There’s One In Every Crowd

| April 7, 2010

I was talking to JH just last night after catching two six pound Texas Salmon, and he was commenting on something that’s gotten a lot of attention lately – size, fish size. Now, don’t get me wrong, this site really (really) exists for the sharing of all kinds of information and is less about quantity and size of fish. If you don’t believe it, check the archives. When the spring frenzy starts, and we shake off the cold, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the size race. The truth is, when it comes to fish size, unless you weigh it on a Boga or comparable scale … OR just say “about”, or “I think it was”, or “I am just guessing”, or “I’m gonna’ lie to you, but”. Why? Particularly when it comes to palmettos, they are ferocious fighters, pound-per-pound they are the Pacquiaos of the (warm) freshwater fish world. It may “feel” like a monster, but even my guesstimate of a five pounder being a certain length was quickly proven totally wrong. We can see that sponsoring a fishing “contest” here would be pointless based on weight, so we will be thinking about another angle for that dormant idea.

Now that the “Run” is about over, we can forget all about that, and concentrate on, what else but, largemouth bass! The wise folks at TPWD are probably laying awake at night hoping someone doesn’t already have number 500 sitting in a holding pen somewhere, just swimming around circles to the tune of Jaws. I guess they realized they could get bitten on their collective butts, and came out with some new conditions for the “SLunker 500”.


ATHENS — Whoever catches Toyota ShareLunker 500 will have to answer a few more questions than usual for someone entering a 13-pound-plus bass into the popular Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) program.

“Because the angler who legally catches and enters ShareLunker 500 into the program will receive $500 a pound from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, we will X-ray the fish and require the person to take a polygraph test to confirm that the fish meets all the qualifications,” said Allen Forshage. Forshage is director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, where the ShareLunker program is headquartered.

The ShareLunker program rules require that an angler turn a ShareLunker entry in to TPWD within 12 hours after the fish is caught. “This is to give the fish the best chance of surviving the stress of being caught,” said Forshage. “The sooner we get the fish under the care of the trained biologists here at TFFC the better chance it will have of spawning and being returned to the lake alive. The welfare of the fish always comes first in the ShareLunker program.”

ShareLunker program manager David Campbell will personally pick up ShareLunker 500 and perform the first inspection to be sure the fish is capable of surviving. The fish will not officially become ShareLunker 500 until the X-rays and polygraph test confirms the fish was legally caught and entered.

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Life Observed, TIPS

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

Comments (3)

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  1. Comparable. Heck, just take the fish to the Dam Store and get them to weigh it, and forget about CPR! If I had done that … We’re not talking rare commodities here … we’re talking big, mean and not too pretty mules.

  2. shannon says:

    Count me out.

  3. ukf says:

    Let me jump in for the lighter wallets. Bogas are $120… the comparable Bass Pro spring scale around $19. Since Bogas aren’t off the shelf (at bass pro anyway) IGFA certified, are they off the shelf certified for the state of texas or do you have to have your device authenticated by a certified scale at a local marina to be legit? Do you have to do the same for both brands?

    And another example of size/weight difference on hybrids. Yesterday i witnessed a 4.5 lb that was 23″. Another guy as we were leaving pulled in a hog. We weighed it a 8.8 on a digital scale, then measured at 25.25″. Twice the weight amounted to 2.25 inches. So don’t let that fool you.

    If you’re still into, the hybrids are still being caught in large numbers. However, with 11 fly fisherman hitting one spot, it’s best to drink coffee until the crowd thins.

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