Even With The Chilly Toyota Shareluker Program Had A Banner Month
ATHENS – Regardless of chilly temperatures and an unprecedented winter storm, February proved to be a banner month for the Toyota ShareLunker program. From February twentieth by way of the twenty eighth, anglers reeled in eight Legacy Class largemouth bass. Six Lunkers have been from O.H. Ivie, one from Conroe, and one from Lake Travis, bringing the season whole to 12. February’s flurry of exercise has resulted within the 2021 Legacy Lunker season tripling final 12 months’s whole with one month nonetheless remaining within the three-month assortment season.
Angler Joe McKay of Bussey, Iowa kicked off the recent streak at O.H. Ivie Friday evening Feb. 20 with an enormous 16.40-pound Lunker (ShareLunker #590) which is a brand new lake file and ranks because the sixteenth largest largemouth bass ever caught in Texas.
“It was an especially chilly morning once we arrived on the lake,” mentioned McKay. “The water the place we have been fishing was about 22 toes deep out over the tops of brush. I used to be utilizing an Alabama rig with sixth sense Divine Swimbaits on it. We had caught a few 12-pound largemouth bass earlier within the day, so we knew we have been on some big fish. It was a tremendous expertise and the fish of a lifetime for certain.”
Angler Josh Jones, of Sapulpa, Oklahoma stored issues rolling together with his 13.20-pound Legacy Lunker (ShareLunker #591) Sunday afternoon Feb. 22. Jones has been coming to fish in Texas for just a few years, however this was his first ever go to to O.H. Ivie. As well as, to his 13.20 pounder, Jones caught a ten.5-pound largemouth bass on that Sunday as properly.
“I used to be idling and noticed the fish pop on my sonar and moved that course,” Jones mentioned. “I caught her suspended 15 toes down utilizing an Alabama rig at a spot on the lake measuring at a depth of 75 toes. Texas Parks and Wildlife and the ShareLunker program are high notch with how they do fish care and supply info to anglers. I all the time get pleasure from coming to Texas to fish.”
A New Private Greatest, 15.40 Legacy Lunker
Nonetheless, Jones’ story wasn’t completed till Sunday when he introduced in ShareLunker 596 to wrap up the magical run at O.H. Ivie. The Legacy Lunker tipped the scales at 15.40-pounds and have become one other new private greatest.
“I bought out somewhat late, however inside half-hour of being on the water I landed my second Lunker of the week,” added Jones. “It was fairly entertaining when she got here to the floor, we thought it had an opportunity to be a state file it was so huge. The combat lasted about two minutes and he or she was within the boat. She was in about the identical spot because the one earlier within the week utilizing the identical bait on the Alabama rig. That is the perfect lake on the earth and I’ve by no means seen any form of run like this earlier than. This needs to be a vacation spot on anybody’s radar.”
Angler Donald Burks of Weatherford, Texas logged the third fish together with his 13.40-pound Legacy Lunker (ShareLunker #592) on Tuesday. Burks made the journey together with his son Brandon, which started on Monday. Burks caught the Legacy Lunker after solely an hour on the water utilizing an Alabama rig. It was a private greatest for Burks.
As soon as the fish was secured by TPWD biologists for the ShareLunker program and started its journey to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Middle in Athens, the daddy son duo returned to fishing. About 20 minutes later Brandon caught a 12.40-pound Elite Class Lunker, which was additionally a private greatest for him.
Father Son Duo Made Nice Reminiscences
“We have been about an hour into the day, sitting in about 40 toes of water utilizing an A-rig,” mentioned Burks. “We have been casting as much as 20 toes of water when the fish bit and I reeled in a catch of a lifetime. I had solely ever been to O.H. Ivie one time in my life and that was for a membership fishing match in 1999. I heard about these fish being caught and I informed my son let’s go.
It was phenomenal fishing and we caught over 100 bass within the two days we have been there, together with a number of 6 and seven pounders along with the 2 huge ones. It’s an ideal lake and Texas Parks and Wildlife has finished an amazing job in making it into an impressive fishery by way of the ShareLunker program. It was a visit to recollect and nice to expertise it with my son there as properly.”
Angler Brett Cannon of Willis, Texas landed the fourth Legacy Lunker (ShareLunker 593) of the week Thursday. His journey began on Choke Canyon and was gradual going there, however when his good friend Joe McKay, who kicked off the week with the 16.40 pounder, had success at O.H. Ivie they determined to provide it a shot. Persistence paid off for Cannon when he latched on to the 14.40 pounder.
‘Greatest Week of Fishing All Instances’
“The night earlier than I caught the large, I scanned an space that wasn’t getting a lot strain and noticed some huge fish,” mentioned Cannon. “Round 10:30, I hooked into the large and I knew it was huge however didn’t know the way huge till it bought subsequent to the boat. She didn’t combat a lot till she noticed the boat. After I first noticed the fish, I believed it was 20lbs and he or she took 4-5 huge runs and wore herself out. After I bought the fish within the boat, I misplaced it, shaking, and screaming as a result of I knew I caught a fish of many lifetimes. This journey will go down in historical past as the perfect week of fishing all instances.”
Casey Sobczak from The Woodlands, Texas is a Workforce 6 teammate with Cannon and reeled in a 14.20-pound Legacy Lunker (ShareLunker 594) for the fifth Legacy Lunker of the week at O.H. Ivie. Cannon had known as Sobczak, president of sixth Sense Fishing and informed him there have been some huge fish within the space. Whereas Cannon was certifying his Legacy Lunker, Sobczak landed his in the identical spot that Cannon caught his moments earlier. The crew ended up catching a 16 and two 14s throughout the week, all on sixth Sense Divine 3.2 and three.8 swim baits.
