Toyota ShareLunker Program Winds Up Season 25

Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277,

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ATHENS—The Toyota ShareLunker season just concluded marked the 25th anniversary of the ShareLunker program. During that time 523 fish have been entered. The current season’s 19 entries was about two fish short of the long-term average.

Two entries set water-body records: a 16.03-pound fish from Lake Austin and a 14.94-pound fish from Lake Gilmer.

Nathan Peña-Alfaro’s 13.59-pounder from O.H. Ivie became the new junior angler state record largemouth bass.

Two entries were repeats. Toyota ShareLunker 522 this season from Lake Caddo was the same as No. 487 last season. Toyota ShareLunker 523 from O.H. Ivie was the same fish as No. 503 caught last year. Both fish were lake records when caught last season and still hold that distinction.

Four of the fish entered died and four spawned, producing a total of 255, 503 fry, the highest number ever produced during a ShareLunker season. After being raised to 1.5 inches, the offspring will be stocked into the lakes that contributed entries during the current season.

The season saw O.H. Ivie Reservoir tie with Sam Rayburn Reservoir for third place in production of ShareLunker entries with 23 each. Only Lake Alan Henry, with 25 entries, and Lake Fork, with 247, have produced more.

The season was somewhat unusual in that more than half the entries, 10 of 19, came in January and February. In an average season 10.5 percent of the entries come in January and 22.7 percent in February; this season 26 percent of the entries came in each of those months.

ShareLunker catches normally peak in March, with 42.8 percent of total entries having been caught that month. This season saw 31.5 percent of the season’s entries caught in March.

The sharpest decline in entries came in April. On average 16.2 percent of the fish entered are caught in April; this year saw only one fish, or 0.5 percent, caught during the final month of the season.

Following is a chronological summary of Toyota ShareLunker catches during the season. Toyota ShareLunker anglers will be honored at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens June 4.

December 15, 2010. Bobbie Gayle of Millersview joined a very exclusive club when she caught Toyota ShareLunker 505 from O.H. Ivie Reservoir. The 14-pound 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 begun last season.

Toyota ShareLunker 505 died December 23, 2010.

January 1, 2011. O.H. Ivie Reservoir continued to pump out Toyota ShareLunkers. Nathan Peña-Alfaro, a 15-year-old sophomore at Western Hills High School in Benbrook, caught Toyota ShareLunker 506, a 13.59-pounder that earned him the state junior angler largemouth bass record.

The fish was returned to the lake February 19, 2011.

January 15, 2011. Christopher Wright of Flower Mound caught Toyota ShareLunker 507 from O.H. Ivie while fishing in a tournament. The 13.83-pound bass was caught at 2:00 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. was in the minnow tank at Elm Creek Village.

Toyota ShareLunker 507 produced 51,810 fry. Fry are raised to approximately 1.5 inches at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Each lake that produces a program entry during the season receives a share of the fingerlings. No. 507 was returned to the lake April 14, 2011.

January 27, 2011. T.J. Nissen of Austin set a new lake record for Lake Austin with Toyota ShareLunker 508, a 16.03-pound bass that also ranks 23 on the Top 50 list of big bass caught in Texas.

Toyota ShareLunker 508 was returned to Lake Austin February 11, 2011.

January 30, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 509 was caught from O.H. Ivie by Wimberley angler Terry Capps. The 13.01-pounder was O.H. Ivie’s fourth ShareLunker of the season.

Toyota ShareLunker 509 produced 63, 525 fry and was returned to the lake on April 14, 2011.

January 31, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir kicked in its twelfth entry ever into the Toyota ShareLunker program, a 13.22-pound fish caught by Ky Martin of Grandview, Texas. Toyota ShareLunker 510 became the fifth entry submitted in January, tying the current season for second in number of entries for the month with January of the 1991-92 season. The 1994-95 season saw the highest number of January entries ever, seven.

