Massive Largemouth is One of Texas’ Largest Ever Recorded
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If you have been following the bass fishing trends on O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas in recent years, seeing another massive lunker caught on those waters should come as no surprise. Last year around this time, Brodey Davis pulled in a 17.06 pound giant – the seventh biggest caught on Texas waters.
Kyle Hall then rode the momentum of a whopping 16.10 pounder on Ivie into a major victory in the MLF Toyota Series Championship in late 2022.
Now, angler Jason Conn adds his name to the ranks after landing an enormous bass in mid-February.
Prior to Monday, February 13, Conn’s largest bass was a 14.08 pounder also caught on O.H. Ivie. That previous “PB” was far from a fluke, however, as Conn estimates he has landed somewhere between sixty and eighty double-digit bass throughout his career. During his recent excursion on Ivie, which began in December, he has had around fifteen break the coveted ten-pound mark.
His 17.06-pound catch – a fish that currently occupies the #8 spot on list of largest recorded catches in Texas – was the byproduct of decades of experience and a bit of happenstance, though.
Conn told Premier Angler that he was fishing with a client and demonstrating how to use Livescope and the Alabama rig. While showing the technique, the boat was drifting backwards. Conn was actually attempting to link up with a different fish when he noticed a much larger bass on the sonar.
According to Conn, in that moment, the goal was to get his Shane’s Baits Alabama Rig over the larger fish’ face.
In the video below (note: language warning), Conn explained he took a couple steps backwards to position the bait and the fish strikes immediately. He yells “That’s a Sharelunker!” and, after a quick battle, finesses his fish into the net and rejoices.
“It Just Proves How Big a Deal Bass Fishing Really Is”
In the week after Conn’s catch, the feat has arguably been the most circulated story in the fishing community. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen photos or videos of the catch and Conn has found himself at the center of attention.
“I can’t tell you how many people have reached out,” Conn said. “You don’t ever think you’d get this much publicity over a fish.”
Conn has considered leaving his massive fish with the Toyota Sharelunker program in Texas permanently. He said estimates on the fish’s age suggest it may be 12-13 years old and the program could build a separate tank for the fish in hopes that it could possibly reach state or world-record size.
For comparison, Texas’ current state record largemouth is 18.08 pounds. It was caught on Lake Fork in 1992 by Barry St. Clair. The next five entries on Texas’ all-time list – 17.67, 17.64, 17.63, 17.29, and 17.08 – were also caught on Lake Fork. Interestingly, all six were caught between 1986 and 1992.
Brodey Davis’ 2022 and Jason Conn’s 2023 Ivie catches, however, suggest the potential for the lake to produce a potential state record fish. The remainder of Texas’ “Top 20” includes numerous other fish from Lake Fork, most of which were caught in that same 1986-1996 period.
The world record largemouth bass, however, is shared between two fish: a 1932 catch on Lake Montgomery in Georgia and a 2009 catch on Lake Biwa in Japan, both of which were 22 pounds, 4 ounces.
Conn notes that he has seen a fish he believes to be in the 20-pound range on his screen recently. The challenge now is to get her in the boat.
“At the end of the day, it’s our goal to catch the biggest bass we can,” Conn said.
Until that day, however, he is still reeling (pun somewhat intended) in the aftermath of his largest bass to date.
“I’m still on a cloud. It’s wild,” Conn said.
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