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Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending October 26, 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; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

 

NOTES: This will the last regularly scheduled fishing report for 2014 but that’s not to mean that we will not fish more. As a matter of fact, some of the best fishing lies ahead. Fall smallmouth on the Susquehanna and Potomac can rival spring action. The rockfish and bass of the tidal Potomac will bunch up and feed up in preparation for tough days ahead. Those Maryland Easter Shore rivers such as the Nanticoke and Pocomoke turn-on every fall and they, too, offer exciting striper opportunities.

Keep checking “LOU Magazine” for articles including Ken’s upcoming “What’s Up with the Potomac,” that will provide his nearly 40-years of knowledge as it pertains to how and why can a catch and release body of water that once ranked #12 in the country become so stingy.

Our annual “Winter/Spring Trophy Smallmouth” adventures will begin about the middle of March and continue through “shut-down” at the end of April on the Susquehanna & Juniata Rivers. Don’t miss this. Contact Ken at 240-447-2206 or kenpenrod@comcast.net.

I’m not sure what outdoor shows, if any, that we will participate in so check the website from time to time.

“Week of the Wind”

            SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***1/2; clear with some color—some places; low 60s; 3.7 @ Harrisburg. 3.6 @ Newport on the Juniata.

            The subtitle to one of my books was “It ‘pends da Vind,” a, European “dialect” hailing meant to describe an angler’s prediction for success on a given day. Well, this week was a windy one and it really did depend on wind velocity and direction.

            LOU guide Matt Greene managed to fish the Danville sector on the 19th and caught 41 bass on KP Series tubes and chatterbaits. LOU guide Jason Shay fished the Fort Hunter area on Saturday for 22 smallmouth on a “difficult, cold-front” situation where “bass just seemed to play with my tube offerings.” LOU guide John Stygler fished the Juniata River on Sunday and found things “tough” due to wind and cold front conditions.

            UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; 60 degrees; clear (little color); 1.3 @ Point of Rocks.

            The “difficulty” factories of low water and strong winds elevate but add cold front conditions and lots of floating grass and leaves to the equation—and it’s like shoveling sand in the tide.

            The “rise” was short-lived and we are back to bump-a-boat-bottom again. All fish are affected by a rising barometer but the clear water is another hurdle. This is a good time of year for this fishery if we can just get a little more stability with about another foot of water. This is definitely tube-time and you just can’t beat Campground Special, teaser size in the KP Series attached to a 1/0/1/8th RAP jig head. The Ardent brand of rods and reels along with Sunline, 8# test mono is my “tools” of choice.

            TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; low 60s; wind-caused tidal lows.

            The good news is that the rockfish are moving toward the Bay and can be found in feeding packs from DC to the 301 Bridge. Largemouth bass fishing is still tough although a few sectors fare better than most.

            In the DC area, the Washington Channel is still the best, especially the grass bed along Fort McNair where Big Mouth Lure Company Big Skakys and Penrod Special spinnerbaits take fish to 5 pounds. The adjacent dropoff is loaded with stripers and we find crankbaits or weighted Case Shads to be productive.

            The WW Bridge area has a good many stripers in areas such as Fox Ferry Point, South Point and the Hog Island flats.

            Mattawoman, Occoquan and Aquia also attracts rockfish and “look” for them with Rattlin’ Rapalas. Some nice bass in the marinas of the Occoquan and at old bridge crossing of Neabsco and Powell Creeks.

 

Until Mid-March, 2015—fish often and be safe. Call us for your Fall outings.

Matt Greene with a nice trophy smallie caught on an excellent day of fall fishing.

Guide Jason Shay (717) 507 4377 will be guiding clients through December.  Give him a call

Jason Shay
LOU Susquehanna River Guide
www.penrodsguides.com
(717) 507 4377

 
Mike Stoker with a nice fall Susquehanna smallie with LOU
guide John Stygler taken on a Snagler Tackle spinnerbait in
Table Rock Snag.
 
   

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending October 19, 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; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth: Tom Driscoll with Jason Shay, Susquehanna.

