Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report
For Week Ending May 22, 2016

Notes: Our fishing report will also be posted to Ken's page "Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited" ( as will be our client photos and Ken Penrod's 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:

LOU Fish of the Week:
Bruce Calvert with a 19 7/8" largemouth from the Potomac while guided by KP3
New members of the LOU Lo-Po Club this week:
Harlan Pyle, Bruce Calvert, Judge Zuberi Williams, Judge Gary Everingham and KP3 (4) with KP3.
Curtis, Butch and KP (4) with Ken.

Notes: I may be glad to see May go-away. Record rainy periods and lack of sun was tough to understand but good for fishing. Although rain fell 99% of the time, it was never heavy enough to flood the rivers and farm fields ripe with chicken poop.

Maryland DNR is proposing to form a Bass Commission and you may apply to be on that group. I have "0" trust or faith in anything they do, try to do, promise to do or attempt to do. They have not done a single thing about the population declines of the Potomac and Upper Bay and it seems to me that every time they do propose - or conduct a study - or propose a survey, all they are doing is "STALLING." It's no secret that I think their Tidal Bass Manager is in over-his-head and just about everyone of authority above him - are new. You can pretty much bet that any Commission they form will be "stacked" with "their" guys and with out-of-state members. Look for my article soon on LOU Magazine, one of Ken's Pages.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 62, some color, 3.7 rising to 6.9 by Tuesday.
The river was in great shape much of the week and "fished" quite well. Recent rains will mess that up because by Tuesday she will rise to 6.9 at Point of Rocks. That is NOT a good level for novice and small boats.

Post spawn conditions toughened angler success and it seemed that only the "bucks" were willing to bite. LOU guide Scott Johnson reports: "I again fished the Lander to Knoxville Falls area this week, gauge ht at POR has been a gradual drop to 3.5, water temp 62 and visibility around 2.5'.  Although the larger fish were harder to come by at the end of the week fishing was excellent.  Fish were caught on a number of baits including chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and topwaters, however the majority of the fish were caught on Campground Special tubes.  The fish are still eating well and were caught fishing the tops of dominate ledges and islands as well as in the eddys on the downstream side.  I am also starting see to more activity from the catfish and sunfish.   To contact Scott to schedule your trip please call 240-625-2550 or follow Scott on Facebook for more update reports on the fishing."

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; 60s; some flotsam in tidal-fresh area and some color throughout.

How about those full moon tides? The May-moon spawn is complete to an extent so look for bass to move to summer-like habitat and areas. Evidence that previous spawns were everywhere as pods of fry scattered in the shallows as lures and predators intruded. There seems to be more milfoil in the tributaries than the previous years - and more commercial fishermen haul-seining the spawns flats and destroying those grasses. I fished areas between Penrod Cove and Bulltown Cove with equal results. The first part of the week was all about fat females but by Friday, it was bucks and post spawn ladies. Case Magic Stiks rigged Texas-style with only a 3/0 hook on Sunline fluorocarbon wound on Ardent C-Force reels and med action Ardent Edge spinning rods are a deadly combination - and is KP Approved.

KP3 reports:"I and clients did not catch large numbers of bass this week but 3 clients caught the largest bass of their lives. The bass seem to be done spawning. Many of the large bass we caught showed the physical signs of completing their spawning cycles and the full moon did not seem to bring in a wave of spawning fish. The larger bass were caught slowly fishing Case Magic Stiks in grass beds outside spawning pockets. I did catch some really nice fish by pitching jigs at wood in pockets near the main channel. The fish were lying very tight on wood and dismissed moving lures but would hit a jig properly presented into the nooks of lay down wood that was located at low tide or through the use of side scan. This wood would be located and marked with my Lowrance during low tide and then I would return at higher tides when it seemed that fish would move onto the wood to feed. This fishing required accurate casts and proper boat positioning. I predict that in a week or two bass will start hitting topwaters, buzzbaits, and flukes after they have recuperated from the spawning rigors. June is an excellent time to fish topwater lures and provides a heart stopping experience. Follow the day to day fishing experiences of KP 3 on Facebook (Kenny Penrod III-the fishing detective). Contact me at 240-478-9055 to book a full day or after work fishing trip. If you work in the DC area I can pick you up after work at Gravelly Point, Washington Harbor or Belle Haven Marina."

