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Female Angler Makes History By TFFC

Bobbie Gayle

On February 7th, Bobbie Gayle of Plains, Texas, caught a 13.69-pound largemouth bass on Lake O.H. Ivie. She became the first female angler in the history of the Budweiser ShareLunker Program to enter more than one fish.

Gayle caught her first ShareLunker from O.H. Ivie on February 3, 2000.  She caught this year's entry at about 4 p.m. in 30 feet of water, fishing with a live waterdog. The female bass measured 26.75 inches in length and 20.75 inches in girth. Gayle joins an elite cadre of anglers including Bill Lozano, Bill Reed, Butch Ray, Dale Bestwina, Jim Gore, Ray Bishop, Richard McCarty, and Scott Cupit, who have each entered more than one ShareLunker in the program. It's worth noting that Bobbie's husband Butch, and their friend Barbara Sparks, also caught and entered ShareLunkers from O.H. Ivie in February 2000.

Ms. Gayle chose to make a permanent donation of her latest catch. Wild-caught females are selectively mated with Florida males to concentrate desirable genes in the offspring. Lunkers donated permanently, rather than just loaned for a single season, have more potential for researchers since not all lunkers will produce a viable spawn the first year after being caught and moved to a new environment. Weight, length, and girth measurements taken from Bobbie Gayle's fish and others entered into the ShareLunker program will be correlated with age, size, and stocking information to provide important links between age and growth factors for trophy bass. DNA analysis taken from a blood sample will determine whether the fish is a pure Florida subspecies largemouth bass, native northern, or a cross between these two. Key genetic markers present in the DNA may also be used to identify specific genes associated with growth and other desirable traits. Outside funding from the Budweiser Division of Anheuser Busch, Inc., has made research in this area a reality.

Anyone who legally catches a 13+ pound largemouth bass in Texas waters between October 1 and April 30th should call the ShareLunker 24-hour, toll-free pager number 1-888-784-0600 or cell phone number (903) 681-0550.

Photo: Howard Hester with  largemouth bass


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