 

NOTES: Recent rains helped raise our rivers a foot or so but they will run-off quickly. The debris in the DC area from the upriver rise was nominal.

 

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***; 60; stained; falling; 2.0 @ Point of Rocks and falling.

            That thunder-like sound you hear to the west last week was actually just river-users applauding the rains and river rise. Smallmouth are now acting like fall-bass and they are eating well.

            KP3 did Edwards Ferry early in the week and says “every fall I switch to crankbaits and pound those ledges—and this year was right on Q.”

            Lander is acting like Lander again but upriver is better than down. Use KP Series tubes around shoreline cover (that will change this week as the water falls). Case Salty Shads and Magic Stiks are a good alternative.

            A lot of the grasses were swept-downriver and that bodes well for the next few weeks.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERs, PA: ****; stained; 59 degrees; 4.7 @ Harrisburg; 4.3 @ Newport. All are falling.  

            The rise was welcomed by most anglers but it will runoff very quickly. Bass fishing remains top-notch although strong winds cause issues as does floating leaves.

            LOU guide Jason Shay fished from Riverfront Campground and he and his clients caught 57 smallmouth of which 19 were over 18 inches long. Tom Driscoll won “LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth with a 20.5 inch model on a spinnerbait.

Lou guide John “Snag” Stygler fished the Juniata from Howe Township.  Down, and turned 63 bass, 12 over 18” and one third were caught on a buzzbait.

Topwater lures and jerkbaits will work but you will be picking leaves off the hooks after every cast.

LOU guide Matt Greene fished the Danville area one day and caught 19 bass on a tough day. He also did the Mahantango sector for 36. Topwater lures were most productive and a majority of his fish were 18” and longer.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; 65 degrees; a little stain upriver; floating grasses.

Largemouth bass fishing is improving is areas but production is not close to what we have become accustomed to. The small surge from the free flowing river did little to color the water and the debris was minimal.

In Washington DC water, we find smallmouth just about everywhere but the bridge foundations have been best where Mizmo tubes and crankbaits score. The Washington Channel grass bed is the best where Big Mouth Lure Co., Big Shakys or Penrod Special spinnerbaits are the ticket.

The WW Bridge vicinity “good news” is the stripers are back especially on Fox Ferry Point and the Hidey Hole below Hog Island.

Pomonkey Creek, Pohick Bay and Occoquan grass and marina cover will yield a few bass.

Mattawoman Creek is still stingy as is Chickamuxen Creek.

Matt Greene with a 20 ¼” smallie caught during some phenomenal top water action.  LOU client Jeff was amazed while while being guided by Jason Shay.  Not only did he catch this big girl on the first cast, but his next 3 were also 19 inch fish.
LOU client Tom with one of the many big smallies he caught. Guide Jason Shay with a healthy Susquehanna 20
that crushed his spinnerbait
   

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending October 12, 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; John Stygler; Rick Nitkiewitz; Matt Greene.

 

LOU Fishes of the Week

Largemouth: Michael Day, with Ken on the Potomac with a Big Mouth Big Shaky

Smallmouth: Scott Smith, with Jason Shay, on the Susquehanna on a spinnerbait.

 

Notes: All that rain did nothing to raise the levels of our free flowing rivers or to beat-back the salt wedge—or dilute the pollution. We will present fishing reports through the last week of October but can and will offer Hot-Spot reports all year when deserving. We will also guide through December so keep those bookings coming because November can be as good as April.

Look to LOU Magazine for new articles including: “Fishing the Capital City Potomac,” and “What’s Up With the Tidal Potomac.”

I/we are now taking bookings for our later winter, early spring “Trophy” adventures on the Susquehanna River above Harrisburg. Contact me at 240-447-2206 or kenpenrod@comcast.net. You don’t want to miss this.

 

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; 65 Degrees; Very clear; floating grass & leaves; 1.1 at Point of Rocks.

            Well, nothing’s changed. The river is low, clear and floating grass is a nuisance. It’s a good float-situation though but avoid contact with the water as much as possible.

