Budweiser ShareLunker Season Ends

No Gravatar

ATHENS, Texas-The Budweiser ShareLunker season ended April 30 with a total of 13 fish entered into the program.

While this is below the long-term average of 20 fish per season, the number of spawns was above average. Two fish spawned a total of six times, producing 110,148 eggs. The average number of spawns each season is four.

ShareLunker 446, caught from Richland-Chambers Reservoir by Jeremy Bruton of Blooming Grove, was particularly prolific, spawning four times and producing 78,834 eggs. ShareLunker 450, caught from Tyler State Park Lake by Brett Harris of Tyler, spawned twice and produced 31,314 eggs.

Fish from these spawns will be grown to six inches before being stocked as part of the Operation World Record research study.

Operation World Record is an attempt to produce the next world record largemouth bass through a program of selective breeding using Budweiser ShareLunkers with pure Florida largemouth genes. Research to evaluate the growth rates of these selectively bred fish is ongoing.

ShareLunkers caught this season were new lake records for Lake Waco and Tyler State Park Lake. The latter fish weighed 14.5 pounds and was the largest entered into the program this season.

A fish from Lake Casa Blanca was caught and entered into the program for the second time.

Following is a chronological summary of the catches.

January 13, 2008. Tyler Goetzman of Willis kicked off the action with a 13.06-pound largemouth bass from Lake Conroe. The fifteen-year-old was fishing a tournament when the fish took a Rat-L-Trap in six feet of water. The fish was 24 inches long and 20.25 inches in girth.

February 24, 2008. James Manasco of Hemphill was catching a lot of small fish in four feet of water in a shallow creek in the back of a cove when a 13.75-pound largemouth took his green six-inch ZOOM stick worm.

The big female became the fourth Budweiser ShareLunker to come from Toledo Bend Reservoir and number 443 in the program.

March 9, 2008. Three lakes produced Budweiser ShareLunkers: Lakes Amistad, Richland-Chambers and Waco.

The Lake Waco fish was the first ShareLunker from that lake and a new lake record. Caught by Ricky Culverhouse of Waco while fishing in a Robinson Bass Club tournament, the fish weighed 13.87 pounds and was 25.5 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth. Culverhouse caught the fish on a black-and-red flake Baby Brushhog in about six feet of water.

Chris McEntyre of Devine  landed a 13.39-pounder from Lake Amistad about 10:30 a.m. McEntyre’s fish was 26 inches long and 20 inches in girth. It bit a perch swim bait in 15 feet of water.

Shortly after noon Jeremy Bruton of Blooming Grove landed a 13.05-pounder from Richland-Chambers Reservoir. The fish was 25.25 inches long and 22 inches in girth. Bruton was using a Stanley Wedge spinner bait in three to four feet of water. He was fishing in a Richland-Chambers Bass Club tournament.

March 10, 2008. Lake Fork sent its first fish of the season to Athens Monday night. Cal Lamb of Forney pulled a 13.02-pounder from Lake Fork, the 237th Budweiser ShareLunker from that lake. Lamb was fishing about 8 feet deep among stumps when the fish took his jig. The fish was 25 inches long and 21 inches in girth.

March 11, 2008. Brian Siebenmorgen of Eureka, MO, caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 448 from Lake Fork about 11:30 a.m. He was fishing in 10 feet of water with a waterdog. The 13.29-pound bass was 25 inches long and 20.75 inches in girth.

“I can’t believe I am a member of the ShareLunker program,” said Siebenmorgen. “It’s a great program. The fish lives on to make babies, and I’ll have a mount on my wall. Once a year we come to Texas, and we love it.”

March 13, 2008. Robert (“Bob”) Taylor of Sam Rayburn caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 449 from Sam Rayburn Reservoir shortly before noon.

The fish weighed 13.25 pounds. It was 27.25 inches long and 19.5 inches around.

Taylor was fishing in five feet of water with a red lizard.

Taylor’s fish is the 23rd to be entered into the Budweiser ShareLunker program from Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Only two lakes in Texas have had more ShareLunker entries: Lake Fork and Lake Alan Henry.

March 17, 2008. Tyler State Park Lake sent its second Budweiser ShareLunker and a new lake record to Athens.

The 14.5-pound largemouth bass took a rainbow-trout imitating swim bait being worked in 3 feet of water by Tyler angler Brett Harris. The fish was 27.75 inches long and 20.25 inches in girth.

By virtue of catching the largest fish of the current season, Harris became the Budweiser ShareLunker Angler of the Year. In addition to the replica of his fish and ShareLunker clothing awarded to all the anglers, Harris will also receive a lifetime fishing license. All prizes are provided by Budweiser.

April 1, 2008. A Lake Casa Blanca largemouth bass made its second trip to Athens as a Budweiser ShareLunker.

Cesar Gomez of Laredo caught the 13.33-pound bass while fishing in four feet of water with a Senko plastic worm. When Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel wanded the fish to see if it contained a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag, the display lit up. All ShareLunkers are tagged, and a check of the number revealed this fish had been caught February 14, 2006, by Abilene angler Jay Stevens. At that time the fish became Budweiser ShareLunker 397.

Returned to the lake and caught again, the fish is now also ShareLunker 451.

The fish grew since it was caught in 2006. At that time it was 26 inches long, 20 inches in girth, and weighed 13.2 pounds. The fish is now 28.25 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth.

April 3, 2008. Scott Campbell of Springfield, Missouri, pulled in the big fish in ESPN’s B.A.S.S. Elite Series tournament on Lake Falcon. The fish weighed 13.13 pounds.

Campbell was fishing with a 10-inch worm in 25 feet of water.

April 5, 2008. Pamela Plummer of Fort Worth was fishing in seven feet of water off a dock on Lake Fork when her ZOOM watermelon red plastic worm got hung up in some vegetation-or so she thought. “Then my pole bent, and I realized I had a fish,” she said. “It jumped and I realized I had a big fish. It jumped three times before I got it in. My husband almost had a heart attack.”

Plummer’s fish weighed 13.11 pounds and was 25.5 inches long and 22 inches in girth.

April 20, 2008. Only days after anglers in a professional bass fishing tournament weighed in record amounts of fish, Falcon International Reservoir produced its ninth Budweiser ShareLunker and the final fish of the 2007-2008 season.

Brandon Smith of Leander, Texas, was fishing in seven feet of water when a 14.25-pound largemouth took his 10.5-inch black emerald Monster ZOOM plastic worm.

The fish was 25.5 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth.

This season’s anglers will be honored at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center on June 7. At that time they will be presented with a fiberglass replica of their catch made by Lake Fork Taxidermy. They will also receive a certificate and Budweiser ShareLunker clothing.

The Budweiser ShareLunker program is made possible through support from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Since 1991, Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has contributed millions of dollars in funding to support conservation causes and fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation programs in Texas.