Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending September 25, 2022

Ken Penrod’s LOU Fishing Reports for 2022
September 25, 2022

Our 41sth Year!

Ken is enshrined in to: The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Guide.

Angler Alerts, Fishing Advice & Conservation Concerns.
Week Ending September 18, 2022

Mailing Address @ 1860- Robin Court, Lusby, MD 20657
Ken’s Cell @ 240-447-2206 (best way) Facebook. Twitter: @ken_penrod. Instagram. LinkedIn
Professional Guide Since 1982—USCG Licensed
We 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 report will be posted to Ken’s Facebook Page, “Life Outdoors Unlimited” where Clients may see their photos.

“Ken Penrod’s Life Outdoors Unlimited” (

Ken Penrod’s 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:
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Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics & Ardent Outdoors
Ken: 2
Sidney: 19.25”
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”

LOU Fish of the Week
Largemouth: Sidney
Toothy Critter: Sidney, snakehead

LOU Buck of the Week
Remembering Recent Losses is Recalling Past Memories. One is gone—the other lives on.
Uncle Ronald Thomas. Was the youngest of my mom’s brothers—from Portage PA. Dad was always way doing WW2 or Ironworking, and Uncle Ron was in high school. Mom, June and I lived in a rental on Main Street. I would walk to Grandma Thomas’ house on Jefferson Avenue often, about 5 blocks. I was in grade school yet. My walk took me through a neighborhood of guys that took delight in ganging-up on me. Uncle Ron built me a battle stick, a baseball-like stick from a 2×4. I practiced my skills in the alley behind the rental. Mom didn’t like that. Uncle Ron said “let him be.”
I walked the gauntlet on a Saturday morning, carrying my battle club while wondering if I had guts to use it. There they were, sitting on the curb—no doubt waiting for the “kid.”
A “feeling” I can’t explain came over me, an overwhelming confidence and a “need” to get this thing done. Flub was the first off of the steps and his buddies close behind. I hit him on his right ear and just couldn’t stop. In all, three of them were on the ground as I backed away.
My uncle wasn’t happy and my mom was upset. Fast forward—and every one of those guys became my friend, very good friend and my uncle Ron forgave me, I think. RIP Uncle Ron

Vince Sweeney live in Portage, PA, and I came to know him through a nephew, Joe Sopata. I owned a cabin in Cameron County and so did my Brother in Law, Foozie Sopata—and Joey was his son.
We spent countless days in those mountains, hunting, fishing and drinking at the “Club.” Vinnie had his own stool there. Anyway, during hunting season we were there (Club)mery often and very late leaving. The Club (Sinnamahoning Sportsman Club) raffled meat (hams, bacon etc.) Vinnie won a ham, Vinnie didn’t leave until midnight. He was alone, except for the PA State Policeman that followed hih to his cabin on Wycoff Run—a mile south of mine.
Vinnie pulled into Deer Driver’s camp and when he opened the truck door, his ham went rolling out and down a sharp dropoff and Vinnie went chasing it. The State Cop witnessed this and thought he was running away. With gun drawn, he ordered him to slowly come back up the hill. Well, he did, of course, carrying his ham—and then the cop knew what happened and couldn’t help but laugh. He said “get in that cabin and don’t let me see you out here until tomorrow.”
With his famous half-cocked smile—he said “don’t worry about that. I’m too fu c ed up to drive—and with that—the Officer went home, no doubt to tell his wife about Vinnie.
Love ya buddy. Deer hunting may never be the same. I know the Club will not.
Welcome to Fall. If you noticed, it’s beginning to feel like it too and NOW you should change your scheme—but slowly and with foresight. Look out for cold fronts and choose launch sites that protect you. Veggies will die off soon and that means dissolved oxygen becomes poor in the veggie fields.