            Smallmouth are spooky and holding tight to cover especially canopy-like ledges. A 4” Case Salty Shad, Magic Stik or Campground Special, KP Series tube are your best choices. Trolling motor and sonar noises can be an issue.

            There is nothing wrong with the fishery although the YOY was “very poor” again. Boats can still get around but long runs are out of the question. I have been able to go places and over things that I was never able to since I began to operate this 20” RiverPro boat powered by a 200 HP Mercury OptiMaz Sport Jet.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***1/2; clear; very low; 65 degrees; 3.2 @ Harrisburg & 3.6 @ Newport.

            Please note that Joe Raymond is no longer associated with LOU. If you have any trips scheduled with him and prefer to stay with LOU, please contact me at 240-447-2206. Welcome Pete Holmes to our stable and I’ll have more on Pete at a later date.

In spite of low water our guides have been CAREFULLY CHOOSING their launch choices and targeting areas that do not require dangerous runs.

LOU guide Matt Greene has fished the Mahantango area where he caught 44 bass (15 over 18” long) and the New Cumberland sector where he caught 18. Matt touts the spinnerbait pattern and says “the bass are actually fighting over the lures on some days.”

LOU guide Jason Shay has entertained a lot of clients this week, one of which, Scott Smith, caught the “LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth,” with a 19.5” bronzeback on a spinnerbait. Jason chooses between New Cumberland, Clemson Island and Montgomery Ferry where top water lures of “walking the dog” discipline are hard to beat. His “boat tally” varies, depending on fish-mood and client skill, between 20 and 50 bass per day.

 TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **1/2; full moon tides; algae green; wind dirty; grass.

Bass fishing showed some improvement this week, especially the DC sector. The grass bed in the Washington Channel is a good one but you may be run-out of there—depending upon which policeman sees you. Big Mouth spinnerbaits and their Big Shaky, chaterbait style, is the best grass offering but Mizmo tubes, Zipper Craws and Rapala crankbaits are best for the dropoff. We didn’t fare well in any of the other “spots” we usually rely on.

In the WW Bridge vicinity, there are crankbait bass on Fox Ferry Point, WW Barges and Hog Island when the surface grass allows.

The Piscataway to Pomonkey section has a few grass beds that an angler can cherry pick such as Greenway Flats, mouth of Pomonkey and in Pohick Bay.

From Mattawoman south, look for spinnerbait/Magic Stik bass is the “6-MPH” zone, especially during low water, and in the state park area, Marsh Island is your best bet. Grass above the power lines on the VA shore and the backend of Chickamuxen can keep you interested—or challenged. Some good rockfish activity on the points of Aquia.

Jim is all smiles now that guide Jason taught him to "walk the dog" he is pictured with his first topwater smallie. Longtime LOU client John C with a nice smallie that crushed his topwater plug while guided by Jason Shay.
Matt Greene with a nice smallie caught in the middle of the day on an explosive top water bite.

Guide Jason and client Scott with one of the many doubles. There is nothing more exciting then a pack of smallies fighting for bait

Godfrey said his trip with guide Jason was one of his most exciting fishing experiences. Guide Jason Shay with a nice evening Susquehanna smallie.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending October 5, 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: Charlie Shurman
with Jason Shay on the Susquehanna River with a spinnerbait.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: **; >60; clear; 1.3 @ Point of Rocks

            I am hoping that the huge swatch of green on my weather radio radar brings a substantial soaking to the Mid-Atlantic because our rivers are very low and perhaps somewhat dangerous due to bacteria.

            The “catching” of the many smallmouth bass that inhabitant this river became “tough” a few weeks ago and that hasn’t improved this week. From Seneca to Brunswick the deal’s the same: “fish ledges and do it slow with Case Stiks & KP Series tubes.” Floating grass and soon, floating leaves make it difficult to use fast-retrieve lures and the clearness of the water demands long casts and light line (6# Sunline or Excell.)

