your Campground Special tubes from as well as RAB jig heads and Big Mouth spinnerbaits.
Our summer youth camp destination is located in Cameron County where tributaries to the West Branch Susquehanna offer great trout and smallmouth opportunities for our attendees including Wykoff and Jerry Runs, Sinnamahoning Creek, First Fork and Stevenson Reservoir. Our camp is designed to teach boys the arts of fishing and shooting so if you have a well-behaved boy between 12 and 18 that is really into fishing—contact me. I have only three spots open for the July 12 to 16 session. An application followed by an interview is required. You deliver and retrieve your so at my residence and we drive them to our lodge.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; Low 60s; some color; 5-feet at the Point of Rocks gauge and slowly falling.
I wish I could offer some really good news about the fishery in this beautiful river but it’s going to take time to restore the stocks that were diminished during the 2018 summer flooding. I used to call a 50-bass day a “tough” one but the new 50 is now about 12-20.
Still, from launch sites at Whites Ferry, Edwards Ferry, Lander and Brunswick you can expect to find decent bass in ledge habitat and calmer water downstream of riffles. Nothing beats a Campground tube on an 1/8th ounce RAB jighead but the Case Magic Stik, Whopper Plopper, chin-spins with Case Magic Swim trailer and Case sinkin salty minnow. During a really tough day, try a 4’ Mizmo grub on a 1/8th ounce jig head. I like 6 pound test mono now with Adent spinning tackle.
LOU Guides for 2021
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,

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