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An Oklahoma angler, a Texas lake and an Alabama Rig equals a 15-pound bass

Josh Jones of Sapulpa holds the 15.4-pound largemouth bass that he caught at O.H. Ivie reservoir in Texas. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
Josh Jones of Sapulpa holds the 15.4-pound largemouth bass that he caught at O.H. Ivie reservoir in Texas. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

It's big bass time and an Oklahoma angler had a big week in his first ever visit to O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas.

Despite cold temperatures and an unprecedented winter storm, February proved to a banner month for the Teas Parks and Wildlife Department's Toyota ShareLunker program. Eight bass weighing 13 pounds or more were caught by anglers on Texas lakes during the week of Feb. 20 through 28, six from O.H. Ivie including two by Sapulpa angler Josh Jones.

O.H. Ivie Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado and Concho Rivers, 55 miles east of San Angelo, Texas, and it produces big bass.

Between Jan. 1 through March 31, anglers in Texas who reel in a bass weighing 13 or more pounds can give the fish to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for its ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program.

On. Feb. 22, Jones landed the first of his big bass, a 13.20-pound largemouth bass on O.H. Ivie.

“I was idling and saw the fish pop on my sonar and moved that direction,” Jones told Texas Parks and Wildlife officials. “I caught her suspended 15 feet down using an Alabama rig at a spot on the lake measuring at a depth of 75 feet.”

That same day he caught a 10.5-pound largemouth bass.

Then on Sunday, Jones added a 15.40-pound largemouth bass that he donated to Texas' ShareLunker program.

“I got out a little late, but within 30 minutes of being on the water I landed my second lunker of the week,” Jones said.

“It was quite entertaining when she came to the surface, we thought it had a chance to be a state record it was so big," Jones said. "The fight lasted about two minutes and she was in the boat. She was in about the same spot as the one earlier in the week using the same bait on the Alabama rig. This is the best lake in the world and I have never seen any kind of run like this before. This should be a destination on anyone’s radar.”

Jones is adept at using the Garmin LiveScope for fishing not only for bass but for crappie, as he discussed in this 2019 feature in The Oklahoman.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Toyota ShareLunker Program has been selectively breeding and stocking angler-caught largemouth bass over 13 pounds since 1986 with the goal of increasing the production of trophy-sized fish in Texas reservoirs.

Anglers can call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch until April 1. Anglers who catch and donate the 13-pound plus fish receive merchandise and a replica of their fish. Anglers are also entered into drawings at the end of the season for other prizes such as a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree.

Anglers who enter data for any catch greater than 8 pounds or 24 inches during the calendar year also receive merchandise and are entered into drawings for more prizes.

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

In addition to providing basic catch information, anglers can also provide a DNA scale sample from their lunker bass to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department researchers for genetic analysis.

Four Oklahoma lakes named top 100 fisheries

Abu Garcia is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a company this year and Wednesday released a partial list of its 100 best fisheries in the country. The company is saving the top 10 for a March 15 announcement.

From Oklahoma, Abu Garcia's list includes Lake Texoma at No. 20; Grand Lake O' the Cherokees at No. 44; Lake Eufaula at No. 61; and Broken Bow Lake at No. 79.

You can see the entire list here:


Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo opens Friday

The annual Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo opens Friday in the Pavilion Building at State Fair Park.

Show hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m on Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $10. Admission is $8 for seniors and military. Ages 10 and younger are admitted free. One ticket is good for all three days.

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday voted to extend the mask ordinance at indoor public places until April 30. The ordinance was set to expire on Friday.

Show director Steve Mass said the Oklahoma City and County Health Department is expected to provide masks to distribute to people who show up at the Expo without one.

The Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo will feature numerous vendors and seminars along with deer scoring. Since the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation held its annual "Rack Madness" virtually this year, Mass expects a large number of hunters will be bringing deer antlers to the Expo for scoring this weekend.

Mass said among them will be Lance Young of Alabama, who leased hunting property in Oklahoma last season and killed a non-typical deer that might score as high as No. 2 in the state's Cy Curtis record book.

Young's big non-typical was featured in North American Whitetail. You can read about it here:

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›