Fishing in 20 feet of water off a main lake point at dusk the last day of July, Cameron Burnett boated a 14.44-pound largemouth.
Burnett was using a Huddleston Deluxe 8-inch swimbait. The fish, 26.75 inches long, now swims in an aquarium at Lake Fork Marina, an official ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Station. Burnett plans to release the fish back into Lake Fork at a future date.
ShareLunker program manager David Campbell noted that had the fish been caught during the spawning season, it would probably would have weighed about 15.5 pounds. That would have placed the fish on the list of 50 biggest bass ever caught in Texas. Lake Fork produced one such fish last season, a 15.61-pounder caught by James Quisenberry on March 22.
The ShareLunker program accepts entries into the program from October 1 until April 30. Fish must weigh at least 13 pounds and be legally caught in Texas waters, public or private, to qualify. They must be turned over to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in survivable condition within 12 hours of capture. The fish are used in a selective breeding program before being returned to the angler. To submit an entry, call program manager David Campbell at 903-681-0550 and leave a phone number, including area code.
Last season saw 33 entries, which tied for the second-highest number ever. The upcoming season will mark the 25th anniversary of the program. For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, see http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker/. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.