ATHENS—Christopher Wright proved again Saturday, January 15, what has become obvious to anglers: O.H. Ivie is the hottest bass lake in Texas right now.
Wright caught Toyota ShareLunker 507 from the lake while fishing in a tournament. Using a swim bait, Wright was fishing in 75 feet of water when the 13.83-pound bass took the lure at about 37 feet deep. The surface water temperature was 46 degrees.
The fish was held for pickup at Elm Creek Village, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station. The fish was caught at 2:00 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. was in the minnow tank at Elm Creek Village. The fish measures 26.5 inches long and 20.5 inches around.
All three fish entered into the Toyota ShareLunker program during the current season have come from O.H. Ivie. Wright’s catch came one day short of a year since O.H. Ivie started a remarkable run of big bass catches on January 16, 2010. The lake has now produced 14 bass weighing 13 pounds or more in the last 365 days, including the current lake record of 16.08 pounds caught by Jerry Bales of Hico on the last day of the previous season.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
The person who catches the season’s largest entry will be named Angler of the Year and will receive a prize package from G. Loomis valued at $818. The package includes a G. Loomis NRX854C jig and worm rod, a Shimano ChronarchD1007 casting reel and 150 yards of moss green Power Pro super-braid fishing line.If a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the season, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license in addition to all other prizes.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers when available, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.