Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending 4/19/2020

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 41920.

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:
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LOU Fish of the Week, Critter Category
Steve Pritchett, Snakehead with Ken
LOU Fish of the Week: Largemouth
Mike Stoker, 19.75” with Ken
LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club
(sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors
DR Dave, 19”
KP, 19.5’
KP, 18.25’
Mike Stoker, 19.75”
Richard Ennis, 18”, with Brian Barnes
Ken Penrod 20-Inch Smallmouth Club
Current leader: Michael Day
The LOU Covid Policy on Charter Trips

All guests must read and sign this document.
LOU Charter Trips during Corona Virus Caused “Stay and Home” orders.

We, The USCG licensed Captains and MD Charter Boat License, are operating under exceptions allowed by the State and MD DNR
‘Can charter boats work next month (April) since they technically fall under the recreational quota from a fisheries standpoint?
As part of the food supply chain, charter boats can continue operating but must abide by social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. Charter boats and head boats should NOT have more than 10 individuals on the vessel at any time.’
To that end, all clients promise to abide to “Social Distancing” precautions and never be part of a crowd exceeding 10 people.
We will keep and disperse fish food sources such as snakeheads and crappie.
We will avoid contact with each other and use all recommended sanitary measures.
Water levels and conditions:
Upper Potomac, Point of Rocks: 50ish, nice color, 5,4 steady at Point of Rocks
Susquehanna: mid-50s, perfect color, 5.8 steady at Harrisburg
Juniata River, Newport: 50sish, 6.0 rising to 7.5 Sunday
Potomac, Little Falls: 5.1 (Caution zone)
(I use this to judge debris and muddy water coming from Upper Potomac)
Let there be no doubt that I like most of you are sympathetic to the heavy burden this disease has placed on America, Americans and our economy. I do ponder the severity, the hype, the origin and the media frenzy to place blame—but the media and congress are the two lowest professions in the world.
The Governors are acting like this is a big penis contest and try to one-up the next—and our region has some “winners” such as Wolf and Northam.
Everyone is fighting for “exemption” of their leisure outlet including golfers, boaters and church goers—but I ask you (Especially you Wolf)—what the hell does bass fishing have to do with disease proliferation? Wolf shuts down bass guides and charter boats but opens trout season. Have you EVER seen a trout stream on first day? This shows you that people like he and Northam have no idea what is capable of spreading disease so let’s remember these phony’s on Election Day. Keep in mind that both want to take your second amendment rights away too—and both are Democrats.
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: near 60 degrees; wind stain; 5.1 at the Little Falls Gauge.
Sad to see such a lonesome river but the weather has been horrible if that’s any consolation. Recreational boating is banned (what the hell) and anglers may fish but for food only. Charter Boats (we are) are sworn to Social Distancing and we are even stricter than that. Lots of rain and damn-that-wind but in addition to bass, we are seeing very nice yellow perch, crappie are beginning to group-up and that very game snakehead is chomping.
The wind has dictated where and when we choose to fish—but it always does. Argue with yourself over which habitat bass prefer from grass, wood, stone and man-made—but the answer is “where the food is.” Cold fronts change things too and tidal movement is necessary. Tides were crazy this week as NW blew most water out.
Snakehead and crappies provided to friends for food source.
Top baits lately include: Case Magic Swim (Baby Bass or white) attached to an RAB swim jig; Case Magic Stik (Penrod Special or green pumpkin/gold) on a 3/0 hook; Big Mouth Lure Company Big Shakey (add a Case Magic Swim) and the Penrod Special spinnerbait. You should always have a rattling lure handy or tied on and I like blue/silver or gold. You know I’ll never go fishing without using a Campground tube in green pumpkin or Penrod Purple..
I kind of defy most logic when I use Arent spinning rods with just 8# test Xcell mono for my finesse fishing (tubes/Stiks/drop shot)—even along thick grass/vegetation edges—but it works. My C-Force baitcast reels on Edge rods will be filled with 12-15 Pound test mono and you can’t beat Excell.
I realize a lot of you are in “jail” and some of you may wish you really were—but for those with wherewithal, now is the time to get your gear and “stuff” ready. Go to Ardent Outdoors and sign up for “pro Staff. Get yourself some C-Force reels and Edge rods. You will qualify for 40% off when you do it right.
Call Johnny Cunningham at 717-877-2704 and order some KP Series tubes in Badass; Penrod Special; Green Pumpkin and Rose. You will need jig heads so order the RAB 1/0—and get a bag of Swim Bait jig heads too.
Upgrade your sonar/GPS units with some of the state of the art Lowrance products.
Go to and order: Magic Swims in baby bass, white and pearl. You will want some Magic Stiks also in the Green Pumpkin/gold and Kens Stik. Use my discount code: KenP20. Don’t forget to get a couple O-Wacky tools for the Stiks. By the way, I use a 3/0 worm hook on my Magic Stiks—and no weight. For the wacky style-use a #1 circle hook.
My “KP DropTube” is a tube on 1/8th jig as the ( shot) and a Magic Stik above on a circle hook. Two baits are better than one.
Go to Big Mouth Lure Company and order: 3.8th ounce Penrod Special and KP MudBug. You will want some vibrating jigs and swim jigs too. Look over his entire lineup as it has grown.
You know that the river bass spawn is soon upon us (I predict full moon May) and then “Topwater” time is eminent. The cool thing about that period is snakeheads like top-stuff too. You will want some Spro Frogs (Fishing Complete) and Big Mouth Buzzbaits (try a Case Swim Frog on the hook rather than the skirt). I’m a big fan of Obi Hardhook too, Have you tried the Whopper Plopper yet?
You just don’t have to be cold or wet anymore. That Simms line of fishing apparel is top shelf and the Patagonia brand is also. My boat cooler is a Yeti and my fish scale is a Major League Fishing scale.
You can buy a lot of this stuff and never leave home. I really like the service at Tackle Warehouse.
Don’t forget to book your snakehead trip with KP3. He really has them dialed in. it’s like deer hunting and damn near as excitin. Word is that they make great dinner fare.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS; Bass guiding is banned—and that’s idiotic and discriminatory but The PA Governor walks to the beat of a different drummer anyway. On TWO documents he listed Guiding as OK, then on a Friday evening at 5:30 PM he rescinded that—and we had turned our clientele on. I had a place to go to but so many already floundering guides were destroyed. My losses are very substantial and we are considering litigation.
There is substantial “cheating” by the same types that bucked the closure but they do have “spy glasses” on them and it’s a matter of time.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: The River has been in great shape albeit with some up and down but it’s an abandoned fishery for the most part. At the sake of repeating myself—the lack of fish in this river is traced directly to the historic flooding of 2018. The population was devastated as was much of the food chain—and pollution was an accessory. I think the mild winter and lack of fishermen will help but for now, unless you are fishing for food, you m7st stay away. Don’t look for DNR to be of any help. They should be called Department of Chesapeake Bay—and their hands are full of Bay issues such as ANOTHER rockfish decline.
When our Governor outlaws “fishing” and “boating” he doesn’t have any idea that both are available OUTSIDE the Bay—and if there is a safer place than in a boat on a river—enlighten me.
I’ll have first-hand info—maybe, next report.
LOU Guides for 2020
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; Simms Fishing; Costa; Power Pole; NRA; Zipper Worms; RAB Jig Heads; Campground Tubes; Riverfront Campground; Big Bee/River Rocket (KP3); AlumaRyder; (Dave Kerrigan); Columbia Design & Graphics; Guidefitters; NRA; Maggie Penrod.