Upper Potomac River

Waters We Fish: Upper Potomac River

Not to be confused with the tidal Potomac, the upper Potomac River is smallmouth bass country—a shallow, free flowing river of some 250 miles. Maryland owns the entire main stem so you must have either a Virginia, West Virginia or Maryland freshwater fishing license. The most popular and productive areas lie in the Piedmont region but we have guides for the “mountain” area if water conditions permit. Smallmouth bass are prolific, and it’s not unusual to catch (and release) 50-100 bass per 3-person outing and some of these bass are trophy caliber. You stand a good chance to hook-up with a walleye or a musky too. We fish from comfortable jet boats with artificial lures. This is a great, relaxing experience where you never fish the same water. Most knowledgeable anglers will tell you that no man alive, or dead, has more time on the Seneca to Brunswick sector–than Ken. Spinning or fly tackle is recommended—and the ladies and youngsters can have productive days. One or two persons. Multiple boats available. A great April to December fishery.

Our “Trip Check” helps you understand how we do business.”

Fishing with LOU on the upper Potomac, 2019

Ramp location determined by your guide

River Conditions: on line at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=porm2

Ken Penrod’s cell: 240-447-2206

Ken’s e-mail: kenpenrod@comcast.net

LOU Website: www.penrodsguides.com

Ken Penrod: 240-447-2206

Dave Kerrigan’s Cell: 301-252-5322 (Dave is our VP-Smallmouth Operations)

Kenny Penrod’s cell: 240-478-9055

Kenny’s email: kvpenrod@hotmail.com



Required Fishing License


Obtain online at https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal



Arranging Your Trip

You may book directly with the guide of your choice or call Ken at  240-447-2206. kenpenrod@comcast.net.

$200 nonrefundable security deposit—you do not get the money back if you fail to keep your appointment for any reason. If you fail to keep your date with Ken—you will pay full amount. If safety concerns dictate a postponement, you promise to reschedule within the calendar year or loose your deposit. We cannot accept your booking if you do not agree with this aspect. Deposits are mandatory for all accounts unless Ken approves otherwise. Send deposits to Ken Penrod, 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705.

Only we can change the date—we fish rain or shine

You must sign our standard “waiver of claims.”

Balance due at the end of the trip in cash or check. No CC at site.

Fee: $400 plus expenses (gasoline, launch fees, lost or broken tackle/lures) Average expense is $50-$75. Ken’s fee is $450 plus gasoline & launch fee & campground fee (Aprox $50.)

½ day trips available during summer months and some during low light months. $300 plus expense.

Tips: common practice, 10-20%.



Items to bring

Warm, dry clothing, hat, gloves and shoes. Gore-Tex outer is best for winter, spring & fall.

Spinning or baitcasting rods with 8# test mono. You may purchase rods and reels from Riverfront Campground in Duncannon PA. Medium to medium-heavy, graphite rods are best. Good quality reel with at least 5/1 gear ratio are suggested. Please—no ultra-light gear. Baitcasting OK for open water. Fly guys when guide is available.

If you don’t have rods, use ours @ $10 each. You will pay for loss or damage

Lunch and drinks in a SMALL cooler

Small tackle box—show it to the guide before launching.

Your MD fishing license must be visible according to MD law.

Sun Screen (no spray on) —and if you are taking prescription medicine, advise your guide.

Camera in a waterproof case. We take plenty of photos and will email them.

Fingernail clipper on a neck lanyard—very important, for changing lures.

Hook removal tool such as Handyman or plyers.

Polarized sun glasses (very important)

Good attitude because a grumpy client may be sent home without refund.

USCG approved Life Jacket—especially if you are very large or small



Artificial Lures We Use

2.75 to 4-inch Campground Special Tubes and Mizmo Tubes (available at Riverfront Campground). We prefer the KP Series in various colors including green pumpkin, Penrod/Purple, KP Rose; KP Candy; Buzz Kill, road kill camo, Vida Blue, Irish Coffee and Red Craw are Mizmo favorites.

1/8 and ¼ jig RAB heads—available at Riverfront Campground. Contact Johnny at 717-834-5252

Big Mouth or Snagler spinnerbaits (when water temps are over 55-degrees)

Rapala or Luhr Jensen crankbaits in crawfish pattern for 4-6 feet

Rapala X-RAP jerk baits. These are expensive but invaluable.



What to Expect

100% effort from our guides

How well you do on your day depends upon the weather, your skill level and the attitude of the fish.

We start at 7 or 8-AM and we return to the launch at 3 or 4-PM—unless our trolling motor batteries fail due to strong current or wind. You may request an earlier “quit” at no reduction in fee. Start times are subject to change.

The dangers on this water exceed most others. You must obey the guide.

We are a catch & release operation. No exceptions for bass.



On The Water

You must wear your life jacket when the motor is running—and at all times if you have physical impairments. Youngsters MUST wear at all times.

When the boat is running—set in your seat with your feet firmly on the floor—looking straight ahead. Do not move around and do not talk.

Please do not stand on the decks. Anglers must be on the floor of the boat.

Please do not cast over other’s line. Stay in your “zone.”

Please fish from the same side of the boat. Your guide will advise you.

Do not clutter the boat. This is a safety factor.

Absolutely no alcohol or illegal drugs. We reserve the right to cease any trip if we feel that to continue would be dangerous. There are no refunds or discounts.

I insist that my guides fish. Watch him for technique. He will never “hog” a hole.

Do not “relieve yourself” without advising the guide. He may have to move to a safer area to allow that.



This is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a “heads up” to aid your adventure. We offer many other destinations in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Ken also operates a summer youth camp for boys between 12-16 years old during the month of July. Ken’s books on fishing are must-reads. See our website for much more information www.penrodsguides.com

The Ken Penrod 20-Inch Club is an elite group of anglers, catching a smallmouth bass of 20-inches or more. We will not bend the rule, not even for 1/8th of an inch. Must be caught during a guided trip. Must have photo of bass on a Keeper Board. Best bass this year gets an Ardent rod and reel combo.