Life Outdoors Unlimited Fishing Report
For Week Ending August  21, 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.

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LOU Fish of the Week, Smallmouth: Amal Haque on tidal Potomac with Capt. KP3

Please note that we are having difficulties with our internet website so last week's fishing report was not posted. It will be as soon as Capt. Brent gets the issue resolved. Remember, our reports can be seen in at least three venues: (1) personal copy sent to you (2) at and (3) at Ken's "page" titled "Ken Penrod's Live Outdoors Unlimited" at


UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: mid 80s; clear; 1.8 at Point of Rocks; much surface grass

We have been fortunate to have avoided drought this year and for the most part, water levels, although erratic at times, have been conducive to fair/good bass fishing. The population of younger fish (6-10 inch models) is off the chart in the areas that we provide service. That's a good thing but remember, on the Potomac it may take six years for a bass to reach the 12-inch size.

Maryland's resident goose season begins on September 1 and we offer our popular "Cast & Blast" sessions where shooting geese and catching smallmouth bass is a pretty cool experience.

LOU guide Scott Johnson says: "POR gauge 1.7,  water clear and 83 degrees at first light.   This week I fished from Lander to Brunswick and again caught good numbers of fish, along with a good number of 14" - 18" fish.  With the hotter weather this week areas of relatively deep water produced best for me, including most of the quality fish.  Submerged ledges were the go to, even in areas of slower current providing there was cover and areas of shade from large boulders or over hanging ledges.  Campground special tubes and River Rock baits 4" stick worms wacky rigged accounted for almost every fish, any kind of bite on moving baits has slowed drastically over the last couple weeks.  In fact, many fish were caught dead sticking the baits.  Although smaller fish can be caught throughout the river the better fish have moved into more select areas so find a good area and fish it slow, once you think you are fishing it slow enough, slow down even more.  If you would like to schedule a trip please contact me at 240-625-2550, or email at  You can also follow me on Facebook for more updates on the fishing."


TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: near 90 degrees; some algae in tribs and to the south,

LOU guide Captain Kenny Penrod reports: The bass fishing in the DC section of the Potomac River has been very good. It's vitally important that you monitor tides that coincide with low light conditions. A reasonably moving tide (outgoing or incoming) that coincides with early morning or late evening hours will provide you with the beginning elements of success. The second condition of success is that one be in the right place at the right time. Fish slowly and thoroughly in key areas. I usually will start with a moving lure such as a topwater bait and give a section of the river that I'm confident in a couple of passes. If bass are reluctant to hit a moving lure-I pass through the same area with a bottom bait for a few passes. I make sure that I fish a variety of depths that include any nearby drops especially on lower tides. I continually look for baitfish activity. This will be even more critical in the next couple of months when schools of baitfish become more visible to anglers. If you see schools of baitfish - you will catch bass. All the traditional areas in the DC section have produced some bass but remember to concentrate on those spots within spots to increase your odds.

Further south on the river- the bass are keying on milfoil beds that have clear water. I found several nice beds that haven't been pounded by other anglers and they produced bass. I also like to go to the back of creeks and fish little drop offs that have wood or grass edges. Its important to fish very slow and even dead stick your bait around structure. Also, the BASS tournament may have raised expectations to unrealistic levels. Remember that most of the Elite anglers reported very poor practice periods. In addition, even the anglers that did well - reported very few overall bites. The fishing can be a grind that requires staying in productive areas throughout the tide cycle, making many, many accurate casts or flips and a positive attitude.

The next black bass subcommittee meeting has not been scheduled. The last meeting resulted in a subcommittee recommendation that a statewide slot limit be enacted on the Potomac and Upper Chesapeake from June 16 through the end of February. This is only advice from the subcommittee that will be presented to the Sportsfishing Committee and then if approved will be open to public opinion (scoping). The next meeting is supposed to address MDDNR proposals for Catch and return areas. This proposal was already the topic of a survey of 1000 anglers and the idea was approved by 81 %. However, there is strong opposition to any regulation that limits "tournament anglers" for possessing and weighing their 5 biggest bass. The tournament anglers view any creel/size limits as an attack on them. All proposed regulations do not restrict tournaments - just the possession limits. The proposals allow for a variety of options for tournaments without the means to apply for an exception to the possession limits. However, the need to possess and weigh in 5 bass over 12 inches after June 16 outweighs any concerns for the fishery. Their shotgun approach to arguments, their ad-hominem fallacies, and their self-serving motives make me doubt my own political beliefs. 


SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: near 80 degrees; clear; 3.4 at Harrisburg rising to 3.6 by Tuesday.

Having such water depth in August is rather unheard of most years but one this is certain - the West Branch isn't contributing much. I spent a week in the West Branch drainage and I have never seen such a pitiful sight. You can appreciate the hostile environment aquatic creatures must deal with when you see how low the trout streams, creeks and main stem are. The Sinnamahoning Creek trib was almost doomed 10-years ago when a trail derailed and spilled 40,000 gallons of "killer-juice" into the system. That creek, all the way to Sinnamahoning and Renova was wiped out. Right now the flow is barely noticeable and you know what hot, low water can do! Both DE and F&BC have millions of dollars left over from the railroad company fines - and some pf that money should go to stocking, stabilizing and provide citizen access to that stretch of neglected water.  Half of the nearly 7-million dollars have been spent and it would take a detective to discover any good for that expenditure.

On the main stem, hopefully soon to be called "The Former Closure Area," bass fishing has been better-than-ever according to those that actually fish there. There are those that "remember" things better - and there are those still saying the "river is dead."

LOU guide Matt Greene reports: This week we had small rise to the river which brought the water temperatures down a couple of degrees and add a little color to the water. These two together gave us some top notch spinnerbait fishing this week and a close second in bait choice was top water. The boating traffic was low this week even with the slight rise giving me first choice of some productive water. I have been booking for September already, so if you have day in mind please call to check for availability. Matt Greene, 717-576-3735.

LOU guide Jason Shay adds: Fishing this week started good and ended awesome. Wednesday eve was probably the best evening I had this summer. Smallies were inhaling spinnerbaits though the topwater bite suffered from the stain that the mid-week rain showers made it just intensified the spinnerbait bite. Shad colored spinnerbaits with gold blades worked best. Fish seemed to be located on ledge fronts. Saturday was by far my best big fish day of the year. With the fool moon and approaching cold front i decided to do a late start and it was the right choice. I had numerous fish over 20in on spinnerbaits and topwater at 1 point I made 7 cast in a row with 7 fish. Sunday was almost as impressive with many fish being boated in the short time we fished. I still have some evening trips left. The evening bite is hot right now. If you have never experienced it put it on your bucket list! Jason Shay @ 717-507-4377.


LOU guide Bret Winegardner lives here - and it does get tough every August, but the extremely experienced guide has some sound advice - and a few available days, to help you find and catch DCL bass. Bret reports: Bass fishing has been a little tough due to water temps and weather. Early morning and late evening have been best. Buzz baits and poppers in 2-6 feet of water work best in the morning. Bigmouth jigs are taking largemouth and smallmouth around shaded boat docks through the day and evening.  Bret  Winegardner @ 301-616-9889.



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