            The “toughness” of the Minn Kota trolling motors is certainly an asset during these times I can’t say enough about the RiverPro’s ability to navigate low water.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***1/2; clear; 3.2 @ Harrisburg and 3.7 @ Newport.

            The river is very low and it’s tough to get around but the bass are still biting and the boys say “these fish are ganging-up already” so it will be tube-time soon.

            Point of Interest” during our late winter and early spring season, my guides and clients caught about 4000 smallmouth bass and only 7 were obviously diseased. About half of these bass had the “black blotch” on their skin—the blotch we find in black bass on just about every body of water that we fish. During the summer season, our guides had an outstanding result with about 3000 bass of which only a few were obviously diseased and the “black blotch” had all but disappeared.

            LOU guide Matt Greene fished the Danville area where he caught 37 bass on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Eight of them were between 18-19 inches long.

            LOU guide Jason Shay has been working the Montgomery Ferry sector where he and one guest on a two-day trip averaged 45 smallmouth bass per day and his client, Charlie Shurman caught the “LOU Fish of the Week” with a 19.5” beauty that attacked a spinnerbait.  Jason and Charlie also combined to catch a “Susquehanna Grand Slam” consisting of a smallmouth, walleye, musky and carp/sucker. “The river is really low now so we can’t run around like we are accustomed to but find an area and “work-it,” says Shay.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: **; <70; floating grass.

            The cooling water temperature and diminishing grass beds have caused more fish to move to hard cover, especially during the dark periods of the day, but they will return to any living grass beds once the sun has jump-started the process. There has been “improvement” in the number of bass being caught and a few small areas are really “lit-up.”

            In Washington DC, bass (and other species) are more cooperative than any other sector we ply. The mixed-bag of smallmouth, largemouth, rockfish and catfish (the DC Slam) has become pretty common and on occasions, a walleye makes the “DC Slam” a “DC Grand Slam.”

            While there are a few areas where largemouth and smallmouth seem to hang-out together, we commonly find them in like-groups with the smallmouth preferring harder cover such as bridge foundations and rocky bottoms. If you haven’t been above Key Bridge in a while, take a look at it now because the low flow has revealed some interesting terrain. This area is primarily smallmouth-country but is also your best chance to catch a walleye.

            In the Washington Channel, the grass bed along Fort McNair is as lush as it’s been in 10-years. If you start at the Anacostia confluence and make the DC Harbor Police your destination, troll a few crankbaits behind the boat for stripers but more importantly, stay in the 10-12 foot contour by monitoring your Lowrance sonar/GPS—and “save” that trail. Now, when you intend to cast spinnerbaits or Case Magic Stiks, you can use that trail to stay off of the grass edge and become more efficient. Bass to five pounds have become pretty common here. Stay away from the Fort’s wall or the cops will get you.

            The WW Bridge sector shows life again, especially the hard cover on the MD side in the bridge area. Fox Ferry Point; WW Barges; WW’s old, submersed foundation remnants; north point of Penrod cove; concrete and north shore (all the above with Mizmo tubes, Zipper Worms or Rapala DT or Thug crankbaits.

            To the south, Hog Island, Fort Washington Point, causeway at Little Hunting Creek, south shore of Pohick Bay and interior of Pomonkey Creek are good spots although some are very tidal-level dependent. It’s quickly becoming “crankbait-time” but in the shallower, grassy area be sure to use Big Mouth spinnerbaits or Big Shakeys.

            The Mattawoman sector shows improvement although just a shadow of her previous ability. Marsh Island grass and Grinder Wharf habitat near the State Park are “OK,” and the spatterdock/grass inside the “6-MPH” zone is “fair,”

            The Occoquan complex consisting of brass beds in the Bays, and marina cover or bridge foundations will just get better. Nearby Neabsco “bridge” habitat as well as Leesylvania rip-rap show improvement every week.

