AUSTIN – For the first time in more than 28 years, Twin Buttes Reservoir near San Angelo has produced a Toyota ShareLunker largemouth bass exceeding 13 pounds. Angler Austin Terry of San Angelo caught the 13.40 pound, 25 ¾ inch Legacy Class lunker on a Santone spinnerbait ½ ounce red river special in less than 4 feet of water at the lake March 14.
“The lake is fishing really good and there are a lot of big ones biting right now,” Terry said. “To catch a ShareLunker is pretty cool – especially for a lake where there was only 2 to 4 feet of water in there a few years ago. It’s hard to believe that there are fish that big in there.”
ShareLunker 574 is the fourth Legacy Class entry of the season and the first to come out of a lake other than Lake Fork.
“Lake Fork has been whipping everybody this year with Legacy Class entries,” said John Ingle, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Senior Fisheries Technician. “So we are pretty excited for a lake in our (San Angelo) district to produce the first 13 pound or larger ShareLunker entry outside of Lake Fork. We know these fish are out there but the anglers just have to catch them.”
The last time the reservoir produced a ShareLunker entry was in 1989, when angler David Zak caught ShareLunker 43 – a 13.00 pound, 20 inch bass. TPWD inland fisheries staff say although the fishing can be challenging in West Texas due to drought, double digit bass can be found in many area reservoirs.
“One of our struggles in West Texas is chronic drought,” said Lynn Wright, TPWD Inland Fisheries District Supervisor for San Angelo. “But despite the low water levels the bass populations are doing great out here, as evidenced by that ShareLunker. I think a lot of people are going to take notice and we may see an uptick in fishing pressure up here in West Texas.”
ShareLunker 574 was transported to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens where hatchery staff will monitor and care for her in preparation for spawning. Also in the “Lunker Bunker” are the three other Legacy Class entries of the season from Lake Fork: Toyota ShareLunker 573, a 13.06 largemouth bass caught by angler Alex Finch March 11; Toyota ShareLunker 572, a 13.00 pound largemouth bass caught by angler Michael Terrebonne March 8; and Toyota ShareLunker 571, a 15.48 pound largemouth bass caught by angler John LaBove March 2.
Texas anglers who catch a 13 pound or larger largemouth bass can loan the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program for spawning through March 31.
Every angler who loans a 13 pound or larger Legacy Class bass to the Toyota ShareLunker program during the spawning period Jan. 1 to March 31 will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items, a 13lb+ Legacy decal, VIP access to awards programming at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a replica of their fish, and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license. These anglers will also be entered into the Legacy Class Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license at the end of the spawning period March 31.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker program and to view photos of all of the 13-pound-plus largemouth bass caught this season, visit https://www.facebook.com/ShareLunkerprogram or https://texassharelunker.com/.