Texas does interesting work to enhance the state’s largemouth bass fishing. The Toyota ShareLunker program is designed to not only highlight big bass caught in Texas, it’s used to promulgate the genetics of the largest individual fish. Each spring, Texas Parks and Wildlife “borrows” giant bass caught by anglers in order to selectively breed them before releasing them and their offspring into waters around the state. The idea is to spread the genes that grow huge bass.
Four “Legacy Class” entries heavier than 13 pounds were caught for breeding during the 2020 “donation” season. Angler James Maupin, from Cypress, Texas, caught the final one of the season on March 29. His 27-inch long, 13.15-pound monster fell for a Texas rig at O.H. Ivie, a 20,000-acre reservoir of the Colorado River in central Texas.
Maupin was set for an annual trip to fish Lake Amistad with his dad, but they were forced to change plans when the Mexican border lake was shut down due to COVID-19. They decided on a first-time trip to O.H. Ivie.
Kyle Brookshear, who manages the ShareLunker program said they were hoping another bass from O.H. Ivie would find its way 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.”
The other “Legacy Class” entries caught from public water in Texas this year include a 13.28-pound bass and a 14.36-pounder both caught by Blake Cockrell on Lake Alan Henry, and a 15.34-pound bass from Lake Nacogdoches.