Lake Wohlford

As we were headed back to the dock to return our rented boat for the day, we heard a voice yelling, “I got one, I got one!”  It was coming from our boat!

After a couple of hours of no bites or nibbles, that was an unfamiliar series of words.   We had tried a few different coves along the lake and only got a hit as we were slowly trolling back to the rental dock. We were in the middle of the lake using two poles with lures.

Heading back to the boat dock.

Sadly, the fish pulled off the hook before getting hoisted into the boat, or should I say happy for him, although we always catch and release.   Only a few seconds later another hit, but this time the sizable fish was brought in.

The beautiful Rainbow Trout was easily taken off the line and released back into the lake.

So, we ended the day out on the boat with at least catching one on this beautiful sunny day in San Diego County at Lake Wohlford.

I had never been to Lake Wohlford so three of us had a hankering for lake fishing, and off we went.

Lake Wohlford is a medium sized reservoir set in the hills of Escondido.  Unfortunately, being a reservoir means no swimming or dogs allowed.

Winding through the roads to get there is a great Sunday drive in and of itself.   As you reach the last bend, you get your first view of what I first thought was a very small lake. Later while in a rented boat, I saw that it was much larger than it appeared.

At 190 acres it is considerably more sizable than its neighbor, Dixon Lake which is around 69 Acres.

Homes and a quaint little café are nearby, and it is hard to imagine that the huge Valley View Casino is only a few miles away.

Around the lake, there are an abundance of places to park and little strips of open area to fish or picnic. However, there are no concessions but, plenty of bathrooms.

We chose to rent a boat which we found very reasonable at $30 for the whole day! The no frills aluminum vessel got us where we needed as we explored around.

The Boat Dock from the middle of the lake

At one of our chosen fishing spots, dozens of Hawks soared over the treetops while Mallards and various other water birds splashed around on the water.

Look Closely for the lone Hawk.

On a whim, I checked on how this place ranked for bird watchers.  I was surprised to read those 182 different species of birds have been spotted there.   

Still green from previous rainfalls, there were oak trees, reeds, plus various other plant life gracing the shoreline as well as huge rocks and boulders.

Far in the distance we saw a dam but didn’t get close enough to investigate.

We were told that they stocked the lake with trout recently, but evidently, they weren’t hungry on this day. We thought they might be congregated in the shallows by the reeds, however, there was nothing, no bite or nibbles.

As mentioned, it wasn’t until we got in the middle of the lake that they struck.  So, this is where they were hanging out!   Too bad, it was right when we were leaving, although we stayed a few minutes just in case.  However, I believe we drifted too far from the original spot as we were excitingly waiting for the Rainbow Trout’s appearance on the surface.

One dedicated angler in our group wanted to stay to see if we could get more, while two of us were complaining about being hungry.  Hunger won out; it was time to leave.

We will go back again as the lake is open seven days a week mid-December through Labor Day but weekends only Labor Day through December.

The lake has Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, and Trout and you can fish until dusk. In our case the boat had to be back by 6:30pm…plenty of time.  A fishing license is required, and day use is $8.00 plus, you can always fish from shore.

Fishing isn’t the only activity as there are plenty of hiking trails along the lake.

So, if you are in the mood to fish, hike, picnic, or just enjoy nature, this quaint little lake is the place for you.

Story and photos: Debbie Colwell