Lakecaster Online

Editors Notepad
By Ed Snyder

"LUNKERS AHOY"

For those 'nay-sayers' who were spreading rumors that Rayburn would "never" recover from the bass kill of two years ago, well, they "hopefully" had their wake-up call on February 15, when Arizona BASS/Pro, Dean Rojas, managed to catch and donate a 13.77 lb Share-A-Lunker. It hasn't been since the 1997/1998 season that Rayburn had been entered in the program which had six, of its seven 13 lb lunker's donated, matching Lake Fork's entries lunker bass for lunker bass. "But, after the Largemouth Bass Virus activated its devastating effects on Big Sam's future as a trophy lunker lake, it seemed a dim and far-reaching future for Rayburn at most. Even after Sam Rayburn began to produce higher weight averages for its tournaments, with previous 15 lb wins jumping back to the 20 to 30 lb-plus- marks, doubts were still heavy that Big Sam was still under the cloud of its previous big bass kill, as most believed that it would take another 5 to 6 years before Rayburn would start producing those 13 lb Share-A-lunkers again......"Then, Dean Rojas set his hook into Rayburn's come-back.

The BASSMaster's tournament really started the wake-up call as pro/anglers managed to catch better weigh-ins which produced 3,261 bass weighing 7,690 lbs, which also included 4 lunkers of 10.3 lbs, 10.1 lbs, 9.13 lbs, and 9.9 lbs. The winner, Bud Pruitt, of Sam Rayburn, exposed to the media that he bungled his chance of weighing a 35 lb sack on the 2nd day as he informed of losing several large bass on that day.

Dean Rojas' 13.77 lb "Share-A-Lunker" came only two days after the BASSMaster tourny as he was busy fishing & working the Skeeter Boats Outdoor Writers Seminar at Rayburn Country. Dean was with "Field & Stream" photographer, David Sams, when he caught his lunker bass, sooooo, fully expect to be reading about, and seeing that "wonderful" catch printed within the pages of a future Field & Stream magazine.

Big "T" has also been really busy with their bass fishery as a previous Bass-N-Bucks tournament produced seven 20 lb weigh-in's for its "top-end" tally, which was recorded and taped by "Cajun Phil's" Fishing & Hunting show. The popular Outdoor's program will be aired on Fox-29 TV.-(check local listings for times and scheduling)- With Toledo Bend now fully within its "prime-time" bassin' season the popular Toledo Lunker Bass program has now recorded three 10 lb -plus- bass in its pages, which includes a 10.49 lb bass caught by Mike Wheatley of Keatchie LA, another 10.49 lb lunker caught by Wayne Ebarb of Many, LA, and now, its most recent recorded catch by Chris NeQuent of Buna TX with his 10.8 lb lunker.
Texas Share-A-Lunker Program Off To A Good Start-
Texas/Budweiser Share-A-Lunker Program
Recorded Lunkers as of Sunday, February 20, 2000.

With the state of Texas enjoying some of the finest bass fishing found anywhere, the genetics to that success can be found within its Share-A-Lunker program which was started back in 1986. "To date, this program has recovered over 300 lunker bass which were within the 13 lb -and up- range which top-ends at the 18.21 lb mark of the Texas State record. This years start of the "traditional" lunker bass season has already produced eight "Share-A-Lunker" bass which have been successfully donated into the program. These eight lunkers represent 109.81 lbs in live bass poundage which have a possible spawn production of over 500,000 bass fingerlings..........."IN-credible!!"

Bass #1-The first Budwieser ShareLunker of the 1999-2000 season was caught at 8:30am on February 3, 2000 from O. H. Ivie. Bobbie Gayle from Plains, Texas caught the lunker in 27' of water on a waterdog. It weighed 13.05 lbs. with a length of 26", girth of 20.25".

Bass#2-The second Budwieser ShareLunker of the 1999-2000 season was caught at 4:30pm on February 9, 2000. This entry marks the 300th fish entered into the Program since its inception in 1986. C. R. (Butch) Gayle caught the fish on a waterdog in 27' of water from O.H. Ivie. Butch's wife, Bobbie Gayle caught the first ShareLunker of the season just last week. Texas Parks and Wildlife staff from Heart of the Hills Research station picked up the lunker from Elm Creek Village Marina on Wednesday evening. Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center staff picked the fish up and returned to TFFC, where the fish is in good condition, general health conditions will be evaluated over the next few days. Official Weight: 14.59 lbs Length: 26" Girth: 21"

Bass#3-Budweiser ShareLunker entry # 3 was caught on February 15, 2000 at 10:45 am from Sam Rayburn. Dean Rojas caught the 13.77 lbs. largemouth bass on a crank bait in 10 feet of water at 10:45 am. The fish measured 25.5" in length with a girth of 21.25".

Bass#4-Budweiser ShareLunker # 4 was caught on February 17, 2000 at 6:00 pm from O.H. Ivie. Barbara Sparks from Carlsbad, New Mexico caught the lunker in 23 feet of water on a waterdog in the Turkey Bend area of the lake. Lunker # 4 weighs 13.43 lbs, has a length of 25" and girth of 20.5"

Bass#5- Budweiser ShareLunker entry # 5 was caught at 9:10 a.m., February 18, 2000 from Lake Fork. Michael L. Heitman from Midlothian, TX caught the 13.62 lbs. lunker in 4-5 ft. of water on a pumpkin red tail lizard - Texas rig in Bell Cove of Lake Fork. The fish measured 26" in length and Girth: 21"
Bass#6-Budweiser ShareLunker entry # 6 was caught at 11:00 p.m., February 18, 2000 from Lake Fork. While fishing all night with friends, Terry Henry from Claremore, OK caught the 13.25 lbs. lunker on a spinnerbait. The fish measured 24" in length with a girth of 20.5". Terry Henry and his friends reported catching 20 largemouth bass over 6 lbs. during their night of fishing on Lake Fork.
Bass#7-Budweiser ShareLunker entry # 7 was caught at 10:30 p.m., February 19, 2000 from Lake Fork. Nathan Strickland of Tyler, Texas caught the biggest entry so far with his 14.67 lbs. lunker on a jig and craw in 11 ft. of water. Strickland's fish measured 25.5" in length, with a girth of 22".
Bass#8-Budweiser ShareLunker entry # 8 was caught at 9:50 am on February 20th from Lake Alan Henry. Alan Hill from Lubbock, Texas caught a 13.43 lbs. lunker in 6 feet of water on a plastic worm. The fish measured 25" in length and had a girth of 20.25".
NOW"..............."Where the heck is O.H. IVIE-??


Arizona Pro, Dean Rojas with 13.77 lb Rayburn "Share-A-Lunker"

Buna TX angler, Chris NeQuent with 10.8 lb Toledo Lunker

< photos by Ed Snyder >

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