Fort Phantom Hill Produces First Sharelunker

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Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir, just north of Abilene, joined the list of public reservoirs in Texas that have produced a Legacy Class ShareLunker largemouth bass. Eric Lewis of Haskell reeled in 13.33-pound ShareLunker 660 Sunday as Fort Phantom Hill became the 77th public waterbody to achieve that feat.

Lewis’ Legacy Class largemouth bass was the 10th overall in the 2024 Toyota ShareLunker collection season, adding one more waterbody to the list of entries. Six different reservoirs have produced a Legacy fish with two brand new lakes stepping into the spotlight for the first time. J.B. Thomas kicked off the collection season Jan. 17 with its first ever Legacy Class ShareLunker.

Lewis’ ShareLunker 660 not only put Fort Phantom Hill on the Legacy Class ShareLunker map, but the catch is also a new lake record for largemouth bass. Scotty McCorkle held the previous record with a 12.90-pound fish that he landed on July 19, 2022. The largest fish submitted to the year-round ShareLunker program was an 11.15-pound Elite Class catch by George Trosper on March 21, 2019.

“I started my career at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) working as a management biologist in the Abilene office,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “I have seen firsthand how good the bass fishing can be at Fort Phantom Hill and it is exciting for that reservoir to produce the first ever Legacy Class ShareLunker and have a new waterbody record set.”

Lewis and his wife were fishing in a Couples Association of Sport Tournaments (CAST) Hill Country Region Event. They were on the water by 6:45 a.m. and shortly after started fishing around some docks.

“I was just simply pitching and flipping like everyone knows how to do,” said Lewis. “Around 7:30 a.m., I flipped up under a dock and saw my line jump as the bait sunk. I set the hook and immediately knew it was a big fish but with muddy water it was hard to tell exactly how big. The fish went to the left and wrapped around one of the dock posts. I thought ‘Oh no’ so I pulled against her, and she came around and went to the post on the other side. With some work we were eventually able to get her netted and in the boat. I knew she was at least over 10-pounds, but I’d never seen a fish that big before.”

Lewis placed the fish on the scale in his boat, but with the choppy water and shaking from adrenaline, the scale fluctuated from 12 and three-quarters to over 13-pounds. They kept fishing and added another seven-plus pounder to the bag, but they ended up being the only two they caught during the tournament. At the official weigh in, he realized fish number one was a Legacy Lunker, a new lake record and as it turned out ShareLunker 660 propelled them to a third-place finish in the tournament.

“I’ve known about the ShareLunker program and watched it really come to the forefront with O.H. Ivie over the last few years,” added Lewis. “I know TPWD does a great job with the fisheries, but I had no idea how organized, quick, thorough and professional the entire ShareLunker program was until I got to experience it. It was crazy to see the level of care given to the fish and the attention to detail on its health and status. When we called Natalie, we got an immediate answer and TPWD started the process going right away.”

Lewis emphasized that lakes across the state could produce a Legacy Class ShareLunker.

“I hope this catch proves to everyone that is chasing the hottest lake around the state of Texas that every single lake has the potential to produce one of these fish,” said Lewis. “You just have to keep the line wet and not worry about chasing where all the rumors are. It’s never a guarantee and anybody who has gone and fished O.H. Ivie over the last couple of years knows it’s not a guarantee. It still requires a whole lot of luck, being in the right place at the right time and then getting it in the boat is up to God.”

The ShareLunker truck was at Lake Fork for the Bassmaster Elite series event when Sunday’s call from Lewis came in. It turned out to be a memorable day with each of the top-10 anglers in the tournament registering 100 plus-pound bag during a four-day event for the first time in Bassmaster history. Lewis’ ShareLunker catch capped the day and showcased the excellent fisheries that abound from one corner of Texas to the other.

During the first three months of the season (Jan. 1-March 31), anglers who reel in a 13-plus pound bass can loan it to TPWD for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. These anglers can call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 through March 31.

Anglers must weigh their potential Legacy Class fish on a certified scale. A list of official weigh stations can be found on the ShareLunker Official Weigh and Holding Stations website.

Anglers who catch and loan one of these 13-plus pound lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event, a high-quality replica mount of their fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy, and Bass University will provide a swag pack and annual subscription. These anglers will also receive entries into two separate drawings – a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Both drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree.

The year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas.

Anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than eight pounds or 24 inches during the 2024 calendar year also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat, a one-month subscription to Bass University and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree. ShareLunker entry classes include the Bass Pro Shops Lunker Class (8 lb.+), Strike King Elite Class (10 lb.+), and Lew’s Legend Class (13 lb.+).

Once a lunker is reeled in, anglers need to enter the catch data on the Toyota ShareLunker mobile app – available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play – or on the Toyota ShareLunker online app at

In addition to providing basic catch information, anglers have the option to send a DNA scale sample from their lunker bass to TPWD researchers for genetic analysis. Anglers who contribute a sample to the program in 2024 will receive a Lew’s baitcast reel valued at up to $200 while supplies last, with a limit of one reel per angler. Anglers who send in a genetic sample will also get a three-month subscription to Bass University. Instructions for submitting DNA samples are located on the Toyota ShareLunker website.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and TPWD, providing major funding for a wide variety of fisheries, state parks and wildlife projects.

Additional vital program support comes from Legend class category prize sponsor Lew’s, Elite class category prize sponsor Strike King, Lunker class category prize sponsor Bass Pro Shops, American Fishing Tackle Co., Bass Forecast, Bass University, Lake Fork Taxidermy and 6th Sense Fishing. For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker Program, visit, or


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