DEEP CREEK LAKE: ***; 60ish.
LOU guide Bret Winegardner reports: "Look for tough bass fishing with all the rain and temps in the 40s. The shallow bite for largemouth in the shore line cover has been hurt the worst. The smallmouth fishing is good early in the morning on topwater and later in the day around docks in shallow water. Tubes and magic sticks seem best. Water temps are 59-62 degrees.

Bret Winegardner , Lakefront  Enterprises,, 301-616-9889.

Ken Penrod's "Camp Sycamore" will be 26 years old this summer - and it's a summer camp for boys between 12 and 18 that are totally into fishing and shooting. This is not a camp for any boy that can't wait for dawn to fish, and hates to go to sleep when the deer and other animals are roaming about. Boys must be well behaved and easy to get along with. I have two opening for the July 11-15 session. Tuition is $850 for the week and an interview is mandatory. The sessions take place at Ken's mountain lodge in northern Pennsylvania but boys are delivered to Ken's home in Beltsville and you must promise to pick them up on Friday - they may not want to go home - but you have to promise. It's a week or two that your son will never forget. See more on our page, Camp Sycamore at
Our website, has been problematic for a period of time. We have issues getting into it since we were hacked. We know that our clients like to see their photos on our fishing reports and we are working to fix that. Meanwhile, find your your photo on our page Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited if your guide posted it. That page is:

Ken Penrod and LOU are fortunate to have the support of so many fine manufacturers, companies, and organizations. We just can't do what we do-without it. Many of you are undecided about what products to buy - but we aren't, and we can have just about any sponsor we want. Get on the wagon guys:

Thank You:
Unser Armour <> RiverPro <> Lowrance <> Ardent <> Sunline <> Mizmo
NRA <> Case Plastics <> Zipper Worms <> MSRD Measuring Boards <> Power Pole
Riverfront Campground <> RAB Jig Heads <> Big Mouth Lure Company


Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

For Week Ending May 15, 2016

Notes: Our fishing report will also be posted to Ken's page "Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited" ( as will be our client photos and Ken Penrod's 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:


LOU Fish of the Week:
Smallmouth Bass; Scott Smith (22.25") with Jason Shay/Juniata River/spinnerbait
(leads the Phase 2 of Ken Penrod-Under Armour 20-Inch Smallmouth Club)
Largemouth Bass: Dana Conlon with Brian Barnes/Potomac/worm
(leads the LOU Lo-Po Largemouth Club)
New Members of the Smallmouth Club: Scott Smith, Geoff Ingram, Jason Shay
New Members of the Lo-Po Club: Ken Penrod (3); Dr Dave; Judge Bob; KP3 (3); John Graybill; Kelsey Bashore (3); Max Dolce.

The Ken Penrod - Under Armour 20-Inch Smallmouth Club is sponsored by Under Armour, Ardent and Riverfront Campground. Itís designed to honor LOU clients and guides that catch a 20-inch or larger smallmouth while on a guided trip. Youngsters under 16 and ladies may qualify with an 18' or larger fish. Members receive a 40% discount card for up to $500 in UA clothing and the overall winner in two phases wins an Ardent rod and reel. Guides are not rewarded. A smallmouth weighing five pounds but less than 20-inches long also qualifies.

The LOU Lo-Po Potomac Largemouth Club is sponsored by Lowrance Electronics and Ardent. LOU clients and guides qualify with an 18-inch largemouth caught on guided trips with LOU. The largest fish will wn A Lowrance Elite5 Ti sonar/gps (value $900) at the end of the season. A drawing will determine a winner of the Ardent rod and reel (value $200) from the remaining club members. Guides are not rewarded.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***; low 60s; stained but clearing; 4.9 falling to 4.0 by Tuesday
The river has been up-and-down for weeks now and no wonder what with a record-shattering 15-straight days of rain. Fortunately, although about 4-inches fell, it was spaced-out and serious flooding did not occur and hopefully the spawn will not be a complete loss. While the river is certainly fishable I want to caution unexperienced boaters to simply wait a while. Nearly 5-feet is not canoe or small boat friendly.

