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Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending September 7, 2014
4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell, Best Bet: 240-447-2206. Office Ans.
Device: 301-937-0010. kenpenrod@comcast.net
www.penrodsguides.com     www.fishdeepcreek.com
LOU Magazine; Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Life Outdoors Unlimited

Webmaster; Captain Brent Nelson of Columbia Design & Graphics
VP of Deep Creek Lake Operations & Editor in Chief of LOU Magazine
captbrentnelson@gmail.com 

Find us on Twitter: @ken_penrod. On facebook: ken penrod. Linkedin

LOU USCG CAPTAIN/Guides Include:
Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Kenny Penrod 3; Captain Brent Nelson; Captain Brian Barnes; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Ken Penrod.

LOU Guides: Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; Joe Raymond; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

 

LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth Division: Lou Gauci (20”) with LOU guide John Stygler
on
Susquehanna River, with Snagler spinnerbait (purple snag spinnerbait
by Snagler Tackle Company) www. snaglertackle.com.

 

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***; 81 degrees; suspended algae; very low 1.2 @ Point of Rocks.

            Environmental Alert: Upriver, on the North Branch, in a town called Westernport, the treatment plant is pouring dark brown “gunk” into the river almost unabated—and the Potomac Riverkeeper says that a loophole in the law allows for this. Those of you that can remember back into the 1990s will remember the years-long battle we (MBF) waged with the Westvaco paper plant for their blatant discharges. They were fined and a new treatment plant (in Westvaco) was constructed to solve the issue. Well, the culprits are at it again and this cannot stand. See the photos at www.penrodsguides.com under “Fishing Reports.”

            I’m seeing a heavy upswing in recreational use of this river that is not fish-oriented and I wonder if it’s “healthy” for so much

            Smallmouth bass fishing between Violets Lock and Brunswick remains excellent for “numbers” of small bass (<10”) but boaters are cautioned that the water level is summertime-low and caution is the name of this game. It’s difficult to understand how so many bass can survive given the food chain but for now, a massive aquatic, in the morning and evening, may be the savior.

            While submersed aquatic vegetation has been rather scarce compared to previous years, the extremely low water is allowing the grass to reach and matt the surface in areas. This is not good for jet drives so avoid the obvious matts when possible.

            We recommend teaser size, KP Series tubes (Penrod Purplke, KP Rose & KP Rotten Roadkill/purple) on RAB jig heads; 4” Case Magic Stiks in the “Ken’s Stik” color; 4” swim baits and 4” Case Salty Shads; Rico poppers in the AM; Obie Hardhook buzzbais in the AM or PM; Zipper worms on a slider head.

            The shallow. Clear water works both ways as far as observation goes so keep a low profile, employ 6# green mono and wear polarized sunglasses. I’m using medium action Ardent rods and reels. I am also “testing” new rods for Ardent—and you will love them. Cast slightly upcurrent of ledges and chunk rocks.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: ***; near 80 degrees; some color, some areas; 3.6 @ Harrisburg and 4.0 at Newport on the Juniata.

            Smallmouth bass fishing took a “hit” this week due to the heat wave that moved the needle from 70 degrees to more than 80—but, for the record, the Susquehanna River smallmouth bass fishing is head and shoulders above any other water that we guide on, by a long shot.

            Longtime client Lou Gauci fished with LOU guide John Stygler on Friday and caught a fat, 20” bass on a  spinnerbait, one of 21 nice bass from the Montgomery Ferry area—and guide John had a 5-pound walleye.

Jason Shay fished out of Fort Hunter with his clients and they had 31 bass for the day, down about 50% from what we expect—because of the 10-degree jump in water temp. Jason’s report read: “fish were lethargic and unresponsive due to high water temp and we had to work our ass off for every bite.” How would you like to call 31 bass in the three pound class from the Susquehanna “unresponsive?” At one time we did.

            Don’t forget, Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground will shuttle you to upriver launch sites so that you can float back to his campground. This is a great summertime, warm water treat.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; 80s; algae; disappointing.

            Largemouth bass fishing remains “tough” or as a few emailed me, “nonexistent,” but it’s not that bad. It’s just sad that a 99% catch & release fishery in a vastly improved water quality environment has dipped to this level--and the reasons are so obvious.

            In the DISTRICT of COLUMBIA region, bass and rockfish are available in any number of areas. Some of Maryland’s fishery experts have said that “lack of vegetation is a big reason for the decline in largemouth bass.” I just want to remind all that “grass doesn’t grow bass—it attracts them.”

            Spend time in the Washington Channel and dissect the shoal and dropoff between the Anacostia River and the Police HQ. You can treat the Channel as if it was a fishery unto itself. Seacrch for stripers on the 10-12-foot countour by trolling a Bomber 7A firetiger or a weighted swim bait about 80-feet behind the boat. If you have good electronics such as a Lowrance HDS, you can predict the hookeups. The grassy shoal between the dropoff and the stone wall holds plenty of bass at times—but don’t get within a cast of that wall of the blue-lights will find you.

            The shallow tidal basin of Pentagon Lagoon is a favorite but hot water can ruin oxygen levels so look for smallmouth and largemouth along the causeway walls and entrance rocks.

            You could fish bridge foundations all day in DC and do OK, but my favorites are Key Bridge and Long Bridge—with Mizmo tubes and Rapala crankbaits.

            In the WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE vicinity, crankbait and tube Penrod Cove drop-offs and concrete; tube the old barges between the bridge and cove and on the north end of Smoot Bay, use Case Magic Stiks and Mizmo tube on point drop-offs.

            Fish Hog Island barges during low water but prepare to loose lots of lures. The Fort Washington Lighthouse point always holds bass and submersed wood in Bulltown Cove or laydowns on the south shore of Pohick Bay can be good stops.

            POMONKEY CREEK and the feeder creeks in Hallowing Cove are full of killifish and bass thrive on that hearty minnow.

            MATTAWOMAN and vicinity is fickle but it has always been that way. There simply are not as many bass in this system as there used to be but pay your dues and change your routine—is my advice.

            There is a good grassbed and wood cover in Marsh Island where Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Big Shakeys, along with the ever-reliable Case Magic Stik will attract some bites most days. Scant grass adjacent to the state park will hold tournament-released fish for weeks after the events. In the “extended” “6-MPH” zone, it’s a grass, spatterdock and wood pattern with “wood” winning most days. I really think the night-time bow hunters have curtailed the snakehead population and I say “Attaboy.”

            The back end of Chickamuxen Creek is a good weekday decision and low water at the bridges in Neabsco and Powells Creeks will work.

            When’s the last time anyone had a good bass day in Nanjemoy?

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **1/2; 70s

            Well, the pressure is off on week days at least as school begins and vacationers are scarce. This lake is a treasure-trove for species and when you look up Maryland species records you should be surprised at how many came from DCL.

            LOU guides Bret Winegardner and Captain Brent Nelson are excited about the prospects of cooler water and less people. The topwater bits has been consistent and the grass–fish are always there.

            We are looking for a resident/guide with a pontoon boat to handle our multi-person/group requests so if “that’s you,” contact me (Ken) at 240-447-2206

POCOMOKE RIVER: ***; high 70s; tannic

            Bass fishing just gets better when the water temperature begins a steady decline but for now it’s tough unless you have a low tide in your fish-time.

            LOU guide. Captain Brian Barnes loves the area above Snow Hill even though he must ask for an “opening” and keep that appointment. It’s a shallow, brushy, cypress knee habitat above the bridge and you need to keep your motor trimmed as old, former shore stumps can ruin your day. Have a spinning rod with braid line to skip frogs under the bushes and another with a Big Mouth Penrod Special or Big Shakey. Case Magic Stiks have been reliable on every body of water we guide on so get some.

            In the other direction, I like Shad Landing for my launch and I will begin searching where the canal meets the river. I love the Oboe Hardhook buzzbaits and Big Mouth spinnerbaits along the spatterdock edges.

            I’ll fish downriver as far as Pocomoke Coty stopping at dozens of places, especially where a tidal gut merges with the main body.

            Always, always have a Case Magic Stik ready and skip a Mizmo tube to the cypress tree bases.

            Honor those “no wake” areas guys.

Guide Jason Shay says water temps are dropping daily and smallies are getting more active everyday. LOU client Pat caught this chunk slow rolling a chatterbaits with guide Jason Shay.
Longtime client Bill had this beauty straighten his spinnerbait while guided by Jason Shay. OU client Phil is all smiles from this hard hitting smallie he caught with Jason Shay.
LOU client Tom with a Susqy crankbait crusher he caught with guide Jason Shay. All the fish we have caught this summer have been healthy, clear of disease and full of energy.  LOU guide John Stygler attributes this to a mild summer and lack of low water conditions, so the oxygen levels have been good all year. He also has noticed this year, is that places that in the past have been covered in thick algae this time of year are not covered, this has attributes to high oxygen levels this year.  He predicts an awesome fall fishing season due to these factors, so book your trip now with one of the LOU Susquie guides.
LOU guide John Stygler with a 5 1/2 pound walleye caught on Snagler Tackle River spinnerbait in Rainbow Trout. Shallow diving crankbaits are good choices when  the fish are lethargic.  John Cashinghino with a nice late summer smallie with LOU guide John Stygler.
 
   
   
   

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending August 31, 2014
4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell, Best Bet: 240-447-2206. Office Ans.
Device: 301-937-0010. kenpenrod@comcast.net
www.penrodsguides.com     www.fishdeepcreek.com
LOU Magazine; Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Life Outdoors Unlimited

Webmaster; Captain Brent Nelson of Columbia Design & Graphics
VP of Deep Creek Lake Operations & Editor in Chief of LOU Magazine
captbrentnelson@gmail.com 

Find us on Twitter: @ken_penrod. On facebook: ken penrod. Linkedin

LOU USCG CAPTAIN/Guides Include:
Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Kenny Penrod 3; Captain Brent Nelson; Captain Brian Barnes; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Ken Penrod.

LOU Guides: Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; Joe Raymond; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

 

Remember—resident goose season begins the first of September on many of the waters we fish so be careful and considerate of each other’s territory. This report will be rather short due to the holiday opportunities—meaning that I’m going to the mountains and find that snake that bit me.

 

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***1/2; 70s, some algae; lots of floating grass; 1.4 @ Point of Rocks and steady. I call this “bump-low.”

            Smallmouth bass fishing remains very good although the fish are small for the most part, but there are lots of larger bass if you plan your cats properly and execute precisely. Watch out for the goose hunters and stay away from obvious decoy sites. I say this every year but if goose hunters would simply shine a light toward oncoming boats, the fishermen should be intelligent enough to turn away.

            In all the locations we ply (Seneca, Edwards Ferry, Whites Ferry, Lander and Brunswick) the pattern is simple. Cast small plastic tubes or Case Magic Stiks to underwater ledges and avoid the high sun, blue sky hours.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: ***1/2; east side main stem ALWAYS stained and WHY? 70s; algae; 3.6 at Harrisburg and steady. 3.9 at Newport and steady. West side below the Juniata has much floating grass from the Juniata.

            Smallmouth bass fishing remains at a very high level of success in spite of shallow water and summer heat. Jason Shay is working various sectors including Perdix and Duncannon where he does best with spinnerbaits on 12# test mono. Backup lures kinclude Campground Special tubes and shallow-dive crankbaits. Of the 31 bass he caught on the 1st, 3 were over 18” long with the majority in the 15-16” class.

            John Stygler fished the Montgomery Ferry sector Sunday and said the bass-bite shut down after 10:30 but between 6:30 and 10:30, he had 18 bass with 4 over 18” long. John’s theory about “why does the east side on the main stem stay muddy all year,” is because of all the corn grown in the North Branch geography and the height of the plant keep the sun from the ground thus no weeds to hold moisture. John also points out that corn plant roots grow horizontally thus shedding rain water easily—and that goes to the rivers.  Lancaster County, for instance, does have a water conservation plan in effect that would/could require water retention ponds but no one monitors this law. “Preserved Farm” status gets Lancaster area farmers 169 million dollars since 1989.

            LOU guide Joe Raymond has also been fishing between Montrgomery Ferry and Duncannon where his numbers resemble those of the other guides.

            This is a fine water level for a shuttle trip by Riverfront Campground.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; 70s; blue green algae to the south and most shallow tribs.

            Largemouth bass fishing remains “difficult” in many areas.

            In the Washington DC area, bass and striper fishing may be the best of the entire river if you can handle the traffic on weekends. The Washington Channel is a great fishery and there is no need to leave this penned-up lake-like body of water during your entire day. The dropoff on the Military side will always hold stripers, bass and bass-like catfish—but so will the grassy shoal. Just be careful to stay away from the wall a cast or so because the DC cops will pounce on you. Other areas that should be tested in Pentagon Lagoon and bridge foundations.

            The WW Bridge sector should improve once the water chills but for now it’s tough. The gravel pits on the east side both above and below the bridge are worth but be certain that you are working the drop-offs. Mount Vernon structure and Bulltown Cove can be worthy and always crankbait Fort Washington Lighthouse point.

            The Mattawoman sector is a “little better” where Kenny Penrod III is catching some fine b ass with Case Magic Stiks on grass or spatterdocks—and gigs inside spatterdock fields.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **; 70ish

            Labor Day is kind of a different holiday for anglers because they celebrate the end of summertime pleasure boat hordes. LOU guides Captain Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner say that bass fishing has improved as the water temperature dropped. Find largemouth in the grassy coves on the upper half of the lake. Choose points for largemouth or boat docks.

