Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending May 17, 2020

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 51720

Office & Mailing Address @ 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell @ 240-447-2206 (Best Way), Office Device @ 30-937-0010.

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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,

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LOU Fish of the Week:
Largemouth: Dylan, 19”

Toothy Critter: Snakehead, John Ennis

Smallmouth: Cory Raymer (11 year Washington Redskin Center)

LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club:
(Sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent Outdoors)
Dylan: (6)
Richard Ennis
John Ennis
Lu Romano
Another crazy weather week with big-winds, bright skies, spoked barrometer and high temperatures later. Fishing success seems to mirror the weather too as we will catch less than a dozen one day and the next it’s 30s. Same places, same lures. The majority of the bass we do land are males and it seems that the fat ladies are either staged elsewhere or have come and gone.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; reached 60; clear; 3.3 feet at Point of Rocks
Not much to brag about as this river still struggles to recover from devastating summer floods of 2018. For now though, the river is in great shape and you can catch smallmouth bass. Forget the junk lures and stick with Campground tubes, Case Magic Stiks, Big Mouth spinnerbaits and YES, Whopper Ploppers. You have a better chance of catching quality fish now as the bigger moms are recovering from spawn and munching now.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ** to ****; just reached 60; good color
Frustrating at times and outstanding the next day. Finally saw the sun this week but those clear-sky days were the worst. We seem to have our best days when we have youngsters aboard and this week 12-yrear old Dylan scored SIX LOU Potomac River Largemouth Club entries, two of the adult class and 4 in the juniors class (A client that catches a Potomac largemouth that measures 18-inches long becomes a Club member. Junior minimum size is 16-inches long.
We are fishing sectors between Aquia and DC concentrating mostly in tributaries and bays. DC was disappointing but the WWB area is consistent. Piscataway is hit or miss but the Occoquan complex, Mattawoman, Cickamuxen and Aquia have been fair to good according to Captains Kenny Penrod and Brian Barnes. The majority of our bass are caught with Campground Special tubes on RAB jig heads; Case Magic Stiks; Big Mouth Penrod Special spinnerbaits and the Case Lil Magic Swim on a 3/16th ounce RAB swim-jig. Other than the spinnerbaits, we use Ardent spinning rods and reels for all presentations—with 8# test Bass Pro Xcel monofilament.
Tidal Potomac – Captain Kenny Penrod III (240-478-9055) provided the following report – Each and every day I fished the tidal Potomac from daylight until dark and it reinforces the fact that tides/current are the single most important factor in spring fishing. The luxury of Fishing through the tidal cycles in a single day will educate an angler that a place void of fish at one moment will be crawling with fish the next.

The fish want to spawn and many already have spawned. The water temps have shown dramatic fluctuations so many males have been coming in since March but the bigger females seem reluctant. I’m catching fish in all phases of spawning and post spawn. The consistent factor is an evening high tide where I see bunches of males coming in and then a morning high tide that brings in females. However, lower high tides seem to make big females reluctant to enter spawning flats especially when there is little cover.

From Piscataway north – I have been fishing wood with a swim jig, Case Magic Stik, or drop shot. South of Piscataway – I fish pads and wood with a Magic Stik or swim jig. Some southern tributaries have been off color but have grass or the beginning of grass that should be productive. It’s spring so if you don’t get hit on a moving Lure then fish a soft plastic in the same area. It’s spring so if you don’t get hit on a low tide – go back and fish it at a higher tide.

I’m still selling my 2009 Ranger 520C with 250 Mercury. I am going to the Susquehanna on Monday so if we had to cancel due to Pa mandates – now is the time to reschedule quickly. Although I haven’t been specifically fishing for snakeheads at this time, they appear to be lying low. I usually start targeting them in mid-June so call me if interested.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: ***; clear; mid 50s;5-feet at the Harrisburg gauge rising to 6-feet Monday. The Juniata at Newport is holding at 5.2 feet.
Captain Dave Kerrigan reports: Finally! We made it back to the Susky for some late spring smallmouth action. PA Gov Wolfe allowed charter fishing to begin Again May 1. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. The river rose to 15’ and put us off another week or so. Once it dropped down to safe boating levels I rolled back into Riverfront Campground with my new AlumaRyder boat and got some long time LOU clients back out fishing. Talk about a great rig! At 21’ this new boat is perfectly suited to fish two clients with plenty of social distance!! The fishing was good and clients Matt Wendle (Thursday & Friday) and Jon Drever of Shepherd Electric with buddy Chad Longo (sat) all had great days with steady action. The fish seemed to think it was still mid-April with water temps in the high 50’s. We found some fish still heading in to spawn while others were bedding and still others already done with it! Crazy! What bait!?!? You name it. I don’t think we had anything that didn’t work at some point. Even caught a few on top water! Did I mention crazy!? As always those areas that are known for bass gatherings this time of year saw plenty of boats rolling in and out. More rain forecast for next week should hold river levels up and allow for good action to continue thru May! Hope to see you out there! Capt Dave Kerrigan.
Dave guided former Redskin center Cory Raymer on Sunday and he caught the Lou Fish of the Week, Smallmouth on a Campground tube.
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.