Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

AUSTIN – O.H. Ivie Lake claimed the first Legacy Class largemouth bass of the 2023 Toyota ShareLunker collection season Sunday for the second consecutive year. Tom Nilssen of New Braunfels landed ShareLunker 633, which registered at 13.52 pounds on the scale. O.H. Ivie has enjoyed a tremendous run of Lunkers, boasting 12 in each of the last two seasons.

“In the past two years, O.H. Ivie has been a top producer of ShareLunker bass, so it is not surprising the first Legacy Class Lunker of 2023 was caught in this reservoir,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker coordinator. “This catch was a great way to start off the season — we are very grateful that Mr. Nilssen decided to loan his fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program. With the help of anglers like Mr. Nilssen loaning their catches to TPWD, we can continue growing bigger, better bass for future generations.”

Nilssen arrived at O.H. Ivie Thursday to fish and was participating in a club tournament Sunday when he reeled in his Lunker. Nilssen nearly caught a big fish Friday, but he didn’t miss on Sunday when the opportunity presented itself again. Nilssen started out the day fishing in one location with a ridge of threes in a depth of 43 feet but wasn’t having any success. He changed tactics after 30 minutes — that’s when the bite happened.

“I decided I needed to try something different, so I moved up to the second point — on the second cast I hooked the fish using a jerkbait,” said Nilssen. “She was in about eight feet of water, and I had dropped the bait down to about four feet. The fish ate the bait in between some salt cedars and the battle began. I eventually got her in the boat, into the livewell and immediately transported her to the weigh-in site.”

Once the official weight was registered, Nilssen made the call to report his catch to the Toyota ShareLunker program.

“Natalie [Goldstrohm] did a great job of walking me through the submission process over the phone,” Nilssen said. “It felt a little daunting in the beginning, but it was an easy process and an excellent experience. The Toyota ShareLunker program is awesome. I wish other states would do something similar. The proof is in the pudding with what TPWD has been able to accomplish with this program over the years. It’s pretty amazing.”

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