ATHENS—Bobbie Gayle of Millersview joined a very exclusive club December 15 when she caught Toyota ShareLunker 505 from O.H. Ivie Reservoir.
The fish was Gayle’s third entry into the ShareLunker program, making her one of only five anglers to have achieved that distinction.
O.H. Ivie continued its remarkable run of Toyota ShareLunkers. Last season the West Texas lake produced 11 entries, including two on the last day of the season.
Gayle’s fish weighed 14 pounds and was 25.5 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth. Gayle caught it in 16 feet of 52-degree water at 3:00 p.m. using a perch. The fish was weighed at Elm Creek Village, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station.
Other anglers who have caught three ShareLunkers include Roy Greer, Bill Lozano and Richard McCarty. One angler, Jim Gore, has four fish entered in to the program, but one was a male fish weighing 6.5 pounds. All other entries into the program have been females.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.
Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program will receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and be recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. In addition, if a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the year, that person will receive a lifetime fishing license.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers, is posted on http://www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife