O.H. Ivie Doubles Down with Pair of ShareLunkers
ATHENS – O.H. Ivie Reservoir continued its reign as a top largemouth bass lake in the world when it produced not one but two Legacy Class ShareLunkers. The entries were the second and third overall of the 2024 Toyota ShareLunker collection season following J.B. Thomas Reservoir’s first-ever Legacy Class lunker last Wednesday.
Lane Olson of Mineola landed 13.26-pound ShareLunker 652, followed shortly after that by Bobby Waldon, also of Mineola, with 14.75-pound ShareLunker 653. O.H. Ivie has accounted for 41 Legacy Class ShareLunkers over the past four collection seasons, including 15 in 2023 alone.
“Texas is one of the few states where multiple anglers can catch trophy largemouth bass at a single reservoir,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker coordinator. “The Toyota ShareLunker response team was already on the road to pick up ShareLunker 652 from O.H. Ivie when I received a call about another ShareLunker caught from the same reservoir. It is the second year in a row that O.H. Ivie has produced two Legacy Class ShareLunkers in one day during the collection season.”
Olson picked up his friend at the Dallas airport Sunday afternoon and headed to O.H. Ivie to fish the following day. They ate breakfast and headed out on the water, but according to Olson, the fishing was challenging initially.
“We caught a couple of smaller fish, and around 3:30 pm. I was almost ready to go home,” said Olson. “Then I saw one sitting on the top of a tree, and it looked right and ready to eat. I cast my Alabama rig over there, and she turned on it hard. As soon as I set the hook, I knew it was a big fish, but not that big. I figured it might be an eight-pounder from how it looked on the scope. We got it up to the boat, netted it, and looked at each other in awe. I weighed the fish, and the scale said it was over 13 pounds, so we headed straight to Elm Creek to get a weight on the certified scale.”
When they registered the official weight, Olson immediately called the ShareLunker program to begin the entry process. The fish also surpassed his previous personal best: a 10.5-pound largemouth bass at Lake Fork.
“I spoke with Natalie; she was super-helpful and great to work with, along with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division staff from the San Angelo District who arrived to get the fish,” added Olson. “The ShareLunker program is awesome, and it’s greatly impacted lakes throughout the state. I’m originally from Oregon, and we don’t have the largemouth bass fishing opportunities Texas offers.”
Waldon arrived at O.H. Ivie with his wife on January 12 and fished until the 16th during the freeze. He left and then returned to fish over three more days.
“The fishing has been tough at O.H. Ivie this winter. I fished the lake hard during the last three days,” said Waldon. “I pulled up on rocks in about 20 feet of water and knew the fish were there. I used a spinning rod with a 10-pound test leader and a 6th Sense Fishing 106DD jerk bait. I let the bait sink until about five feet off the bottom. I made two pulls, and she came up and crushed it on the third.”
Waldon’s persistence and hard work paid off with the catch of a lifetime.
“It seemed like an eternity fighting her, but I wore her down and netted her,” added Waldon. “As soon as she hit the bottom of the boat, I thanked God and my wife for allowing me the opportunity to do what I love. The ShareLunker program and this experience are amazing. Everyone associated with this program is top-notch.”
During the season’s first three months, January 1 through March 31, anglers who reel in a 13-plus pound bass can loan it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 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 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 you reel in a lunker, anglers must 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 can 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 Lew’s bait cast 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 on the Toyota ShareLunker website.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is partly made possible by Toyota’s generous sponsorship. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and TPWD, providing significant funding for various 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 the Toyota ShareLunker Program updates, visit facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/, https://www.instagram.com/TexasShareLunker/ or TexasSharelunker.com.