Lake LBJ

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Changes to Toyota ShareLunker program


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

TPWD is implementing program changes to optimize spawning success.

While the ShareLunker season will continue to run each year from Oct.1 through April 30, only those entries collected between Jan. 1 – March 31 will be accepted as brood stock for spawning.

“Our analysis of spawning results has determined that January-March provides the greatest opportunity to obtain good candidates for spawning,” stated Todd Engeling, TPWD’s Chief of Inland Hatcheries. “For all ShareLunkers caught outside of that timeframe, TPWD staff will weigh and measure each fish and obtain a fin clip for genetic analysis. The fish will then be returned to the angler.”

During January through March, every ShareLunker that TPWD staff determines to be capable of spawning will be transported to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. In recent years, pure Florida largemouth bass have been primarily used for spawning due to limited hatchery space.

ShareLunker # 564 caught by Roy Euper of Lufkin, TX caught on November 2, 2015 from Sam Rayburn was determined not to be a pure Florida largemouth. It was not kept for kept for spawning, but was released back into Sam Rayburn. If he caught #564 this year, the fish will be kept for hatchery brood stock.

“Pure Florida largemouth bass make up nearly half of all ShareLunkers entered while they typically make up less than 10 percent of bass in the wild. That means they likely provide the best chance to reach trophy size,” said Engeling. “TPWD will begin converting hatchery largemouth bass brood stock so that eventually all will be descendants of pure-Florida ShareLunkers.”

In addition, although ShareLunker entries will still be accepted from private waters, ShareLunker offspring will not be stocked back into private water bodies even when the ShareLunker is donated from private waters.

The changes announced for 2016-17 season are part of a long-term strategy being developed for the Toyota ShareLunker program, according to Kyle Brookshear, Toyota ShareLunker Program Coordinator. A team of hatchery scientists, fisheries managers and education and outreach experts is evaluating the program’s long-term goals and strategies. Additional improvements will be incorporated into future seasons with the goal of increasing angler participation.

“As a competitive angler and fishing advocate, I am thrilled to be part of the ShareLunker program and to contribute to its new direction,” said Brookshear. “We want to continue to reward our anglers for not only catching a trophy largemouth bass but also for helping us manage our fisheries to enhance trophy bass fishing in Texas.”


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Lake LBJ Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 21)

Water stained; 72–76 degrees; 0.77’ low. Black bass are fair on chartreuse Rat–L–Traps and plastic swimbaits. Striped bass are good on Spoiler Shads and Li’l Fishies at night. White bass are good on Li’l Fishies at night. Crappie are good on chartreuse/white tube jigs and live minnows over brush piles. Channel catfish are good on minnows and nightcrawlers. Yellow and blue catfish are fair on trotlines baited with live bait.