As the weather begins to warm up and things get slightly more pleasant in the great outdoors around West Texas, many are grabbing their tackle box and fishing poles. And the Texas Park and Wildlife Department has just revealed that a Haskell resident has set a new Lake Fort Phantom record for largemouth bass.

Haskell resident Eric Lewis recently reeled in a Legacy Class largemouth bass weighing in at 13.33 pounds. Lewis caught the fish at Lake Fort Phantom just north of Abilene.

The Toyota ShareLunker program gets its name from Toyota auto manufacturer that sponsored the very first event back in 1986. "ShareLunker" comes from the pride of fishermen, as it encapsulates the essence of wanting to "share" their big "lunkers", also known as largemouth bass (or generally impressive fish caught while fishing in a Texas lake).

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Lewis' catch puts his Legacy Class largemouth bass in 10th place overall in 2024 for the Toyota ShareLunker collection for the season. Shortly after catching his largemouth bass, Lewis said, “I was just simply pitching and flipping like everyone knows how to do.” The adrenaline rush was on.

Lewis went on to say, “Around 7:30 AM, I flipped up under a dock and saw my line jump as the bait sunk. I set the hook and immediately knew it was a big fish, but with muddy water, it was hard to tell exactly how big. The fish went to the left and wrapped around one of the dock posts. I thought ‘Oh no’ so I pulled against her, and she came around and went to the post on the other side. With some work, we were eventually able to get her netted and in the boat. I knew she was at least over 10 pounds, but I’d never seen a fish that big before!”

My advice to you is to grab your tackle box, fishing pole, lawn chair, cooler, and make sure you have your fishing license too. Then head out to your favorite water hole and get your line wet. I hope you set the next lake record.

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