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April 7, 2008
Budweiser ShareLunker: Lake Casa Blanca Fish Repeats
ATHENS, Texas — A Lake Casa Blanca largemouth bass has made its second trip to Athens as a Budweiser ShareLunker.
Cesar Gomez of Laredo caught the 13.33-pound bass April 1. When Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel wanded the fish to see if it contained a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag, the display lit up. All ShareLunkers are tagged, and a check of the number revealed this fish had been caught February 14, 2006, by Abilene angler Jay Stevens. At that time the fish became Budweiser ShareLunker 397.
Returned to the lake and caught again, the fish is now also ShareLunker 451.
Gomez was fishing in four feet of water with a Senko plastic worm.
The fish has grown since it was caught in 2006. At that time it was 26 inches long, 20 inches in girth, and weighed 13.2 pounds. The fish is now 28.25 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth.
Only two ShareLunkers have been longer than Gomez’s fish, one from Lake Fork and one from Lake Amistad. One of those fish weighed 14.5 pounds, the other 15.68.
Apparently the fish is fond of shallow water and special days. In 2006 it was caught in less than three feet of water on Valentine’s Day. This time it chose to bite on April Fools’ Day. That fact caused TPWD employees to be suspicious at first, especially since Budweiser ShareLunker program manager David Campbell did get a prank call about a 14-pound fish from another lake. However, this lunker was for real.
Lake Casa Blanca has now produced five ShareLunkers. The 1,680-acre lake on the outskirts of Laredo was stocked with northern largemouth bass in 1966 and Florida largemouth bass since 1978.
The lake record is Budweiser ShareLunker 355, a 14.64-pounder caught January 31, 2004, by Richard Mims of Laredo. Mims pulled off a rare feat that year, catching two ShareLunkers in three days-both from Lake Casa Blanca.
The Budweiser ShareLunker program is made possible through support from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Since 1991, Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has contributed millions of dollars in funding to support conservation causes and fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation programs in Texas.
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