Each year in my long career, I have had periods where very special clients just could not have publicity of their recreational endeavors for reasons best left to them. That means I may not use name, photos or references that would infringe. I know how to do that. I will never violate that trust.
We did a bow hunt-smallmouth trip this week. Can’t tell you anything except SUCCESS.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER (Brunswick to Seneca): **; 60 ish; clear; low and forget that speed; enough to putz around, too cool to wade.
Congrads probably isn’t the best compliment to Officer David Brown but on Sept 16, he rescued a lady. He was not there on official business. He wanted to enjoy his day off hunting resident geese and smallmouth bass with friends. I had postponed a trip for that very day or would have been there. A lady was screaming and David and buds launched asap and found her hanging to a rock (one that my family spent hundreds on days on when we had a cabin at lander between 1964 and 1996.)
It seems that this 42 year old genius had capsized her yak hours before. It was 5-AM when David got there!! I’m calling “STUPID” but an angel was available.
It’s really low and hazardous to the reckless yet “slide along and pick your spots and you catch nice bass—or shoot Canada geese *season over for a while)—or bucks on an Island if that’s your thing. It is mine. The water is chillin’ quickly so it’s not wade or tube time. That lady (above) was hypothermic. And required hospitalization.
Every fish in that river can see every move you make and each sound resonates 4X. There are plenty of musky, catfish and the smallmouth population is on the mend.
The NPS wants to command all launch sites along the MD side but do NOTHING to patrol or monitor it. Lots of drugs, launch parking used by hikers, trash everywhere and yakers in gangs commanding the launch pads.
I highly recommend #Ardent rods and reels with 6-8 pound test monofilament from #BassPro (Excel) and I can’t overemphasize STELTH. Don’t crash through good spots and expect to catch fish there. Shallow water is fickle water so look before you fish. If there isn’t a deeper spot—a lot of chunk rock, current breaks—move on. Slow down though.
Smallmouth bass love crawfish, minnows and anything that looks like a meal so that explains why they strike some of the dumb stuff we cast. Hey, there brain is the size of a pea, so if you fish because you think your quarry is intelligent—you are the dumb one. The ONLY motivation they have is FOOD. Your casting ability is much more important that the offering you send—unless you send stupid stuff. Can’t help you there. I try.
What works for me and my clients during this season is: (1 Campground tubes in the KP Series; (2 Big Mouth spinnerbaits n the Penrod or Gill series; (3 Case Magic Swims on an RAB jig head—or chin spin; (4 Case Magic Stiks on a 3/0 worm hook; (5 shallow-dive crankbaits and (6 topwater like Whopper Plopper or buzzbait.
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ** to ** for bass; *** for rockfish: *** for snakeheads; **** for catfish—and that’s not a good thing; mid 70s and falling quick; vegies dying and making retrieval lure use difficult; salty
I’ve spent my entire 41 year career telling everyone where I’m fishing and what I’m using but my theory has always been, when I see someone on a spot I want, is, “he is saving that for me.” I do have places in times, when I will not advertise. I do that for the fish.
So, each year I set aside summer dates for very secretive persons that MUST be without publicity, entourage, media and bravado. Whew. Tough sometimes but well done by me.
Look for fish on the closest dropoff near vegetation; docks, sea walls, old barges and wharfs and deep wood and rocks. “Deep” is a very relative term so when I say it, I’m talking 8-10 feet. I’ll have a crankbait tied on several rods—for depth control.
DC water is perfect for this and likewise Penrod Cove to Smoot Bay. Hog Island and Fort Washington lighthouse are two more “gotta-try” spots. I really like the Bomber Firetiger in the 7A.
Mattawoman and the Occoquan are great cooling-water habitats
SUSQUEHANNA & LOWER JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: **; low 60s; clear; 4-feet at the Harrisburg gauge and 3.5 at the Newport station on the Juniata.
It’s a different climate on this river than you find on the Potomac so dress for iot in layers but always with a Simms outer layer—not just for rain but as a wind stopper.
It’s not so important to be on the water at dawn anymore because the sun can be your friend. There is still “enough” water here to get around but don’t be stupid. Smallmouth are still favoring spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs and get yourself some from Big Mouth Lure Company Johnny Cunningham at Riverfront Campground has some.
Remember, resident goose season is over for now
Spinnerbaits, topwater and vibrating jigs can cover a lot of water—and you can get away with heavier monofilament so I’ll swing an MHFT Ardent baitcasting combo (Edge and Summit) with 12 pound test Excel.
Between the confluence and Amity Hall, work the seam and various ledges efficiently with the above mentioned lures but always, always offer a Campground tube on Ardent spinning gear with 8# Excel. Case Zipper Works & Grubs and the Magic Swim paddle tail is a must (
“Deep” water—and that’s funny, is anything over four feet here but I’ve been using my version of a drop-shot, kinda quietly, for some time and it consists of: Campground tube on an RAB JIG HEAD AS THE WEIGHT—and 8-10 inches up, a #1 hook with a 4 inch Pintail worm “nose-hooked.”
I’d still cast a jerk bait too and when bass are using eddies—toss them a Case Magic Stik.
LOU Guides for 2022
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; #BigMouthLure Company; #Yeti; #Patagonia; #CasePlastics; #Kuiu; #Simms Fishing; #Costa; #PowerPole; #NRA; #ZipperWorms; RAB Jig Heads; #CampgroundTubes; #RiverfrontCampground; #AlumaRyder; (Dave Kerrigan); #Guidefitters; #NRA; #DrakeWaterfowl, Fishing Division; Maggie Penrod.
Books by Ken and LOU Gift Certificates
All books are $25 unless marked differently and ordered by title.
Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass (five for $100)
Ken Penrod’s Top Ten for PaMarVa
Fishing Lake Anna
Send check to 1860 Robin Courrt, Lusby, MD 20657
Guided Bass Fishing Gift Certificates
Tidal Potomac River (DC to Mattawoman); Upper Potomac River (Seneca to Brunswick); Susquehanna River (mid-March thru May)
(catch & release; for one or two anglers only)
$500 for 7-8 hours
Contact Ken at 240-447-2206 or
Summer Youth Camp for boys 12-18, each July
Weekly sessions conducted at Ken’s mountain lodge in PA
See for information on all of Ken’s endeavors.