East Texas Angler Sets Lake Record with 15+ Pound Monster Bass
Anglers added two more Legacy Lunkers to the 2021 Toyota ShareLunker season totals over the weekend. On Friday, March 19, Jimmy Faulkner of Carlsbad, New Mexico reeled in a monster large-mouth on O.H. Ivie Lake in the Texas Hill Country that tipped the scales at 13.06.
Then, on Saturday, March 20, James Crawford of Whitehouse, Texas made history by breaking the Lake Tyler record for the biggest large-mouth bass. The Legacy Lunker weighed in at 15.44-pounds, the second largest of the season behind only Joe McKay’s 16.40-pound ShareLunker 590 from O.H. Ivie back in February. Crawford’s Lunker was the fourth to register at over 15 pounds for the 2021 season. In addition, it shattered the previous Lake Tyler record by over 2.5 pounds and became Crawford’s personal best. His previous one weighed 10.73-pounds.
“We were fishing a tournament and got the first cast out around 7 a.m. that morning,” said Crawford. “Due to the fog, I wasn’t able to get up to my normal spot at the north end of the lake but stopped at a spot I had fished in the past. However, I had done well at this spot before and on the third cast I landed this Legacy Lunker on a jig. I immediately knew it was a giant fish, just didn’t know initially if it was a largemouth bass or catfish. Once it came up and stuck its head out of the water, that’s when things got nerve racking as the fight was on at that point. I’ve caught fish before that just gave up once the hook was set and came right to the boat, but that wasn’t the case with this one. It took a bit to land her, but once I got her in the boat, I knew it was likely the lake record, but had no idea it was going to be in the 15-pound range. It was certainly an exciting day.”
After being notified by the anglers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists quickly obtained and transported the ShareLunkers to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. This spring, TPWD biologists will attempt to spawn it in an effort to make bigger, better bass that will enhance fishing in Texas lakes for years to come.
During the first three months of the season (Jan. 1 through March 31), anglers who reel in a 13+ pound bass can loan it to TPWD for the ShareLunker selective breeding and stocking program. These anglers can call the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 to report their catch 24/7 until April 1, 2021.
Anglers who catch and donate one of these 13+ lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event and a high-quality replica of their lunker fish. These anglers will also receive entries into two separate drawings; a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Both drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and an annual fishing license.
Anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than 8 lbs. or 24 inches during the calendar year 2021 also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree and annual fishing license. ShareLunker entry classes include the Lunker Class (8lb+), Elite Class (10lb+), and Legend Class (13lb+).
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and TPWD, providing major funding for a wide variety of fisheries, state parks and wildlife projects.
Recent Texas Sharelunkers