Dalton Smith has an absolutely epic day on O.H. Ivie Lake to close out 2022. On December 28, Smith and his buddy Cole Logsdon made a last-minute trip to the famed largemouth bass fishing lake in central Texas. “My best friend and I decided to come down here after we had an Arkansas duck hunting trip get canceled,” Smith told Field & Stream in an interview. “We showed up after driving 15 hours straight from Kentucky and rode around on the lake. The next day, we went out and had a really good day, and [Logsdon] boated an 11-pound, 11-ounce bass.”
But the next day, December 30, would prove even better. The fishing was hot in the morning, but Smith and Logsdon weren’t catching anything over 5 pounds. They decided to head to a spot in the middle of lake—and immediately got into bigger fish. Smith was fishing a 3/8-ounce jighead paired with a 2.7 Pro Shad Divine Swimbait by Sixth Sense.
“We were using forward-facing sonar, and I missed a fish that we guessed was over 10 pounds, he says. “I never felt it bite, but I felt it spit the bait out. So, the next time I thought I might have one on, I just decided I would set the hook.”
And that’s exactly what he did—on the bass of a lifetime. “I had never hooked a bass that was remotely that big. The fish was giant,” he says. “She kept trying to get into a big tree we saw on the livescope. I couldn’t stop her; She was just so powerful.”
Smith was using an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader with a 20-pound braid mainline. The big bass got snagged in the submerged tree but stayed on the line. “We didn’t know what to do and just sat there, trying to wait her out,” explains Smith.
On the livescope, they saw the bass rising toward the surface. Then Smith and Logsdon looked into the water and saw her white belly. They cleared all the rods off the front of the boat, drove closer to it, and Logsdon managed to net the fish and cut the line. “I was freaking out,” says Smith.
The duo motored to Elm Creek R.V. and Campground’s bait and tackle shop and weighed the fish. It came in at a whopping 14.69 pounds. Then, they returned to the lake and released the big bass before taking a couple more casts. Soon, fortune struck again. Smith hooked into another massive bass. This time, he fought it in open water and boated it quickly. The second bass tipped the scales at 14.27 pounds. Both of the bass were recognized by Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Toyota ShareLunker program.
Afterward, Smith and Logsdon drove home to Kentucky to celebrate the New Year. For Smith, the epic day on the water proved life-changing—literally. Six days after boating those fish, Smith, who had guided before on Dale Hollow Reservoir, packed up his stuff and moved down to O.H. Ivie to guide there.
“I’ve never experienced adrenaline like that before in my life,” he says of the outing. “It honestly took a week to feel normal again. My appetite was messed up. My stomach was messed up. Reality finally sank in and Lord willing, I will have a day like that again, but I know it just doesn’t happen very often.”
“I’ve gotten to fish some of the bass fishing lakes in the country, but there is nowhere in the country where you can cast to as many 10-pounders as you can at O.H. Ivie,” he adds. “It was pretty surreal how everything worked out. I just want to note that the Lord has been good to me.”