‘Expertise of a Lifetime’
“I’m the President of sixth Sense Fishing and assembled our Professional Employees occasion at O.H. Ivie with 10 guys,” mentioned Sobczak. “Of these 10, we caught three ShareLunkers and broke the lake file 4 instances between smallmouth and largemouth. All of us have been utilizing sixth Sense Divine Swimbaits, however my huge fish was over deep bushes in 20-25’ deep water. The identical day, my fishing associate, Zach Kinart, caught a 7.47lb Smallmouth lake file utilizing the identical bait. We’re nonetheless ready to certify my scales to ship the documentation to Texas Parks & Wildlife. Our Workforce 6 crew had the expertise of a lifetime.”
This isn’t the primary time that the efforts of TPWD fisheries biologists have resulted in unbelievable bass fishing at O.H. Ivie. Within the 2010 and 2011 seasons, a complete of 18 ShareLunkers have been submitted to this system from O.H. Ivie.
Phenomenal Outcomes Following Winter Storm
“Receiving 8 Legacy Lunkers in 8 days is phenomenal, particularly on the heels of such a troublesome winter storm,” mentioned Kyle Brookshear, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “Because of the anglers who’ve offered 12 fish this season, we’re higher capable of improve the genetics of our broodstock and additional improve the potential for trophy class bass statewide.”
Lake Conroe jumped into the combination Friday when angler Scott Stephens landed a private greatest 14.25-pound ShareLunker 595 on the Cabela’s Massive Bass Tour Event, main him to the match title. It was the primary Legacy Lunker for Conroe going again to Mar. 9, 2019. The lake now claims 19 Legacy Lunkers within the historical past of this system.
‘Handled the Fish Like A Gold Brick’
“We had observed there have been a number of fish suspended out in deeper water,” mentioned Stephens. “I didn’t see the fish hit the Berkley Pitbull 7.5 crankbait I used to be utilizing and he or she didn’t actually bounce however made three surges below the boat the place there’s a hazard of shedding them, however this one labored out nice. This was a fish of a lifetime and a bucket record merchandise for me. To catch a fish like this on my house lake in an enormous bass match, is a dream come true.
Extra necessary for me, is to have the ability to contribute a fish to the Texas Parks and Wildlife ShareLunker program. Texas Parks and Wildlife got here in, handled the fish like a gold brick, and took care of that fish extraordinarily properly. They have been thanking me for donating the fish to this system, however I mentioned I wish to thanks all. Due to the ShareLunker program and the Florida pressure, my dream was capable of come true. ”
First Legacy Lunker For Lake Travis
Hint Jansen of Buda, Texas wrapped up the month with an enormous catch at Lake Travis Sunday. Jansen’s 15.32-pound 28-inch ShareLunker 597 broke the lake file which was set in 1993. It was additionally the primary Legacy Lunker entry for Lake Travis. “I noticed an enormous one and known as my grandpa to inform him we have been going to attempt to get her,” mentioned Jansen. “I believed she was a 7 at first, however after I caught her, I knew I used to be mistaken.
The spot we caught her occurred to be the final spot of the day, and man am I glad that we didn’t resolve to place the boat on the trailer. We labored on her for about an hour and knew if I may get the male off the comb then I may most likely get her to begin displaying some curiosity. My good friend, Riley, caught the male. We always modified colours to attempt to see what she needed to chunk. Finally, I caught her on a pure 5-inch stick bait. After I hooked her all I mentioned was, “I bought her.” She was so huge; she didn’t even match within the web, however we bought her in and couldn’t consider it. I by no means may have dreamed that I’d ever be within the ShareLunker program.”
Genetic Evaluation Permits For Greater, Higher Bass
Texas Parks and Wildlife Division (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists will conduct genetic evaluation of the Legacy Lunkers. They’ll try and spawn them in an effort to enlarge, higher bass that may improve fishing in Texas lakes for years to return.
“Traditionally, this previous week and the approaching two weeks are a number of the greatest days for anglers to have an opportunity at catching that fish of a lifetime,” added Brookshear. “With the ultimate month of the gathering season upon us, we’re wanting to see simply what number of Legacy ShareLunkers might be collected in 2021.”
Throughout the first three months of the season (Jan. 1 by way of March 31), anglers who reel in a 13+ pound bass can mortgage it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. These anglers can name the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 till April 1, 2021.
Legacy Class Standing
Anglers who catch and donate one in every of these 13+ lunkers earn Legacy Class standing. Additionally they obtain a catch package stuffed with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for his or her car or boat, VIP entry to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards occasion and a high-quality reproduction of their lunker fish. These anglers can even obtain entries into two separate drawings; a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Each drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops procuring spree and an annual fishing license.
Anglers who enter knowledge for any lunker they catch higher than 8 lbs. or 24 inches throughout the calendar 12 months 2021 additionally obtain a catch package, a decal for his or her car or boat and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Professional Retailers procuring spree and annual fishing license. ShareLunker entry courses embody the Lunker Class (8lb+), Elite Class (10lb+), and Legend Class (13lb+).
Toyota ShareLunker App
As soon as a lunker is reeled in, anglers must enter the catch knowledge on the Toyota ShareLunker cellular app. The app is obtainable without spending a dime from the Apple App Retailer and Google Play – or on the Toyota ShareLunker on-line app at TexasSharelunker.com. Along with offering primary catch info, anglers may also present a DNA scale pattern from their lunker bass. TPWD researchers use the pattern for genetic evaluation.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made doable partly by the beneficiant sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of Texas Parks and Wildlife Basis and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division. The automaker supplies main funding for all kinds of fisheries, state parks and wildlife initiatives.