O.H. Ivie Still Full Speed Ahead with 9th Legacy Lunker

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ATHENS – O.H. Ivie added another Legacy Class Lunker to its 2023 Toyota ShareLunker collection season resume on Friday afternoon as the lake continues to produce massive largemouth bass at a record pace. Angler Matthew Carlson reeled in 13.29-pound ShareLunker 643 to become the ninth angler to submit a fish from O.H. Ivie this season. His catch also boosted the overall season total to 11 Legacy Class fish.

“O.H. Ivie Lake is one of the best bass fishing locations in the nation” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “This reservoir continues to produce Lunker after Lunker. It is no surprise that Matthew [Carlson] picked this spot for a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.”

O.H. Ivie’s national prominence brought Carlson to Texas from Johnstown, Colorado in search of a Legacy Class Lunker. Yah-Tsheng Moua of Spokane, Washington landed his catch of a lifetime with ShareLunker 639 on Feb. 5. O.H. Ivie has become a destination fishery for anglers throughout the country.

Carlson was fishing with Dalton Smith, the owner of 14.76-pound ShareLunker 636 and two Legend Class Lunkers. Carlson and Smith were about to break for lunch, but decided to try one more spot before heading in.

“It had been kind of a slow morning fishing so when we get to the spot, Dalton [Smith] says man that’s a ShareLunker if you can get it to bite,” said Carlson. “He let me know where to cast and I dropped the lure in the right spot. The fish went up to take it and it was incredible from that point on.”

Carlson got the ball rolling to submit his new personal best catch to the Toyota ShareLunker program. He had caught three largemouth bass in the 10-pound range but none in the teens prior to Friday.

“This whole ShareLunker program has been quite the experience,” said Carlson. “Coming from Colorado, the way Texas has managed this program has been exceptional. The proof is in the pudding with everything that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is doing with the ShareLunker program. If more people would adopt this, we could share this kind of fishing nationwide. TPWD staff and everyone involved did an outstanding job and making sure the fish was taken care of was the top priority.”

O.H. Ivie claimed two of the three entries in January and now boasts seven so far in February. The fishery is only three entries away from matching its 2021 and 2022 collection season totals of 12 with roughly half the season remaining. Since January 2021, O.H. Ivie has generated a combined total of 33 Legacy fish and our data indicate none are recaptures from previous seasons, but some genetics data are still pending.

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 a 13-plus pound Lunker 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 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.