Monster bass bonanza on Lake Sam Rayburn

Wayman Triana caught this 13.05-pound bass Saturday, March 7, on Sam Rayburn. He

This past Saturday was the time to be on the water and in the hunt for heavyweight largemouth bass. Not one but three 13-pound-plus bass were caught and entered into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s ShareLunker program. The heaviest of the three weighed just over 15 pounds. 

And the stunner is that Sam Rayburn produced two 13-pound-plus bass in one day.

The latest ShareLunkers from Rayburn vaulted the lake into a tie for second place among lakes producing the most ShareLunkers. Lake Fork leads the pack with 257, while Sam Rayburn, Alan Henry and O.H. Ivie have all produced 25.

“On the first sunny Saturday most people in Texas can remember, nearly every bass boat in Texas was on the water, and the result was three Toyota ShareLunker entries and one almost,” says Larry Hodge with TPWD. “The almost actually was a ShareLunker last year, when it was caught by Athens resident Frank Kirk from Lake Athens. At that time — Jan. 25 — the fish weighed 13.67 pounds. When reeled in by Robert Adams of Mineral Wells on Saturday the fish weighed 12.94 pounds, just short of the magic number of 13 needed to qualify for entry. The fish was identified by a tag inserted when it was caught last year.”

Big bass are on the beds and spawning on East Texas lakes, and big Sam Rayburn is drawing big-time numbers of fishermen looking to reel in the bass of a lifetime. This past weekend, Rayburn produced trophy-class bass for the many anglers in the Bass Champs tournament that drew 248 teams with a total payback of $72,530.

Rusty Harvey of Nederland and Chris Harvey of Jasper teamed up to win this tourney with five bass that weighed 29.88 pounds. Their win was worth $20,700. Not far behind was the second-place team of Jasper based anglers Marc Woolems and Jason Hanks with five bass going 26.90 pounds. Finishing third was Charles Shofner Jr. and Ty Moorhead, both of Jasper, with five bass weighing 24.97 pounds. Out of the top 10 teams, 13 of those anglers are from East and Southeast Texas.

Wayman Triana caught the big bass of the Rayburn tourney, 13.05 pounds, while fishing in 15 feet of water with a crank bait at 1:30 p.m. this past Saturday. Although that big largemouth was caught in deep water, a whole lot of the bass brought to the scales came from beds in shallow water.

Darrell Tompkins, also fishing on Sam Rayburn, caught Toyota ShareLunker 562 at 6 p.m. Tompkins was fishing a spinner bait shallow when a 14.32-pound bass decided to eat. The fish was 26.25 inches long and 22.25 inches in girth.

“Toyota ShareLunker 560 came from Lake Ray Roberts and was caught by Shannon Lee Elvington of Pilot Point,” says Hodge. “Elvington, who has fished the lake all his life, was fishing with guide Dannie Golden when he hooked the 15.18-pound bass. The fish was 26.25 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth.

Elvington was fishing on the east side of the lake tin 14 feet of 45-degree water when the fish took a jerkbait at 10:40 a.m. Elvington has submitted the fish for recognition as the new record for the lake, which lies just north of Denton. The previous biggest largemouth from Lake Ray Roberts weighed 14.59 pounds and was caught in 2000.”

The fish also puts Elvington in the lead for Toyota ShareLunker Angler of the Year honors as the heaviest bass of the season. The Angler of the Year receives a prize package from G. Loomis and, if the angler is a Texas resident, a lifetime fishing license.

Hodge says that at 15.18 pounds, the fish was about 3 ounces shy of making the list of 50 heaviest largemouth bass ever caught in Texas.

ShareLunker catches can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the season, by calling (903) 681-0550. If poor cellphone service prevents use of the voice number, anglers can leave a phone number (including area code) at (888) 784-0600. That number is also monitored 24/7 during the season.


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.