Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Week Ending October 20, 2019

LOU Fishing Report for Week Ending 102019.

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:

Sponsored by Ardent & Riverfront Campground.

LOU Lo-Po Club at:

Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.

LOU Magazine at:

Camp Sycamore at:

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: *; <55; clear; 1.2 at Point of Rocks gauge rising maybe 6 inches by Thursday.

The river will rise and color just a bit this week, but few will notice since anglers are absent and it’s too cool to float/tube. The river herself is just as beautiful as ever and while soft wood doesn’t drop colorful leaves—the contrast is picturesque. You can actually see every rocks on the bottom—and fish too, if there were any.

Our client/associate Bill Giles says “we fished Lander Saturday and the story is the same. Between the two of us we caught ONE smallmouth bass. Oh, by the way, we were the only trailer in the parking lot.”

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; <60; clear; vegetation dying.

I did the DC sector Saturday (1/2 day AM) and we never had a bite in spite of low water in the morning.

I did Mattawoman Monday and just verified what the two large tournaments over the weekend claimed: “Bass fishing was poor.” Thirty eight of 150 boat on a three day tournament BLANKED.

Thank the fishing gods for rockfish and catfish because they saved the day. It’s a hoot chasing those large schools of stripers because it’s just like fishing the Bay. Don’t “crash” into the bird flocks bur settle down early and fish your way in. The bait and stripers are in shallow water so allow the tide to move you over the target area. I’m recommending Case Lil Magic Swims on a RAB 1/8th ounce swim jig.

Captain Kenny Penrod III (2404789055) provided the following tidal Potomac report – the only thing that I find enjoyable fishing in a crowd is observing how most people fish exactly the same. The combination of flw bass entry fee participants and Maryland state entry fee competition resulted in heavy pressure on outside grass edges in tributaries this past week. Also, heavy winds, cold and rain dropped water temps from 66 on Tuesday to 58 on the following Monday. The weather also had the effect of the horde staying close to ramps and the outside grass/pad edges of Mattawoman in particular being thrashed to a froth. However, Monday and Tuesday still produced big bass by fishing heavy grass mats. I stayed off the river until Saturday and switched to catching stripers for the remainder of the week. The drop in water temp and the destruction of my thick grass will call for a change of tactics this coming week.


Here’s my summary of some things that I observed and some advice on what may help you next year. First – once seagulls start picking up crawfish on mats – you should be fishing matted grass for big bass. Also don’t fish your frog like a frog but move it like a crawfish – I guarantee you will catch fish with that one tip. Also, once the grass starts to die underneath the mats – bass will have room to roam. I only tell you this because it’s been my experience that bass often miss the frog (on purpose) because they are trying to knock that molting crawfish into the water for a delicious meal. If you don’t put the hook into that bass – she’s still around. When grass thick and alive beneath the mat – those bass will stay very close to that hole they created but when grass dies – they will be in the vicinity but may wonder away. It’s necessary to continue to make a wide radius with repeated casts with ur Power Poles down because that bass is very catchable. The heavy, matted, cheesy grass was fantastic for a month but you had to fish that frog slow and never leave a fish once u get a tell tale sign that she was beneath. A little bulge beneath your frog was all that needed to be observed.


With the dropping water temperatures, my tactics will now revolve around crankbaits in DC and fishing drops with Campground Tubes. I look foreword to a great crankbait bite until Thanksgiving. I will also be fishing the tube on creek turns and drops. I realize the need to fish slightly deeper and locating cover off the bank to consistently succeed. I will be using my Lowrance quite a bit to locate those spots on spots. I will begin my own transition from my wonderful mat fishing to trying to find those bigger bass on drops and hard cover.


The water temps in the 50’s should produce some good fishing. The stripers are schooling. The snakeheads will still be active on sunny, warm days and around any remaining grass. The crappies will be in their holes. I’ll be throwing a crankbait and Campground Tube until my arm falls off. Good fishing.


SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: *1/2; <60; clear; 4.4 at the Harrisburg station and holding; 3.4 at the Newport Station on the Juniata and rising maybe 6-inches by Friday.

A very welcome rise in river level this week helped boaters, anglers and inhabitants. Bass fishing has improved but while not a shadow of just a few years ago—there is enough for recruitment and frankly—I can’t wait for March 2020 because I’m doing my seven weeks no matter.

Topwater lures such as Zara Spook, Rico, buzzbait and Sammy can’t be resisted by cool-water hungry bass. Never, never fish here without Campground Special teaser tubes in the KP Series attached to 1/8th ounce RAB jig heads attached to 8# green colored mono attached to Ardent spinning reels such as C0Force and Bolt—and all attached to a medium action Ardent, Edge spinning rod.

Anyone wishing to be able to buy Ardent product at 40% discount—please contact me at

Same with Case and Zipper products—I’ll allow the use of my personal discount code (KenP20) to allow you 20% off on web orders. I don’t go anywhere without Case Magic Stiks, Magic Swims and Zipper Worms.

We are already taking booking for the Susquehanna for our spring trophy hunts in March. April and May. Don’t wait too long.


Meet our Guides/Fishing Instructors

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; Power Pole; NRA; Zipper Worms; RAB Jig Heads; Campground Tubes; Riverfront Campground; Big Bee (KP3); Columbia Design & Graphics; Guidefitters; NRA; Costa; Simms, Lance Carowick (Website Design & Consutant) & Maggie Penrod CFO & MFB


BOOKS by Ken Penrod

Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass ($25)

Fishing the Upper Potomac River (Out of print)

Ken Penrod’s Top Ten for DEMARVA ($25 short supply)

Fishing Lake Anna ($50, only 10 left)

Tidewater Bass Fishing ($50, only 9 left)

Send checks to PPC Publications at 4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705. Be sure to specify the title/titles.


2020 Camp Sycamore Dates

July 6-10

July 13-17

July 20-24

July 27-31


Our summer camp for boys between the ages of 12 & 18 will fill up quickly so dn’t hesitate to contact Ken about attendance. Our website pretty much describes our 38 year old program, but most important is that we ONLY want boys that are totally into fishing, shooting and woods & water activity. This is not a camp for disabled (bless you) or undisciplined boys. We require a face-to-face interview to ensure that we are all on the same page—for the good of your son, and our camp. Ken is a well know outdoorsman, author, guide, hunter and Hall of Fame angler. Our counselors are top=of-the-line, experienced, certified and wonderful—as in Alan Mullis, Christy Mullis, Maggie Penrod and Brandie Sherry.

Seldom met a kid I didn’t like—but some parents cancel that.

There is nothing like this in the USA. Only 6-8 per session, conducted from my lodge in North PA, alongside a trout stream—adjacent to a wilderness area. We meet in Ken’s house on Sunday eve and you just promise to retrieve you son on Friday evening—unless he is staying for Two weeks.

Fee is $1000 per week and $2300 for two weeks (stays the weekend).

There is an application process. With mandatory deposit, then our interview. Once accepted—there