Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending July 17, 2022

Fishing Report for Week Ending July 17, 2022
NEW Mailing Address: 1860 Robin Court, Lusby, MD 20657<>240-447-2206<>
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Current Club Leader: Dr. Dave, 21.75”
Ken Penrod 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
Sponsored by Ardent Outdoors and Riverfront Campground
Current Leader: John Ennis, 21.75”
Over a 40 year period, I only failed twice to get a regular fishing report to print via Facebook or Last week (71022) was one of them and I was down with Covid and just couldn’t function properly. We drove to our mountain lodge to recover. We have no internet there.
You don’t need a calendar to realize that we are in the midst of another typical middle Atlantic summer. With drought conditions, high humidity, scorching temperatures, poor economy and gasoline prices and slow fishing is just another given. Most days this week will be 90-degrees or warmer.
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **for bass; *** for snakeheads; *** for catfish; 80ish; some stain some places; algae to the south; hydrilla extensive to the south.
It’s a pretty lonely river these days as gasoline prices keep most away—aided by heat and poor fishing in many areas. The heat and poor summer results are nothing new though and well-planned trips should reward you if you play the tides correctly, broaden your scope and limit your motor time. Remember, outboard motor gasoline mileage is about 2 miles per gallon while vehicular mileage ranges between 12 and 20 mpg.
In WASHINGTON DC, launch at the Gravely Point facility and fish close by. It’s all good, especially those bridge foundations, Pentagon Lagoon, Airport rip rap; Washington Channel, Anacostia to Bolling AFB rip rap. There are all three bass available in every place I mention. A falling tide is always better but not mandatory.
At the railroad bridge, looking upriver, foundations 1-4 from the left shore, then from the shipping channel, foundations 4-9 are winners. I like Bomber Firetiger crankbaits, Campground tubes and Big Mouth vibrating jigs (Big Shaky).
In the Washington Channel, I like the entire left side where you will find a nice dropoff and a nice shoal but monitor distance-from-wall with your Lowrance. It varies. The shoal will hold bass that are feeding while the dropoff becomes stage for resting bass and active rockfish. Yep—there are catfish everywhere. It’s hard to beat the Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Case Magic Stiks on the shoal. I like the crankbaits, tubes and jigs for the drop-offs.
You can spend much of your day on the rip rap mentioned above. Rig some Ardent rods with: Case Magic Swim attached to 3/16th RAB SWIM JIG; a KP Series tube on a 1/8th ounce RAB, 1/0 jig head; a Case Magic Stik on a 3/0 worm hook; a square bill crankbait with some chartreuse in it and a perch colored Big Shaky with a Case Magic Swim trailer. OH, yeah, in the morning—throw a Whopper Plopper a lot.
In the WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE sector, launch at Belle Haven Marina. If you burn more than 5 gallons of gasoline here—you are not paying attention. Those coves adjacent to the launch and on to Hog Island are as good as it gets and well worth it. Nothing beats the Case Magic Stik in this area but tubes, Big Shaky and Missile Bomb are options. At Hog Island, don’t hesitate to cast the Firetiger but you will lose a few.
Across the rover, Smoot Bay has more man made habitat to fish than any cove on the Potomac—and Penrod Cove is a jewel. Old barges and old bridge remnants between the two are hot spots. Fox Ferry Point, when you can see the tips of the pilings, hold whopper rockfish and some of the biggest bass in the river.
POHICK BAY (VA) and MARSHALL HALL, (MD) both serve very good areas of the middle-river and again—drive a little, save a lot. You could fish Pohick all day and never have to turn your outboard on. Wood on south side—docks on the north shore. Marshall Hall is near Pomonkey Creek and Greenway Flats. I love the creek in the summer. Stiks, Penrod Special spinnerbait and buzzbaits early.
In Mattawoman Creek. SLAVINS and SMALLWOOD STATE PARK are launch sites on different ends of the creek and perhaps the finest largemouth bass habitat of any tidal tributary in the Bay system. You would NEVER have to start your motor if you choose. It’s all about vegetation.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER (Seneca to Brunswick); **1/2 (based on last two years results), *1/2 (based on pre-2018 results); 80ish; very low; 1.4 at Point of Rocks with a small bump to 1.8 by Wednesday.
Hazardous boating for the inexperienced and reckless but perfect for wading and floating but be aware of bacteria concerns. The river is very low and quite clear so “stealth” and time-of-day matter. If you are lazy and don’t want to start early—stay home.
Just about all pf the Piedmont region launch location areas are fishing the same. Some are easier to navigate such as Whites Ferry and Lander but also consider float fishing from one to another such as Brunswick to Lander or Point of Rocks.
Get there early enough and cast Whopper Ploppers until it hurts. Tubes, grubs and Case Magic Stiks excel—but use 6 pound test monofilament and stay low.
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS (Montgomery Ferry to Rockville Bridge) and Amity Hall to the confluence); **1/2; 80ish’ clear; algae in areas.
Did you know that Amity Hall, which burnt to the ground in the late 2000s is categorized as “Haunted.” It seems that a man killed his wife by stabbing her on the porch sofa, then killed himself and his children upstairs. Apparitions, black figures and flashes of light have been spotted and some witnesses claim to have seen reenactments of the grisly murder. I think I’ve seen or heard some of the gings-on but always thought it was another drug deal gone wrong.
The perfect time of year to visit Riverfront Campground in Duncannon, PA, where the Juniata meets the Susquehanna and rent float boats from Johnny Cunningham who can provide shuttle service to various upriver locations to enjoy a few miles or days of smallmouth bass fishing. Reach Johnny at 717-877-2704 for details.
Smallmouth bass on ost free flowing rivers will eat spinnerbaits in the warm months—but the Susquehanna breed actually favors them. I like the Ardent baitcasting gear with 12 pound test mono and baits by Big Mouth Lure Company are best.
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,

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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; Drake Waterfowl, Fishing Division; Maggie Penrod.
LOU Guides for 2021
Captain Ken Penrod: (National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame) Cell: 240-447-2206;; Facebook; LinkedIn; Instagram, Twitter @ken_penrod.