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May 14, 2011

Ken Penrod's bass fishing report

Guide Ken Penrod, owner of Life Outdoors Unlimited, files his weekly bass fishing report:

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: three stars; 68 degrees; clear; 3.5 feet at Point of Rocks. This river gets better every day as the water recedes and clears. It’s been a long time coming. The best baits continue to be Campground Special teaser tubes, Rapala DT4 crankbaits and Case Magic Stiks.

At Lander, we do best upriver, especially the deeper holes adjacent to Catoctin Creek, Sawbuck ledges, The Wall grass beds, holes and ledges below the Fence ledge and holes below Burkhart’s Riffle.

At Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry, fish the ledges near Edwards, the mouth and short portion of Goose Creek, wood cover near the power line on the Maryland side and Balls Bluff. From Whites, motor upriver and fish the Virginia side. When you can see the power plant smoke stacks—you have about one mile of good cover. Do another drift but stay in the middle.

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: three and a half stars; 75 degrees water; major high tides. Clearing to clear. What a great week to fish! Except for rain on Friday and the weekend, the weather was beautiful—and I’m not used to that. The tides have been really screwed-up with major high water. Fishing has been great.

Around Washington, we like the shorelines above Three Sisters for smallmouth bass; tubes and Rapala crankbaits were favored. Key Bridge, Long Bridge, Pentagon Lagoon, Washington Channel and Blue Plains all have something to offer. Again, the Rapala DTs, Mizmo tubes, Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Case plastics are good choices. There are still some stripers on bridge foundations and in the Washington Channel.

In the vicinity of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, cast tubes and Stiks in Penrod Cove and nearby barges. The coves near Belle Haven Marina; Broad Creek barges and grass bed; south sore of Swan Creek and coves in Piscataway Creek have been the best so far. It’s hard to beat the 6-inch Case Magic Stick on a 3/0 hook.

In and around Mattawoman Creek, work the back half of the creek on falling water with Bigmouth spinnerbaits and Stiks. Near Smallwood State Park, work the grass with stiks, spinnerbaits and try a buzzbait or frog once in a while. Look for grass bass in Chickamuxen, Blue Banks, Wades Bay and Aquia Creek.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: two and a half stars; 59 degrees, clear. LOU guides Brent Winegardner and Brent Nelson say that bass fishing has been really good with pre-spawn action and even some spawning going on in the upper lake coves and creeks. Bret says to fish shallow boat docks, especially when the sun is up. He likes Big Mouth jigs and 4-inch Magic Stiks. Bret also likes the lower lake for smallmouth bass, especially points and rocky shorelines, where Mizmo tubes and chartreuse crawfish crankbaits do the deed.

SUSQUEHANNA and JUNIATA RIVER, PA.: three stars; clear to clearing; 65 degrees; 5.4 feet at Harrisburg; 5.3 feet at Newport on the Juniata. The rivers and creeks have settled down now and bass have moved to more common habitat. Fishing has been fair to excellent most of the week. Our most reliable lures have been the Rapala DT04; X-Rapp; Campground Special “teaser” tubes in the KP Series and critter baits like the Case Sweet P. On the Juniata, fish the pools and eddies both sides of the river at Amity Hall and the confluence.

Upriver, on the main stem, the bass are in current. Nearby Sherman Creek is doing well and we really like the Rapala DT04 here. LOU guide Dave Kerrigan has been working the main river and he likes the KP Rose tube. Mike Breeding is working down toward the Statue and he is all over the many islands. LOU guide Andy Chiu is in the lower Juniata and he likes jerkbaits.

Posted by Candus Thomson at 8:00 AM |
About Candus Thomson
In a world of paper vs. plastic and candy mint vs. breath mint, my early memories involved a debate about the merits of freshwater vs. saltwater.

On the one hand, a great uncle’s fishing cabin on the Susquehanna River beckoned, but so did family gatherings on the Jersey Shore.

The correct answer, thankfully, was, “both.”

As The Sun’s outdoors writer for more than a decade, I’ve fished across Maryland in one day, hiked the width of the state in one hour, camped overnight in the median of I-95 to experience the wildlife between the fast lanes and chased mountain bikers in a 24-hour marathon race.

Those are some of the highlights. I’ve also fallen in a raging Gunpowder River during a trout survey (photo available upon request), had a shark spill its guts on my clothes and been stuck in a sub-freezing Vermont wilderness with men armed with flintlocks and hatchets, shuffling along on ancient wooden snowshoes.

And, in my travels I’ve met lots of you, who share a love of the outdoors and the good times and mishaps that go along with it.

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