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Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov [LH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Feb. 22, 2010

Toyota ShareLunkers: No. 479 from Amistad; No. 480 from Livingston

ATHENS — Fish lightning struck twice Sunday, 10 minutes and 500 miles apart.

Fishing on Lake Amistad, Robert Robles of Del Rio caught Toyota ShareLunker 479, a 13.5-pound bass. At almost the same time, Robert Laird, Sr., of Livingston set the hook on a 13.19-pound fish that is now Toyota ShareLunker 480.

Robles was fishing in about 30 feet of water in Evans Creek using an Amistad Tackle Flutter Spoon. His fish was weighed and held for pickup at Angler’s Lodge, an official Toyota ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Station certified by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists to care for big bass.

Laird was fishing in six to eight feet of water beside the U.S. 190 bridge across Lake Livingston. He was using a Bagley crankbait. His fish was held for pickup in a minnow tank at Kickapoo Bait and Tackle in Onalaska.

Laird’s fish is the first ShareLunker entered from Lake Livingston and is the new lake record. The fish also was the big fish in the Polk County Bass Club tournament Laird was fishing in and helped him win. The fish bested the previous record of 12.45 pounds caught Feb. 16, 1987.

Lake Livingston is not known as a big bass lake, and some of Laird’s friends doubted him when he said he had a fish over 10 pounds to weigh in. "They didn’t want to believe me on Lake Livingston," he said. "When I pulled her out of the bag, all their eyes flew open."

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see http://tamus.pr-optout.com/Url.aspx?513992x701695x-1008907. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.

Information and updates on the Toyota ShareLunker program can also be found on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Parks-and-Wildlife-ShareLunker-Program/301838055900 and searching for Texas Parks and Wildlife-ShareLunker Program.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.

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