LOU guide Scott Johnson caught some beautiful bass recently and reports: "I fished the Lander section on Friday, POR gauge was at 4.6, water temp 62 and visibility is low but clearing.  Fishing was great by working shoreline and mid River eddys particularly if there was faster current to the outside.  As always campground special tubes, in purple craw, worked well.  Also dark colored chatterbaits caught fish but only by fishing it downstream and letting it "hover" in the current seam.  The fish were very fat and clearly have been gorging themselves while the river has been up.  To book a trip please contact Scott at 240-625-2550, this is a great time to fish the upper Potomac. "

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***1/2; 60s; clear with stain in sectors; 4.7 @ Harrisburg; 4.8 @ Newport on the Juniata.

So much drama and controversy not to mention seething anger and frustration. The "Arway Way" wherein PFBC determined that anglers must pay the tab for pollution and unsubstantiated "sick fish" so they closed-down 100 miles of main stem and 30+ miles of the Juniata to bass fishing. One of the problems that posed is they cannot enforce the law/reg/what-ever. Many fishermen simply thumb their noses and go about bass fishing daring the very scarce enforcers to arrest them. There are those of us that do the right-thing and drive hours longer to areas not affected - but it's getting under everyone's skin. For instance, local guide Rod Bates recently sent a note to John Arway saying:

      As you know I continue to be very disappointed in the fact others can fish for Bass with no consequences while those of us who obey the law suffer because of an unwillingness of the law enforcement division of the fish commission to enforce the law. I told you about the guys from Winchester VA fishing and I talk to people and see people breaking the law all the time, yet I do not know of one single prosecution the fish commission has successfully executed. I do know of a state policeman who was able to get the offenders to accept the fine but no successful convictions by your staff.
      Now I see these ridiculous signs that are posted at the ramps giving people grounds to argue with me when I approach them about fishing during the closed season. (see attached) The sign has no indication of a closed season.
      Please give me the name and phone number of whom I can talk to about getting the law changed to where your staff will enforce it or who I can talk to about getting the law abolished. I am no longer willing to promote this law publicly as being a good thing. It is creating way too much dissension among anglers. I feel we were sold a bill of goods when you and your staff met with us to ask for support of this law. We clearly discussed we would support the law if it was enforced and we were assured it would be. We held up our end of the bargain but unfortunately the fish commission has not.
      Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you..............Rod"

Jason Shay took his clients on a 1.75 hr. drive and reports: "Fishing was awesome. This week I had 3 entries in the 20in club Scott Smith with a monster @ 22.25, Geoff Ingram with a solid 20.5 and myself with one just over 21. They all fell for chartreuse spinnerbaits at a medium retrieve. I think the full moon had a lot to play with the big girls being up and eating. Every fish was post spawn. Finding current or a drop off around a spawn area usually resulted in multiple fish." See our 20-Inch Club page at:
Jason Shay,Life Outdoors Unlimited Susquehanna River Guide
Instagram @Susquehanna_river_guide,
(717) 507-4377.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***; some stain and debris; mid-60s; 15 straight days of rain;
Remember the hoopla that DNR made about creating some bass sanctuaries on the Potomac and Upper Bay? Well, like everything they ever do to help shrinking populations - the idea has been dropped. Now - they intend to commission a Black Bass Committee that will report to the SFAC and that's not so bad. Reviewing the application, I about choked. One of the questions is "have you been convicted of a felony." That's funny. DNR has a convicted resource felon on their Tidal Fish Commission - as does Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and that particular felon was party to the largest black bass bust in Bay history where he and others were convicted of illegally catching and selling some 40,000 pounds of Potomac largemouth bass. The Secretary of DNR as well as the Executive Director of the PRFC say "he is a valuable voice in the fishery management decisions we make." How the hell do you deal with that?

