This week, two largemouth bass weighing over 13 pounds were caught in O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas, which will be used in a selective breeding program to enhance the state's fisheries.
These bass, pictured left-to-right atop this post, weighed 14.76 pounds for Dalton Smith and 13.31 pounds for Caden Cowan.
“Do not adjust your screens, you are seeing double double-digits bass!” the Toyota ShareLunker Program announced via social media on Thursday.
Legacy Lunkers are being used as spawners for stocking programs presented by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as part of the state's ShareLunker hatchery program.
There is a minimum weight requirement of 13 pounds for legacy bass. Since the 37th season of the Legacy bass program began on Jan. 1, Smith's catch is the largest of five.
On the Colorado and Concho rivers, O.H. Ivie produced four of the five catches; Jack York caught one at Lake Nacogdoches, weighing 13.51 pounds.
During a trip to Lake Nacogdoches, Jack York caught a ShareLunker Legacy bass weighing 13.51 pounds!
During the month of March, the ShareLunker Program is off to an impressive start.
The Legacy bass were collected from nine water bodies last year and spawned in hatcheries. There were 27 catches in 1995, which was a record.
Legacy bass have been caught in 75 Texas water bodies since the program began.
During their first year, largemouth bass grow 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in two years, and 16 inches (40 cm) in three years. They're usually green with dark blotches on either side of the middle. Undersides range from light green to almost white. The dorsal fin is nearly divided with nine spines on the anterior part and 12 to 13 soft rays on the posterior part. There's a lot of space between their upper jaw and their eyelids.
Life of Largemouth Bass
The largest predator in the aquatic ecosystem is the largemouth bass. The fry eat mostly zooplankton and insect larvae. When they're about two inches long, they start hunting. Fish and large invertebrates like crayfish are the only food they eat as adults. Smaller bass are preyed upon by bigger fish.
In Texas, spawning starts when the water gets to 60°F. It can happen as early as February or as late as May, depending on where you live. Nests are built by males in two to eight feet of water. Largemouth bass prefer quieter, more vegetated water than other black bass, but will nest on anything other than soft mud, including submerged logs. In Guadalupe bass, once the female lays eggs (2,000 to 43,000), the male chases her away and guards them. It takes five to ten days for the fry to hatch. After hatching, fry stay in a group or "school" near the nest under the male's watch. Average lifespan is 16 years.
Largemouth bass are usually solitary when they're adults, but they congregate in schools when they're young. Sometimes several bass will gather in a small area, but they don't interact. To catch their prey, largemouth bass hide among plants, roots, and limbs.
Where to find the Largemouth Bass
In addition to logs, rock ledges, vegetation, and man-made structures, largemouth bass seek protective cover. While they prefer clear, quiet water, they'll survive in a variety of places.
Originally, largemouth bass lived in most of what is now the United States east of the Rockies, including many rivers and lakes in Texas, and in southeastern Canada and northeastern Mexico. Because of its popularity as a game fish, it's been introduced all over the world, including Mexico and Central and South America. You can find Largemouth Bass by fishing at O C Fisher Reservoir.
There are two kinds of largemouth bass in Texas: the native Micropterus salmoides salmoides and the Florida largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus. Texas' biggest fish is the largemouth bass. A survey asked anglers to name the fish they prefer to catch in freshwater in Texas, and largemouth bass won three to one over striped bass, four to one over white bass, nearly five to one over channel catfish, and nearly ten to one over flathead catfish. Texas has hundreds of bass fishing clubs devoted to conservation and fishing because of the strong interest in largemouth bass fishing. Each year, bass fishing contributes a lot to the Texas economy, and largemouth bass are highly prized as food. Because of its popularity, it's been introduced into a lot of places where it didn't used to be. Almost all aquatic species are threatened by pollution and drought, including largemouth bass.
Taking the kids fishing in San Angelo and west Texas can feel like a daunting task. Fishing typically invokes images of a peaceful lake or a bubbling stream and the feeling of relaxation. When you add children to the mix, the scene gets a lot more interesting and, potentially, a whole lot less relaxing. Even so, taking the family fishing can be a very rewarding experience that everyone will remember for years to come. Below are five reasons why it pays to fish as a family.
Spending Time Outdoors: Fishing is a great way to encourage even very young children to get outside and have fun. Once children of any age land their first fish there is a good chance they will be "hooked" for life. Since spending more time outdoors can lead to a healthier, active lifestyle, the whole family will benefit from every trip.
Bonding: Families that play together, stay together. Fishing is a great way to spend time together while working towards a common goal. It is an excellent time to talk with older children about what is going on in their lives and younger children will enjoy the attention of being taught how to cast, bait, or reel in a fish.
Building Confidence: When a child reels in that first fish on their own, they feel a strong sense of accomplishment. No matter how big the fish is, the fact that they did it is sure to make them swell with pride. Being able to do an activity well, on their own, will help them build the confidence they need to tackle other aspects of life.
Teachable Moments: Many important lessons and skills can be taught through fishing. Making a contest of who can catch the most fish can help children learn sportsmanship. Tying knots to secure hooks and swivels can be difficult and requires persistence. However, since the fish must come to you, the most obvious lesson learned through fishing is patience.
Stories and Memories: Remarkable events are almost a guarantee when you go fishing as a family. Whether it's that Dad forgot to put the cooler in the car, one person got the most fish when no one else caught anything, or that sudden storm that rolled in just as you arrived, there are always events that will make each trip a standout occasion to be retold at family gatherings for years to come.
Fishing as a family promises a very different adventure than fishing alone but it is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. It provides an opportunity to spend time together in the fresh air, build a child's confidence, and strengthen family bonds. The memories made and lessons learned will stay with the entire family for a lifetime.
Fishing is a fantastic pastime enjoyed by families across the globe. Fresh air, blue water, and a feeling of connection with nature are some of the things to looks forward to when spending a day shore fishing with your children. If you are planning to take your children fishing for the first time, read on for a list of considerations to take when planning for a day of fishing with the kids.
You've already picked out your favorite Proline fishing gear and are counting down the days until your awesome new reel arrives - but will you be ready to go fishing, even when you've got all the gear? Many new fishermen and women do not realize that all 50 states require a license to fish in public bodies of water. Luckily, the process is easy, affordable, and can often be done online, right from the comfort of your own home.