Texas fisherman reels in one of the heaviest fish to hit the scales

Jason Conn, of Anna, landed 17.03-pound ShareLunker 642
Jason Conn, of Anna, landed 17.03-pound ShareLunker 642(Texas Parks and Wildlife)
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 1:36 PM CST
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SAN ANGELO, Texas (KWTX) - A Texas man caught one of the biggest fish to hit the scales in Texas history.

Jason Conn, of Anna, landed a 17.03-pound ShareLunker 642 while at O.H. Ivie near San Angelo, said Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The catch was donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Toyota ShareLunker program, and is now the sixth-heaviest ShareLunker donated to the program.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Conn was guiding a trip and instructing a client at the front of the boat when he spotted a big fish. That particular fish didn’t take the bait, but as they were drifting backwards in the boat, Conn saw it under the trolling motor. He walked back to get into position and placed the bait.

“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.”

“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.”

The year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas. In addition to Legacy Class (13-plus pounds between January and March), ShareLunker entry classes include the Lunker Class (8-plus pounds), Elite Class (10-plus pounds), and Legend Class (13-plus pounds from April to December).