O.H. Ivie Shines Again with 11th Legacy Class ShareLunker

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ATHENS – O.H. Ivie supplied yet another massive Legacy Class ShareLunker during the home stretch of the 2024 Toyota ShareLunker collection season, which ends March 31. Keith Hall of Granbury landed 13.14-pound ShareLunker 668 on Tuesday and it became the 11th Legacy Class entry for O.H. Ivie in 2024. It also raised the statewide total to 18, matching last year’s season output.

Keith is the father of Kyle Hall, who just a few days ago landed 15.82-pound ShareLunker 665. Kyle is the only angler to catch a Legacy Class ShareLunker in three consecutive seasons. The Halls are one of two father-son duos who have made catching big bass a family tradition by reeling in ShareLunkers during the three-month collection season. Earlier in March, 11-year old Stetson Davis from Tuttle, Okla., boated 13.31-pound ShareLunker 661 at J.B. Thomas. His father, Brodey, submitted the seventh biggest largemouth bass in Texas history in 2022, when he caught 17.06-pound ShareLunker 620 at O.H. Ivie.

“Fishing is a pastime that brings people together and the ShareLunker Program is no exception,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “This season we have had the opportunity to celebrate two father and son duos that have landed fish of a lifetime.”

Keith and Kyle both arrived at O.H. Ivie on Monday and the primary goal was for Keith to land a ShareLunker.

“I fished all day with Kyle on Monday and catching a ShareLunker is definitely not as easy as it looks,” said Hall. “We targeted several big fish, but I couldn’t catch anything, so we headed back out Tuesday morning. It was freezing cold and finally at about 10:30 a.m. we spotted one, so I started working on trying to catch it. I was using a Berkley worm on a new Full Send Series rod, and it took several casts to get the cast exactly right, but suddenly, she bit. We got her in the boat, weighed her and then headed to Elm Creek Marina to put her on the certified scale.”

The catch was a personal best for Keith, who fished with Kyle last year around the same time. A year ago, he caught roughly 22 fish over 10 pounds and 12.83 pounds was his personal best prior to Tuesday’s catch. He gave up after two weeks last collection season, went home and decided to try again this year.

“We came back from the Bassmaster Classic on Saturday night and Kyle said take the next three days off and come fishing with me because I think you will have a good chance of catching one this year,” added Hall. “I said I’m going to give it three days, and a day and half into it I made it happen. It’s been a bucket list item for the last couple of years and I always thought it would be neat to have a father and son catch a ShareLunker in the same year and be at the banquet together. So, I set a goal to do it. This is probably the biggest accomplishment for me in fishing and I’ve fished all my life for the last 50 years.”

Keith’s experience with the ShareLunker program was outstanding.

“I think this is a great program and we are a part of it,” said Hall. “We own the Tri-Lakes Tackle Town and are working with the ShareLunker program to build a holding station to complement our certified scales. We are a big supporter of the ShareLunker program and would like to see all the states do what Texas does. I definitely think it’s why we are all getting to appreciate and fish for these big fish because TPWD and the ShareLunker program has done such a great job.”

O.H. Ivie is the source of the last six Legacy Lunkers, including four catches in four days this year from March 17-20. It 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. This fish moved the total to 50 combined Legacy Lunkers and multiple Legend Class entries over the past four collections seasons.

Due to limited space in the Lunker Bunker, and having accepted 10 fish from O.H. Ivie, ShareLunker 668 was not transported to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC). The fish was returned to the angler and released back into the lake. However, this Legacy Class ShareLunker submission was still processed on site by TPWD, meaning biologists met the angler to take measurements, record official weight and collect genetic samples for analysis.

TPWD will continue to transport fish from O.H. Ivie that are in the “Top 50” (>15.58 lbs.) while all others will be processed at the reservoir and released back to the angler. Each released fish will be in the ShareLunker program and recorded as a Legacy Class fish. Legacy Class ShareLunkers from other reservoirs will continue to be transported to the Lunker Bunker at TFFC until capacity is reached or the close of the season.

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.

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.

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. Hall used the certified scale at Elm Creek Marina to weigh his ShareLunker.

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.