Unlike many states with only a few top-notch waterways to find trophy largemouth in abundance, Texas has lots of them—a whole lot of them in fact.
The Toyota Sharelunker program, which seeks donations of live largemouths weighing 13 pounds or larger has taken at the time of his writing, 570 entries since its inception in 1986.
What is more impressive, however, is the number of water bodies producing these mammoth fish and where some of them are located. Some 68 public water bodies have produced Sharelunker fish. Yes, lakes such as Fork, Sam Rayburn, and Conroe in East Texas are at the top in overall fish donated.
However, Alan Henry and Baylor Creek in North Texas, Falcon and Casa Blanca in South Texas, and O.H. Ivie out west, have produced impressive numbers of these prized fish. Some of these are out of commission now because of drought, but when waters come back, the quality bass fishing will no doubt return as well.
Add to that, dozens more water bodies ranging from state park ponds to Toledo Bend have also given up fish big enough to keep anglers up at night.
For anglers who want to get the best shot at catching one of these monsters need to look for “hot steaks.”
The Sharelunker program typically goes in streaks. In other words certain lakes will be red hot for a while. It’s obvious, those particular lakes were the place to be during certain stretches of time.
According to TPWD, a search of the ShareLunker archives on the official web page reveals that although streaks are exciting and generate a lot of “That lake is on fire!” comments, they aren’t that uncommon,” they reported.
“Sam Rayburn Reservoir had a run of six ShareLunkers between January 21, 1998 and March 22, 1998. Choke Canyon Reservoir had a six-fish streak from January 21, 2009 to April 26, 2009. Lake Alan Henry sprouted nine ShareLunkers between January 29, 2005 and April 15, 2005. Then, there’s those nine fish from O.H. Ivie this (2010) season.”
They went on to report that Lake Fork, which has produced about half the total number of ShareLunkers, is the undisputed king of the streak. Its first came in 1988 and 1989, when it produced 18 ShareLunkers. The next season, it produced 17, the following year 22, and from January 8, 1992 to April 25, 1992, another 21, including the current state record of 18.18 pounds.
“The following four seasons, Lake Fork produced 17, 16, 23, and 21 ShareLunkers,” TPWD reported. ”After a two-year break in 1997 and 1998, Fork started streaking again, but with lower numbers: 10 fish in the 1998-99 season and eight the following season. Following another low production year in 2002, Fork’s output of ShareLunkers hit seven in 2002-2003, seven in 2003-2004, seven in 2004-2005 and eight in 2006-2007.”
If you see a “hot streak” emerging, it’s time to target that lake for focused trophy bass fishing.PlaP
—story by TFG STAFF