Video Recounts History of First ShareLunker, a Fish Called Ethel

From the Texas Parks & Wildlife:

ATHENS—A seven-minute video about the most famous largemouth bass ever caught in Texas is now available for viewing on YouTube.

"The Legend of Ethel" tells the story of how a 17.67-pound bass caught in November 1986 became the first fish entered into Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's ShareLunker Program and went on to become the featured attraction at the original Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri.

Ethel became the "poster fish" for catch-and-release fishing and was viewed by an estimated 20 million people before her death in 1994.

Her memorial service was attended by 1,500 people and made national news.

The video includes interviews with Mark Stevenson, the angler who caught Ethel; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists who cared for the fish; and Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. It features video of Ethel in the aquarium in Springfield. It may be viewed at

An obituary of Ethel may be seen at


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