Ajax Loader  Loading... Please wait...
  • My Account CALL TO ORDER 800.969.3337
  • Sign in or Create an account


Blog - TPWD's ShareLunker Gets a Facelift


By Matt Williams

Texas Fish & Game Magazine

Just in case you haven’t heard, the Toyota ShareLunker program run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is now operating under a brand-new format. ShareLunker now offers several new ways to participate and a passel of attractive incentives to reel anglers in.

First, a little history:

Lake Fork guide Mark Stevenson turned over the program's very first entry in November 1986. In hindsight, Stevenson's 17.67-pound former state record provided a pivotal jump-start for the spawning and genetics research program, which Is founded on giant Texas bass and the anglers who catch them.

Roughly 31 years down the road ShareLunker has taken 569 additional entries weighing upwards of 13 pounds from more than 60 public reservoirs scattered around the state. The ShareLunker format rewarded participating anglers with cool prizes and widespread recognition through press releases and social media.

TPWD scientists pair the big female bass with handpicked males in hatchery raceways for spawning. The idea is to produce armies of baby bass with shared big bass DNA.

The ShareLunker progenies are stocked back into Texas lakes or used for research. A year ago, TPWD announced plans to revamp Its entire Florida bass hatchery program using ShareLunker offspring.

Often billed as one of the most successful public relations programs ever launched by the state agency, ShareLunker has generated a wealth of Interest in Texas bass fishing while spurring some really neat findings in fish science along the way.

Not surprisingly, the program has undergone a passel of policy changes over time, both good and bad. It has also met with a few bumps in the road in recent years that have caused angler support and participation to wane.

For more than a year now, new leaders within TPWD's inland fisheries division have been looking for ways to rekindle public Interest, restore angler trust and boost participation. They are hopeful the new format launched January 1 will breathe new life into the program and ultimately bring it out of the slump.

ShareLunker has always centered on anglers donating big Texas-caught bass for spawning purposes. Since day one, the minimum size required for entry has been 13 pounds.

Those fish are still considered the heart and soul of the January 1-March 31 spawning phase of the program under the revised structure. However, TPWD is expanding the format to allow anglers to receive recognition by entering bass as small as eight pounds inother categories year-round.

The idea behind adding more levels of achievement is to drum up more entries while providing researchers with data that will help them get a better grip on trophy bass distribution across the state.

TPWD is putting plenty of bait on the table to reel in more participation, too. among the Incentives are automatic chances to win $5,000 Shopping sprees to an outdoor retailer, fishing licenses, ShareLunker branded merchandise, fishing tackle packages, etc.

The expanded format also includes simplified ways to enter fish electronically outside the spawning window using details outlined on the program's new website, texassharelunker.com.

Entries must be accompanied by digital photos of the fish being weighed on a digital scale or measured on a rigid measuring board. Fish caught during a tournament must be accompanied by a weigh-in slip or website links for documentation, if photos are not available.

Another noteworthy change gives anglers the opportunity to become citizen scientists by submitting scale samples from their fish for DNA testing. Testing will be performed at TPWD's Genetics Lab in San Marcos at no cost to the angler.

“We’ll be able to run the scales to determine the genetics of individual fish at our lab," said Craig Bonds. TPWD Inland Fisheries Director. "This will not only satisfy the curiosity of the angler, but it will also provide us with valuable data about the genetics of our wild populations of large bass around the state.

"As we move from stocking tens of thousands of selectively-bred offspring to tens of millions in the future, then hopefully we'll start seeing some of these fish show up in scale samples that are submitted to us by the anglers," bonds added.

"It's a citizen-science partnership we hope to establish with anglers that will allow them to contribute to the management of largemouth bass in Texas and make it bigger and better."

Cool as it all sounds; TPWD isn't exploring unchartered territory with its expanded ShareLunker format. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has run a similar catch and release program called TrophyCatch since 2012.

More than 6,000 entries have been submitted to that program over the years.


4 Reasons to Take Your Kids Fishing This Summer

#1 Get ‘em outdoors Most kids spend a lot of time in front of electronics after school and during winter months. And even if they’re involved in sports, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re focused on being outdoors. Summer is a great time to pick-up a couple of fishing poles and head to a nearby state park with [...]

Read More »

Customer Testimonial - Michael LaVere

"Just wanted to take a moment and let y'all know how happy I am with your products and services. You guys have hands down the most dependable feeders on the market, and your customer service is second to none. I've been using your feeders now since 2004 and couldn't as for a better product. Thanks [...]

Read More »

5 Most Important Principles of Pond Management

by Bob Lusk, Pond Boss Magazine Over decades of trying to figure out how ponds work, it’s become distinctly apparent that every pond is different, and each has its own quirks. Some seem to work in harmony with themselves and their owners, while others blow up and act like a rebellious teenager—and we become frustrated parents. [...]

Read More »

Recipe - Fish Foil Packet Grillers

A simple and fun new way to cook fish and veggies on the grill! Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 8 min Serving Size: 4 Ingredients 2 lemons, each cut into 10 slices, ends discarded 8 small sole fillets (or your favorite white fish - 1 lb.) 1/2 cup (1/2 of 8-oz. tub) Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread 1 green onion, thinly [...]

Read More »

Bass Force One

Alton Jones Jr. aboard President George W. Bush’s “Bass Force One” docked near a Texas Hunter Fish Feeder The Triton Boat was presented to President Bush in September 2014 by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops President Bush aboard Bass Force One Published 4:04 p.m. CT Sept. 16, 2014 by Springfield News-Leader part of the USA Today Network.  President George W. Bush, an [...]

Read More »

How To Tie The Strongest Fishing Knots

From our friends at Field and Stream by John Merwin We put monofilament, fluorocarbon, and superline through an exhaustive series of tests and ­discovered the very best bonds for all. Arguments about the best terminal knot are endless. Usually they match one angler’s opinion against another’s. But to paraphrase knot maven Lefty Kreh, line-testing machines don’t have opinions. With [...]

Read More »

Turkey Hunter's Checklist

A handy Turkey Hunter's Checklist put together by our friends at the National Wild Turkey Federation. We hope you enjoy the sights, sounds and experiences spring turkey season brings. For more information on this year's spring turkey season visit NWTF's state-by-state Spring Hunt Guide to plan your spring turkey hunts. We hope you have a great [...]

Read More »

Largemouth Bass Forage for Ponds & Lakes

Largemouth Bass Forage for Ponds & Lakes By Scott Brown, Southern Sportsman Aquatics and Land Management Largemouth bass are the most sought after fish in the country. The majority of landowners want BIG bass and lots of them to catch! To obtain quality/trophy size largemouth bass, numbers of bass must be reduced and forage present must be increased. The size your [...]

Read More »

​How to Get Your Kids Into Turkey Hunting

By Mark Melotik and our friends at Outdoor Life Magazine What’s better than being in the presence of a strutting spring tom as it booms out a ground-shaking gobble? Sharing that incredible experience with an enthralled, wide-eyed youngster, huddled inches away from you in a cozy ground blind. Even an IMAX theatre movie can’t compete with a [...]

Read More »

Texas Hunter Products
3350 N Panam Expressway
(same as 3350 IH 35 North)
San Antonio, TX 78219

Feeder Kits
Fish Feeders
Protein Feeders
Deer Feeders
Hide-A-Way Feeders
Road Feeders
Hunting Blinds
Chairs & Stools
Gift Certificates

Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Return Policy

Request Catalog


©2018 Texas Hunter Products All Rights Reserved.