Two 13-Plus Pound Largemouth Bass Recently Loaned to 2019 Texas ShareLunker Program

During March 2019, the ShareLunker Program in Texas accepted two monster bass from Lake Fork and Lake Conroe.

Two 13-Plus Pound Largemouth Bass Recently Loaned to 2019 Texas ShareLunker Program

Cole Turner with his 13.36-pound Lake Conroe largemouth.

Two largemouth bass weighing between 13 and 14 pounds were recently caught by anglers in Texas, bringing the total number of Legacy Class (13 pounds or larger) Toyota ShareLunker entries up to four for the selective breeding program’s 2019 donation season, which ends March 31. The fish were caught out of the top two ShareLunker producing lakes of 2018 – Lake Fork and Lake Conroe.

“I’m not surprised that the top ShareLunker producing lakes of 2018 have also produced two of the three Legacy Class bass caught so far this year in Texas public waters,” said Kyle Brookshear, Toyota ShareLunker Program coordinator. We are thankful to the anglers for loaning the fish to our selective breeding program so that we can continue producing bigger, better bass to stock in Texas lakes.”

Angler Barry Prince of Lindale caught 13.73-pound ShareLunker 579 from Lake Fork the evening of March 8 on a shallow-running crankbait in 4.5 feet of water. Prince said this is the first double-digit bass he’s ever caught in 30-plus years of fishing.

“I’ve been chasing that fish for years,” Prince said. “Once I realized how big this fish was, I looked at my partner and said ‘get the net, it’s a good one!’ It’s still such a surreal feeling, some people fish all their lives and never get to catch a double-digit bass before they die.”

Barry Price and his 13.73-pound Lake Fork largemouth.
Barry Price and his 13.73-pound Lake Fork largemouth.

Just 2 weeks before catching his ShareLunker bass, Prince said he had a conversation with a friend and local guide, and they discussed the once-in-a-lifetime question: “If you ever caught a 13-pound bass, would you donate it to the ShareLunker program?”

“He said ‘absolutely so,’” Prince said. “I’m a big believer in the ShareLunker program, and I think it’s great for Texas and the fisheries all over the state.” 

Angler Cole Turner (top photo) of Houston caught 13.36-pound ShareLunker 580 from Lake Conroe the next evening on March 9. Turner, who fishes at Lake Conroe at least 2 weekends a month, said he caught the monster bass on a Texas-rigged soft plastic in 3 to 4 feet of water.

Turner said, “About 30 minutes into our trip, my fishing partner and I realized we forgot the net, and I said ‘you know what that means, we are definitely going to need it.’”

Turner’s prediction was correct. After 1.5 hours of catching only a catfish and white bass, the largemouth hit the Texas-rig.

“My fishing partner Nathan Dimmitt thought it was a double digit bass when we first saw it break the water,” said Turner. “I knew it was big, but I didn’t think it was that big. I was more focused on getting it into the boat since we didn’t have a net. I would like to give special thanks to him for helping me grab the fish and pull it into the boat.” 

“Catching a ShareLunker was a great feeling and a great accomplishment – that is what we all fish for,” Turner said. “I definitely am going to love getting a free replica of the fish, but I’m also interested in knowing the history of the bass and giving it a chance to produce more offspring.”

A Win/Win for All Involved

In return for loaning their 13 pound or larger fish to the selective breeding program, Prince and Turner, along with any angler who loans a Legacy Class bass to the Toyota ShareLunker Program during the spawning period January 1 to March 31, will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit.

The kit is certainly incentive for anglers to take part in the program. It contains branded merchandise and fishing tackle items, a 13lb+ Legacy decal, VIP access to awards programming at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a replica of their fish, and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license. These anglers will also be entered into the Legacy Class Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license at the end of the spawning period March 31.

One other Legacy Class entry was caught from public water in Texas during the 2019 donation season. ShareLunker 577, a 14.57-pound bass, was caught by angler Zach Sypert from Marine Creek Lake on January 27.

Zach Sypert with his 14.57-pound largemouth from Marine Creek Lake.
Zach Sypert with his 14.57-pound largemouth from Marine Creek Lake.

ShareLunker 578, a 13.79-pound bass, was caught by pro angler Gary Klein from a private TPWD research lake on Feb. 8, 2019. Note: Klein’s fish was accepted as a donation for the selective breeding program, but it’s not eligible for any prizes because it is a private water entry.

Professional angler Gary Klein with the largest bass of his long career, a 13.79 pounder from a private TPWD research lake.
Professional angler Gary Klein with the largest bass of his long career, a 13.79 pounder from a private TPWD research lake.

Anglers who catch a 13 pound or larger Legacy Class bass through March 31 can enter by calling the program directly – any time of day – at (903) 681-0550. After the loan period, the bass are released back into the lake from which they were caught.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Toyota provides major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects. Additional support and prizes for the program are provided by Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy and American Fishing Tackle Co..

For more information on the Toyota ShareLunker program, visit www.texassharelunker.com. And be sure to check out the video below that showcases Gary Klein’s 13.79-pound bass, which is the largest of his long and very successful bass fishing career.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.