TPWD News Release — March 18, 2010
ATHENS — Randy Williams of Staunton, Illinois, finally broke the ice: He caught Lake Fork’s first Toyota ShareLunker of the season on Tuesday, March 16.
The fish weighed 13.0 pounds and was caught in three feet of water on a Senko.
The good news for Lake Fork anglers was that the water temperature was 58 degrees. After unseasonably cold, cloudy weather, a few days of sunshine warmed the water and apparently encouraged bass to move to shallower water in preparation for spawning.
The fish is the 244th fish from Lake Fork to be entered into the ShareLunker program. It was 25.5 inches long and 22 inches in girth.
The Toyota ShareLunker program is one step closer to receiving its 500th entry. The angler who catches that fish will receive $500 a pound-a minimum of $6,500-in addition to a fiberglass replica of the fish, ShareLunker clothing, and recognition at the annual ShareLunker awards banquet. Prizes are furnished by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.
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?513992x763051x34861. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
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.