Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report For Week Ending October 15, 2017


Largemouth: Jim Whitt, Potomac; (20 ¼”) with Kenny Penrod

Largemouth, Jr: Kingsley, Mattawoman, (19 ½’) with KP

Smallmouth: Tom Hyde, Susquehanna (19’) with Matt Greene

Smallmouth: John Fedowitz, tidal Potomac, (19’), with KP

LOU Potomac River Lo-Po Club
Jim Whitt (3) with KP3
Kingsley, with KP

KP-UA 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
*Scott Johnson, 20 ¼ from the upper Potomac River

NOTES: We only have two more fish reports scheduled in this year’s series—but that does not mean that we are done fishing. As a matter of fact, we will be out-there until the water gets hard. From time to time throughout the winter we will post on hot-button issues, good fishing opps and industry news and outdoors shows.

We are already receiving steady bookings for the spring Susquehanna Trophy Season (mid-March through April.) Check your schedule and get to me asap.

Please check my guides list at the end of this report for the present roster. We have not heard from NRA as to the GAOS in Harrisburg in February so our attendance is suspect. There are some good things going on in Maryland but allowing a Fracking Company to install a pipeline under the upper Potomac River boarders on criminal.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *** <70; tidal clear
There is “transition” occurring and it’s important to understand that during the night, bass will move from vegetation as oxygen production decreases. That’s true on cloudy days also. Plant life and photosynthesis is dependent on sunlight. So my point is: unless there was an exceptional amount of sunlight the day before, avoid the already damaged grasses in the AM hours and fish deeper cover. You can expect the fish to return to vegetation when the sun has time to jump-start life.

Water temps dropped under the 70-degree mark and look for increased losses all week as evening temperatures will have a heat-loss effect. The next 10 days does not have an 80-degree in it and the nights will be in the 50s and 60s. Fall is here. We caught some fine bass this week although there were difficult days and disappointing places.

LOU guide Captain Kenny Penrod 111 reports: The water temperatures are still in the lower to mid 70’s on the tidal Potomac River and consequently some traditional fall patterns are being delayed. However, the bass seem to know that changes are coming and we had some excellent fishing this week. In the southern tributaries, the frog fishing produced some of the best fishing I have had since June. The key was to find grass mats that had room beneath them for fish to move. The fish were beneath the mats feeding on crayfish that often sun themselves on top of the grass when the water cools. There are several “dont’s” in my opinion when frog fishing and they include don’t drop your rod tip and feel the fish before you set the hook. Even if you hook the fish – the fish will have time to bury himself in the grass and have a greater chance of unbuttoning. A slight hesitation is good but if he missed it – it’s the right thing to get the frog out and immediately cast beyond the hole. It’s even a good idea to make the frog “splat” on the cast just beyond the hole. The thicker the cover and if he didn’t feel any weight from the hook set – the more likely he will hit again on the follow up cast. In DC there are positive changes and I had some good luck dropshotting hard cover. However, the topwater fishing is below par and some cooler water temperatures will spawn a feeding frenzy. There is still a morning bite but it’s nothing compared to last year. If you would like to book a trip before the long winter leaves you wishing you could fish – call me at 240-478-9055.

KP3’s clients added three LO-Po Club entries and his client also caught the LOU Fish of the Week, Largemouth category.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *** <70; little color; floating grass; 1.5 @ Point of Rocks and falling slowly.

There was a tiny bump (rise) in the river level but she is still very low and difficult to navigate. It’s prime time and temperature to hunt those “bigguns” as should be confirmed by Scott’s Giant 20” beauty. Scott Johnson reports: POR gage 1.7, water temp mid 60’s and water clear. The bump in water levels did not change much this week other than make it easier to get around, but still nothing more than a few kayaks on the water. The pattern from last week continued with fish in shallow water with a bottom of a mix of sand and gravel, behind small submerged ledges. The floating grass continues to be a nuisance, with the Virginia side being worse than the Maryland side. Spinnerbaits and tubes were equally as effective but the spinnerbaits produced larger fish, including a 20.25″ tank. This is the fifth 20″ fish to make its way into my boat this year, from the upper Potomac. The smaller bass continue to be in small groups while larger fish are traveling in pairs, making large areas void of fish so when you do catch one work the area over well. A few fish were caught on topwaters as well but the bite was not consistent enough to stick with it. Our weekly fishing report will end soon for the year, but lots of great fishing is yet to be had. You can follow me on Facebook or on instagram @dcgscottj for updates on the fishing. I also have some dates available for November and December, contact me at 240-625-2550 you would like to book a trip.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER COMPLEX, PA: *** <70; small rise to 3.5 feet at the Harrisburg gauge. The Juniata jumped a few inches to 3.7 at Newport. Still low and bumpy.

LOU sends a shout-out to Chris Walker, a Susquehanna fishing guide and military veteran that made it through a few tours overseas relatively unscathed. He fell off of his rook recently, shattering a leg that was amputated later. Your colleagues at LOU give-a-dam pal so we stand ready to assist any way you see fit.

LOU guide Matt Greene reports: The Susquehanna main steam started the week low and clear then towards the end of the week a small rise came but still remained clear. The water temperature still hold around 70 degrees, but with a look at the extended forecast that will be dropping soon. The topwater baits have still been the best results this week with the Spinnerbait a close second when the conditions are right. I will be in Florida next week but I will return just in time for the late fall action to start. I still have some good dates available so please contact me if you are interested in catching Susquehanna River Smallmouth this year. 717-576-3736

LOU’s Jason Shay adds: Fishing started good this week and finished great. Fish are spread out about everywhere now. We had fish on winter patterns and summer patterns and each lure worked equally successful. We threw spinnerbaits, topwater,swimbaits,crankbaits,jerkbaits and ned rigs you could not throw a lure that did not work. However since the fish are starting to group up we did hit some “dead spots” where the fish just didn’t seem to be. Covering water and cycling through different types of lures and different types of structure seemed to be the key this week. There is still a lot of floating grass on both banks.