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Texas Sharelunker Program Update

4011 Views 18 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Texas Bass Pro
3 bass have been caught since this years Lunker season started up. Here are the three pictures of the anglers and their fish.

ShareLunker No. 426
Caught by Jaret Latta of Nacogdoches, TX
January 5, 2007 in Nacogdoches
13.31 pounds, length 27 inches, girth 20 inches
Bait/Lure: 1-oz jig

ShareLunker No. 425
Caught by Parker & Chris Chambers of Plano, TX
December 28, 2006 in Lake Fork
13.4 pounds, length 24.75 inches, girth 20.5 inches
Bait/Lure: Rapala X-Rap

ShareLunker No. 424
Caught by Eddie Horn of Alba, TX
November 25, 2006 in Lake Fork
13.79 pounds, length 26 inches, girth 20.5 inches
Bait/Lure: 6" Pumpkinseed Zoom Lizard
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Re: Texas Sharelunker Program

I, for once am without words! In fact, I'd almost give $200.00 to hold em and pretend they were mine :goldcup: :bowdown: The largest I ever boated was no where near that and the largest hooked and lost had to be the new world record!! :bs: :banghead: Those are some nice fish!!!

Re: Texas Sharelunker Program

WOW! Any info on the wieghts
Re: Texas Sharelunker Program

All 3 were a little over 13lbs. Not a bad way to start off the program. LOL
Number 4 for the year.

ShareLunker No. 427
Caught by Richard Choate of Mineral Wells, TX
January 27, 2007 in Cisco
13.2 pounds, length 26.25 inches, girth 19.5 inches
Bait/Lure: Paca Craw
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:cry01: I wannnnnnna live in texas!! LOL

Wow what amazing fish and what an OUTSTANDING fisheries program! I wish more states would use Texas as a model for their fisheries program!
I don't know why they don't. Money maybe????
I agree with Lake City. That is one heck of a program and I hope that the Arkansas Game and Fish folks are paying attention. Very impressive.
Since the program started Texas has put out 427 13lb bass. Here is the kicker, those are the numbers for the donated bass. Several have been kept :mad: and others released without documentation.
Jared, you mean that honey hole lake you live by Santee Cooper doesn't work for you? I mean it only blew away the all time heaviest total weight in a BASS event last year. I would love to fish that lake as I hear so many good things about it. What is the biggest bass ever caught in that lake?

Texas does have allot of good fisheries. Sometimes I wonder why I left Texas to come to Florida. I guess the fact that I can go fishing in January sometimes in shorts might be one reason. However, right now it is cold here for us too. We were in the low 40's for a low last night.

Overall though, I think Texas has better bass fishing then Florida does. 5lbers are common out there. In fact, I quit taking pictures of any bass that where less then 6lbs as I had too many. Out here it is harder to catch a 5lber then in Texas. Florida might have more 10lbers then Texas but I am not sure they have as many teen bass as Texas. I think the main reason is too many hillbillies here keep most of the fish they catch. I have spoke to several people at boat docks etc and have heard of huge bass they caught years ago. I have never yet heard in passing anyone who has caught a 10lb bass or bigger say they released it. One man said he caught a 16 and a 14 on the St. John's river and both came home with him. That to me is the single reason why Florida doesn't compete for the world record anymore. Just too many fishermen here and too many people who will keep a trophy bass.

Just my 2 cents.
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I've said this before I think there are only three states that can consistantly put out big fish to make the program worth while and thats why more states don't have the program.
Boy, the more I look at those pics the more I wish I woulda had scales the day I pulled my PB fish in. :-[ I knew it was over 10, but that third pic looks like a twin to it. Also, it makes me wish Georgia took better care of thier lakes. We have the world record, but with proper management we could compete with all the big boys. IMO, there are only a few spots here that truly manage for fishing, and the few that do consistently produce lunkers.
Just a couple of comments ...
I am not familiar with the TX Lunker program does anyone know if these fish are released? They look kinda comatose in these photos. Anyone know over how many years it took to get to Lunker # 427?

I agree with everone else, TX appears to being doing it right. I understand that many of TX lakes are stocked with Florida strain Black Bass. Not sure how many lakes are but I know Lake Fork was for sure. I also read that California and Cuba Bass were brought to Texas to improve the overall gene pool. You are right other states fisheries could learn a few things from Texas.

Keith,eventhough I now live in Florida I was born and raised in Charleston SC, I consider Marion and Moultrie my home lakes. Never liked the river, but fished it often as well. SC has super fisheries and it is only 7 hours away. You could almost make it a long weekend trip and have a super time.

