Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report For Week Ending October 1, 2017


Largemouth: Pete Sheng (20″), tidal Potomac with KP3

Smallmouth: Carlos Ortega (23 1/8″), Susquehanna with Jason Shay (New Record)

KP-UA 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
(Sponsored by Under Armour, Ardent Outdoors & Riverfront Campground)

Jason Shay (21″)

Charlie Shurman (20″) with Jason Shay

Carlos Ortega, (23 1/8) with Jason Shay: LOU RECORD

LOU Lo-Po Potomac River Largemouth Club
(Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors)

(Current leader: Brian Leatherwood, 22.5′ with KP3)

Pete Sheng, 20″, with KP3

*Kenny Penrod 111, three

NOTES: as predicted, with the decline in water temperature–the big fish have turned-on and now–it’s fishing like fall should! I love it when you need a fuzzy short on an Under Armour hoodie. The LOU smallmouth record was broken this week with a monster 23, 1/8th ounce Susquehanna monster–nudging Conner Stonestreet’s (14 years old) 22 7/8″ with Dave Kerrigan. Conner still holds the “weight” record (6.25#) but our guides rarely weigh smallmouth.

The “drought” continues throughout the region and or rivers are very bumpy. The cooled weather will help deter low-water bacteria also. Did you know that an arrest was made on the upper Potomac on a man “spear-fishing” bass. There are a lot of fishing violations near the VA parks and between Seneca and Mouth of Monocacy.
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I’m looking for: Upper Chesapeake Bay; MD Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers; Tidal Potomac River; Deep Creek Lake and Susquehanna River in PA.
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TIDAL {POTOMAC RIVER: **; mid-70s; clear; surface grass
The unusually hot weather has the bass in a funk and the fishermen absent. I fished DC and Mattawoman this week with similar success. By week’s end the sudden chill was a “turn-on” and let’s hope it continues.

In DC we do best in the grass of the Washington Channel–but tight to the wall as long as authorities allow it. It you are asked to back away–do it. Big Mouth spinnerbaits with Case Lil Magic Shad–or Case Magic Stik on a 3/0 hook, on green mono. On Ardent rods and reels is my advice for you. By the way, you can order direct from Case at and get 20% off by using my personal code: KenP20.

Frogs to grass edges in Mattawoman is a big-time rush, especially during lower water levels–not know if that “blowup” is a snakehead or a big ol’ bass. Medium heavy Ardent tackle and braid line guys.
KP3, “The Fishing Detective,” adds: This week of fishing on the tidal Potomac demonstrated the manic/depressive nature of fishing in early fall. The weather fluctuations, shorter days, etc. seem to have the fish confused. One day they seem to follow their summer pattern of lethargy and then the next day they feed manically. This coming week of cooler temperatures may change this pattern and I can expect to see bass feeding as water temperatures fall consistently. As for this past week, I had two terrible days, one good day, and one day I would rate an “A.” I continued to visit tributary creeks and fish buzzbaits and frogs in grass beds. At low tides, I fish isolated clumps of grass away from the hard edge and at higher tides I move further into the grass bed. It’s useful to place split shot in your hollow body frog. When fishing the edges, use a lighter frog but when fishing heavier mats – use a heavier frog that will displace the mat and provide fish with a more visible target. I readily admit that I love this type of fishing and that flipping plastics or punching grass may be more effective but not nearly as exciting. On Saturday, I observed seagulls in the southern creeks hovering over good grass beds to pick up crayfish that sun themselves as water temperatures drop. This is a good sign of a productive area. I use an Ardent Edge 7’6″ medium heavy rod paired with a Ardent Apex Grand reel. I also use 40 lb Sunline braid for this fishing. This is not finesse fishing – when you do hook a fish it is necessary to raise his head and crank as hard as you can so that the fish does not bury into the thick grass. I would anticipate that I will visit D.C. more this coming week.

There is not much more time left before winter is here. The frog fishing will be gone soon! My Sundays are available now because I have placed myself on a self-imposed suspension from the NFL. Call me and enjoy this beautiful time of year – 2404789055.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; low 70s; very low-very grass cluttered; 1.2 @ Point of Rocks and no relief in sight.

Low water such as we are experiencing on the Potomac breeds bacteria, surface clutter and “aluminum-decay-delay,” a phenomenon heightened by boaters without experience/prudence that don’t heed the many and often obvious speed-bumps that low water is known for.

The MD Resident goose season was a disappointment because of the above–but bass fishing hasn’t been hurt, but bass — catching has and that’s because we are “seen” quicker; heard over distance; drive through the best water and start too late.

There’s very few bottom secrets no as it’s laid out like a road map for all to see. It actually makes sense to spend some time watching interaction of her inhabitants.

Are you using “Campground Special Tubes” in the KP Series? Seriously–how many times do we have to say this: CS teaser tubes were designed by the best plastics manager in the country, Troy Gibson, and he worked with Ken Penrod to come up with the colors that bass prefer on Mid-Atlantic waters–especially free flowing river like the Susquehanna, Potomac, James & New. Top colors include: KP Rose; KP Candy; KP Special; KP Purple Craw; KP Peanut Butter and KP Badass.

Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground has the exclusive distribution rights to this series and he stocks them in giant quantities at the Campground beside the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers. John also patents the “RAB Jig Heads” that I endorse. Order via phone (717-877-2704) if you can’t get to the “Camp-Store.” Use your credit card and he sends via USPS. By the way–order lots because if you are not losing a dozen a day, it’s because you are not fishing the right-stuff or not catching enough fish.

From Seneca to Brunswick–it’s the same pattern. Try you Whopper Plopper, buzz bait or Rico in the AM, but only give them 15-minutes. The Case Magic Stik is a must-use here and either method works–Texas or Wacky. Are you using that O-Wacky Tool? In the low light, you can find the in current over gravel, but when the sun dominates–go to shade, submersed ledges or current against ledge-gaps. By the way–the grass edges are kill-zones and grocery stores.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER COMPLEX, PA: ***1/2; hazardous boating; crystal; 3.1 and steady with a “dip” Wednesday to 3.0. UGH.
The late-week “chill” did what we expected. It turned the big bass on big time. Jason’s clients had three KP-UA 20-Inch Smallmouth Club entries–including a “NEW RECORD FOR CLIENTS,” Carlos Ortega’s 23 1/8″ smallmouth edging long-standing (13 year old) Conner Stonestreet’s 22 3/4″ beast. Congrads to Jason (21) and Charlie Shurman (20) for their catch also.

It’s just like I stated in the Potomac report folks. This very low and very warm water is prime for bacteria growth and is a potential health hazards if you are not prudent. Keep your hands away from your mouth and scrub-up before eating. Open wounds must not come in contact with this solution.

LOU guide Matt Green reports: The Susquehanna main stem this week is still steady dropping and crystal clear. The water temperature had climbed into the low 80’s by the end of the week but with cooler temperatures on the way I’m sure it will be dropping back into the 70’s next week. Top water baits have been the main choice of bait especially in low light conditions. I have also had good success on swim jig, swimbait, jerk bait, and a case Magic Stick. I still have dates available in the month of October but I am filling up and I also am filling up dates in November as well so please give me a call if you are interested because the action is only going to get better.

LOU guide Jason Shay adds: Another week of good fishing despite the heavy wind. Topwater and spinnerbaits have been producing well in the morning and evening. During mid-day we have been doing well on crankbaits, jerkbaits and flukes. The river is super low. Lots of fish schooling up.