O.H. Ivie back on the board with Another ShareLunker
Jan. 30—ATHENS O.H. Ivie Lake chalked up its second Legacy Class largemouth bass of the 2023 Toyota ShareLunker season Sunday afternoon. Kyle Hall of Granbury hauled in 13.58-pound ShareLunker 635, registering a Legacy Class bass in consecutive seasons. Hall's fish is the third submitted by anglers during the 2023 collection season.
"O.H. Ivie continues to produce Lunker after Lunker, and this season is no exception," Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator, said in a news release. "Even pro anglers like Kyle are drawn to fish O.H. Ivie because of the quality bass fishery."
Hall turned in one of 2022's largest catches on March 1 when he landed ShareLunker 624 at O.H. Ivie. The fish topped the scales at 16.10 pounds, one of three that surpassed the 16-pound mark during the last collection season. Hall returned to O.H. Ivie this year in search of another Legacy fish; as he was wrapping up the trip Sunday, his persistence paid off.
"It's pretty unreal to get a ShareLunker in back-to-back seasons," Hall said in the release. "I have spent a lot of time out on the lake the last three weeks and really wanted another Lunker. The last couple of days were slow but I finally got one to bite."
Hall was targeting fish in roughly 40 feet of water and staying on contour lines. He arrived at a hump where some friends had found success catching fish. It proved to be the perfect spot.
"There was a whole school of 9- to 11-pound fish that came up following the swim jig I was throwing," said Hall. "They probably followed the bait for 30 — 45 seconds. From out of nowhere, the fish came off the bottom, flew past the other fish and ate it."
Hall contacted the ShareLunker program and transported the fish to the holding tank.
"Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff arrived quickly, took some photos and got her ready to go back to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center," he said. "It was an awesome experience to be a part of the ShareLunker program again."
O.H. Ivie's incredible run continues after producing two dozen combined ShareLunkers in the past two seasons, including a new waterbody record of 17.06 pounds in 2022. It was the biggest catch in 30 years and the seventh-largest largemouth bass ever verified in Texas in public or private waters.
During the first three months of the season (January through March), anglers who reel in a 13-plus pound bass can loan it to TPWD for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. These anglers call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 through March 31.
Anglers who catch and donate one of these 13-plus pound Lunkers earn Legacy Class status, a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13-plus pound Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event and a high-quality replica mount of their Lunker fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy. These anglers will also receive entries into two separate contests — a Legacy Class drawing and the year-end Grand Prize drawing. First place in either wins a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and a resident (or non-resident) annual fishing license, the release said.
The year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas. In addition to Legacy Class (13-plus pounds between January and March), ShareLunker entry classes include the Lunker Class (8-plus pounds), Elite Class (10-plus pounds), and Legend Class (13-plus pounds from April to December).
Anglers who enter data for any Lunker they catch (greater than eight pounds or 24 inches) during the calendar year 2023 also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and annual fishing license.
Once a Lunker is reeled in, anglers need to enter the catch data on the Toyota ShareLunker mobile app — available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play — or on the Toyota ShareLunker online app at TexasSharelunker.com. In addition to basic catch information, anglers can also provide a DNA scale sample from their Lunker bass to TPWD researchers for genetic analysis.
A new procedure is in effect for the 2023 season. Legend Class ShareLunkers no longer need to be weighed on a certified scale for entry. Anglers must include a photo of their Lunker on a digital scale to qualify for Legend Class.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and TPWD, providing major funding for a wide variety of fisheries, state parks and wildlife projects.
Prize donors such as Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, American Fishing Tackle Company, Stanley Jigs and 6th Sense Fishing provide additional support for this program. For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker program, visit facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/, @texassharelunker on Instagram and online at TexasSharelunker.com.