            The rather new boat launch of Mallows Bay will put you in a really good sector where the grass and old-boat cover is a challenge—but worthy bass residence.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **>; 60; clear

            Captain Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner are caught in a tug-of-war between deer/archery or smallmouth/largemouth on the lake.  The topwater, smallmouth bite is still strong and while most dock structures have been pulled, the grass is holding largemouth. The pleasure boaters are few now so it’s a fishing lake again—the best “fishing lake in Maryland.”
 

Guide Matt Greene says the smallies are getting aggressive
up the North branch of the Susquehanna too.
The Smallies weren't the only thing smashing
guide Jason Shay's top water plug
Gary got a little more then he bargained for on this cast. Charlie and Gary with a multi species double caught on a trip with guide Jason Shay.
Phil had this nice walleye crush his crank bait while guided by Jason Shay. Lou with one of his topwater crushers he caught with guide Jason Shay.

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending September 28, 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: **; <70 degrees; crystal clear; 1.0 at Point of Rocks

            For the second or third straight week in a row, smallmouth bass fishing really stunk, especially during those clear-sky days with a barometer over 30. It did not matter about time of day either and the entire sector that we cover (Seneca to Brunswick) was shut-down. The river is so clear and so low that getting around in motor boats is tricky and bumpy. Submersed grasses that have puller loose and float the surface makes it tough to present lures properly. Don’t take the past few weeks as a sign of fishery distress though because this happens every year and soon the fish will bite again.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA Rivers: *** (but dangerously low); <70; some stain on east side; much floating grass on west side below Juniata; 3.2 @ Harrisburg and 3.6 at Newport.

            LOU guides Jason Shay and Matt Greene have been braving the low water and catching lots of quality bass.

            Jason fished over the weekend and worked the New Cumberland and Clemson Island areas with equal results (25-30 bass per 4-hrs) on spinnerbaits.

            LOU guide Matt Greene worked the Port Trevorton are where he and his guest caught 58 healthy, heavy smallmouth on spinnerbaits. Both guides say “the bass are beginning to gang-up.”

            As good as it’s been all summer, it will only improve soon.

 

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: *-**; <70; grasses pulling free; shameful in some areas.

            But for a few areas, largemouth bass fishing results have been sub-par and until the combined fishery management jurisdictions come up with a strategy to protect the reduced population, expect more of the same next year.

            In Washington DC, we find smallmouth bass in pretty good numbers along the MD shore above Key Bridge; Key Bridge foundations and nearby, submersed, C&O Canal Aqueduct foundations; upstream end of Kennedy Center; entrance & causeway-walls to Columbia Island Marina and Long Bridge foundations. We prefer Mizmo tubes, Shorty ZC by Zipper; Rapala DT-6 crankbaits and Zipper Grubs for the smallmouth haunts.

            The Washington Channel remains one of the best places in the entire river for largemouth bass—with bonus rockfish and crashing catfish. The grassy shoal and adjacent dropoff on the east side may be the best of all but areas toward the end of the “lake’ are productive also. Often I refer to the Channel as a “lake” because you can actually think of this fishery as a lake—with current.

            The shallow grass shoals are custom made for Big Mouth Spinnerbaits and Big Shakeys. Depending on tide level and barometer, the majority of the bass may be staged on the drop. To search for that possibility, cast Mizmo tubes and crankbaits. On high water, be sure to use Case Magic Stiks—any way you wish. The use of a Lowrance HDS will help you locate the stripers and help you understand the varying zib & zag of the shoal. Stay away from the wall in this areas or the police will swoop in on you.

            The Woodrow Wilson Bridge area will begin to improve as the water chills but for now it’s rather tough. Crankbaits and Mizmo tubes at the concrete in Penrod Cove; WW Bridge barges; north end of Smoot Bay, south point of Smoot Bay and mid-cove barge can keep you busy and there are some better than average bass there. Hog Island and Fort Washington Light point are also worthy stops.

            The Copula at Mount Vernon holds bass but beware the ferry traffic—and across the river, fish the grass in Bulltown Cove with buzzbaits and Case Magic Stiks.

