Texas ShareLunker Program Hits 25th Year

T.J. Nissen holds up his record-setting 16.03-pound largemouth bass.
Larry D. Hodge, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The Toyota ShareLunker season just concluded marked the 25th anniversary of the ShareLunker program. During that time 523 fish have been entered. The current season?s 19 entries was about two fish short of the long-term average.

Two entries set water-body records: a 16.03-pound fish from Lake Austin and a 14.94-pound fish from Lake Gilmer.

Nathan Peña-Alfaro?s 13.59-pounder from O.H. Ivie became the new junior angler state record largemouth bass.

Two entries were repeats. Toyota ShareLunker 522 this season from Lake Caddo was the same as No. 487 last season. Toyota ShareLunker 523 from O.H. Ivie was the same fish as No. 503 caught last year. Both fish were lake records when caught last season and still hold that distinction.

Four of the fish entered died and four spawned, producing a total of 255, 503 fry, the highest number ever produced during a ShareLunker season. After being raised to 1.5 inches, the offspring will be stocked into the lakes that contributed entries during the current season.

Nathan Peña-Alfaro shows off his record largemouth bass.
Larry D. Hodge, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The season saw O.H. Ivie Reservoir tie with Sam Rayburn Reservoir for third place in production of ShareLunker entries with 23 each. Only Lake Alan Henry, with 25 entries, and Lake Fork, with 247, have produced more.

The season was somewhat unusual in that more than half the entries, 10 of 19, came in January and February. In an average season 10.5 percent of the entries come in January and 22.7 percent in February; this season 26 percent of the entries came in each of those months.

ShareLunker catches normally peak in March, with 42.8 percent of total entries having been caught that month. This season saw 31.5 percent of the season?s entries caught in March.

The sharpest decline in entries came in April. On average 16.2 percent of the fish entered are caught in April; this year saw only one fish, or 0.5 percent, caught during the final month of the season.

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