Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report


LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 31520.

Office & Mailing Address @ 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell @ 240-447-2206 (Best Way), Office Device @ 30-937-0010.

“See our Facebook Pages for Fishing Reports, Photos and “Club” Activity.”

First-Hand Reporting Since 1982—NOT part-time guess work.
Professional Guides Since 1982

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 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:
Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.

LOU Magazine at:

Camp Sycamore at:

Bass Fishing with Life Outdoors Unlimited—the safest place to be in the region. School closures—take them fishing,

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: **1/2; 47-51 degrees (Juniata warmer than main stem by 2 degrees); Juniata very clear. Main stem has some color; 5.4’ on main stem falling to 5 feet by Wednesday. Juniata at 4.5’ steady. Lots of suspended, dead grass in the Juniata.
I checked into to Riverfront Campground and Red Carpet Motel on Wednesday the 11th and fished every day thru Sunday. The river is simply beautiful==and so is the weather. We have been providing guide service on this system for more than 25 years and I can’t remember a more spring-like start. Normally the water temp is about 40 degrees plus or minus a few—but 47-51 was common this week. Sunday’s cold front hampered catchability when the barometer spiked and the water lost 4 degrees.
WE are still dressing in our Simms outerwear and base layers because the mornings are cold and the wind just deducts warmth. TIP: “It may be March but don’t fish like it is.”
I searched the Juniata to above Amity and the main stem to Halifax—preferring the Susquehanna because of “color” and absence of “gunk” in the column and on the bottom. Our “numbers” are not what we are accustomed to but the bass we caught were 100% fat and heathy—and we boated more than 100. Last season my service boated approximately 100,000 smallmouth and less than 1% shoed any obvious disease—and you can’t say that about people in any city in America. Rumors of sick-fish must be a localized instance (Harrisburg—and they are top-2 in Susquehanna pollution) because I have checked with guide services above and below us and they confirm my observation. That’s exactly why we will not endorse or participate in a “poll” by the Riverkeeper and Rod Bates guide service—and I totally respect both parties but a “big” river should not be judged by a “small” sector.
Our “producing” baits should be no surprise as jerk baits and Campground tubes account for the majority—but the Ned technique, Z-Man craws and Big Mouth Big Shaky are worth the effort. Try a Case Magic Swim attached to a 1/8th oz. RAB swim jig-head or a “Chin-Spin” and always cast a 4-inch Mizmo grub. Johnny Cunningham has a full wall of tubes and a pile of RAB jig heads so stop by the store or call (717-877-2704) for mail-delivery.
Michael Day caught the first “Ken Penrod 20-Inch Smallmouth Bass Club” for a client in 2020—on his third cast. Michael is the reigning 2019 Champ and has won this Club Contest three times. The “Club” is sponsored by Ardent Outdoors and Riverfront Campground. Under Armour is not participating this year.
My Ardent 7-foot medium spinning rods host an Ardent C-Force reel and I’m using 6-pound test Excel mono for finesse presentations and Ardent 6-6 MF Baitcaster hosting Edge reels and 12-pound test Excel mono for jerk baits, Big Mouth spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs.
Keep in mind that a bass can hold her breath about as long as you can so adopt the ‘60-second photo-op’ routine by keeping the fish in the water while the camera is prepared and the background chosen. Also remember that it is illegal to be on plane within 100-feet of the shoreline—and you do not have to wear your license on your clothing this year.
We have a few days left on our schedules so hurry to cash in on the action of “The Best Smallmouth River in the USA>”

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; 50s; clear; 2.4 at the Point of Rocks station rising to 2.9 by Tuesday before dropping again.
The “good” news is that we have had a very mild winter so inhabitant mortality was minimal, The river is quite low for this time of year so it can be “bumpy” while boating but the the water temperature in much more like April than March—in the low 50s, and there is a full moon on the 8th—which means there will be spawning activity if the weather holds.
The smallmouth mortality from the 2018 flooding will be felt for another year or so but that doesn’t mean that you can’t catch smallmouth bass. You just have to fish smarter. Be very selective when choosing areas to spend your time and remember the rules of fishing: (you can’t catch where they aren’t; find the food and you found the bass; your lure has to be wet to catch one.)
This isn’t March on the fish’s calendar so forget those cold water tactics. Current breaks, chunk rocks and ledges will hold the fish and so tubes, Case Magic Stiks, square-bills and Big Mouth Spinnerbaits do the deed.
Low, clear water and sunny days make your job tougher because everything in the water sees everything on the water—and that’s you. That’s another reason to fish “smarter” by working the shady side and probing the underwater ledges. I convert to 6-pound test, green mono and I really like the Excel brand by Bass Pro.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ****; 50s; perfect and “grass is growing.”
If you have been monitoring our Facebook pages and our newly constructed website—you had to see the big, fat, sassy largemouth bass that KP# is catching—and to give to even more prospective, he likes the Susquehanna better for March—but he does not want to leave the Potomac NOW.
It’s the same from DC to Nanjemoy but it’s important for you to think “APRIL” and not “MARCH.” For the most part the majority of the largemouth bass have sought bay or tributary habitat where grass and spatterdock are jump-started.
All our springtime lures such as rattling lures; Case Magic Stiks; Campground tubes; Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Big Mouth vibrating jigs are in play and don’t forget those red or silver/blue shallow-cranks.
Our client celebratory contests are renewed such as: “DC SLAM” and “LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club (LoPo)” sponsored by Ardent Outdoors and Lowrance Electronics and find our Facebook pages dedicated to these programs.
These types of fishing trips are the safest of all during this “flu-hype” so get off your couch and give us a call. Ken’s cell at 240-447-2206 or

KP3 Reports: Tidal Potomac – Captain Kenny Penrod III (240-478-9055) provided the following report – The Potomac River has been on fire for the past two weeks. However, fishing success can be fragile with passing cold fronts that can decrease water temperatures dramatically. The water temps are averaging around 54 degrees. The fish are in prespawn mode where only one thing matters – it’s really not water temp or spawning or cover but good. Water temp, cover, deep water access, etc. only really matter to food and where food is then bass follow. Consequently, I have followed two patterns: shallow water next to deep water (drops) and then Lilly pad stalks on flats. I have fished small plastics on drops (mostly Campground Tubes in Bad Ass color with 1/4 RAB jighead). I simply throw up on the shallow flat and work it slowly down the drop. The flats that have Lilly pad stalks are fished with a white Bigmouth Big Shakey with a swimbait trailer. I usually do best on a incoming or high tide when water temps are at their highest. Although I have been fishing mostly south – these patterns will hold up anywhere from DC to Aquia. The only thing that may change is cover availability. The fish will be looking for food and that will be on flats with warmer temps or drops when water temps decrease. It’s a good time to throw moving baits like crankbaits and Big Shakeys because there are some big fish prowling the waters looking to eat.

Meet our Guides/Fishing Instructors
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.
Captain Kenny Penrod 111, VP of Tidal Bass Operations @ 240-478-9055
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; Power Pole; NRA; Zipper Worms; RAB Jig Heads; Campground Tubes; Riverfront Campground; Big Bee (KP3); Columbia Design & Graphics; Guidefitters; NRA; Costa; Simms, Lance Carowick (Website Design & Consultant) & Maggie Penrod CFO & MFB
BOOKS by Ken Penrod
Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass ($25)
Fishing the Upper Potomac River (Out of print)
Ken Penrod’s Top Ten for DEMARVA ($25 short supply)
Fishing Lake Anna ($50, only 10 left)
Tidewater Bass Fishing ($50, only 9 left)
Send checks to PPC Publications at 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705. Be sure to specify the title/titles.
2020 Camp Sycamore Dates
July 13-17
July 20-24
July 27-31

Our summer camp for boys between the ages of 12 & 18 will fill up quickly so don’t hesitate to contact Ken about attendance. Our website pretty much describes our 38 year old program, but most important is that we ONLY want boys that are totally into fishing, shooting and woods & water activity. This is not a camp for disabled (bless you) or undisciplined boys. We require a face-to-face interview to ensure that we are all on the same page—for the good of your son, and our camp. Ken is a well know outdoorsman, author, guide, hunter and Hall of Fame angler. Our counselors are top=of-the-line, experienced, certified and wonderful—as in Alan Mullis, Christy Mullis, Maggie Penrod and Brandie Sherry.
Seldom met a kid I didn’t like—but some parents cancel that.
There is nothing like this in the USA. Only 6-8 per session, conducted from my lodge in North PA, alongside a trout stream—adjacent to a wilderness area. We meet in Ken’s house on Sunday eve and you just promise to retrieve you son on Friday evening—unless he is staying for Two weeks.
Fee is $1000 per week and $2300 for two weeks (stays the weekend).
There is an application process. With mandatory deposit, then our interview. Once accepted—there is no refund for any reason.