AUSTIN — O-M-G is right, O.H. Ivie, about an hour east of San Angelo, has produced the fourth and final Toyota ShareLunker “Legacy Class” entry over 13 pounds during the final weekend of the 2020 donation season March 29.
Angler James Maupin from Cypress had scheduled a trip to Lake Amistad with his dad, but it had to be cancelled. Instead the pair ventured to O.H. Ivie where Maupin caught ShareLunker 585 on a Texas rig in seven feet of water. The Legacy Class ShareLunker weighed in at 13.15 pounds, 27 inches in length and 20 inches in girth.
“We go to Lake Amistad every year and spend 10 days fishing,” said Maupin. “We did pretty well the first day but when we got back to the boat ramp, we found out they shut down the lake because of COVID-19, so we packed up and headed to the nearest lake- O.H. Ivie.”
After a nearly four-hour drive, Maupin had arrived on the shores of O.H. Ivie for the first time ever. Maupin and his dad fished the lake for about three days and on the last day of his trip he reeled in the catch of a lifetime.
“I thought it could’ve been a ShareLunker so we weighed her, and she was a little over 13 pounds,” said Maupin. “I put her in the live well and called the marina immediately. They had an official scale, so we got her weighed and measured, and the ShareLunker guys came out to come get her.”
Kyle Brookshear, who manages the ShareLunker program for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the team were hoping another bass from O.H. Ivie would find its way back into the program.
“We have been patiently waiting for O.H. Ivie to produce another ShareLunker Legacy Class bass and are extremely excited to receive this fish to cap off the collection season,” said Brookshear. “The lake produced multiple bass weighing more than 13 pounds from 2010-2012. That was also the last time their selectively bred offspring were stocked into the reservoir. There is good probability that this fish is one of those offspring stocked 8-10 years ago.”
Genetic analysis is currently underway to determine if direct lineage to those lunkers exists.
“It takes a strong partnership between the anglers and the agency to help produce results like these in Texas public waters,” said Brookshear. “We are thankful to the anglers, like James, for loaning these world class size bass to our selective breeding program so that we can continue producing bigger, better bass to stock in Texas lakes.”
Sharelunker 585 is the fourth and final entry of the Toyota ShareLunker “Legacy Class” donation season that ended March 31. His fish will be a member of the TPWD selective breeding program and help spawn generations of bass for Texans.
“I think [the program] is fantastic,” said Maupin. “It’s my passion to be out there bass fishing. Without the ShareLunker program, I probably would have never caught her. I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter and she loves to fish too, so hopefully that offspring will be caught by her one of these days. That’s pretty cool.”
The other “Legacy Class” entries caught from public water in Texas this year include ShareLunker 584, a 13.28 pound bass caught by Blake Cockrell on Lake Alan Henry on March 1; ShareLunker 583, a 15.34 pound bass reeled in from Lake Nacogdoches Feb. 29; and ShareLunker 582, the second a 14.36 pound bass also caught by Blake Cockrell on Lake Alan Henry.
Every angler who loaned a 13 pound or larger “Legacy Class” bass to the Toyota ShareLunker program during the spawning period Jan. 1 to March 31 will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items, a 13lb+ Legacy Class decal, VIP access to awards programming at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a replica of their fish, and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license. These anglers will also be entered into the “Legacy Class” Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license at the end of the spawning period. TPWD will officially announce the drawing winner at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest at Lake Fork June 5-9.
Although the “Legacy Class” donation season has ended, anglers can still enter catch data on their 8 pound, or 24” or larger largemouth bass into the Toyota ShareLunker Program through Dec. 31. These anglers will receive recognition, a catch kit and will be eligible to win prizes. Anglers are encouraged to download the Toyota ShareLunker free mobile app before they go fishing to be ready to enter data as soon as they catch their lunker. Entries can be made on the app or online at texassharelunker.com/app.
Each angler who enters an 8 pound or 24 inches and larger lunker bass on the mobile app or website will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license. Anglers will also receive a vehicle decal to display their achievement – “Lunker” class for bass at least 8 pounds or 24 inches, “Elite” class for bass 10 to 12.99 pounds, and “Legend” class for bass at least 13 pounds.
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 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
Prize donors Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, Stanley Jigs and American Fishing Tackle Co. also provide additional support for this program.
For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker Program and to view photos of all of the 13-pound-plus largemouth bass caught this season, visit https://www.facebook.com/ShareLunkerprogram or https://texassharelunker.com/.