Toyota ShareLunker Program Kicked Off 36th Season Last Weekend.
ATHENS – The month of January begins a new year and with it the beginning of the 36th season of the Toyota ShareLunker program when anglers across the state, and for that matter, the nation, cast their lines and fish for Largemouth Bass in Texas’ world-class fisheries. The Toyota ShareLunker program has played an integral part in making Texas a destination for hundreds of thousands of anglers searching for this prized sport fish.
The 2021 season 35 was one for the record books. Last year saw multiple milestones reached and memories made by anglers and the dedicated Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries staff that make the program a success. As a result, anticipation is high for what 2022 could have in store for anglers across the state and the nation.
What better way for you to jump-start the new year than to grab a pole and hit the water in search of a 13-pound plus Largemouth Bass. Nothing beats feeling the line being cast, seeing the lure land on the water, and the anticipation of a strike from a possible fish of a lifetime.
“We are excited to kick off another ShareLunker season,” said Toyota ShareLunker Program Coordinator Kyle Brookshear. “The Sharelunker program contributes to the selective spawning and stocking of these world-class offspring and also helps us gather vital to catch and genetic data to help our fisheries biologists better manage trophy bass populations throughout the great fisheries of Texas.”
During the first three months of the season (Jan. 1 through Mar. 31), anglers who reel in a 13+ pound bass can loan it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. In addition, these anglers can call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 until Apr. 1, 2022.
Anglers who catch and donate one of these 13+ lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat. They also get VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event and a high-quality replica mount of their Lunker fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy. They also receive entries into two separate drawings, a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing, and both guarantee the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and an annual fishing license.
The year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers four levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas. The 2022 season provides an opportunity to join the particular club of premier anglers who have submitted a Legacy class ShareLunker.
Anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than 8 pounds or 24 inches during the calendar year 2022 also receive the following. 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 you reel a lunker in, you 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 TexasSharelunker.com. In addition to providing basic catch information, anglers can also offer 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 significant funding for a wide variety of fisheries, state parks, and wildlife projects.
Prize donors including Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, American Fishing Tackle Co., Stanley Jigs, and Sixth Sense Lures also support this program. For updates on the Toyota ShareLunker Program, visit facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/ or TexasSharelunker.com.