Safety and social distancing protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic helped take a big bite out of Texas Parks & Wildlife’s overall freshwater hatchery production numbers this spring, but the setbacks didn’t stop one Toyota ShareLunker Legacy Lunker from making a slew of little ones.

Though 2020 wasn’t the best year on record for the spawning phase of the 34-year-old spawning and genetics research program, there were a handful of jumbo bass turned in. James Maupin’s 13.15-pounder caught from Lake O.H. Ivie in March produced nearly 30,000 fingerlings produced for stocking in select Texas lakes.

Joe Castle

Genetic fingerprinting identified Joe Castle’s 15.34-pound Legacy Lunker caught at Lake Nacogdoches in February 2020 as the 12-year-old offspring of 14.50-pound ShareLunker caught from the Tyler State Park Lake. The fish was stocked in 2008 as an “advanced-growth” fingerling 6-8 inches long. Castle’s big bass is the fifth Legacy class ShareLunker caught from Texas lakes since 2017 to be identified as an offspring from TPWD’s selective breeding program launched in 1986.

James Maupin

James Maupin’s 13.15-pounder from Lake O.H. Ivie was the only 2020 Legacy Lunker out of four to successfully spawn this spring. The big West Texas bass produced nearly 30,000 offspring that were recently divided between Lakes Nacogdoches, Alan Henry and O.H. Ivie.

Matt Williams is a freelance writer based in Nacogdoches. He can be reached by email at mattwillwrite4u@yahoo.com.