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Chris Smith

To say the 2021 Sharelunker season was exciting is a gross understatement.

Things have been fast and furious for most of the season. To understand better how the program works, the Sharelunker program was set up for anglers catching bass over 13 pounds to donate or loan their catch to the Texas Parks & Wildlife. The TP&W studies these giant fish and collects data to better understand what makes these fish reach these sizes.

The first three months of the year are when this activity takes place. The remainder of the year anglers can report bass and submit them for recognition. Bass weighing eight pounds and up are accepted but the 13 and ups are where the excitement is.

That three-month period ended on March 31, and the numbers are staggering.

More than 20 bass over 13 pounds got measured weighed and released or retained during January, February and March. Take into consideration there were five bass entered in the program that weighed over 15 pounds.

Over 75 pounds for five fish makes a statement for the Sharelunker folks. Twice in the season 3 fish over 13 were weighed in the same day. The brightest star of the season was O.H. Ivie Lake. This lake delivered 12 Sharelunkers this year and the bonus is, how many more that were caught were just under the 13 pound requirements. Actually this is not a record for Ivie.

Back in 2012 O.H. Ivie produced 12 Sharelunkers as well. This lake has received stockings from the program and it appears to be working quite well. I heard reports of parking lots full and trailers having to park a mile away. Hopefully with catch and release this big bass factory will flourish.

No Sharelunker season would be complete without mentioning Lake Fork. This impoundment has been producing “teens” since the 1980s. Although not as prominent as Fork was at one time, it is still a legendary fishery with plenty of monster bass. This year Fork waited until the last minute to make her splash but Tanner Spurgin of McKinney wouldn’t have it any other way. Spurgin was entered in the Bass Champs Mega Bass event and actually lost the fish once. He quickly reeled in and cast his bait to the fish and unbelievably the bass hit again.

This time he was able to land the fish and head for the weigh in. Hearing the fish weighed 15.27 and he had won the event sealed the deal.

The Sharelunker Program has a website and other social media pages. Check them out, the pictures are incredible.

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