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Toledo Bend Lake

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24 Texas Lakes Yielding ShareLunkers


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

Through the third week of February, Texas anglers have entered almost 50 largemouth bass weighing between 8 and almost 13 pounds in the state's expanded ShareLunker program. Those fish have come from 24 bodies of water scattered across the state from its eastern border to its southern and deep into its heart. Lake Conroe leads the pack with nine entries, including a 12.65-pounder.

Now the ShareLunker program accepts lunker bass 8-pound-and-heavier bass throughout the year while still offering 13-pluses to the hatchery January through March.

Lake Fork, the state's most high-profile big-bass fishery, has the second-largest number of entries with seven fish. Lake LBJ currently has the third-most entries with four.

The first entry in the expanded ShareLunker program was a 9.1-pounder caught and released on Lake Dunlap on Jan. 1. Since then, 46 other entries have been certified, and several more are pending as of Feb. 16.

The largest has been a 12.79-pounder landed from Marine Creek Lake, a small lake near Fort Worth. Dunlap and Marine Creek are two of 24 Texas water bodies from which 2018 ShareLunker entries have been caught through the program's first seven weeks.

Shannon Tompkins of the Houston Chronicle quoted Kyle Brookshear, fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as saying as more anglers become aware of the expanded program, participation will increase.

The other largemouth classes now are largemouths measuring at least 24 inches or weighing between 8 and 9.99 pounds; Lunker Elite for fish weighing 10 to 12.99 pounds; and Lunker Legend is for 13-pound-or-heavier caught outside the January-is March window.

"Awareness about the program's new format is growing. But a lot of anglers haven't heard about the changes," Brookshear said. "That's normal. I've heard from several fishermen who said they've caught qualifying fish but didn't know about the program's changes. But word's getting out." More information about the new ShareLunker porgram can be found at TPWD.

Photo courtesy Larry Hodges, TPWD


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