Bass fishing has been pretty good throughout the system although numbers are not comparable to years past. Bass are in the shallows and grass growth appears to be extremely prolific. Various stages of the spawn are commonplace.

In the Washington DC sector, the main stem has color and some debris but certainly not what you may expect after so many rain-days. Pentagon Lagoon, Washington Channel shoals, bridge foundations and Blue Plains have been productive.

The WW Bridge sector is a decent area to spend a day where Case Magic Stiks, Mizmo tubes and Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Big Shakey jigs do the deed in Penrod Cove, points of Smoot Bay, Belle Haven Cove and Piscataway Creek. LOU clients entered many bass into the LOU Lo-Po Largemouth Club this week with the most productive lure being the Case Magic Stik, with a 3/0 hook, on 8# Sunline on Ardent spinning rods and reels. See our facebook page at
A young lady, Dana Conlon, took the lead in the Lo-Po contest with a 20-inch, 5-9 monster while fishing with LOU guide Captain Brian Barnes and KP3's client (John Graybill) another. My clients Judge Bobby, Kelsey (3) and Max with more.

Pohick Bay has been fair to good as has been Pomonkey Bay, Greenway Flats, Mattawoman Creek and Chickamuxen.

LOU guide Captain Kenny Penrod adds: "I have been on the Potomac every day but Friday. The fishing was "hot" in the beginning of the week but diminished slightly by week's end. The fish are still active in tributaries where the water temperature ranged from 63-70 degrees. I'm finding bass in all stages of the spawn from post-spawn to raw-tail moms. I could actually see fish in Penrod Cove guarding spawn beds. Look for one more good run at the spawn, especially with the upcoming full moon. Weightless Case Magic Stiks continue to be the most productive especially around wood cover and grass edges. These fish are under intense pressure so be kind. I saw no less than 35 tournament boats in one creek Saturday and it may come as no surprise, but DNR backed out of the proposed "sanctuary" areas without any announcement. It's sad an maddening to see how inept DNR is when it comes to protecting the distressed population - but it's about money to them, and those of you that that paid the price for resurrection of the fishery are also the silent ones when the wheels fall off.


DEEP CREEK LAKE: **1/2; 50s; clear
LOU guide Bret Winegardner reports: Look for largemouth cruising and spawning in shoreline cover.  Magic stiks, swim baits and small craws seem to be working best.  Some smallmouth can be caught on topwater early. Poppers worked real slowly will get a few bites. Look for tough fishing for the next few days with the cold temperatures in the forecast. Bret Winegardner, Lakefront  Enterprises,, 301-616-9889.
UPPER BAY: ***; some color; 60s
LOU guide, Captain Brian Barnes reports: : Water 61-63 degrees, stained in areas. Fishing is slow for numbers but good for quality of fish with majority of fish in grass or on the docks. Most fish caught using Big Mouth Lures Big Shakey in Black & blue slow rolled through the grass. Some fish also being caught in low wind conditions with Texas-rigged Magic Stick in green pumpkin or black & blue slowly pulled through the grass on the flats. Advise to move around to different grass areas spending majority of time where water is the cleanest. Dock fish can be caught on Missile Baits D-Bomb in Super Bug Texas-rigged with 1/4 or 3/8 oz. weight flipped. 

Thank You:
Unser Armour <> RiverPro <> Lowrance <> Ardent <> Sunline <> Mizmo
NRA <> Case Plastics <> Zipper Worms <> MSRD Measuring Boards <> Power Pole
Riverfront Campground <> RAB Jig Heads <> Big Mouth Lure Company



Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report
For Week Ending May 8, 2016

Notes: Our fishing report will also be posted to Ken's page "Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited" ( as will be our client photos and Ken Penrod's 20-Inch Smallmouth Club members at:


LOU Fish of the Week:

Smallmouth; Charlie Shurman (20.5) with Shay from Susquehanna.(also 20" Club)

Largemouth; Dr Dave (18.5) with Ken from Potomac (also Lo-Po Club)

New Lo-Po Members: Will Simonds with Keith Barker from Potomac


UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 0; muddy; 8-feet at Point of Rocks falling to 6-feet by Tuesday.