LOU guide Matt Greene with a nice river smallmouth. John Bowers with a nice shallow water smallmouth caught with LOU guide Matt Greene.
Guide, Joe Raymond shows off a grand daddy 21" susky bronze-back that crushed a custom spinnerbait. Captain KP III with a fine Mattawoman bass that he cause on a wacky-rigged Case Magic Stik
Captain Rick Nitkiewicz with a fine Lake Erie smallmouth. LOU guide John Stygler with a fat Susquehanna late summer smallie that slammed a Snagler Tackle Banded Killifish Booster spinnerbait.
 
Guide Jason Shay said nice smallies are starting to crush top water lures.  

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending August 24, 2014
4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell, Best Bet: 240-447-2206. Office Ans.
Device: 301-937-0010. kenpenrod@comcast.net
www.penrodsguides.com     www.fishdeepcreek.com
LOU Magazine; Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Life Outdoors Unlimited

Webmaster; Captain Brent Nelson of Columbia Design & Graphics
VP of Deep Creek Lake Operations & Editor in Chief of LOU Magazine
captbrentnelson@gmail.com 

Find us on Twitter: @ken_penrod. On facebook: ken penrod. Linkedin

LOU USCG CAPTAIN/Guides Include:
Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Kenny Penrod 3; Captain Brent Nelson; Captain Brian Barnes; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Ken Penrod.

LOU Guides: Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; Joe Raymond; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

LOU Fishes of the Week:

Smallmouth category: Bill Harvey with a 19.5” smallmouth
from the Susquehanna River with Joe Raymond as his
LOU guide. A spinnerbait did the deed.
Largemouth category: Howard Metro fished the
tidal Potomac river in DC with Captain Dave Kerrigan
where he landed his 19.5” bass that hit a
Big Mouth spinnerbait.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***1/2; <75; color VA side; algae VA side; 1.6 at Point of Rocks steady.

            Smallmouth bass fishing from Brunswick to Seneca remains very consistent with smallish bass making up the typical catch although bass in the 16-18 inch class are expected each trip. Example: when we catch 70 smallmouth bass, perhaps 10-15% will be “keeper” size and 80% will be in the 8-11 inch class.

            Choose between Seneca, Edwards Ferry, Whites Ferry, Point of Rocks, Lander or Brunswick launch sites because results are similar no matter. A very good trico hatch will jump-start the morning bite and those “slurp-circles” are your targets. Remember that the bigger bass are lying under that commotion simply to eat a small bass or two. Those little, dead bugs aren’t very filling.

            Spinning rods like the Aerdent, medium action and the Ardent 2000 or 2500 get my endorsement and I like 6# test Sunline or Bass Pros Excell monofilament. The favored artificial remains the Campground Special brand in the KP Series and colors such as Penrod Special, KP Rose, KP Candy and KP Roadkill purple with 1/8th RAB jigheads. Case Magic Stiks and the Zipper ZC-Shorty are very productive. Check for the topwater bite every day but don’t spend a lot of time. I allow 10-minutes and if no bites—the buzzbait comes of and the tube goes on.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: ****; <75; unexplained color given the levels; river jumped a foot at Harrisburg: 4.5 and steady. Newport was a few inches up but @ 4.7 now and slowly falling.      Much grass in the Amity pool that pulls loose and affects the main stem (harms you lure retrieval), west side for miles.

            Smallmouth bass fishing on this wonderful resource continues to amaze with unusually fat trophy-size to healthy, scrappy juveniles of 6-12 inches long. The mid-size bass (11-15”, 4-6 years old) are quite prolific also and they try to eat spinnerbaits that the big girls chase. LOU guide Jason Shay and his weekend guests averaged 50-60 bass per outing, most on spinnerbaits . LOU guide Matt Greene, fishing the Perdix sector is catching about the same numbers with chatter baits and spinnerbaaits the favored offering. LOU guide Joe Raymond is between Duncannon and Montgomery Ferry and he is “crushing” big bass with spinnerbaits.

            While you hear us touting spinnerbaits for the most part, crankbaits, tubes and Case Stiks are reliable also.

            The bass are often in very shallow water and of course, any ledge or larger rock increases your odds. You can purchase the KP Series of tubes as well as the RAB jigs from Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Camground with a credit card, and shipped to you. Johnny will also rent boats and offer shuttle service. His onsite store is loaded with the lures we recommend including Snagler spinnerbaits, Mizmo and Camground Special tubes, Rapala jerkbaits and just about anything you need. Call me at 240-447-2206 to arrange your trip or reach Jason Shay at 717-507-4377; Joe Raymond at 717-989-6626; Matt Greene at 717-576-3735 or John Stygler at 717-368-3802.

            Just a word of caution to newcomers. This river is quite low and bumpy—no place for fiberglass at all, and outboard motors in the area we speak of are just not going to work for long. Our guides all have special jet-powered boats and even they bump a lot.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; mid 70s; lots of BG algae to the south, some color is a few areas.

            Largemouth bass fishing remains “under-par” when compared to even a few years ago but if you don’t move around and try different places, your results will never change. This was a pretty good tide week which helps. The SAV situation in this river is pretty poor, especially the good stuff, and some gardens actually look sick.

            In Washington DC, one of the better areas, Captain Dave Kerrigan led his client to the underwater home of a fine largemouth bass in the Washington Channel. Howard Metro caught a near-five pound bass on a Big Mouth spinnerbait that wins LOU Fish of the Week for the largemouth category.  Other areas to check-out includes the older bridge foundations, entrance to Pentagon Lagoon, former wharf sites along the military bank south of the Anacostia and Fox Ferry Point and nearby habitat.

            The WW Bridge sector can make you curse but put thiose crankbaits to work in Penrod Cover, WW Barges, remnants of the old bridge foundations and steep point and drops in Smoot bay. When in the area, give those coves near Belle Haven Marina; boat docks just south of Hog Island and the Fort Washington Lighthouse drops some time.

            MID-RIVER areas such as Pomonkey Creek and Bay; Pohick Bay; Greenway Flats and Hallowing Bay creeks are full of baitfish and you can catch some bass most days with buzzbaits, Case Stiks and Big Mouth lures such as the Big Shakey and the Penrod Special spinnerbait.

            Mattawoman and vicinity showed improvement because the tide was favorable where mid-size bass from the habitat above Slavins were fairly cooperative. Wood and grass seemed to be best but find spatterdocks with a deeper edge and pitch to interior pockets with big Mizmo tubes of a Big Mouth Grass Jig.

            The interior of Chickamuxen Creek, Leesylvania rip rap; Neabsco Creek bridge remnants and outside line at Mallows Bay hold some quality bass.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: ***; low 70; normal pool; quiet at a thunderstorm—but soon to be abandoned as school starts.

            LOU Guides Captain Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner have had a pretty good summer here with plenty of topwater action in the morning for smallmouth and some fine largemouth from grass beds.

            It’s about to get better though as the pleasure boat traffic subsides and the water cools. Remember, fall comes early to this mountain lake. Get a trip booked to fish a great resource with two men that knows this lake better than anyone ever did.

LOU guide Matt Greene with a nice “line stripper”  of a smallmouth. LOU client Bob Hetrick on a phenomenal spinnerbait day with LOU guide Matt Greene.
Mike caught this slab on a crank bait while fishing with guides Jason Shay. Andrew told guide Jason Shay watching the fish come out of the water to crush a spinnerbait is priceless.
First fish of the day @ 19.5" for client, Bill while he and his son were being guided by Joe Raymond. Not to shabby. Bill's son Jake hoisting up one of several bass caught in the 18" range on Sunday while being guided by Joe Raymond
Guide, Joe Raymond shares a photo of a 21" slob he caught on a custom spinnerbait. Brother Bob of guide Joe Raymond showing off his big fish of the day @19.5".
Perfect weather with lots of clouds, and Jason Shay took me
fishing on the Susqy where spinnerbaits were annihilated by shallow-water,hungry but fat, smallmouth bass.
Most of the rivers we fish offer various species to target and
none can dispute that the walleye is fine culinary favorite.
Contrary to the state's party-line on Susquehanna fish
populations, the areas my guides ply are seemingly full of all year classes of bass--and look how fat and healthy they are.
Howard Metro shows off a near 5 pound largemouth he caught in the Washington Channel fishing with Capt Dave Kerrigan. The fish took a Big Mouth Spinnerbait in the golden shiner pattern.
 
Matt Metro celebrates his 40th birthday with a tidal Potomac fishing trip guided by LOU Capt Dave Kerrigan – a gift from his Dad. He enjoyed a DC Slam day, topped off with a nice striper he caught near Fox Ferry Point. Happy Birthday Matt!!  

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending August 17, 2014
4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell, Best Bet: 240-447-2206. Office Ans.
Device: 301-937-0010. kenpenrod@comcast.net
www.penrodsguides.com     www.fishdeepcreek.com
LOU Magazine; Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Life Outdoors Unlimited

Webmaster; Captain Brent Nelson of Columbia Design & Graphics
VP of Deep Creek Lake Operations & Editor in Chief of LOU Magazine
captbrentnelson@gmail.com 

Find us on Twitter: @ken_penrod. On facebook: ken penrod. Linkedin

LOU USCG CAPTAIN/Guides Include:
Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Kenny Penrod 3; Captain Brent Nelson; Captain Brian Barnes; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Ken Penrod.

