TPWD News Release — March 5, 2009
ATHENS, Texas—Steven Vela of Lyons knows that sometimes you need a little help from your friends.
Fishing right at the Lake Somerville Marina Wednesday, Vela landed a 13.6-pound largemouth that is the new lake record and the first ShareLunker to come from the lake.
But he didn’t do it alone.
On Sunday his friend Bobby Vanwinkle hooked what they believe was the same fish in the same spot, but it got off at the boat.
Vela was fishing with Vanwinkle and Larry Martinez when he hooked the big bass Wednesday, and Martinez lipped it and brought it aboard.
The catch came about 6:15 p.m. in six to seven feet of water. Vela was using a jig.
The fish is the 10th to be entered into the ShareLunker program during the current season. Four fish have come from Lake Conroe, two from Choke Canyon Reservoir and one each from Lake Fork, Caddo Lake and a private lake.
Lake Somerville was stocked with largemouth bass in 1967, the year it was impounded. In 1990, 2000, 2001 and 2008 the lake was stocked with Florida largemouth bass. Stockings in those four years amounted to more than 1 million fingerlings and fry.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or larger largemouth bass can enter it into the ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a number, including area code.
Anglers receive a fiberglass replica of their trophy and ShareLunker clothing and are honored at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens after the close of the season, which ends April 30.