Toyota ShareLunker 510 was returned to the lake March 9, 2011.

February 13, 2011. Susan Dixon of Hawley, Texas, was fishing with O.H. Ivie guide and friend Jeff Walker when she caught Toyota ShareLunker 511.

Toyota ShareLunker 511 was returned to the lake April 7, 2011.

February 18, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir sent Toyota ShareLunker 512 to Athens, its second entry of the year. The fish weighed 13.84 pounds and was caught by Charles Hardin of DeSoto, Missouri.

Toyota ShareLunker 512 was returned to Falcon March 9, 2011.

February 19, 2011. Travis Lane Epperson of Lubbock caught Toyota ShareLunker 513 from O.H. Ivie. The fish weighed 13.55 pounds.

Toyota ShareLunker 513 was returned to O.H. Ivie April 7, 2011.

February 25, 2011. Billy Weems of Liberty Hill caught 13.21-pound Toyota ShareLunker 514 from Lake Austin.

Toyota ShareLunker 514 produced 24,998 fry and was returned to the lake on April 20, 2011.

February 26, 2011. Cody Erin Smith of New Braunfels followed Weems’s catch with a 14.28-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 515, also from Lake Austin.

Toyota ShareLunker 515 was returned to the lake March 9, 2011.

March 6, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir produced its third Toyota ShareLunker of the season, its fourteenth overall and the twelfth entry into the ShareLunker program for the season.

Gene Patrin of Zapata caught the 14.16-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 516.

Toyota ShareLunker 516 was returned to Falcon March 9, 2011.

March 9, 2011. Falcon International Reservoir continued to solidify its status as one of the prime big-bass lakes in Texas with Toyota ShareLunker 517, a 13.56-pound largemouth caught by Jason Shropshire of Cleveland, Texas.

Toyota ShareLunker 517 died March 13, 2011.

March 13, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 518 came from Lake Fork. Ed Carter of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, pulled in the 14.25-pounder.

Toyota ShareLunker 518 was returned to the lake April 5, 2011.

Before the Toyota ShareLunker Tundra made it back to Athens with that fish, Robert Amaya of Robert’s Fish ‘n Tackle in Zapata called to report Toyota ShareLunker 519, a 13.37-pounder from Falcon International Reservoir caught by David Cosner of Austin.

Toyota ShareLunker 519 died April 8, 2011.

March 15, 2011. Toyota ShareLunker 520 was caught from Falcon by Todd Elrod of Fritch, Texas. It weighed 13.18 pounds.

Toyota ShareLunker 520 died March 23, 2011.

March 17, 2011. Gilmer Reservoir sent a new lake record largemouth bass to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) March 17. Thomas Milam of Pittsburg, Texas, caught the 14-pounder, Toyota ShareLunker 521.

Toyota ShareLunker 521 produced 115,200 fry and was returned to the lake on April 21, 2011.

March 18, 2011. Sean Swank of DeBerry, Texas, caught Toyota ShareLunker 522 from Caddo Lake. The 16.07-pound fish was the largest caught during the season, earning Swank Angler of the Year honors and a prize package worth $818. The package includes a G. Loomis NRX854C jig and worm rod, a Shimano ChronarchD1007 casting reel and 150 yards of moss green Power Pro super-braid fishing line. Swank will also receive a lifetime fishing license.

Toyota ShareLunker 522 is the same fish caught from Caddo last season by Keith Burns and entered as Toyota ShareLunker 487, when it weighed 16.17 pounds and became the lake record. It was returned to Caddo Lake March 27, 2011.

April 14, 2011. Faron McCain of Sweetwater caught Toyota ShareLunker 523 from O.H. Ivie, a 14.94-pound fish that proved to be the same as last year’s lake record, which weighed 16.08 pounds when it was caught by Jerry Bales of Hico and became Toyota ShareLunker 503.

Toyota ShareLunker 523 was returned to O.H. Ivie April 19, 2011.