I wish we all could feel the pull of a huge fish on every cast, but that would take away most of the fum we find as anglers.
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The fish are released per the anglers choice. He/She can either donate the fish to the program or release it. Be assure that those bass you see are in fact alive. They have to be in order to qualify for the Lunker program.

I believe the program is over 10 years old but really don't know how long it took to get to #427. Texas had huge bass before the program and then when we got hit by that bass virus. After the virus went "away" then they started the program back up to get us back close to where we were.

I was always told that Texas and Florida sent bass to California. Of course Texas got Florida bass as well. Nothing wrong in sharing the wealth.
TCB, next time you are heading up that way let me know. I would like to give those lakes a shot sometime.

BTW, the ShareLunker program has been going on since the late 80's so about 20 years now. The LMBV happened in the late 90's early 2000's Even then people still entered bass into the program.
Re: Texas Sharelunker Program Update with an Update!!

Budweiser ShareLunker Program


The roots of the ShareLunker program can actually be traced to the drought of the 1950s. That 10-year dry spell brought home to Texans the fact that the state’s burgeoning population had outgrown its water supply. A few reservoirs had been built previously, but the 1960s and 1970s witnessed the completion of many more. Texas had only one natural lake — Caddo — and the native species of Texas bass, the northern, was adapted to live in streams.
Fish adapted to live in large lakes were needed to take advantage of the new reservoirs, and in 1971 TPWD brought the first Florida strain largemouth bass to Texas. They were housed at the Tyler Fish Hatchery (now closed), and the first Florida strain bass were stocked into Texas waters the following year.
Over the next several years bass from Florida, California and Cuba were brought to Texas to improve the genetics of the Texas bass population. The Cuban fish were obtained by sheer daring. Joe Bob Wells, a Levelland resident who fished in Cuba frequently, flew to Cuba in December 1984 and brought bass back to Texas via Mexico, since travel between the United States and Cuba was prohibited.
As the Florida strain genes worked their way into the bass population, fish grew bigger. In 1980 a 14.1-pound bass broke the state record of 13.5 pounds that had stood for 43 years. The record increased again and again, to the current 18.18-pound fish caught in 1992. Interest in bass fishing burgeoned along with the size of the fish.
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The Budweiser ShareLunker program has been instrumental in illustrating the importance of catch and release fishing in the development of trophy largemouth bass fisheries. Data collected by the program shows that it takes 8 to 10 years for a bass to grow to 13-pound size. Slot limits that protect large fish have been proven effective in increasing the quality of fishing. Science-based fisheries management has been shown to be the best method for managing Texas public waters.
Bass fishing has enjoyed an increase in popularity in Texas that parallels the increase in the number and quality of fish in Texas reservoirs. Communities near popular bass fishing lakes reap a significant economic boost from anglers.
Even the fish have benefited from the ShareLunker program. When the program began, little was known about the procedures needed to care for big bass. Early in the program, many entries died while at TPWD facilities. Over time better care has increased survival to the point that nearly all fish entered into the program survive to be used for spawning or are returned to the wild. Even more importantly, proper fish handling techniques have been publicized as part of the program, so that anglers are now able to take better care of any fish they catch.
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The ShareLunker program (formerly called Operation Share a Lone Star Lunker and sponsored by the Lone Star Brewing Company, Jungle Labs and Cajun Boats) was established in 1986 to promote catch-and-release of large fish and to selectively breed trophy largemouth bass. The first fish entered into the program was also a new state record, a 17.67-pounder caught from Lake Fork in November.

In 1993 the name of the program was changed to Share a Lunker, Inc., and it was merged with the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. Anheuser Busch became the official sponsor in 1996, and the name was changed to the Budweiser ShareLunker Program.
Tyler hatchery was inadequate, but there was no state money available to build a new hatchery, one tailored specifically to the needs of the program. It was decided to let cities bid to become the site and help raise the money for it.
Specifications called for the facility to be built within 50 miles of Lake Fork, because the majority of big fish are caught there. The Athens community pledged more than $4 million to win the bidding for the site, and the balance of the cost came from federal Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration funds and donations. No state money was used for construction.

L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center was built around the ShareLunker program. The Visitor Center complex, including the Lunker Bunker, was completed in 1996, and the exterior hatchery ponds went into operation in 1998.
Since the program’s inception nearly 400 largemouth bass have been donated from more than 50 public reservoirs and 13 private lakes.
providing operating funds, prizes for anglers who enter fish into the program and the specially equipped truck used to pick up and return lunkers.
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All of this information is provided by TPWD.
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