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First November Budweiser ShareLunker Left Enduring Legacy

Media Contact: Larry Hodge, (903) 670-2255

First November Budweiser ShareLunker Left Enduring Legacy
ATHENS, Texas—When Eddie Horn pulled Budweiser ShareLunker No. 424 from Lake Fork Nov. 25, he joined a select club of only eight anglers who’ve entered fish during the month of November.
Horn’s fish was 26 inches long and 20.5 inches in girth and weighed 13.79 pounds. He caught it in 14 feet of water using a 6-inch black Zoom lizard.

As the ShareLunker program was originally conceived, Horn’s fish would not have been eligible for entry. The original window for entries was from December 1 through April 30.

That was before November 26, 1986, however. On that day Mark Stevenson caught a new state record largemouth bass weighing 17.67 pounds from Lake Fork, and the decision was quickly made to accept the fish into the program, then called Operation Share a Lone Star Lunker.

Entries are now accepted from October 1 through April 30 in order to accommodate the broad range of spawning times in Texas. Fish entered into the Budweiser ShareLunker program are used to produce fish for stocking into Texas public waters.

November ShareLunkers remain few and far between, however. Not until 1990 was a second fish caught in November entered into the program, followed by other fish in the 1993, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2005 seasons. Including Horn’s fish, six came from Lake Fork, one from Lake Lewisville, and one from the Nueces River.

It’s not clear if a November entry portends a year for plentiful Budweiser ShareLunkers. In 1986-87, the program’s inception season, only 8 total entries were received. However, in 1990-91, 1993-94, and 1995-96 there were 28 entries, and in 2005-2006 there were 32. Entries totaled 17 in 1998-99 and 10 in 2002 for an average of 21.5 fish for years with a November entry.

The average number of entries per year over the first 20 years of the program was 21.1, which might lead one to predict the program’s 21st season will be an average one. However, as anglers can testify, anything can happen when a lure hits the water.

Horn might be considered somewhat of an expert on the subject of fishing for big bass in the fall. A former guide on Lake Fork, Horn caught a 13.78-pound bass from the lake in October 2004. However, the fish was only 23 7/8 inches long, making it illegal to keep under Lake Fork’s 16- to 24-inch slot limit. Horn released the fish.

Anglers legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass in Texas waters may enter it into the ShareLunker program by calling David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or by paging him at (888) 784-0600.

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