ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – A man just secured his spot as catching one of the largest Largemouth Bass in Texas history with the Toyota ShareLunker Program.

Jason Conn, a professional bass fisherman and a Lake Fork guide, caught a 17.03-pound Largemouth Bass from O.H. Ivie, making it one of the largest to hit the scales in Texas history.

Conn’s bass is considered a Legacy Class Lunker with the Toyota ShareLunker Program through the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), which is the highest class they offer.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, this is the second year in a row that O.H. Ivie has had a fish over 17 pounds and is only four entries away from matching its 2021 and 2022 totals with almost half of the season still remaining.

Conn explained the moments leading up to catching the giant bass and his thoughts right after securing the fish.

“The bait went right over her head and she just smoked it,” said Conn. “She comes out of the water with the Alabama Rig hanging out of her mouth and she digs back down. I’m screaming for them to grab the net and once we got her in the net, I’m freaking out, hugging one of the clients while the other is hanging over the boat with the fish in the net. I finally got it together and we went over to pick her up. It was the biggest bass I’ve ever seen or caught.”

After getting the largemouth bass on the boat, Conn made his way to Elm Creek to get an official weigh-in of the fish and donated it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff for the ShareLunker program.

“This is an unbelievable feeling,” said Conn. “I’ve been bass fishing my entire life and I know this fish I caught is the result of the ShareLunker program. Watching what has been going on over the last couple of years with the program has been incredible. I know they are going to take good care of the fish. Hopefully she produces a lot of offspring that we can put all over the state.”

Fisherman who catch a fish that weighs 13 pounds or more during the first three months of the fishing season, can donate it to the TPWD and earn legacy status. Once one earns legacy status they receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat and an entry in the end of the year Grand Prize drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and annual fishing license.

The fish is the eighth heaviest Texas Largemouth bass caught in the state’s history.

For a full list of of the Toyota ShareLunker Program archives, visit this link.