- Fishing and auto racing are normally thought of as “boy’s clubs,” but Lea Anne Powell is rewriting those outdated rules in both sports.
- Powell was fishing with Dalton Smith on O.H. Ivie Lake in central Texas when she reeled in a record largemouth bass.
- The fish registered a whopping 12 pounds on the official scale.
Lea Anne Powell is an angler, race car driver, and model. Now she can add another title to her resume… largemouth bass world record holder. Powell caught a bass on a Texas lake that just landed her in the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record book.
Catching a Record Bass
On February 28, Powell was fishing with Dalton Smith on O.H. Ivie Lake in central Texas. Smith is a professional fishing guide on the lake and a friend of Powell.
As soon as Powell hooked this lunker largemouth bass, both she and Smith knew it was a special fish. Powell’s spinning reel was filled with a 10-pound test fishing line. The monster bass started stripping line from the reel, and Powell had to adjust the drag the entire time she fought the fish. In the end, she brought the behemoth into the boat, and the duo immediately sped off for a local RV park. They knew there was an IGFA-certified scale there. The fish registered a whopping 12 pounds on the official scale.
Certifying a World Record
After the weight was recorded on the certified scale, Powell contacted IGFA to see if the fish might be a record-breaker. The process of setting a world fishing record is much more involved than simply catching the fish, as Powell would soon discover.
She was asked to fill out multiple forms, send pictures of the fish, and even mail a sample of the fishing line that was on her reel when she landed the bass. After that, it was a waiting game as multiple international panels examined the evidence. Powell didn’t exactly wait patiently, though. She called IGFA persistently to inquire about the status of her potential record. Powell told KETK that she had been “driving them insane by calling” repeatedly. Her persistence was eventually rewarded.
Powell sent all the information to IGFA in March. Finally, on June 23, she was notified that her record-breaking largemouth bass had been certified. She now holds the largemouth bass world record for the 12-pound line class in the women’s category. Although the Seaguar line she was using is marketed as a 10-pound test, it actually tests up to 12 pounds. Since IGFA does not have a 10-pound line category, her record is listed in the 12-pound line class.
The Lone Star State is fast becoming a largemouth bass fishing Mecca. The state’s warm weather allows the bass to feed all year rather than entering a torpor state during the winter as they do in more northern locations. This means Texas bass can grow to monstrous sizes. Texas lakes occupy several spots in the IGFA largemouth bass world records.
Bassmaster recently named O.H. Ivie Lake, where Powell caught her record-setting bass, as the best bass lake in the United States. The organization reported that 15 legacy class bass (fish weighing 13 pounds or more) were caught in the lake from January to March 2023. Will more world-record bass be caught in these waters? Don’t bet against it. This lake is a factory for monster bass.
Powell proudly calls herself an “avid lady-angler” on her website. Fishing and auto racing are normally thought of as “boy’s clubs,” but she is rewriting those outdated rules in both sports.
Powell hopes to pave the way for more women to start fishing. She said, “I’ve had so much discouragement being a lady angler, and I don’t let that stop me. For every ‘no’ I’m getting told and every word of discouragement, it pushes me and drives me to go harder and go faster and deeper into my tournaments. You can’t make a record, you can’t catch a fish unless you have a line in the water…Do what you can to not let any negativity get you down. Turn those negatives into positives and let them motivate you to get out there and fish and just catch ’em up!”
The Solace of Fishing
Powell lost both of her parents in 2015. Both were avid anglers, and Powell said that she found peace when she went fishing after they passed away. When she moved to the Middle East for her racing career, some friends invited her to go fishing with them. Since then, she has fished for saltwater and freshwater fish in many parts of the world. While that February fishing trip in Texas produced a world record, fishing is about more than that, as Powell and any other angler can attest. Fishing offers a type of solace and peace that simply isn’t found anywhere else.
Where is O.H. Ivie Lake Located on a Map?
O.H. Ivie Lake is a reservoir located on the Colorado and Concho Rivers in counties of Concho, Coleman, and Runnels, 55 miles east of San Angelo, Texas in the United States. Once known as Stacy Reservoir, it is 20 miles east of US 83 on RR 1929.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/stammphoto
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