Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending May 2, 2021

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 5221
Mailing Address: 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell @ 240-447-2206 (Best Way).
PLEASE—never communicate with me via Messenger. NEVER; NEWLY constructed with lots of information. See the “About”, then “Galley” section for photos and “Programs” for club and youth camp information.
“See our Facebook Pages for Fishing Reports too.
First-Hand Reporting Since 1982—NOT part-time guess work.
Professional Guides Since 1982
Ken 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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Ken Penrod’s 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:
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REMEMBER—We have eliminated our land-line phone so contact should be at 240-447-2206 or
LOU Fish of the week:
Smallmouth: Jerry Corwin @ 19.5”
First Bass EVER or Personal Best: Luis Perez
Two “tics” Short: Dr Dave
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: ***; clear; mid 50s; from 4.5 to 7.4 overnight; 7.1 falling to 55 by Wednesday at Harrisburg. 4.2 at Newport and holding.
I’ve renamed the spring of 2021 to “Windy River” and just to back me up—we had gusts to 60 MPH Friday. Power lines were down in the campground and sirens wailed all evening. I’ve bragged about my Simms outer gear keeping me dry but this years it was to block wind.
My 7-week season came to an end Friday and I packed-out Saturday morning to resume my tidal Potomac guide schedule. This was a good season with plenty of evidence of a big “bounce-back” in smallmouth populations. Top numbers were down and 20-inch fish are scarce BUT I’ve NEVER seen fatter, healthier smallmouth in my career. It’s as if the river was stocked with Lake Erie footballs. The massive floods of 2018 caused the declines so be proud of the come-back and take care of them now.
The FULL MOON SPAWN was ‘as advertised’ and places reachable due to low water were inundated with bass boats, especially Sherman Creek. Campground tubes in the KP Series were favored but those Case Magic Stiks, Zipper Grubs, Case Sinking Salty Minnow, Case Magic Swim and Big Mouth Big Shakey or Penrod were “eaten” with regularity. Prior to Sunday morning, the Main River and Juniata was “risky” to “run” but a 2-3 foot bump on the Susqy will help a few weeks. No help for Juniata though.
Captain Dave reports: Captain Dave Kerrigan is all smiles this week. Fish were biting Campground Special tubes, Big Mouth Spinnerbaits and new this week Case Magic Stix Texas Rigged! Warmer water and a kind barometer for a change had fish biting up and down the river in most places we tried. With river levels in the 4’s all the grass bowls are available for the picking!! Fish are now post spawn and eating. Many fish are swallowing the plastics so be extra careful when dehooking those that are deep in the throat. A late week rise in the water pushed some fish back to the banks but that should subside in a couple of days.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; mid 60s; clear for tidal; major spawning activity
From Little Falls to Potomac Creek your odds of finding willing largemouth bass are as good as it gets right now. The full moon spawn, warm water temps and lack of upper river flooding makes for a good scenario. Bass are shallow by tidal river standards and anadromous fish spawns are stocking the grocery stores.
The DC sector is providing good results especially the shoal & drop-off along Fort McNair in the Channel—and Pentagon Lagoon. Bridge foundations are holding all three bass species and the VA side of Roosevelt Island is worthy. Crankbaits like the Bomber Firetiger are great for bass staged on the drops and Case Magic Stiks and Magic Swims are great flats-searchers. It’s hard to beat The Big Mouth Lure Company Big Shakey and if you aren’t using Campground tubes all year here-you are missing some success.
The WWB section is a great pre-spawn opportunity with every conceivable form of habitat in the book. If the bass aren’t on the shoals, search the concrete, barges, points and bridge foundations. In addition to the lures I spoke of, try grubs too on a tough day.
The “Middle Potomac” from Piscataway to Occoguan could be tops so Pohick Bay, Piscataway, Pomonkey, Greenway and Occoquan are turned on.
The “south-Potomac: from Mattawoman to Potomac are usually the first to turn on and this year was no exception.
We use Lowrance Electronics a bunch to locate underwater habitat, baitfish and wet hard cover but GUYS, turn those units off when fishing shallow water.
You can’t beat Ardent rods and reels—for the money, so check them out at
I am now booking trips for this river and have a few May days left. Contact me at or 240-447-2206.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; lower 60s; some color; 2.8 @ Point of Rocks and holding.
I wish I had better news-but my news isn’t that bad. Those 2018 summer floods devastated fish stocks throughout this great, neglected river, but “bad news, lack of anglers, ice-free winter and one good spawn is helping.
Right now is your best chance for a good day as fish are grouped, shoreline oriented and feeding heavily due to spawning stress. I like the Edwards Ferry, Whites Ferry, Lander and Brunswick launch sites. Use what to want but Campground tubes in the right hands will “wup” you silly most days.
It’s not a bad idea to be using Excel monofilament by Bass Pro Shops in 6-pound test on Ardent 6-6 MF rods and C-Force reels. It’s actually a GOOD idea.
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 and trout streams in Cameron County, PA-near Sinnamahoning..
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; AlumaRyder; (Dave Kerrigan); Guidefitters; NRA; Maggie Penrod.