The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has produced a 7-minute video (embedded below) about the most famous largemouth bass ever caught in the Lonestar State. “The Legend of Ethel” tells the story of how a 17.67-pound bass caught in November 1986 became the first fish entered into TPWD'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; TPWD biologists who cared for the fish; and Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. It features video of Ethel in the aquarium in Springfield.
To read an obituary for Ethel that ran in the Lehigh Valley Morning Call 20 years ago, click here.