With the launch of the new year-round participation season Jan. 1, the Toyota ShareLunker Programis debuting a new website and mobile app to facilitate entries and provide anglers with news and updates.
“Catching an 8 pound or larger bass is no easy feat, so we made it as simple as possible for anglers to be rewarded for their achievement with the Toyota ShareLunker Program,” said Kyle Brookshear, Toyota ShareLunker Program coordinator. “With our new mobile app, anyone can enter their lunker bass from their smartphone or tablet right from their favorite fishing spot.”
Anglers also have the option of entering their catch at the end of their fishing trip on the new Toyota ShareLunker website, https://texassharelunker.com. The digital entry form allows anglers to quickly submit photos of the fish being properly measured, weighed and held.
The mobile app and website entry forms include simple instructions for anglers who would like to provide a sample of fish scales from their lunker bass to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) researchers for genetic analysis.
“By entering the information and providing scale samples from catches of 8 pound and larger lunker bass, anglers can provide TPWD with important data that our fisheries biologists and hatcheries staff can use to make the bass fishing in Texas even better,” Brookshear said.
But the bread and butter of the program is still the selective breeding and stocking the offspring of the state’s biggest fish. Anglers who catch a largemouth bass over 13 pounds Jan. 1 through March 31 can choose to loan it to the program for spawning during the peak season. These special fish are entered by calling the program directly – any time of day – at (903) 681-0550.
TPWD hatcheries staff will attempt to spawn all 13-pound lunker bass loaned through March 31. Some of the offspring will be stocked back to the source locations for all ShareLunker entries for the year, and others will be used as brood stock for statewide largemouth bass stockings.
Lunker bass entries of every size over 8 pounds or 24 inches will receive an exciting prize package and anglers can enter as many fish as they want during the participation season Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
Each angler who enters an 8 pound or 24 inches and larger lunker bass on the mobile app or website will receive a Toyota ShareLunker Catch Kit containing branded merchandise and fishing tackle items and an entry into the year-end ShareLunker Prize Drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree and an annual fishing license. Anglers will also receive a vehicle decal to display their recognition category – Lunker Class for bass at least 8 pounds or 24 inches, Lunker Elite Class for bass 10 to 12.99 pounds, and Lunker Legend Class for bass at least 13 pounds.
Lunker Legacy Class anglers who loan a lunker bass over 13 pounds to TPWD during the spawning window will receive the same prizes as the other categories as well as a Lunker Legacy Class vehicle decal, VIP access to awards programing at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a replica of their fish, and an entry 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.
After spawning at the TFFC, the 13 pound and larger lunker bass will be returned to the angler, who will have the option of releasing them back to the lake or donating them to the Toyota ShareLunker program for display at the TFFC.
To view the full list of prizes and official rules and entry information, visit https://texassharelunker.com. For program updates, photos and to keep up with Texas lunker catches, join the ShareLunker community online at www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram/.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & 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.