Gary Sims lands ShareLunker #538
This just in from the Wood County Industrial Commission. . .
Wood County Industrial Commission announced today that the 250th prized catch of a trophy bass was caught on Lake Fork Wednesday by Gary Sims of Gunter, Texas.
Sims caught a ShareLunker #538 (pure Florida bass) with a weight of 15.01 pounds, length of 25 ¼ “ and a 22” girth in 30 feet of water at Lake Fork in Wood County, during the Moon phase N-1.
Mr. Sims said, “I was using a ProAngler Tackle 8 foot Rod on a 10# test line with a 1/8 ounce Crappie Rocket jig that was black and chartreuse. It was 12/12/12 and right about noon.
The stars or something were lined up just about right for me as I quickly realized I might have a Sharelunker.” Sims said that he immediately took the fish to Oak Ridge Marina’s holding tank for special care until Texas Parks and Wildlife officials were notified.
The trophy fish was moved to Athens late Wednesday afternoon and will eventually be released back to Lake Fork.
Texas Parks and Wildlife officials report the catch is a “repeat”, meaning she has been caught before as ShareLunker #518, brought in on March 13, 2011 by Ed Carter of Broken Bow, OK.
The bass weighed 14.25# at that time, 25” in length and a 22” girth. The Florida/northern cross Bass was released back to Lake Fork on April 5, 2011.
Texas reservoirs that have produced double-digit numbers of ShareLunker entries include Wood County’s Lake Fork with 250; Alan Henry, 25; Sam Rayburn, 23; Falcon, 19; Conroe, 16; Choke Canyon, 13; and Amistad, 12.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens, Texas is headquarters for the Toyota ShareLunker Program, which encourages anglers who have caught 13-pound-plus largemouth bass to lend or donate the fish to TPWD for spawning purposes.
The TFFC combines visitation and outdoor education with a production fish hatchery. Its mission is to provide an educational, entertaining visitor experience that promotes freshwater sport fishing and the enhancement, conservation and stewardship of aquatic resources in Texas.
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 the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers when available, is posted on http://www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram. The Toyota Sharelunker program was established in 1986 to promote catch-and-release of large fish and to selectively breed trophy largemouth bass.
The first fish entered into the program was also a new state record in November of that year, a 17.67-pounder caught from Lake Fork. For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker.
The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
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 projects.