February 24, 2022
Oklahoma bass angler Josh Jones might be looking for real estate to purchase someday soon along the shorelines of Texas' red-hot O.H. Ivie Reservoir.
Why is that? Because the Sapulpa, Okla., resident not only has already caught two ShareLunker largemouth bass weighing over 14 pounds this season at the reservoir located about an hour east of San Angelo. He also had a virtual front-row seat as a huge lake record was caught last week, and even live-streamed the catch on Facebook.
Hundreds watched online as a friend, Brodey Davis, weighed a 17.06-pound largemouth that is certain to be an Ivie record and one of the largest bass ever caught in Texas. It is the largest bass caught in Texas since the state record (18.18 pounds; Lake Fork) was set 30 years ago.
Cold-Water Bass Hot at O.H. Ivie
On Friday, after another winter storm and frigid arctic weather gripped the Lone Star State, Jones was nearby when a friend and previous client from Oklahoma came to the lake to take advantage of O.H. Ivie's famed cold-water, big-bass action. If the name of that 19,149-acre reservoir on the Colorado and Concho rivers sounds familiar, it should be, since it has produced at least seven ShareLunker catches (13 pounds or more) this year and more than a dozen in the past 12 months.
The 17.06-pounder is expected be official since it took place at a TPWD weigh-in and holding facility on the lake.
How big is the Friday bass from O.H. Ivie? At that weight, it would fall barely a pound below the current state record and rank No. 6 all-time in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department "Top 50 Largemouth Bass" listings. It will be the seventh bass over 17 pounds caught in Lone Star State history, and the first fish recorded above that weight since Barry St. Clair set the current state record with an 18.18-pound Lake Fork largemouth back on Jan. 24, 1992.
"This is the biggest bass I've ever seen," Jones said in his Facebook Live video that was shared nearly 400 times in the first 45 minutes it was up. Almost instantly, comments came pouring in, numbering more than 800. "I was just as excited as I would have been if I had caught it. I was shaking while I was talking to him on the phone," Jones added.
When the fish was weighed, the crowd in the lakeside tackle shop went crazy. And despite his experience with double-digit bass in recent months, so did Jones.
"Seventeen freaking pounds," exclaimed Jones, before adding, "You just caught a 17-pounder!"
Jones has become an increasingly familiar figure in Texas bass-fishing circles over the last couple of years as he uses his expertise in fish-finding Live Scope electronics to target and catch double-digit lunkers at Ivie. Others have followed his lead as Ivie has become arguably the hottest big-bass lake in the world.
In fact, Jones is the first angler in Texas fishing history to submit four Legacy Class ShareLunkers to the long-running Texas Parks and Wildlife Department program. He did so just days ago with a 14.79-pound bass from Ivie, his second of the season after a 14.13-pounder landed in late January. This season's two ShareLunkers join his two from a year ago, along with the numerous double-digit fish below 13 pounds that he has caught in recent months.
As Jones' fishing star power has risen, the Texas Parks and Wildlife has noticed. In a Facebook post from the Toyota ShareLunker Program page on Wednesday, the TPWD program said "Congratulations, Josh and thank you for your contributions to the future of Texas bass fishing. SL619 is the 11th Legacy Class fish collected this season."
O.H. Ivie's star power is also on the rise as the lake has now produced seven ShareLunkers in 2022 to go along with 12 a year ago. For those keeping tabs, that's 19 ShareLunkers pulled from Ivie over the past two seasons. The current O.H. Ivie lake record, a 16.40-pounder, was caught on Feb. 19, 2021 by angler Joe McKay.