Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report
For Week Ending May 21, 2017

Notes: Our fishing report will also be posted to Ken's page "Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited" ( as will be our client photos.

 Ken Penrod's 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:

Sponsored by Under Armour, Ardent & Riverfront Campground.

LOU Lo-Po Club at:

Sponsored by Lowrance & Ardent.


Largemouth: Chris Grimes, with KP3 on the Potomac, 20.75"

Smallmouth: Chris Gergly, with Jason Shay. Juniata, 20"

David Engel with KP3; Ed Straw (2) with KP; KP (6). Chris Grimes (3), Bob Fisher and KP3--with KP3

Chris Gergly with Jason Shay on the Juniata above the restricted zone.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER; ***1/2; 70ish; some debris and color to main stem; great grass growth.

I stayed between DC and Piscataway this week where debris remnants cluttered the main stem but the tribs and coves were a "nice" color. It was "hot" a few days--and so was the catchin'. Much of the spawning is complete but look for another around the new moon. Milfoil growth is awesome and so far--I haven't had to "hate" any netters.

If there is a better lure for shallow water grass than a Case Magic Stik in the Ken's Stik or Green Pumpkin/gold colors--I don't know about it. To the chagrin of some--I use Ardent medium action (edge) spinning gear and 8# green monofilament. I'e not had a bass break off--and I've caught some big-uns. Two ways to rig: (1) Texas rig with a 3.0 worm hook, or (2) wacky style using the Case O-Wacky Tool and a #1 circle or Octopus. It's a simple technique but many agonize over it. The secret to success is (1) slow down--then slow down some more; keep the mono taunt and your rod tip high--but no so taunt as to move the bait; (3) when the lure settles into the grass--gently shake your rod tip so as to "lift" and move--but just a little (4) when you feel the "tick" or see your line move off--drop your rod tip and wind line until you feel her wiggle. Then--set-the-hook!

Case is part of "Fishing Complete Incorportated" and WOW--they have some stuff. Their Sinkin' Salty Shads, Magic Swims, Zipper Grubs and worms are top-notch. Order direct and save 20% by using my discount code, "KenP20."

There isn't much grass on the Fort McNair shoal (Washington Channel) so far but Big Mouth Lure Company's Big Shaky and Penrod Special spinnerbait is the "go-find-them" lure. I'll add a Case Lil Magic Swim to either. Bite some off if you need to.

Penrod Cove and Smoot Bay is worth the time where Campground Special tubes, Stiks and Snagler Under-Chins work just fine. Every time I go into Smoot Bay I have to laugh outload about DNR's plan to "install" a fish habitat. There isn't a cove on the entire River with more habitat than Smoot Bay! It's tough to explain that "tidal" management. Broken--comes to mind.

Grass coves and creeks downriver are providing very big bass--and lots of little ones too. Nice to know that the "no-penetration" culling devices are dying a much-needed death.

KP3 adds: KP3 reports excellent fishing throughout the Tidal Potomac. KP3 fished the southern section of the river early in the week and found the water discolored but bass biting in Mattawoman, Belmont Bay and Occoquan. The combination of milfoil and a weightless Case Magic Stick can't be beat. Commit to fishing slow and you will catch bigger fish. Later in the week, KP3 fished from Pomunkey to D.C. The fish were in all stages of the spawn depending on how far north one chooses to travel. However, fishing slow with Magic Sticks still produced the best results for bigger fish. KP3 can be reached at 2404789055.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; stained but falling quickly; Falling from 9-feet last Monday to a "projected" 3.5 by next Monday.

We stayed away much of the week but Scott did guide trips there Saturday and Sunday and reports:

POR gage 3.9 and dropping, water temp 70 and stained. Fishing was very good today, although many of the fish were on the small side. The VA side is running a little more stained the MD side but it did not affect the fishing. The bigger fish are in a bit of a post spawn funk but should turn back on the upcoming week. Most fish were caught on Campground Special Tubes, but also caught some on Snagler Tackle river thumper spinnerbaits. At this water temp and river level I find covering a lot of water to be key, but only in key areas and fishing those areas thoroughly. Current seams from standing rocks, ledges held fish, as well larger flats with moderate current and hard bottoms, and now the submerged ledges that are close enough to the surface to provide the bass some current relief. The sunfish are becoming more active and can be a great time for the kids to catch. I only have a few dates left for June and July so contact me at 240-625-2550, or email at, if you would like to book a trip. You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram @ dcgscottj

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: 70; clearing; 4.8 at Harrisburg. 5-feet at Newport on the Juniata.
There are "outlaws" fishing the closed areas but the good guys respect the intent of the law--much to our chagrin and financial loss. LOU guide Jason Shay fished the Juniata Saturday and reports: Fishing has been exceptional in the "non restricted" areas of the Susquehanna and Juniata. Most fish are post spawn and eating very well. We have been doing best on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and swimbaits. Current fed areas near spawning areas have been loaded with bass. We are weeks away from the bass season opener. Don't forget about the weekday evening trips we offer during the summer months days are filling up fast. Jason Shay, Life Outdoors Unlimited , Susquehanna River Guide, Instagram @Susquehanna_river_guide,
(717) 507-4377

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **; 60s; clear
The Lake's getting busy and will be in high gear come Memorial Day. Fishing has been quite good as largemouth spawn stages stagger a little. More floating docks being installed each day. The rocky areas near the park are good for smallmouth while the coves mid-lake and above harbor largemouth especially in the new grass growth. We are about to announce a new guide for the area to help Bret Winegardner so stand by.

LOU thanks the best:
Under Armour <> RiverPro <> Lowrance <> Ardent <> Sunline <> Case Plastics
Big Mouth Lure Company <> Zipper Worms <> Mizmo <> RAB Jig Heads 
Riverfront Camp Ground <> Campground Special Tubes <> NRA <> Mercury Motors
Power Pole <> Columbia Design & Graphics Company <> Patagonia <> Yeti

LOU Guides
Captain Ken Penrod @ 240-447-2206: Captain Dave Kerrigan @ 301-252-5322
Captain Kenny Penrod @ 240-478-9055; Captain Brian Barnes @ 302-745-4668
Captain Keith Barker @ 301-509-2102; Bret Winergardner @ 301-616-9889
Jason Shay @ 717-507-4377; John Stygler @ 717-368-3802
Matt Greene @ 717-576-3735; Scott Johnson @ 240-625-2550

Waters & Guides:

Tidal Potomac River: Captain Ken Penrod; Captain Kenny Penrod; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Dave Kerrigan.
Upper Potomac River: Ken Penrod; Kenny Penrod; Scott Johnson; Dave Kerrigan
Deep Creek Lake: Bret Winegardner.
Susquehanna & Juniata Rivers: Ken Penrod; Dave Kerrigan; Jason Shay; Kenny Penrod; Matt Greene; John Stygler; Scott Johnson
MD Eastern Shore Tidal Rivers: Captain Brian Barnes, Captain Keith Barker & Ken Penrod
Upper Chesapeake Bay: Captain Brian Barnes
Ken's Companies:
Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited; Ken Penrod' s Mid-Atlantic Fishing Reports
Ken Penrod's Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Ken Penrod's Seminar Series
Ken Penrod's LOU Magazine; Ken Penrod's Tournament Services