LOU Guides: Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; Joe Raymond; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

Ryan Ennis, fishing with Jason Shay, landed the “LOU Fish of the Week:
with a 19.5” beauty—on a spinnerbait.

 

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ****; >70; east side stained, west 5’; Juniata 2-5’; 4.2 @ Harrisburg; 4.1 @ Newport.

            The rivers came up about a foot but fell quickly yet had no adverse effect on smallmouth bass activity where our weekend clients simply crushed big fish on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and just about anything you want to cast.

            The guides are working shallow water between Montgomery Ferry and Harrisburg. The bass are above average—and larger than any other water we serve, without any signs of disease in spite of an admittedly polluted column caused mainly by farm animal waste runoff. These bass are fat as footballs from gorging themselves on crawfish. We favor Riverfront Campground as our launch when conditions allow and you can purchase the Campground Special tubes and RAB jigs from Johnny Cunningham. Don’t have a boat? Rent one from Rent-A-Boat at the campground and have Johnny shuttle you upstream for a pleasant and productive float. A three boat LOU trip out of Riverfront Campground on Saturday yielded approximately 150 smallmouth bass, the majority in the 15-18 inch class. Ryan Ennis, fishing with Jason Shay, landed the “LOU Fish of the Week: with a 19.5” beauty—on a spinnerbait.

            Our local guides, John Stygler, Jason Shay, Joe Raymond and Matt Greene may be booked directly or call me at 240-447-2206. Our guides are licensed and commercially insured. Remember to ask those questions when you consider a guide.

            The Sinnamahoning Branch of the West Branch Susquehanna River was severely damaged in 2007 when a Norfolk Southern railroad train derailed spilling thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals into the river killing everything for many miles downstream. The state of Pennsylvania received 7.3 million in restitution which included 3.7 million going to the PFBC. To date, only $58,000 has been slated to the waterway that was virtually destroyed by this wreck. How the hell can that be true? In an area so economically distressed, you would think that the money would go to that resource. Where is the outcry and who is looking out for that tributary to the Chesapeake Bay?

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***; >70; clear with some algae stain; 1.5 at Point of Rocks.

            A cold front, a full moon and high barometer combined to affect the smallmouth bite this week. A summer full moon in a clear sky with a clear river just aids feeding so at least the morning hours will suffer. Then, a clear sky keeps the bass in hiding—and a high barometer provides “bends-like” characteristics to all fish. I was at Lander on Monday and by noon we only had about 20 small fish. From noon to 3 PM, we probably caught 50.  The river did not rise from those heavy rains so it’s still “bumpy” with much floating grass. Edwards Ferry, Seneca, Whites Ferry and Brunswick are worth your time. Use KP Series tubes or Sinking Salty Shads by Case.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *1/2; >70; some color.

            Just like 3013, summer largemouth bass fishing has been poor in most sectors and there can be no denying that something has harmed the largemouth bass populations. We can’t blame it on “catch and eat” because 95% of all anglers release their catch. We can’t blame it on a major fish kill because there have been no floaters to point to. We can’t blame it on lack of sav because fish don’t have bus stops to take them to other waters. Could it be from extraordinary tournament pressure, especially during the spawn and hot-water periods? Is unisex, altered sex or other diseases such as LMBV taking a toll? Who is looking out for the people that actually helped restore the fishery? Well, it’s not Maryland because they make the vast majority of the money from the fishery while controlling only a small portion of the Potomac River. MD only controls tributaries off the main stem. The main river is controlled by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission which does NOTHING for the bass population. Virginia controls VA tribs. I find it ironic that during the hey-days of the resurgent Potomac that DNR had no “Tidal Bass Manager” but in the time frame that they did—the fishery has suffered beyond any doubt. It’s time to take this plight to the Governor or USFW. Did you notice that the Potomac didn’t even make the Top 100 fisheries in the county for the first time?

            In Washington DC, you can catch smallmouth bass on rocky shore above Georgetown; bridge foundations; drop off at the Kennedy Center and Causeway walls into Pentagon Lagoon. I recommend Mizmo tubes. Largemouth bass hold in grass along the Fort McNair wall or the adjacent dropoff; grass near the airport; former landings between the Anacostia and Bolling and Blue Plains.

            There are stripers on or adjacent to Long Bridge foundations and on the WC dropoff. Troll Rapala DT-6 crankbaits or cast weightless Case Magic Stiks to the grassy shoals.

            The WWB sector is really distressed and while you can catch a few good bass in Penrod Cove and Hog Island—the time spent per bite is Anna-like.

            I fished Mattawoman Creek within the “6-MPH” zone on Wednesday—and did not have a single bite. I think this is the first time in my career that I went fishless let alone (biteless) sic.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: ***; 70ish; normal; busy.

            The LOU guides, Bret Winegardner and Captain Brent Nelson say that the fishing has been pretty decent where smallmouth bass eat topwater lure in the morning and largemouth haunt the boat docks and grass beds when the sun is high. Boat traffic become damn-near dangerous about noon so stay in the uplake coves when possible.

            Book a trip with the LOU guides—is the easiest way to catch fish.

LAKE ERIE: ***1/2; 74 in the Bay and 72 on lake.

            LOU guide Rick Nitkiewicz reports excellent bass fishing on the lake and when it’s windy—in the Bay. “We are catching smallmouth in the 16-27 feet of water, especially from rock piles, ledges and contour changes from the Northeast, Shades Beach and the Ws,” says Rick, and “we like drop shot offerings with hammer shads, split-tail shads and 3” Case Magic Stiks. Other baits to have confidence in includes Case Magic Stiks, Case Hellgrammites, Zipper worms and Mizmo tubes.

            When the winds keep you in the Bay, Rick likes crankbaits, especially the “sexy shad” color pattern. You can also cast weightless Magic Stiks to grass or shallow cover. Rick likes green pumpkin/gold for this—and don’t hesitate to try a spinnerbaits—says the soon to be Captain.

            Rick will soon be able to escort clients, once he receives his credentials from USCG, so it’s not to soon the book a trip for the fall. Reach Rick at 412-780-9995.

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending August 10, 2014
4708 Sellman Road, Beltsville, MD 20705
Cell, Best Bet: 240-447-2206. Office Ans.
Device: 301-937-0010. kenpenrod@comcast.net
www.penrodsguides.com     www.fishdeepcreek.com
LOU Magazine; Camp Sycamore; PPC Publications; Life Outdoors Unlimited

Webmaster; Captain Brent Nelson of Columbia Design & Graphics
VP of Deep Creek Lake Operations & Editor in Chief of LOU Magazine
captbrentnelson@gmail.com 

Find us on Twitter: @ken_penrod. On facebook: ken penrod. Linkedin

LOU USCG CAPTAIN/Guides Include:
Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Kenny Penrod 3; Captain Brent Nelson; Captain Brian Barnes; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Ken Penrod.

LOU Guides: Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; Joe Raymond; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

 

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***; 75; 1.26 @ Point of Rocks; clear but for suspended algae.

            NOTE: A word of caution to those of you that wade, swim or otherwise use the rivers of the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly the Potomac and Susquehanna complexes. Warm water elevates and encourages a nasty bacteria (several bacteria) that is harmful, even fatal in some cases, to those that have open cuts or abrasions on their bodies—or from hand to mouth via eating or even biting fishing line. I would not even allow my pet to swim that water now. A word to the wise.

            Smallmouth bass fishing is terrific although the majority of them are quite small. The river continues to fall and it’s “bumpy” now so choose your routes carefully. Various aquatic hatches create bass targets for observing anglers as they slurp the bugs from the surface leaving widening rings to cast to.

            I’ve pretty much resorted to 6# Sunline or Excel monofilament attached to medium action Ardent rods and reels—and you may cast any lure you wish but when it’s time to get serious—use teaser size, KP Series, Campground Special tubes and RAB jig heads. Other reliable offerings include Case Magic Stiks, Case Salty Shads; Zipper CZ Shorties; Zipper Grubs; Rico poppers and Big Mouth buzzbaits.

            At Edwards Ferry, both directions are fruitful. At Whites Ferry, either direction is good but beware the low water at the north end of Harrison Island. At Seneca, towards the Dam and even through it if you have good knowledge of the route. At Lander, either direction but up is better than down. At Brunswick—“pick-‘em.”

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***1/2; high 70s; clear with some algae; 3.7 @ Harrisburg and 3.9 at Newport on the Juniata.

            ALERT—bacteria alert. Refrain from wading if you have any open cuts or abrasions on your body because a nasty bacteria exists in this animal waste disposal system that EPA seems afraid to drop the hammer on. Don’t bite your line either guy and carry those hand sanitizers to use before eating. Thank God for better than average flow so far this year.

            LOU guide Joe Raymond (717-989-6626) is catching 20-inch smallmouth bass just about everywhere he goes including water above and below Montgomery Ferry.

            Matt Greene (717-576-3735) fished the Fort Hunter area one day and he and his guest caught 60-70 bass including 10 doubles. On another day from Fort Hunter sector he had 48 but “the fish were bigger” says Matt/ “I’m using spinnerbaits and Case Magic Stiks.”

            Jason Shay (717-507-4377) is fishing Fort Hunter today (10th) and his spinnerbaits are collecting plenty of big, fat smallmouth bass.

            John Stygler (717-368-3802) says his Snagler spinnerbaits are doing a number on bass between the Juniata and Montgomery Ferry.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; high 70s; summer normal; heavy algae in areas; too many tournaments.

            Bass fishing results remain far below normal in most sectors of the Potomac and while the experts say that “ups and downs” can be expected in any fishery—I will remind all that bass fishing in Maryland was managed very well by the users, adopting catch and release ethics on a scale of about 98%. Maryland has no other self-sustaining fishery because all of the species that get most of their attention are catch and eat such as trout, striper and most Bay species. When black bass numbers decline, it’s usually disease or abuse. Until Maryland and her neighbors agree to limit mass tournament schedules—the fishery that was saved by the people, will be destroyed by some people. I know for certain that all tournament anglers have a deep concern for their quarry—but as the saying goes—“Build it and they will come.” Funny, how most of Maryland’s neighbors know the difference. Funny how so many credited me with saving the Potomac when it was at an all-time low years ago—and when I point to excessive tournaments now—I’m chastised by “the crickets.”

            In Washington DC, you can make-the-day here for a mixed bag buy trolling the 10-12 foot contour in the Washington Channel for rockfish, catfish, largemouth and a walleye on occasion. The bridge foundations, especially the older ones, hold lots of smallmouth and quite often—rockfish.

            In the Woodrow Wilson Bridge vicinity—it’s slim pickings, but work the drop-offs in Smoot Bay with Mizmo tubes; the concrete in Penrod Cove with DT-6 Rapalas; the coves near Belle Haven marina with Magic Stiks and Big Mouth spinnerbaits; the scattered grass in Piscataway with Stiks; the grass and wood in Pohick Bay with stiks and spinnerbaits (congratulations Dave Fudge for his 7-pound largemouth).

            Captain Keith Barker has been fishing Mattawoman and nearby areas such as Occoquan May, Belmont Bay, Leesylvania jetties and bridge remnants in Neabsco with disappointing results.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **1/2; mid 70s; normal pool; summer traffic heavy.

            LOU guides Bret Winegardner and Captain Brent Nelson report “better than average” bass fishing results if you start early. The “topwater” smallmouth bits is consistent and the guides are finding some fine largemouth on grass bed edges and under boat docks. See www.fishdeepcreek.com for additional information and helpful tips.

POCOMOKE RIVER: **** or ** (depending the tide); mid 70s; tannic; prettiest tidal river in the Mid-Atlantic.

            As my (*’s) would indicate, the Pocomoke is either “wow” or “what happened.” The difference is simple—the tide. In an ecosystem so rich in cover as the Pocomoke is, the predators usually wait until the water levels decline, thus concentrating the food sources is easier-to-get-to haunts such as the outside edge of vegetation of submersed wood cover such a fallen limbs or cypress knees.

            Plan to have a low tide in your day—and fish the areas above Snow Hill after obtaining bridge openings—or Nassawango creek—or ant tidal gut with wood between Shad Landing and Pocomoke City—or Graveyard Cove, if you can get in there.

            Best baits include Big Mouth buzzbaits in the early; Big Mouth spinnerbaits (Penrod Special) or Big Shakeys; Mizmo tub; Case Magic Stiks and even crankbaits. Keep in mind that the outside edge of the spatterdock on this river is seep, a quick dropoff, often as much as 8-10 feet.

On high water, you really need to get your offering to the inside edge and that can be expensive. LOU guide Captain Brian Barnes (302-745-4668) is “the” expert on this body of water so pick a day and make a date. Bartnes is our Eastern Shore Operations VP so if you need to visit “another” water—he’s the guy for the Pocomoke Nanticoke, Wicomico and Choptank. Oh—did I mention the Upper bay.

LAKE ERIE, PA: ****

            LOU guide Rick Nitkiewitz is just days away from receiving his USCG credentials (held up pending cancer screen) and a TWIC card—which can be waived if you swear you will not use secure ports.

            Rick will be offering LOU trips on this wonderful smallmouth bass factory once his documents are in order. This will be accomplished soon. Contact Rick for future bookings at 412-780-9995 or send inquiries to me at kenpenrod@comcast.net. We will not do this until we are 100% legal, quite unlike so many.

 

 

We have obtained a case of Ken’s book titled “Pursuing River Smallmouth Bass” that we will offer as a one-time special to those reading this report. Buy one at $25 and pay only $5 for a second book. Send check or mail the order form found in the website BUT you must write “KP July Special” on the form and/or check. Offer void after mid-August or when books are sold.

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