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Trace Jansen broke a 30-year-record on the largest fish caught in Lake Travis and helped bring over 10,000 selectively-bred fish to the lake. (Toyota ShareLunker Program/Facebook)

Lake Travis is getting a shipment of 10,000 selectively-bred bass fingerlings thanks to a 15-year-old who's 15.32-lb largemouth bass catch in March broke a nearly 30-year record.

The record-breaking fish was one of 23 "Legacy Class" fish caught in the state of Texas in 2021. Lucky anglers who catch a 13-pound or larger fish can loan the live fish to TPWD hatcheries through the Toyota ShareLunker program. In turn, their lakes are filled with thousands of selectively-bred young fish in hopes of bringing higher quality lunkers to Texas' public waters.

Despite a winter storm that devastated the state, this has been a banner season for the 35-year-old program. The program's 23 entries were the most on record for January through March since 1995 and produced over 271,000 selectively-bred fingerlings in TPWD hatcheries.

Back in March, 15-year-old angler Trace Jansen knew he reeled in a big one when he fought to bring the 15.32-lb behemoth up to the water.

"It was crazy," Jansen said. "It's almost unreal. I never thought I would catch a fish that big in my life."

The Buda native helped Lake Travis become one of 10 Texas lakes, including Lake Austin, to receive over 10,000 ShareLunker fingerlings this summer.

In turn, Lake Travis and other ShareLunker hosts become more likely to produce more prize-worthy fish in the future.

Many of the ShareLunker entries this year boast a complicated family history—one fish caught this season was thought to be the granddaughter of a ShareLunker fish caught in a different lake in 2006, while two other 2021 entries are related to each other. O.H. Ivie, which produced 12 Legacy class fish this season, was granted over 70,000 well-bred fish.

Anglers who submitted an entry received more than Legacy Catch status. The winners also earned a catch kit, a decal, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event and a trophy for their spoils in the form of a replica fish to put on their wall.

The Legacy Class just runs from January-March, but those looking for prizes of their own can enter data on any catch greater than 8 lbs or 24 inches and receive a catch kit and decal of their own.


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