            Pomonkey Creek is shedding grass like crazy but there are bass inside—and Pohick Bay military structure and fallen trees on the south shore beg for your attention—and always check the steep man-made channel near the north entrance to the military dock. A reliable sonar such as the Lowrance products will be invaluable and if you have SideScan, find that old boat there and work it hard.

MATTAWOMAN & vicinity remains a puzzle that has an explanation that few want to believe but “The Best Tidal Tributary for Bass in the Entire Chesapeake bay Complex” is hurting.

The “6-MPH” area is best during low water where you can see and work the grass edge (Big Mouth spinnerbaits & Case Stiks) as well as any submersed wood cover. If you are there in high water, use heavy gear and brain to cast Big Mouth Swim Jigs or frogs well inside the spatterdock. KP3 also recommends pitching jigs to interior small holes in the vegetation.

The area between Marsh Island the river is all about grass except for a few drops and sunken barge targets. KP3 likes Marsh Island habitat during high water and he says “you can see some bass swimming here but they don’t want to bite very often.”

There are, and have always been, tournament releases bass to target in the State Park habitat—and you will catch bass that have ugly holes and gapes in the soft underside of their jaws that are caused by “Tournament Culling Tools” that are likened to gig safety pins. The sharp steel tool is pushed through the skin and a colored float offers the angler a quick assessment as to “size” on the attached. This hole has to hamper the suction process of a feeding fish and you may notice that bass with such a wound will become skinny very soon. This has to be remedied.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: *; low 60s.

LOU guides Captain Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner worked the lake a few days this week and cursed the clear skies and high barometer under their breaths.  “We had 6-10 bass per boat Thursday but Friday was as tough as it gets,” said the Captain. This kind of result almost always happened in the beginning of fall, on all waters we fish so no need to worry.

Brent says the most reliable bite-on-the-lake continues to be a low-light, top-water bite with a myriad of lure options including Tiny Torpedos; Skitter Pops and Pop-R’s.

Guide Jason Shay say the big girls are aggressive
and hungry..Get in on the fall action it's incredible!
Pete had this slab inhale his top water while out with
guide Jason Shay
Joe Raymond shows one of 7 bass boated In the 20"-21" range over the weekend. Seth Schrot caught this 20.25" bass on a spinnerbait while fishing with Joe Raymond.
Guide Matt Greene says the Fall bite has started and you don’t want to miss it. Chris McDonel with a nice smallie  out with guide Matt Greene on a beautiful Fall day.
   
   

 

Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report

Week Ending September 21, 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.

John Zanelotti had the LOU Fish of the Week,
Smallmouth Division, with a 20.75”
while guided by Jason Shay and he used
a spinnerbait to catch the trophy.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER:  **; 68; clear; 1 foot at Point of Rocks and that’s low.

A fishing report reader has asked me a few times why he smells sewage when he drives across The American Legion Bridge in the evenings. Has anyone else noticed this—and is there a nearby sewage treatment plant?

LOU client and scout Bill Giles caught 3 bass in 5 hours and that’s an awful result from a fishery hat has been pretty solid all year. The last day of summer could have been the reason but I’ll bet the high barometer and very clear water was the true detriment. I again caution anglers that contact with the water at this level could be unhealthy and if you cut yourself, be certain to treat the cut immediately. The bacteria in the low water could be deadly. I’m seeing more and more kayakers and tubers in this water and it’s a good idea to carry a canister of disinfectant wipes.

SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: ***; 70ish; clear to stained depending; bumpy-low; 3.3 at Harrisburg and 3.6 at Newport.