Out-of-bounds for now folks. It will run-off quickly and maybe by the weekend safe conditions will be available. Always check the river levels before your trip. You can obtain this information from our website or simply Google i.e. "Potomac level at Point of Rocks" for National Weather information. Sad to see this rise since the spawn just occurred.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ***1/2; 60s; stained to muddy; upper river debris.

The "Ken Penrod/Lo-Po Club" (Lo for LOWRANCE and Po for POTOMAC) will feature clients and guide largemouth bass 18-inches and more that are caught during a guided trip. In October we will honor the "largest bass and angler" with a state-of-the-art Lowrance Elite 5Ti with a TotalScan transducer--a 5" touch screen with StructureScan, DownScan and Chirp sonar. Value @ $900. All bass 18-inches long or more will become "Club Members" and one will win an Ardent rod and reel via drawing. Bass MUST be measured to nearest 1/16th of an inch and a photo by the guide of the fish on an approved measuring device as well as the angler and fish are necessary to comply with rules committee. Thank you Lowrance Electronics and Ardent for sponsoring this event.

Great bass fishing throughout much of the river, especially in tributaries and coves. There are all phases of the spawn ongoing but the recent cold-spell may redirect this to later in the month (full moon). We see lots of bass fry pods in areas and the carp, snakeheads and gar are feasting.

In the Washington D C area, look for main stem muddy water and some debris early in the week. Most of the migratory activity is over but lingering rockfish can be taken between Blue Plains and Fletchers. You are reminded that DC has issued "consumption warning" for rockfish and other species. Not much news about penalties for the "Lying Dominion Power" company that caused a spill near the airport.

Smallmouth bass at Key Bri9dge and old Aqueduct foundations; entrance to Columbia Island Marina; Railroad bridge foundations and Fox Ferry Point. We recommend Campground Special tubes for moving water and Case Magic Stiks for the lazy tides. Good largemouth activity in Pentagon Lagoon and Washington Channel. 

The WW Bridge vicinity shows improvement for bass especially in Penrod Cove, Smoot Bay, Belle Haven coves and Piscataway Creek, Former bass factory, Broad Creek, actually stinks from sewage treatment malfunctions caused by National Harbor--and just wait until the MGM Hotel opens. WSSC and others must be held accountable for unkept promises and pollution.

It's hard to beat Mizmo tubes in the coves but Big Mouth's Big Shakey and PENROD Special spinnerbaits will keep you in the game.

LOU guide, Captain Kenny Penrod adds: KP3 spent the week on the tidal Potomac River and fished from DC to Potomac Creek. The water temperature was only in the low 60's and I caught fish in all stages of the spawn. The heavy rains have muddied the upper stems of the river and even the main river down to Mattawoman. However, the fish are in spawning creeks and coves and clearer water can be found in these areas. I found that many fishermen are fishing entirely too fast. I found my best success by fishing weightless Case Magic Stiks very slowly in areas that bass frequent in the spring. All of the tributary creeks have bass but I had little success throwing moving lures. This kind of fishing will soon end - so if you have interest in fishing the tidal Potomac at its best - you need to book a trip now. Contact me at 240-478-9055 and follow my daily fishing through Facebook- Kenny Penrod III (The fishing detective).

A couple of weeks ago I attended a presentation by the Riverkeepers on the dumping of coal ash into the Potomac River by Dominion Power. If you wonder how Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have gathered support- inform yourself on the political corruption occurring in your own backyard.  OUTRAGEOUS HUBRIS!! However, the Riverkeepers - in their need to gather support- praised the letter written by Maryland concerning their opposition to Virginia's permit to allow Dominion to dump more coal ash into the Potomac. Let us see how Maryland DNR's morality and ethics extend when the development of Maryland's casino on the shores of the Potomac necessitates the dumping of raw sewage into the Potomac because the Broad Creek sewage facility has not been upgraded to handle to future influx of waste. My prediction is that you will not see a strongly worded letter by DNR of Governor Hogan on that issue.

