SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — O.H. Ivie reached the double-digit mark for Legacy Class Lunkers in the 2023 Toyota ShareLunker collection season Friday and Sunday with two more massive largemouth bass.
The lake boosted its total to 11 Legacy Class fish and increased the overall 2023 collection season tally to 13. O.H. Ivie claimed two of the three entries in January with nine so far in February. The fishery is only one entry away from matching its 2021 and 2022 collection season totals of 12 with roughly a month to go in the collection season.
Angler Nolan Sprengeler of Plymouth, Minnesota, hauled in 13.89-pound ShareLunker 644 Friday, followed by Brandon Vaughan of Jacksboro with 14.5-pound ShareLunker 645 on Sunday.
For the first time in the 2023 collection season, ShareLunker 644 is a recaptured lunker from the 2021 collection season and now has two ShareLunker designations. Jim Smith of Weatherford originally caught the fish on March 14, 2021, and weighed in at 14.42 pounds to become ShareLunker 601.
“A common question asked is if any of these Lunkers from O.H. Ivie have been recaptures — we know that ShareLunker 644 was entered into the Toyota ShareLunker Program back in the 2021 season since she had a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “Having a recaptured Lunker tells us a few important things about the survival and growth of these Lunkers over time.”
Sprengeler is the third angler this season who crossed multiple states to get to O.H. Ivie and land a Legacy Lunker. He has followed the ShareLunker program on social media for the last couple of years and was excited to experience the program for himself.
“A couple of days after meeting with Josh, we stumbled upon a pack of big fish,” said Sprengeler. “I pitched in there and one of the big ones came out of the group and grabbed the swim bait. The fish came in pretty easy, but when my friend scooped it up in the net, I had never seen a largemouth bass that big before. I weighed her on my hand scale. When we realized she was over 13 pounds, we called up Elm Creek and brought her in for an official weigh-in.”
Vaughan arrived at O.H. Ivie Friday morning. After traveling across the lake, the engine blew out on his boat. Vaughan didn’t let the setback stop him and continued to fish using his trolling motor. His persistence paid off on Sunday.
“This morning, my son went fishing with me and we put in at the Concho, where we began trolling around,” said Vaughan. “We saw a fish so I casted on it and it didn’t act interested. When I was reeling in my line, another one came up from the bottom and she hit the bait maybe five feet in front of the boat. I was out there just trolling around with my son having a great time and got a catch of a lifetime.”
Vaughan had been hunting for a ShareLunker for four years and caught a 13.68-pound fish in October. He immediately got the process rolling to submit this Legacy Class fish.
“I had to call one of my friends to come tow me back to the boat ramp, but we made it up there and got the fish submitted,” said Vaughan. “It was a cool experience and something Texas does that’s different, so it’s special to be able to get a ShareLunker.”
During the first three months of the season (January through March), 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.
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.