Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending June 25, 2023

Ken Penrod’s Fishing Reports

1997 National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame-Legendary Guide.
(Mailing Address) 1860 Robin Court, Lusby, MD 20657 <> 240-447-2206 <>
Fishing Report for Week Ending June 25, 2023
Ken Penrod 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
Sponsored by Ardent Outdoors and Riverfront Campground
Current Leader: Jay George; 6lb, 1 ounce; 21 ¼’
LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club
Current Leader: Paul Winner
Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors
HOT HOT HOT: Lures of the Week
For Largemouth: White Buzzbait; Case Magic Swim; Case Magic Stik; Big Mouth Spinnerbait & Vibrating Jig; Bomber Firetiger 7-A; Campground Tube; Case Pintail; Worm; Frog; drop shot with tube as weight; Big Mouth Swim Jig with Case Magic Swim trailer
.For Smallmouth: Penrod spinnerbait by Big Mouth Lures; Campground Tubes by Riverfront Campground; Rico Popper; KVD Squarebill
For Snakeheads: Black Frog; white fluke; white Magic Stik
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; salty; algae in areas; near 80; too many summertime tournaments; we need a “Black Bass Stamp” for all that pursue them.
I didn’t venture out there the past few weeks because of massive tournament traffic and I was backlogged with other business. BASS Federation held their National tournament (170 boats) with Wed, Thur & Fri as official dates-so along with all-week practice and friends looking for other friends, it was in my clients interests to avoid.—and then MLF brought 10 boats for a three day event not counting practice days.
We can’t blame the anglers. “Build it and they will come.” Maryland DNR controls about 25% of the Potomac fisheries but Maryland FLOODS the entire river with tournament activity—and doesn’t do a damn thing to improve or protect it,
Let me remind you of a few MD DNR Fisheries landmarks: total collapse in the 1980s; oysters collapsed to a “lets plant some” scenario; tidal Potomac & Upper Bay largemouth decline right-now; open season for black bass season open all year on both rivers especially during spawn and summer temps while neighboring states are closed for the spawn; you may now keep ONE rockfish; blue crabs in dire strait but they fired a lady that tried to protect them; feeble attempts to stock smallmouth bass in the upper Potomac River after the 2018 summer floods.
Bass are in total summer pattern and in really shallow water—to feed. That’s their grocery store—however they “rest: on the closest drop-off so keep that Lowrance unit on when scouting.
In DC, remember the speed zones because the cops-are-a-lookin. The upper Potomac is not sending much water into the estuary, but it is sending some bad stuff in the form of pollution from derelict treatment plant discharges and farming (cattle, chickens, pigs, etc.) This is a wonderfully noisy place to spend time fishing for black bass, catfish, rockfish and even snakeheads. It’s not overwhelmed as the south river tournament sector. Main river stops should be Key Bridge and unseen aqueduct foundations; Kennedy Center dropoff; railroad bridge foundations; entrance to Columbia Island Marina and rip rap on both sides-from Anacostia River south. Now, there are abundant hot-spots not mentioned herein but they can’t stand the pressure. Clients can always call me for a trip-check.
The WW Bridge sector is my favorite because pf the various types of cover, structure, various depths and lack of grass (that has you wondering).
I like Oxen Run (right side) with Case Magic Stiks and Big Mouth spinnerbaits; Penrod Cove concrete (which I had placed there in the early 80s as aquatic habitat and buffer for the cove—and some liberal ass chose those slabs to display his “save the world” message with 9 concrete poured anchored “arm and briefcase” bullshit) with Magic Stiks and Campground tubes; shallow coves with Case Magic Swims and Big Mouth vibrating jigs; and always try a Bomber 7-A Firtetiger.
Smoot Bay is nothing short of “the greatest bass habitat on the river” and it was sculptured by a sand and gravel company to help build the Pentagon. Unless you are addicted to grass (sic), and view this cove as a lake-unto-itself, I’d rate this your best place (oops).
Those shallows adjacent to Hog Island are encircled by rip rap—a threat come true by NPS and the bird-watchers to recapture and create wet lands..
MIDDLE TIDAL STUFF: This is the area I hate to report on because of its vulnerability to fishing pressure. I’m not talking about grass beds in Greenway and such. Suffice t to say: Pomonkey Creek; Pohick Bay; Naval base side and VA Creeks.
Lots of vegetation and salt wedge due to drought has blue crabs (trying to avoid the commercial onslaught) are impacting the mouth and south—so be careful because you can wrap a trap-rope and ruin your motor—but NO recourse for you at all.
The 6 MPH area was inundated by anglers much of the past few weeks but there are plenty of bass, snakeheads and blue catfish to catch, It’s frog and buzzbaits time so keep both handy. Bass are using the vegies but don’t neglect to wood.
Between Marsh Island and the main river you will find substantial grass beds to fish. In addition to top water presentations, be sure to rely on Case Magic Stiks a lot.
Chickamuxen, Blue Bans and Aquia Creek you will find much to do.
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: **1/2; nearing 80 degrees; some color but much “slime” on the bottom; 3.6 at Harrisburg rising to 4.4 by Tuesday. 3.8 at Newport on the Juniata..
Spinnerbaits, topwater, Magic Stiks and Riverfront Campground tubes are a must.
It’s rained a lot in areas and lots in other sectors But the “rise” is minimal and boating for motor guys can be hazardous.
Zak reports as follows: “Unusually cool weather for June has been a story for much of the week. Some rain falling and some more in the forecast kept the river at the same level for the week. Bass are in their normal summer pattern feeding early and late in the day during low light periods. Don’t miss out on the topwater action and spinnerbait bite. Throw some blades or a jerkbait for your bigger bass right now and hit a flat before dark to find some hungry bass sippin’ the surface.”

Several years ago (12) I came up with a contest-of-sorts to celebrate river smallmouth bass that grow to 20-inches long or more. I dubbed it “Ken Penrod’s 20-Inch Smallmouth Club.” To gain entry to this club, a CLIENT must catch a bass of 20” or more—or a smallmouth weighing 5-pounds or more. There are a few exceptions: a youngster 16 years old or less—and a lady mat gain entry with 18” specimens.
This Club is sponsored by ARDENT OUTDOORS and RIVERFRONT CAMPGROUND..The longest fish of the year receives and Ardent rod and reels just like Ken uses. All entries receive a medallion from Johnny Cunningham
This has also been a very good barometer for us to gauge the health and population of Susquehanna smallmouth bass.
In the prime of our season (Mid-March thru April) we tallied the following:
20 inch bass: 8; Five Pounds or more: 8; Ladies 5; Youngsters 3
The largest so far in both length and weight is: 21.75” long and 6-pounds one pounce.
Cute but no so funny story: Jay George is the current leader.
Guess who he bumped out? His son.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; near 80; some color slight rise; 2.1 at Point of Rocks rising to 2.9 by Thursday
We finally got some water but not enough to help much. You jet bats can still get around some at Seneca, Whites Ferry and Lander but don’t be stupid. It’s a good idea to do some float outings but dress to get wet when you have to get oit and push-pull/
Get 6 pound test on you spinning rods for now and make rather long cats to deeper (sic) holes with Case Magic Stiks and Case Magic Swims. Spinnerbaits and topwater have value but not when the sun is high.
I was stunned to find out that certain watchdog organizations has announced that “swimming was safe” in a bunch of upper Potomac sectors—even when the flow was about one foot at Point of Rocks. I called that bullshit. I still call that bullshit.

United States Coast Guard Licensed Captains
Captain Ken Penrod (Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, Legendary Guide)
Susquehanna River, Juniata River, Tidal Potomac River, Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers;
Upper Potomac River; Stevenson Dam; Cameron County trout
Captain Dave Kerrigan, VP (301-252-5322)
Susquehanna River, Juniata River, Upper Potomac River, Tidal Potomac River
Captain Brian Barnes (302-745-4668)
Upper Chesapeake Bay, Tidal Potomac River, Nanticoke River, Choptank River, Wicomico River, Pocomoke River
Zak Marinkov (717-507-5053)
Susquehanna and Junioata Rivers in PA


2023 LOU Sponsors and Partners:
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