LOU guide, Captain Keith Barker reports: This week I worked the Potomac from Belle Haven to Dogue Creek.  Water temperature has been in the low to mid 60's all week.  Bass are on most all the spawning habitat.  My Wednesday party had 23 fish in the boat.  We caught plenty of 3 # class fish.  The largest this week measured 18 5/16" in length by Will Simonds-and Will enters the Ken Penrod Lo-Po Club.  Mizmo 4" Big Boy Tubes and Case Magic Stiks have been the hottest baits.  Many but not all fish seem to be in or right near the edge of grass beds.  If your tube jigs foul with grass I switch to a weightless Case Magic Stik rigged Texposed on a 3-0 EWG worm hook.  Skin hook the point in the bait and the whole rig is weedless.  The spawn is in full on mode.  We are enjoying some of the best fishing of the year.  I have some dates in May available.  Reach on 301-509-2102 or at .

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***; 60s; clear to stained. 5.5 at Harrisburg; 6.3 at Lewistown on Juniata; 4.7 at Williamsport and 10.7 at Sunbury. All levels are slowly falling - for now.

It should be noted that PFBC has closed 32 miles of the lower Juniata and about 98 miles of the Susquehanna to bass fishing through June 17. The "unenforceable" law states that an angler may not target bass - but may fish. Of all the "finger-pointing" than one can list for bass disease and decline, the angler is the ONLY ones punished.

LOU guide Jason Shay and others in our stable simply "move" above the restriction, and as Jason proved this week - lots of bass and big-ones also are ready and willing. Charlie Shurman had a bass over 20" long and is the first to enter the Phase 2 of the Ken Penrod-Under Armour 20-Inch Smallmouth Club for 2016. Jason reports: Fishing has been good above the restriction area. Spinnerbaits(wht/cht), small swimbaits (smoke) and squarebill crankbaits (bluegill) brought across current edges have been putting fish in the boat. Congrats to Charlie Shurman with his entry in the 20in club with a fat 20.5. Reach Jason at 717-507-4377.

Remember - Johnny Cunningham of Riverfront Campground will rent-a-boat,, shuttle you, sell you license, rods and lures - and rent you a campsite. Reach Johnny at 717-877-2704. Check out the Ardent rods and reels, especially those for kids - and this is the place for the Campground Special tubes and RAB jig heads we always brag about.

Thanks You

RiverPro; Mercury; Lowrance; Ardent; Case; Zipper Worms; Sunline; Mizmo; Power Pole; NRA; Riverfront Campground; RAB Jig Heads; Columbia Design & Graphics.

Your Hosts;

Captain Ken Penrod; Captain Kenny Penrod; Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Brian Barnes. Captain Keith Barker; Bret Winegardner; Jason Shay; John Stygler; Scott Johnson; Matt Green & Pete Holmes. 

Ken Penrod's Summer Youth Camp - Camp Sycamore:

I'm looking for a few boys between the ages of 12-18 that love fishing and shooting. My summer camp is about 26 years old where I take up to 8 well behaved boys to my lodge in North Pennsylvania where we teach the fishing and shooting arts. Sessions are July & August every year. Contact Ken for details.




Thanking all of our partners including:
RiverPro Jet Boats; Mercury Sportjet & Outboards; Lowrance Electronics; Under Armour;  NRA; Ardent Outdoors; Sunline; Big Mouth Lure Company; Power Pole; Mizmo; Case Plastics; Zipper Worms; Riverfront Campground; RAB Jigs; Columbia Design & Graphics.
Our guides include:Captain Ken Penrod; Captain Kenny Penrod; Captain Dave Kerrigan; Captain Keith Barker; Captain Brian Barnes; Bret Winegardner; Scott Johnson; Jason Shay; Matt Greene; Pete Holmes; John Stygler & Tim Reams.





For more photos of our weeks fishing successes, log onto our facebook page: Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited