Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending March 27, 2022

OFFICE at 1860 Robin Court, Lusby, MD 20657
LOU Client Achievements
Female/Smallmouth: Marla
Guys/Smallmouth; Paul Sims & Lou Pfrang
Ken Penrod 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
Ladies Category: Marla

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***; some color some places; 52-47; 5.9 at Harrisburg and slowly falling; 5.3 at Newport on the Juniata steady
Whatever happened to “March Goes out like a Lamb?” One week ago we were warm-in the 70s and water temp was 55. No wind. No traffic. I cancelled my Sat and Sun because of cold and 20MPH winds
Aside from that, we are having a monster season. We are fishing between Halifax and Sherman on the main stem—and from the confluence to the power lines on the Juniata. Get that tournament mentality out of your head and fish your areas thoroughly. Don’t pay attention to your calendar—monitor your water temp gauge. This isn’t late winter fishing—this is spring–or at least it was. From 45 degrees upwards-smallmouth hunt in in current near obstructions.
The rivers are at a perfect level and just about any reasonable lure will catch bass but if you want consistency—use Johnny Cunningham’s KP Series tubes and his RAB jig heads. I like 1/8th ounce. Colors all work but I favor Purple Craw and Bad Ass. This isn’t power-fishing, but rather finesse. I’m using medium action Ardent spinning rods and Ardent C-Force reels with 8# test Bass Pro Excel monofilament (green).
My next favored bait for now is the Case Mgic Swim soft plastic swim bait on a 3/16 ounce RAB swim jig (From Riverfront Campground.) Swim it like a spinnerbait. Soon
it will be hard to beat a Case Magic Stik on a 3/0 worm hook or rigged Wacky.
Its’s just Captain Dave and I this year because I’m tired of training competition.

Captain Dave reports (301-252-5322): We arrived Sunday March 20 to get camp set up and do a boat shake down run and found river water temps in the mid fifties. Bopping around to favorite Juniata river spots we caught fish on everything we like to throw in the spring from tubes and Neds to moving baits like Rapala Xraps. A reliable friend even reported catching a couple of bass on spinnerbaits. Thru the week the water temps did drop a bit and the fishing was more typical of early spring. We found fish up and down the main Susy in the usual places we look when river levels are around 6’. Finding some moving water adjacent to eddy pockets was the key to dialing in the bites. Also encouraging was the mix of fish sizes we caught. We got many larger fish but also got a good variety of year classes from 12” on up. All fish were very healthy and appeared to have wintered well. The next full moon in April should be right on time for a good spawn as many of the bass we caught were fattening up their roe sacks. While the variety of baits we tried were all good at times, the most consistent producer was the Campground Special teaser size tube in green pumpkin purple tail paired with 1/4oz RAB jig heads. Remember when current flows are above 50000 cfs or the wind is blowing, the heavier jig heads are a must to get and keep your baits on the bottom. One of my favorite sayings says it all “if you aint snagging you aint bagging”. Most of the time when fishing any soft plastics like a tube you MUST be on the bottom to mimic the food they love – CRAWFISH! The weather by Saturday was crazy with high winds, snow squalls, and some rain. We found places to duck the wind and still were able to find some nice fish! Surely cold nights this week will lower water temps some more but that’s spring fishing. Check the slower water when this happens but be ready to move back into current when the temps rise again.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; 50s; some color; 3.2 at Point of Rocks and steady
I’ve been wanting to say this for a few years: ‘I see vast improvement” and look forward to returning my guide service there this year. The 2018 floods really decimated the smallmouth population and MD DNR’s feeble attempts to help were embarrassing. OH, Yeah, never expect Virginia to help.
The Piedmont area is safest and best for now so try Seneca, Edwards Ferry, Point of Rocks. Lander and Brunswick.
If you are moving along and casting you may just go home. The sun is your friend now. Look for calmed water and fish the current edge.
Tiger musky are really abundant now but “abundant doesn’t mean readily available. Look to trib mouths.
Wear those life jackets.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; color some areas; chilled down to 50ish; understand your temp gauge—not your calendar.
The river is fishing well, or at least until the latest cold front—but those bass didn’t get on a bus.
Best areas include Smoot Bay, Piscataway Creek, Belmont Bay, Mattawoman coves and 6-MPH zone; Chickamuxen Creek, and back of Aquia.
It’s Big Mouth Big Shaky time as well as lipless rattling lure time. Slow down ans use Campground tubes and Case Magic Swim paddle tails (Magic Swims).
Remember, I’m absent until May and that’s booking quickly. Captain Brian Barnes has dates available, INCLUDING trips on the UPPER BAY, Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers and the tidal Potomac. Reach Brian at 302-745-4668.
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; Drake Waterfowl, Fishing Division; Maggie Penrod.