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Toyota ShareLunker 511 Thaws Winter’s Grip on O.H. Ivie
ATHENS—O.H. Ivie Reservoir moved into striking distance of becoming the second-highest producer of 13-pound-plus bass with the catch of Toyota ShareLunker 511 on February 13.
Susan Dixon of Hawley, Texas, who spent her honeymoon on the lake, reeled in the 13.3-pound bass about 5:30 p.m. She was fishing with O.H. Ivie guide and friend Jeff Walker. “We were fishing a spot we hadn’t fished in a long time,” she said. “I was throwing a jig, and I was fixing to pull it in. She bit it on the way up.”
Dixon was fishing in 15 feet of 44-degree water, and the fish did not pull hard at first. “But the more she pulled, the better it got,” Dixon said. “I finally got her to where I saw her, and I couldn’t believe it. It was just unreal. I’ve caught big fish before, but this was the ultimate. It was a wonderful feeling.”
Dixon immediately took the fish to Elm Creek Village, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station. After it was weighed she and Walker resumed fishing. “It’s been over a year since I caught a double-digit fish,” she said. “I know for a lot of people that’s a big deal, but on Ivie, it’s not that uncommon. Ivie is a wonderful place. I wish we could keep it a secret, but it’s not a secret anymore.”
It’s also no secret that Dixon’s catch is ShareLunker number 21 from the lake, which now trails only Lakes Fork, Sam Rayburn and Alan Henry in number of ShareLunkers produced. Ivie appears poised to surpass both Sam Rayburn’s 23 fish and Alan Henry’s 25 before the current season is over April 30. The number of big bass catches normally peaks in March, and last year O.H. Ivie produced two ShareLunkers on the final day of the season, including the current lake record of 16.08 pounds.
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.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations 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.
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