The largemouth bass is probably the most sought after game fish in the country. They are known for their aggressiveness and their willingness to eat most anything. These fish are ambush predators and will generally relate to some sort of structure (stumps, logs, vegetation, docks, and other debris) where it will lie in wait for an easy meal to pass nearby. There are exceptions to this, as some times they will hold in open water, especially in impoundments, where there is abundant shad or other open water baitfish populations. The largemouth bass is a large fish that can reach up to 38 inches and weigh over 20 pounds. The world record largemouth was caught right here in Georgia and weighed 22 lbs. 4 oz. Lake Lanier’s record is 17lbs. 9 oz. The most prominent characteristic of this fish is the feature that it is named for, a large mouth. The mouth is very large and when closed the upper jaw extends well behind the eyes. They have a silver to brassy green back with mottled dark olive sides. There is also a large black stripe that is usually broken running from tail to snout. The underside of the fish is white with scattered black spots coming up the lower half. This fish is often confused with its cousin the spotted bass. The easiest ways to tell the difference is by the size of the mouth and the appearance of the dorsal fin. The largemouth’s dorsal fin is nearly separate and it appears to have two fins, while the spotted bass’s dorsal fin is clearly connected. The mouth if the largemouth is also considerably larger than the spotted bass. The best area in Lake Lanier to find these fish is in the upper end of the lake. The lower portions of the lake have limited cover, which is not the best situation for a structure-oriented fish. Some can still be found on the lower end around boat docks and some isolated cover, but most of your catch will be spotted bass. This changes as you head up into the upper creek and river channels were there is more shoreline structure. Look for fallen trees and stumps as well as rocky dropoffs and overhanging banks. You should fish these areas with a variety of lures until you find what the fish are wanting. Good choices for largemouth are spinners, crankbaits and rat-l-traps, jig and pigs, stickbaits, topwaters, most any soft plastic lures, as well as live bait such as shad and golden shiners.