ATHENS – The 2022 Toyota ShareLunker collection season claimed its spot as one of the best in program history. Anglers contributed 24 ShareLunkers from nine different lakes across the state, surpassing 2021’s impressive total of 23 Legacy fish. This season nearly matched 1995’s program record of 27 during a January through March collection timespan.
In addition, four new lake records were established, four fish cracked the top 50 all-time list, including the seventh largest in Texas history, and O.H. Ivie Lake continued its impressive ShareLunker run with 12 Legacy entries. O.H. Ivie boasts 24 combined Legacy Lunkers during the past two collection seasons. The Toyota ShareLunker website provides information on each Legacy fish from the 2022 collection season, archives of past seasons and details how anglers can participate in making bass fishing even better in Texas.
“This Toyota ShareLunker collection season was simply historic in so many ways – we live for seasons like this,” said Tom Lang, Director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
“We’re grateful that so many anglers caught their fish of a lifetime this season and then decided to share their lunker with us so we can make more of these bigger, better bass for future generations of anglers.”
Key highlights from the 2022 Toyota ShareLunker collection season include:
- 24 Legacy-class ShareLunkers this season, the most during January through March since 1995 (27)
- Nine different water bodies produced ShareLunkers in 2022
- Lake Daniel became the 75th public water to contribute a Legacy-class ShareLunker
- Four entries were new lake records (Lake Daniel (Twice), Eagle Mountain, O.H. Ivie)
- The new O.H. Ivie waterbody record was set at 17.06 pounds, was the biggest in 30 years, and is the 7th largest largemouth bass ever verified in Texas (private or public)
- Four fish made the Texas Top 50 biggest largemouth bass of all-time list
- For the third season in a row, an angler submitted two entries (Back-to-back seasons from O.H. Ivie, and 2020 from Alan Henry)
- Two anglers submitted a catch in back-to-back seasons
- Two ShareLunkers were submitted in the same day three times this season
- One angler (Josh Jones) became the first to contribute a fourth ShareLunker to the program
- Five entries were greater than 15-pounds, including three over 16-pounds
In addition, TPWD biologists through genetic analysis of this year’s Legacy Lunkers, have made some incredible discoveries in terms of lineage to previous ShareLunkers. ShareLunker 625 from Lake Austin is the offspring of ShareLunker 446 from Richland-Chambers Reservoir in 2008 and ShareLunker 627 from O.H. Ivie is the daughter of ShareLunker 535 from O.H. Ivie in 2012. ShareLunker 627 is also related to ShareLunker 591 caught at O.H. Ivie in 2021, though the exact relationship cannot be determined based on the available data.
Anglers who caught and donated one of these 13+ pound lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13+ pound Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event and a high-quality replica mount of their Lunker fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy. These anglers will also receive entries into two separate drawings – a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Both drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and an annual fishing license.
Although the “Legacy Class” donation season has ended, anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than 8 pounds or 24 inches during the 2022 calendar year also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and annual fishing license. ShareLunker entry classes include the Lunker Class (8lb+), Elite Class (10lb+), and Legend Class (13lb+).
Once a lunker is reeled in, anglers need to enter the catch data on the Toyota ShareLunker mobile app – available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play – or on the Toyota ShareLunker online app at TexasSharelunker.com. In addition to providing basic catch information, anglers can also provide a DNA scale sample from their lunker bass to TPWD researchers for genetic analysis.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of fisheries, state parks and wildlife projects.
Prize donors Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, American Fishing Tackle Co., Stanley Jigs, and 6th Sense also provide additional support for this program.