Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

August 18, 2019

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 81819

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

Visit our other Facebook Pages below:

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:

Sponsored by Ardent & Riverfront Campground.

LOU Lo-Po Club at:

Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.

LOU Magazine at:

Camp Sycamore at:



UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; 80s; algae dirty; 1.7 @ Point of Rocks steady.

Not any improvement of the “fishing” nor the health standard but “don’t call this/these levels low” because they are higher than most Augusts. I suspect wastewater Treatment malfunctions because you can actually smell it. The Virginia side downriver of the Shenandoah is dirtier/slimier than the MD side and that is some of the above plus poultry/farming issues. My warning to wet waders remains in place: do not allow river water to areas of the body where wounds exist—and wash with “wipes” before eating. Those of you that cut fishing line with your teeth are probably going to need an internist rather than a dentist.

Still, there is no place quite like the Potomac and while challenging—you can catch-some-bass. “Dog Days” call for dawn launches and you just have to cast a Whopper Plopper to pools and breaks along shorelines and ledges. You can actually see your targets when you consider that your fish is an “ambusher” rather than a chaser.

Your mainstay lures will be the Campground Special “teaser” tubes in the KP Series on a 1/8th ounce RAB jig head; 4 or 6-inch Case Magic Stik on a 2/0 Texas rigged hook or a 4” grub on the same RAB head. It’s time for 6-pound test mono and you can’t beat Bass Pro’s Excel in the green color. Go to and get discounts on the rods we use, particularly 6-foot MF Edge rod with a 2000 C-Force reel.

Small, square bill crankbaits and Big Mouth spinnerbaits are great “fish-finders” and “have you tried the Case Lil Magic Swim on an RAB swim jig?

Good float areas include Point of Rocks to Nolan’s Ferry; Whites Ferry to Edwards Ferry and Brunswick to Lander.

Remember, Maryland’s Resident Goose Season begins the first of September and our popular “Cast & Blast” trips are filling quickly.


TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; mid 80+; B/G Algae in areas; traffic stained water; some grass sickness in areas.

The sounds of a buzz bait over vegetable water, so early in the morning you can barely make-it-out is magic—and the only thing better is that “palouchee” when Mrs. Big Mouth sucks it down. Forget that “bass go deep in the summer” bullwaste because “there is no deep” and bass go where food goes and food goes shallow in cover. Read it again!

Find healthy grass, green grass or better yet some mornings—spatterdock. Buzz it, spin it, worms it—but don’t stray long in one areas if you aren’t getting “bit” or if there is no signs of live. The “Buzz” I like is the Obie Hard Hook (white or black) or Big Mouth’s model with a frog or a Magic Swim in lieu of the skirt. If there is a better warm water presentation than the Case Magic Stik (Green Pumpkin/Gold or Ken’s Stik) on a 3/0 worm hook—then I’ve never seen it.

I fished DC water this week with poor results (catfish were everywhere) but my tide was awful, only had 4 hours and “technique” issues interfered. This is the time of year when I like to get above Key Bridge and fish for smallmouth with the basic presentations I explain in my smallmouth tips. It’s not busy, not noisy and not overfished for sure.

LOU guide Kenny Penrod 3 reports: Captain Kenny Penrod III (2404789055) provided the following tidal Potomac report – Fall is in the air on the Potomac. The days are getting shorter and the water temperatures are slowly declining. However, it’s the gulls at Smallwood that confirm the change by their fishing for crawfish that lie on top of the matted grass (mating season) and bringing back to the dock for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is always an indication that the nature and its critters are on their own survival schedule that has nothing to do with our calendars. It also signals fishing by humans is about to change.


In the Mattawoman area, many of the creek flats are thick hydrilla beds that leave only the fish on the edges accessible. These edges are prime at low tide but not just any low tide. A low, low tide is better fishing and a high, low tide can leave you shaking your head. The grass flat that was producing yesterday can result in zero the following week because of wind, moon etc. that effected how much water left the area. I also found that edges that have current and consequently a little deeper water are the best producers. I have been using Bigmouth Buzzbaits and Bigmouth Big Shakey along the edges when covering water or looking for larger bass. I use a wacky rigged Case Magic Stik, swimming worm or dropshot on the edges. I use a Texas rigged Campground Tube to pitch into the edges of hydrilla beds.


The grass is probably topped out at this point and the gulls are now plucking crawfish from the tops. This always signals to me that it’s time to really look for matted grass that has holes, channels or a canopy with deeper water beneath because it’s frog fishing time. I am always humored that fishermen believe that they know what a fish thinks … so let me humor you. I think that Potomac bass believe that the thing hopping on their home is not a frog but a crawfish. I’ve watched bass come up and actually try to push a hollow body frog off a mat and into the water. That’s why I use different sizes and weights in frogs because i try to reveal fish in a mat. Once I know fish are in the mat then I can use my frog more like a crawfish imitator to catch them. Please, please quit telling me your theories on how to set the hook with a frog. I tell you this because: 1. It’s not that u didn’t wait, etc that u missed. The fact is that you are going to miss some frog strikes. 2. You aren’t fast enough to pull a frog out of a fishes mouth. 3. I believe Potomac bass are trying to knock that thing in the water so unless u put the hooks into her – she is looking for that critter in the water. 4. In a mat – set the hook – if u miss – don’t theorize – throw immediately beyond the hole and gently stop it at the edge. Then bring it in the hole and stop- a bass will hit. Also if a fish comes through a mat to strike your frog that was a bass – I have never caught a snakehead that pushed through a mat top. The snakeheads are going to monopolize hydrilla holes and alleys. The coming month can be frustrating or fantastic – but it’s going to frog time.


I have not done well in the DC area recently but as temperatures drop I would expect that the better fishing is yet to come. The fall is all about crankbaits for me and the Spoils, Blie Plains, Fox Ferry, etc will be seeing plenty of me. I look forward to seeing if the stripers, Smallmouth and largemouth will provide the non-stop action like it did a couple of years ago. I tried dropshots, crankbaits and Tubes on bridge pilings, rocks, wood and docks but had very limited success last week.


This is just my vent paragraph. There was another sewage spill at the Broad Creek facility that dumped millions of gallons of sewage into the Potomac River. The upgrades to the Broad Creek and Piscataway facilities were agreed to in 2004 and it is now 2019 – the facilities are not complete and no match for the development of MGM and National Harbor. Read how many reported spills have occurred and listen to the continued government lies that the facilities are more than capable and that they would be complete in 2019. Now there is a push to put a football stadium on the river- poor Potomac. Lucky the Democrats are looking after our natural world or we would be…. wait a second DC, PG County, Alexandria, Maryland, Northern Virginia.


Have you read the updates from Harrisburg about Susquehanna smallmouth. The lower Juniata near the confluence at Duncannon has been deemed “impaired” for aquatic life due to “high PH”. Pennsylvania has “currently evaluating the sources of impairment.” Oh … and I was worried. To me – every time you think there’s a problem – there’s a problem. I fished this area every day from the end of February to the first of May as did my dad and several other guides. It seems that it was no coincidence that the confluence and nearby areas were nothing like they were in the past. Just FYI – a high PH means the water has become more alkaline. The trend of many rivers in our area to become more alkaline is due to pollution. Speaking of pollution – the PFBC – also published that smallmouth has shown an increase in recruitment. They went on to state that the two “most likely” causes of disease and population decline were “endocrine-disrupting compounds and pathogens such as largemouth bass virus and parasites.” These guys are fancy talkers because they first said it was solved- largemouth bass virus. Now it’s endocrine disrupting etc. etc. “such as LBV and parasites.” Our government is Such Bullshitters.


Call me for snakeheads or bass trips. The snakeheads need to be taken off your bucket list and placed on your table for dinner. Good fishing.


SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: *1/2; 80ish; algae in areas; 3.8 at the Harrisburg gauge with a little bump coming; 4.0 at Newport on the Juniata falling slightly.

No good news but no bad either. Bass catching isn’t up to par and we recognized that fact in the spring as last year’s horrendous flooding with resultant pollution, both “planned” and continuing took a toll on all rivers feeding the Chesapeake Bay. “Pollution Planners” look for, and wait for high water to dispose of nasty stuff and they had plenty of opportunity in 2018.

It’s amusing if it wasn’t so angering that the Infamous Closure that only penalized fishermen was never bad enough for Pennsylvania’s Dept Environment to declare “impairment” as John Arway begged for—but now that he is gone, they speak of impairment. More “Wolf Diarrhea” so hang on my PA brothers—he’s coming for you guns next.

There is sufficient water for good float trips and savvy jet boaters can get around in a lot of areas yet. Those 100-bass summer days may be over for a year or two but if you “fish smart” and focus on places bass live rather than “surface water,” your count will improve. Where would you rather be anyway?

Spinning rods (Ardent M Edge & C-Force reels) are important—but now is 6-pound test time so you should try Excel by Bass Pro. Get your buns on the water at dawn and try the topwater tools (buzzbait, Rico, Zara Spook and Whopper Plopper) first—but don’t be stubborn. I’ll give them 20 minutes. Susquehanna smallmouth bass love spinnerbaits and the Big Mouth brand is superior in my mind and experience. The Big Mouth Big Shakey is another “must-have” and I’ll never fish for smallmouth without the tubes from Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground called Campground Specials.


Birds need bees and Ice needs whisky

Guys like me need a fish that’ll bite me

Knockin’’ rods.



We are refiguring our website so be patient. will be operational this week. Always look to our facebook page (Life Outdoors Unlimited) for the fishing reports and client photos.



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 & Maggie Penrod


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