Trophy Bass Propagation Program


About the Program

The goal of the Trophy Bass Propagation Program is to collect trophy-size bass (females over 8 lbs. and males over 6 lbs.) to be used as broodstock at our state hatcheries.  This program is modeled after the Toyota ShareLunker Program operating in the state of Texas (Toyota Sharelunker Program). By pairing male and female largemouth bass which have already shown the ability to grow to larger-than-average size, we hope to produce offspring with the same genetic growth potential.  Stocking these offspring across the state could provide anglers a better chance at catching a memorable-size fish or even a new state record.

How it Works

The Trophy Bass Propagation Program will run from October 1 to May 31, each year.  Trophy bass will not be accepted outside of these dates due to handling stress caused by warm water temperatures.
This program will only be possible through partnerships with both our anglers and local bait shops across the state.  KDFWR would like to provide anglers the opportunity to donate their legally-caught trophy bass to the program if they wish to do so.  Fish must be caught in Kentucky and not brought across state lines (as determined through testing). 
The transfer of the fish from the angler to our hatcheries is where Participating Bait Shops come in.  The KDFWR Transportation Section is not able to provide immediate pickup of fish once they are caught.  As a result, we need an intermediate holding facility where anglers can take their fish to be held until KDFWR can pick them up.  Bait shops have the ability to hold the trophy bass safely in their bait tanks.  By providing the fish adequate tank space, aeration and proper temperatures they will remain healthy at these facilities before they make the trip to our hatcheries. 
Anglers wishing to donate their fish to the program should reference both the How to Handle Your Trophy Bass and Donating Your Trophy Bass sections of this web page for further instructions.
Once at the hatchery, trophy bass will be housed in ponds until it is time to spawn.  At that time, trophy females and trophy males will be paired together to ensure that enhanced growth potential is transferred from both fish to the offspring.  Offspring will be raised to approximately 5 inches and then stocked throughout the state in the fall, including lakes where the parents came from.
From time to time, the hatchery will rotate out trophy broodstock and these fish will be returned to the lakes from which they came.

Bass that have been donated to the Trophy Bass Propagation Program

Angler Fish Weight Where Caught Date Caught Lure Participating Bait Shop Photo and Details
Bobby Webb 8.2 lbs. Fishpond Lake 4/4/16 Rainbow Trout Swimbait ANA Variety N More Bobby Webb's Fish
Darrick Sexton 8.5 lbs. Fishpond Lake 4/23/16 Texas-Rigged Soft Plastic ANA Variety N More Darrick Sexton's Fish
Paul Collins 8.7 lbs. Fishpond Lake 4/26/16 Jig and Trailer ANA Variety N More Paul Collins' Fish
Michael Carter 9.3 lbs. Greenbo Lake 5/2/16 Swimbait Prichard’s Outdoor Shop Michael Carter's Fish
​Austin Gruner ​8.2 lbs. ​Kentucky Lake ​2/10/17 3/4 ounce green pumpkin and chartreuse football jig ​Fisherman's Headquarters Austin Gruner's Fish
​Christian Honeycutt ​8.6 lbs. ​Fishpond Lake ​3/26/17 ​Soft Plastic ​ANA Variety N More Christian Honeycutt's Fish
​Tony Blake ​9.2 lbs. ​Lake Malone ​4/1/17 ​Jig and Trailer ​KBO Bait Shop Tony Blake's Fish


Benefits to Kentucky Anglers

The ultimate benefit of the program is to potentially provide anglers an increased chance of catching a trophy bass in Kentucky.  This will not be achieved instantly, as it will take several years for the offspring to grow to trophy size.  However, with continued success of the program, more and more potential trophy fish will be stocked across the state.
As a thank you to those anglers that participate in the program, KDFWR will provide each angler with a replica cast mount of their donated trophy catch.

Benefits to Local Bait Shops

Local bait shops will play a crucial role in this program and will benefit from advertising and promotion of the program through the KDFWR website and other media outlets including social media.  Business names, locations, hours of operation and contact information will be listed for all anglers to reference on the Participating Bait Shops site.  Pictures and other recognition will follow for those bait shops that receive trophy bass during the program.  KDFWR hopes to recognize each angler, his or her trophy bass, and the bait shop that assisted with its transfer to our hatcheries.