UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

B. Lat Becomes a Champion

B. Lat Becomes a Champion
Brian Latimer

Brian Latimer has dreamed his entire life of being crowned an FLW Tour champion, and after years of hard work and dedication, it has finally paid off. The Belton, S.C., pro led coming into the final day of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole, presented by Costa, and though it wasn’t easy, he sacked up 21 pounds, 3 ounces to lock up the win with 80-15 overall. He edged out day-one leader Braxton Setzer by 2 pounds, 1 ounce in one of the most emotional victories seen on the FLW stage.

Get to know Brian Latimer

While his weights may reflect a somewhat easy week on the water, the truth is far from it. With just a handful of bites each day, “B. Lat” had to make them count, and despite losing some fish in the last few days, he stayed focused and determined, avoiding the dreaded spinout that many pros would experience.

“It happened,” Latimer says of his win. “It really happened.”

To make it happen, Latimer had to evolve over the week, adjusting to the fish as he went. While flipping shallow grass did much of the heavy lifting, without his cranking spot on day one to catch the majority of his 19-1 limit, who knows what would have happened?

“I caught my 19 pounds on day one cranking in the [Flint River],” he says. “On days two and three, I started in the river again hoping that would materialize again, because that’s easy, and I was hoping to catch a limit quick, but it never happened. So, today, I went straight down to my flat early so I could spend all my time where I’ve been catching my biggest fish.

“It was slow, just like it’s been every day, and the first bite I missed – just didn’t grab it good. But I think the heartbreaker was my first two good bites I hooked up with, I lost them. I was really down and out, and then I caught that big one that was probably 7 pounds. Then, a few minutes later, I caught another one that was pushing 4.”

After getting those good bites, he boxed another decent keeper and hit a dry spell. With three fish in the box around lunchtime, things were starting to look like the tournament may not swing his way.

“I didn’t get a bite for a very long time after that, so I decided to go do something else and mentally reset,” admits Latimer.  “I went sight-fishing, found one right away, immediately cast over there, hooked up on the fish and it comes off. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a bed fish, it’ll swim back.’ The thing never came back.”

The fourth-year pro brushed it off, as there were fish cruising everywhere up shallow. He shortly found another fish on a bed, flipped his drop-shot over, hooked it and lost it. His cool, calm demeanor was about pressed to the breaking point. He took it in stride, though, and decided it was time to abandon sight-fishing and go back to what got him to the final day – flipping grass.

“Looking back, losing those two fish won the tournament for me,” Latimer adds. “Because If I had caught those two, I would have continued sight-fishing, and that wouldn’t have given me enough to win. So, I went back out to the flat and caught two more 3-pounders.”

The juice for Latimer was a main-river flat in the Flint River. It had clumps of hydrilla (and other vegetation), and those clumps are where fat, sassy prespawn bass called home.

Latimer has fished plenty of tournaments on Seminole over the years and has learned what areas to focus on, but surprisingly, he inadvertently stumbled on what would become the winning spot.

“I was going to fish an island nearby, and I sat down short of it, looked down and saw some good looking grass,” he says. “I flipped around it and caught a 4 1/2-pounder. That was the only fish I caught from there in practice, but it looked good, and I thought it could be something to do if I needed to.”

He started the week catching his fish on a Bill Lewis MR-6, but the real hero was a Texas-rigged Z-Man Palmetto BugZ with a 1/2-ounce weight flipped on a 7-foot, 3-inch Favorite Phantom rod. The water in his area was dirty for most of the event, which is where the Palmetto BugZ shined. On day three, however, the water had cleaned up and he switched over to a wacky rig on spinning tackle to catch some key fish early.

Latimer’s pro career hasn’t been the smoothest ride so far, but it never damped his drive and determination – only fueled it. His rookie campaign in 2016 was his best season to date with a 46th-place finish in points, but the following two years found him in 63rd and 96th. This season started off tough on Sam Rayburn with a finish near 100, though he quickly rebounded at stop No. 2 on Lake Toho, where he placed 20th.

After his win this week, Latimer sits 17th in Angler of the Year points standings and is poised to make his first FLW Cup in four years as a pro.

“It’s so weird, I’ll be completely honest with you,” he explains. “I had what looks like a pretty bad year last year, but I’ve been catching fish for two years. For some reason, I’d catch decent ones in practice and in the tournament, they shrink. This year, the same thing is going on, but they’re the right size in the tournament. Nothing feels different; practice is still drama-filled just like it’s always been.

“You’d have to fish with me or fish tournaments at a high level to understand what I’m talking about here. Nothing’s really changed. I’m comfortable out there. I just catch what I can catch and do what I can do.”

Latimer has paid his dues and put his time in across the FLW ranks from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) circuit, Costa FLW Series and, now, the Tour. His father, Jimmy, was a die-hard tournament angler before Latimer was born, so he really had no choice but to grow up around bass fishing. For lack of a better term, B. Lat was hooked from an early age, and it consumed him to the point where he quit sports in high school just so he could fish more.

Now, with the trophy and check in hand, the long hours on the water, time spent away from his family and money spent on fishing seem well worth it.

“Dude, you’ve got to trust the process,” he says. “I’ve been telling myself that for years. Just trust the process. Work hard, put your head down and don’t worry about it. Work and work and it’ll come.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Brian Latimer – Belton, S.C. – 80-15 (20) – $102,500

2. Braxton Setzer – Montgomery, Ala. – 78-14 (17) – $30,200

3. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 76-2 (20) – $25,100

4. Terry Bolton – Benton, Ky. – 72-6 (20) – $20,000

5. Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ark. – 62-14 (20) – $19,000

6. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 62-10 (20) – $18,000

7. Miles Howe – San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – 59-6 (19) – $17,000

8. Bradford Beavers- Summerville, S.C. – 55-8 (17) – $16,500

9. Joshua Weaver – Macon, Ga. – 51-1 (16) – $15,000

10. Hunter Freeman – Monroe, La. – 49-2 (15) – $14,000

Complete results 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2019-03-07-lake-seminole 

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds even win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell. For his efforts, Burroughs was awarded $3,572. READ MORE »

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tennessee, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Tims Ford Lake. Wagner took home $4,013 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »

Olliverson Triumphs on Table Rock

Olliverson Triumphs on Table Rock

Missouri pro Eric Olliverson came back from fourth place on the final day to unseat Jake Morris and company and win the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Power-Pole on Table Rock Lake. Olliverson’s 16-pound, 8-ounce bag on the final day gave him 46-3 for the tournament and the win by just 5 ounces over Dakota Ebare. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

A few spawning bass are making their way to the scale in the top pros' bags, but most of the consistent action has come flipping or fishing topwater for largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass at Table Rock. READ MORE »

Morris Still Rocking Table Rock

Morris Still Rocking Table Rock

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., continues to lead the Costa FLW Series Central Division event at Table Rock Lake. Morris, who won the season opener at Kentucky Lake, has a two-day total of 32 pounds, 7 ounces. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Catching fish is hardly the problem right now at stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division at Table Rock Lake. It seemed like every pro our on-the-water crew pulled up on today, be it on the lower end or up the rivers, was setting the hook with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, the quality has been extremely lacking. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 1

The vast majority of the field was able to scrounge up limits between 10 and 13 pounds, but getting over the 13-pound mark has been a challenge at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson. READ MORE »