Ken Penrod's freshwater and tidal water fishing report
Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited sent in this report:
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: Two and a half stars; water, 77 degrees; clear/algae; 1.1 feet at Point of Rocks. The river is very low but the bass are biting well. It’s important to fish early in the morning or the last few hours of daylight because on those sunny days the fish just don’t cooperate. It’s also a good time to use six-pound test, green monofilament and keep a low profile.
At Lander, either direction from the launch is good although mass grass may hamper boating activity. Cast KP Series teaser tubes and Case Magic Stiks to submersed ledges and chunk rocks in four feet of water. The best tube colors have been Penrod Purple; KP Rose; KP Peanut Butter and KP Candy.
At Whites Ferry, be careful of the ferry operation before running upriver to the first riffle. Stay in the middle and slowly float downriver. Tubes and Stiks are the deal here, too. Do not neglect the edges of those grass beds.
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: three stars; 80 degrees; algae color and blooms in progress.
Largemouth bass fishing has been pretty good in many areas of the river despite massive grass growth. The major heat wave is affecting anglers more than the fish.
The ares around Washington is a good place to fish during the heat of the summer because of the abundance of deep water. Above Key Bridge, you can connect with smallmouth bass by casting Rapala DT04 crankbaits and Mizmo tubes to dropoffs and ledges. The many bridge foundations--especially Long Bridge and Key Bridge--will hold all three bass species. The Washington Channel dropoff along Fort McNair has been better than average lately and we use Rapala DT06 crankbaits here.
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge and vicinity can be stingy and delightful from one day to the next. Probe the dropoffs in Penrod Cove; Fox Ferry Point; WW Barges and the old foundations of the bridge. There are fish in Smoot Bay, especially on North and South Points. Coves near Belle Haven Marina hold some bass as will main river grass above and below Broad Creek—and directly across the river where the long boat docks compliment the SAV. Target bass in deeper water with Rapala crankbaits, Mizmo tubes, Case Magic Stiks and jigs. For the grass beds, a frog, buzzbait, Big Mouth spinnerbaits or weightless Magic Stiks do best.
Mattawoman Creek and vicinity still remains the top choice and there are many options. Within the "6 mph" speed zone, cast spinnerbaits and Case Magic Stiks to grass beds in front of spatterdock. There are plenty of bass in the grass mats between Marsh Island and the main stem where frogs, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and Magic Stiks do the job. Nearby Chickamuxen Creek and grass on the main stem, in either direction, are worth the time and grass beds between Quantico Creek and Aquia Creek may be even better.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER, Pa.: Two and a half stars; 77 degrees; clear/algae; 3.2 feet at Harrisburg and 3.5 feet at Newport on the Juniata.
The smallmouth bass didn’t take a bus out of town, although many think so. The river is low and getting lower—and bass fishing is tough and getting tougher. Remember, I’m speaking of the free flowing water, particularly between Montgomery Ferry and Harrisburg. This is a good time for topwater lures but never hesitate to cast Rattlin’ Rapala lipless crankbaits over chunk rock in water of three to four feet deep. Campground Special tubes and Case Salty Shads will catch bass also. Float trips are productive but even that’s a bear during the middle of the day. Contact Johnny Cunningham at Riverfront Campground (717-877-2704) for shuttle service. LOU guide Chris Sanno (717-576-6849) is fishing the Danville sector where he reports good results with Rapala XR-8 in Glass Ghost color. “I had about 20 bass in the two-pound class and they all came on that lure,” he says.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: Two and a half stars; clear; 70 degrees; a little low.
Guides Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner can always get fish, even if it takes a bucket of minnows for the kids and novice anglers. Grass beds and boat docks--that’s the deal! See www.fishdeepcreek.com for more information.
CHOPTANK RIVER: One and a half stars; 77 degrees.
LOU guide, Capt. Brian Barnes, reports “tough” fishing on this tidal river. He has better luck on the Nanticoke and Pocomoke rivers, which he gives two and a half stars.