I shake my head every time I hear-of or read an article in major media that “blasts” the health of the Susquehanna River smallmouth bass populations. John—why are you condemning this fishery? I realize that you are obsessed with getting an “impaired” designation for this waterway but why to the detriment of the fishermen and the fishery? “This is a world Class Smallmouth Fishery” PF&BC, and you do irreparable harm to her reputation with your vendetta-like accounting. The PA EPA does not agree with you and the “bad-guy” left for more money. They say “there isn’t the science to designate impairment” yet I see articles in Wallstreet Journal and even in Linkedin about sick and “blotchy” bass. My guides and I have caught thousands of smallmouth bass from the supposedly affected waters—and the number of fish with lesions are less that .5%. Those black blotches that has everyone in PA nervous are common course for fish in virtually every body of water in the USA. It’s the norm—not the exception guys. As for mixed-up sex in smallmouth bass—it’s the same in the Potomac and James River basins and even in tidal Potomac—but no one is talking about it. If I thought for a second that the smallmouth fishery was in danger, I would be the guy screaming from every media—just as MDNR. I find it odd that I’m embattled with them about a damaged fishery that they think is OK—and with PA about a GREAT fishery that PF&BC thinks is on the brink of collapse. What must the Tourism people be thinking? Four separate fishermen qualified for “Ken Penrod’s 20—Inch Club” this week: John Zanelotti 20.75”; Chris Gergely 20.50 and Jacob Smith 20.0—all with LOU guide Jason Shay, Joe Partlington also.

Jason Shay fished from Fort Hunter today and his Client John Z had a 2-.75” beauty that is this week’s “LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth Category.” They accounted for 37 total bass, 12 of which were over 18” long. Spinnerbaits was the candy and the fish were in less than one foot of water.

Joe Raymond fished from Montgomery Ferry today with his clients and of the 46 bass they landed, Paul Partlington had a 20.25” beauty. “We used spinnerbaits, tubes and “dragon heads” (whatever they are.).

LOU guide Matt Greene fished both Montgomery Ferry and New Cumberland this week with similar results of tallies between 5 and 8 bass per hour. Spinnerbaits were the mainstay but there is a topwater bite in the AM.

LOU guide John Stygler fished the Montgomery Ferry sector Saturday between 2pm and 6pm where he caught 19 smallmouth with the largest being 19”.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: ** to ***; low 70s; clear north with algae south; lots of sick grass but plenty of green weed.

Kudos to the DC Fishery People, especially Wanda Payne (fishing license) and Danny Ryan (biologist and on-water team leader). Lest some forget, it was I that lobbied DC for a fisheries management program in the 80s—and it happened.

Obtaining a DC license is still way too difficult but try it on line. They will require a boater safety course or similar credential. I’m revising my new book works, “Tidal Potomac River Fishing Bible, New Testament,” because of sponsor changes and major fishery incidentals, but this area has always been: busy, enthralling; noisy; memorable; worthy and subject to the pollution of about 4-million citizens.

Probably the best sector-fishery in the entire tidal Potomac River for the time being. Low flow from the drainage, and some very good grass growths offer plenty of visitations, some new and some not-so-new but subject to your ambiance requirements, you have options. The Gravelly Point launch is both adequate and convenient—for a US Park Service facility.

The area above Key Bridge is both pleasant and adventurous. It’s actually a “gouge” whereby a nearly 300 mile free flowing river crashes into a tidal estuary—a geographical certainty.

Best areas for bass: Key Bridge foundations; C&O Canal foundations (underwater); the dropoff at the Kennedy Center (north end window 2); Long Bridge foundations 1&2 on VA side and 4-7 on the DC side looking upriver, from the ship channel.

As far as I’m concerned, and it’s not “fragile,” the Washington Channel is the ultimate tidal Lake—and that’s how you should treat it.

The grass in the shoals is a welcome habitat because few years ago, DC Biologist and on-water fishery manager Danny Ryan, said in his report: “the lack of grass is the reason that the bass numbers are down.” I did challenge him then—because “where did the bass go. We need to remember that prior to submersed vegetation, bass used other habitat—and that habitat was “cover’ of sorts like fallen trees or sunken boats—or structure, such as structural changes in the underwater terrain; man-made objects like docks and sea walls.

This is a mile-long fishery with a 12-month potential. During cold months, the deep water of the marinas offer good opportunities. Aside from the Fort McNair side, the back end is chock full of targets, especially when the water is running out of the reflecting pool.

The WW Bridge vicinity may have more natural or man made structure/cover than any other sector in the system. Fox Ferry Point is an old wharf with 4 rows of pilings going into the river almost 100 yards. The upcurrent and downcurrent rows are reinforced with rocks—and this is an awesome largemouth and rockfish attraction. Crankbaits or Mizmo tubes are my favorites. Inside Penrod Cove, the concrete will just get better but the north side has a great dropoff where bigger bass stage.

The barges between PC and the WW Bridge is hell on your lure collection but what a bass magnet. Same for the bridge foundations—and the foundations they removed (almost).

You will want to fish the coves near Belle Haven, Hog Island barges; Broad Creek grass and cover on south side and Fort Washington Lighthouse dropoff.

The “Middle Grounds” (Piscataway to Pomonkey) has enough bass to keep you working. Bulltown Cove is a favorite and Pomonkey Creek is hard to beat on low water. Across the river, the laydowns on the south shore and the military dock habitat in worth the effort.

The Mattawoman vicinity is heaven or hell depending on tidal flow but within the 6-MPH concentrate on the spatterdock with frogs, Case magic Stiks and Big Mouth spinnerbaits or chatterbaits. The area between Marsh Island and the main Stem has been Kenny Penrod’s (KP3) go to area where the grass is in good shape—but the bass are skittish. Kenny fished the area three days in a row for a total of 16 bass—no snakeheads.

The Occoquan complex has some green grass in areas and you can see the bass swimming around. Old bridge cover in Powells and Neabsco Creeks is perfect habitat, especially between mi and low tidal flows.

Chickamuxen Creek, especially deep inside, and the grass adjacent to Mallows bay deserves some attention.

NANTICOKE RIVER: **1/2; normal color and tidal flow.

Congratulations to the Delaware TBF team that absolutely crushed the other participating state teams in the Eastern Divisional (by 62 pounds over 2nd place) recently where Brian Laclair led all anglers to advance to the Nationals. Danny Rodrguez led the Maryland Team that finished dead last although Danny was 5th overall.

Many of the anglers made the risky run to the Nanticoke River for good reason.

By the way, did you know that MDNR release 5 sturgeon into this tidal water (Marshy Hope and Nanticoke) and there are those that have seen others prior to the newest release.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: **1/2; clear; 60s; normal pool.

LOU guides Bret Winegardner and Captain Brent Nelson say “bass fishing has improved a lot since the pleasure boaters went home and the water has cooled.”

The topwater bite is the steadiest pattern on the lake, especially when the skies are cloudy or dimly lit. There is still plenty of bass in the grass coves and the remaining docks or dock structures make reliable targets. See wwww.fishdeepcreek.com for additional information.

LOU guide Matt Greene with a 21” Susquehanna river giant. The DC sector of the Potomac River is busy and noisy on one end, and pristine and quiet on the other. The Gravely Point launch is a good one. All three bass, catfish and even walleye live here.
"Concentration" can be an issue in DC because everywhere you look is an historical monument Capt. Keith fished with Ken and he caught some impressive largemouth bass on spinnerbaits.
The catfish in DC think they are bass. Two lures I rely on for both largemouth and smallmouth. The Obie HardHook on the left and the Zipper "Shorty ZC"
Guide Jason Shay is ready to put you on some nice smallies Long time LOU client Mike Stoker with a hard hitting
spinnerbait smallie he caught with guide Jason Shay
Long time LOU client John Zanelotti with his personal best Susquehanna smallmouth @20.75 caught on a spinnerbait with guide Jason Shay Jacob Smith with a Susqy 20 he caught spinnerbaiting a deep ledge with guide Jason Shay
Chris Gergely had this 20.5 Susqy slab crush his spinnerbait while guided by Jason Shay LOU guide John Stygler with a nice 20 inch smallie caught in a foot of water on a Snagler Tackle Booster spinnerbait in sexy blue sang.
Ryan Lignelli with two nice fish caught on rose campground tubes while being guided by Joe Raymond Paul Partington with his first 20+" smallmouth. This bass was 20.25" and it was caught on a custom made spinnerbait with guide Joe Raymond.

 

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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