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HOOKED ON EAST TEXAS: Lake Fork vs. O.H. Ivie Lake — The great lake debate

Which lake is the GOAT of Texas?

TYLER, Texas — Michael Jordan or Lebron James...Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes...Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods? Who are the GOATS?

We're taking that debate to the Texas Lakes. Is it Lake Fork or the up-and-coming challenger, O.H. Ivie? Which lake is the greatest of all time?

Let's start this story off by asking an expert. Natalie Goldstrohm is the Sharelunker program coordinator with Texas Parks and Wildlife

"Oh, Gosh, that’s a hard one," Goldstrohm said.

Numbers don’t lie. Numbers define greatness! At this moment, the numbers coming out of O.H. Ivie are defining its greatness. 

In February, fishing guide Jason Conn caught a 17-pound bass at O.H. Ivie. It’s the eighth biggest bass in Texas history. It's one of 13 Legacy class ShareLunkers caught on O.H. Ivie this year. No other lake in Texas comes close.

So, do we have a new king of largemouth bass in Texas? 

“Right now, it’s the lake that’s producing the highest number of legacy-class ShareLunkers," said Goldstrohm. "It’s hard to compare it to a Lake Fork, that has had over 200 legacy class ShareLunker bass come out of it.” 

“Lake Fork is my favorite lake, and it always will be," Conn said. "I did my personal best, a 17-pounder at Ivie. I’m not going to take it away from that. Ivie is the best bass lake in the world right now, but Fork is the best bass lake in the nation based on records.” 

Fork’s reputation is why Major League Fishing and the Bassmaster’s Elite series keep coming back. The Bassmaster Elite Series made a stop at Fork last spring.

We asked Eric Lopez, the director of events, why Bassmaster keeps coming back to Fork?

“Lake Fork is known worldwide," Lopez said. "We hold events all over the country. We have media like yourself come in from all over the world everyone always talks about Lake Fork.” 

And whether they’re first timers, novice anglers or pros -- anyone who’s ever wanted a chance to catch a Sharelunker tries their luck on Lake Fork. 

“Every angler that’s out there wants to be here, whether you’re a novice, read about it or you’re a pro earning top dollar, you want to be here,” Lopez said. 

Remember this year's ShareLunker season runs through the end of March. Anglers who reel in a 13-plus pound bass can loan it to Texas Parks and Wildlife for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program.

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