If any angler ever thought female largemouth bass spawn only once a year, the Budweiser ShareLunker program that ended its 2008 season last week certainly sheds some new light on the subject for them.
Although only 13 ShareLunker bass were entered this year into the program that uses trophy bass for genetic studies and spawning purposes, the number of spawns among the entered fish was above average.
The long-term average number of fish entered into the program annually is 20.
Two of this year’s bass spawned a total of six times and produced 110,148 eggs. The average number of spawns achieved during the program each year is four.
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A ShareLunker bass caught by Jeremy Bruton of Blooming Grove was this year’s most prolific spawner. Bruton’s bass spawned four times and produced 78,834 eggs. A fish caught by Brett Harris of Tyler at Tyler State Park Lake spawned twice and produced 31,314 eggs.
Officials at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, headquarters of the ShareLunker program, said fish from those spawns will be reared to six inches before being stocked in public lakes as part of the state’s Operation World Record program that is attempting to produce the next world record bass.
Harris’ bass weighed 14.5 pounds and not only was a Tyler State Park Lake record but also was the largest fish entered into the program this year. The catch earned Harris the Budweiser ShareLunker Angler of the Year title. He will receive a fiberglass replica of his catch, clothing and a lifetime fishing license. Other ShareLuker entrants will receive replicas and clothing provided by Budweiser.
This year’s ShareLunker anglers will be honored at a banquet June 7 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
More information is available at www.tpwd.state.tx.us