Anyone wondering when the next huge bass would be produced in West Texas can stop speculating.
On Sunday (March 25), Lake O.H. Ivie, which had a hot streak the past two seasons, produced its first entry of the current ShareLunker season.
Stacy Brookings of Midland was fishing O.H. Ivie with a spinner bait when a 13.22-pound bass ate it in 8 feet of water. The fish, now ShareLunker 535, was 26.5 inches long and 20 inches in girth.
O.H. Ivie now ranks number 3 in total number of ShareLunkers produced, with 24. Lake Austin ranks sixth with 17.
Other reservoirs that have produced double-digit numbers of ShareLunker entries include Lake Fork with 249; Alan Henry, 25; Sam Rayburn, 23; Falcon, 19; Conroe, 16; Choke Canyon, 13; and Amistad, 12.
In other ShareLunker developments, Lake Austin produced two more qualifying bass, bringing its season total to five — both caught on March 21.
Corey Johnson of Cedar Park started the latest big-bass flurry shortly after noon with a 13.18-pound fish from Lake Austin. It was caught on a white jig in 4 to 5 feet of water. The fish was 26.5 inches long and 20 inches in girth. It is ShareLunker 533.
Just after 6 p.m. that same day Charles Whited of San Marcos hooked ShareLunker 534, a 13.59-pounder in Lake Austin with a Senko in 8 feet of water.
Whited caught his fish in a Texas Tournament Zone tournament. The fish was 26.125 inches long and 20 inches in girth.
DNA testing at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department laboratory at the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos showed that Whited’s fish was an “intergrade,” a mixture of Florida and northern largemouth bass.
These fish are returned to the lake where caught as soon as possible, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which administers the ShareLunker program.
But, while this fish won’t be used for breeding pure Florida bass at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Whited still gets all the benefits of the ShareLunker program, including a replica of his catch.
His fish was returned on March 25 to Lake Austin March.
Test results on the other two fish were not yet available Monday.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the ShareLunker program by calling the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code.