The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker season is off to a slow start. The program began in October and there’s just one entry so far, a Sam Rayburn Lake 13.2-pounder caught Nov. 2 by Ray Euper of Lufkin.
The ShareLunker program was begun to take big bass to the TPWD’s hatchery, breed them, and then taking the fry and stocking other lakes in the state. The ultimate goal – produce lots of big Texas bass, possible even a new state record bass.
Breeding bass and releasing them into the wild isn’t the same as breeding horses, cattle or dogs in a controlled environment. Nearly every lake in Texas, even the new ones stocked only with Florida-strain bass, have native bass coming in from a tributary.
Of the six ShareLunkers entered last season, just two were pure Florida bass. The others resulted from crossbreeding. Each successive crossbreeding theoretically lessens the potential for a world record. We have the same state record we had in 1990. Euper’s bass wasn’t a Florida bass.
Unless another Lake Fork is built somewhere without any tributaries that would flush native bass into the lake, some believe we aren’t going to break the current record of 18.18 pounds. That’s not a bad thing. Only Georgia, California and Florida have produced bigger largemouth bass.
ShareLunkers succeeded in other ways, however. Sixty-five public lakes and 22 private lakes have yielded 564 bass weighing 13 pounds or more. As a public relations vehicle, the ShareLunker program is a huge success.
This weekend with warm temps predicted and the water heating up, there’s a good chance the ShareLunker year could regain momentum.
Photo – TPWD