ATHENS, Texas — Just as April showers bring May flowers, summer rains may produce lots of big bass, come winter. The 19th Budweiser ShareLunker season begins Oct. 1 and continues through April 30, and program coordinator David Campbell anticipates a good year. “Many lakes caught a lot of water this summer, and that produces more habitat for fish to spawn. Plus, when the lakes remain full for a longer period of time, the spawning areas are more accessible to anglers, and they catch more big fish,” Campbell said. Anglers who catch largemouth bass 13 pounds or more from October through April are encouraged to enter the fish into the ShareLunker program. Offspring of the lunkers are stocked into public waters in Texas in an effort to improve the quality of fishing in the state. Anglers receive a replica of their fish by Lake Fork Taxidermy and other prizes and may donate the fish to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or have it returned to them after spawning. Anglers wishing to enter a big bass in the program may call Campbell at (903) 681-0550 any time, day or night, to arrange to have a fish picked up. Or they may page him at (888) 784-0600 and leave a phone number including area code. TPWD personnel will attempt to retrieve the fish within 12 hours. Information about caring for fish before the TPWD pickup can be found on the ShareLunker Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/infish/hatchery/tffc/sharelunker.htm). Most marinas also have this information.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide