ESCONDIDO – Off and on flurries of largemouth action are holding the interest of Lake Wohlford bassers, but it’s catfish that have been providing the most consistent bendos since trout stocking came to an end several months ago. Most are modest stringer-filling channel cats, but once again, a giant blue cat is highlighting the fishing in record-breaking fashion.
A 54.8-pound blue caught by Jonathan Hanson will stand as a new lake record for that species. He was fishing the West Buoy Line with a hunk of cut bonito, and after a short photo shoot, the big fish was released back into the lake. Every year, a respectable number of big blues are caught at Wohlford, and they are almost always released. A 40-plus model was nabbed there a couple weeks ago, and usually when an angler is using an outside-the-box bait like bonito, fresh shrimp or even canned salmon, they are specifically targeting big blue catfish.
The bite on channel cats was already solid on holdovers before this season’s stocking kicked off, but they regular plants that have been going in are absolutely giving the existing bite a shot in the arm. Channels were last delivered on June 12, and the next load will be a 1,000 pounds on July 3. According to lake staffers, fishing has been solid from Bass Point to the West Buoys on chicken livers, anchovies and mackerel, all of which are now available for purchase at the lake.
Boaters are fishing the same baits right on the bottom over some deeper offshore spots, and it sounds like the deal is pick a spot then it’s bait and wait. A lot of guys are weeding through small cats to keeping the bigger ones, but most sticking to it are able to fill a stringer that way.
Post-spawn bass have cooled off but there have been some better-biting days in the mix each week. Smaller crankbaits worked parallel to shore has been the best way to go, and there have been a few caught on creatures flipped into tules. Most bass anglers are reporting a few bites for a couple fish per outing, so there is some work involved but they’re out there.
The crappie bite has also slowed, but it seems to improve when the wind picks up. The breeze arrives and anglers will set up a drift with jigs and pick off a slab here and there wherever the wind takes them. That drifted jig bite has actually been outperforming live shiners.