O.H. Ivie Charges Forward with Another Legacy Lunker

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ATHENS – O.H. Ivie returned to the spotlight Wednesday with its fourth Legacy Class Lunker of the 2024 Toyota ShareLunker season.

Angler Thaddeus Galey of La Center, Washington reeled in 13.19-pound ShareLunker 657 to boost the overall season total to seven Legacy Class entries from seven different anglers.

“O.H. Ivie continues to produce lunker after lunker, and this season is no exception,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “It is no wonder that out-of-state anglers are drawn to fish O.H. Ivie because of the quality bass fishery and the chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.”

The lake has produced an unprecedented run of ShareLunkers during the last four seasons, accounting for the final ShareLunker of the 2020 collection and then exploding for 12 Legacy Class Lunkers in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. It proceeded to shatter the single-season collection record for that waterbody with 15 ShareLunker’s in 2023 and the momentum hasn’t slowed down in 2024. Wednesday’s catch moved the total to 43 combined Legacy Lunkers and multiple Legend Class entries over the past four collections seasons.

Galey is the third out-of-state angler to land a Legacy Class ShareLunker in 2024 and reinforced O.H. Ivie’s standing as a destination lake for anglers around the world. On Wednesday, he searched for fish all day and the persistence paid off late in the afternoon.

“We were out in the main lake, spotted some fish, followed them around and kept casting at them,” said Galey. “We were using A-Rigs and we finally were able to get them to bite. I didn’t really feel the fish bite, but instead it seemed like I had wound into something. The line got heavy and for a second, I thought I had got the bottom. The fish then started pulling line off the reel and at that point, I realized it was a big fish. I initially thought she was a little bit smaller after she came up the first time, about 100-feet from the boat. The split second before we netted her, we realized she was a special fish.”

This was Galey’s first experience with the ShareLunker program, and it was a memorable one.

“I’m very impressed,” added Galey. “I looked online over the past year or two and said that’s a really cool program that gives back to the resource. It didn’t even dawn on me to submit the fish until we got her in the net and my guide Brady [Stanford] asked if I wanted to enter the fish into the ShareLunker program. I realized once we arrived back at the ramp and everything happening how big a deal this is. It was quite the experience.”

During the first three months of the season (Jan. 1-March 31), anglers who reel in a 13-plus pound bass can loan it to TPWD for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. These anglers can call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 through March 31, 2024.

Anglers must weigh their potential Legacy Class fish on a certified scale. A list of official weigh stations can be found on the ShareLunker Official Weigh and Holding Stations website. Galey utilized the certified scale at Concho Park Marina to weigh his catch of a lifetime.

Anglers who catch and loan one of these 13-plus pound lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event, a high-quality replica mount of their fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy, and Bass University will provide a swag pack and annual subscription. These anglers will also receive entries into two separate drawings – a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Both drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree.

The year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas.

Anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than eight pounds or 24 inches during the 2024 calendar year also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat, a one-month subscription to Bass University and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree. ShareLunker entry classes include the Bass Pro Shops Lunker Class (8 lb.+), Strike King Elite Class (10 lb.+), and Lew’s Legend Class (13 lb.+).

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 providing basic catch information, anglers have the option to send a DNA scale sample from their lunker bass to TPWD researchers for genetic analysis. Anglers who contribute a sample to the program in 2024 will receive a Lew’s baitcast reel valued at up to $200 while supplies last, with a limit of one reel per angler. Anglers who send in a genetic sample will also get a three-month subscription to Bass University. Instructions for submitting DNA samples are located on the Toyota ShareLunker website.

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.

Additional vital program support comes from Legend class category prize sponsor Lew’s, Elite class category prize sponsor Strike King, Lunker class category prize sponsor Bass Pro Shops, American Fishing Tackle Co., Bass Forecast, Bass University, Lake Fork Taxidermy and 6th Sense Fishing. For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker Program, visit facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/, https://www.instagram.com/TexasShareLunker/ or TexasSharelunker.com.