12.Aug.2012 by David A. Brown
DULUTH, Ga. – Unlike those house guests who overstay their welcome, no one’s complaining about the fact that largemouth bass have played a larger-than-expected role for longer-than-expected in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier.
Largemouth, which reach greater dimensions than neighboring spotted bass, always offer the opportunity for a limit-boosting kicker fish. But most anglers probably entered the tournament assuming that the typical summer patterns of targeting spots over Lanier’s deep brush would be the dominant deal. One good day of largemouth action wasn’t surprising, but going into the fourth and final day with the big green fish in top billing is pleasantly surprising for many.
As FLW pro and Lanier Legend Tom Mann Jr. pointed out, recent drought years allowed a lot of new vegetation to take root on exposed lake bed. The water’s still down about seven feet, but it has dropped much lower, so the returning depth has covered a lot of that new vegetation, thereby complementing the existing wood and rock cover. Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, who starts today in third place notes that the current water lever has put a premium on shallow cover.
“With the water being down, it takes a lot of (areas) out of play and when you get into the backs of the creeks and pockets, there’s not as much cover for them to be on,” said the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year Thrift. “What is in the water, they’re on it.”