The 13.59-pound bass was the eighteenth ShareLunker from the lake and was caught by 15-year-old Nathan Peña-Alfaro of Benbrook. The sophomore at Western Hills High School was fishing in 14 feet of 43-degree water with a live sunfish.
The catch strengthens O.H. Ivie’s hold on fourth place among all-time producers of big bass in Texas, ranking ahead of such better-known lakes as Amistad (12 ShareLunkers), Falcon (11), Choke Canyon (13) and Conroe (16).
What is amazing about O.H. Ivie is that it has produced 13 of its 18 ShareLunkers since January 16, 2010. Only Lakes Fork (246 fish), Alan Henry (25) and Sam Rayburn (23) have had more entries into the ShareLunker program.
The big fish gave Peña-Alfaro a battle to remember. “I feel this tug, and I think I’m stuck, because it was just slowly moving with it,” he said. “All of a sudden my rod tip just went straight down, and I started reeling and set the hook. At first we thought it was just a nice fish, a nine-pounder or eight-pounder. She tail-danced probably 30 feet away, and we didn’t think it was that big. Then she came in to about 20 feet away and tail-danced again, and we realized the size she was. She dove under the boat, and my pole was hitting the boat and going under the boat.”
Peña-Alfaro’s stepfather netted the fish, and once she was in the boat they realized what they had. “I was speechless,” Peña-Alfaro said, “I was just shaking. But there was a lot of yelling and high-fives.”
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on http://www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram. An article about O.H. Ivie and other hot bass lakes in Texas will appear in the February 2011 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.