UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Grand Lake

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 

Keith Takes Arkie Division W

Keith Takes Arkie Division W

Kelly Keith of Shreveport, Louisiana, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics. For his catch, Keith took home $3,963. READ MORE »

Rampey Notches Ninth Title

Rampey Notches Ninth Title

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on Lake Wylie. For his catch, Rampey earned $5,466. READ MORE »

Stracner Nets Second Eufaula Title

Stracner Nets Second Eufaula Title

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Stracner earned $5,302. READ MORE »

Stokes Grabs 21-11 for Oconee Win

Stokes Grabs 21-11 for Oconee Win

Barry Stokes of Covington, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Oconee presented by Navionics. Stokes pocketed $6,385 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Vannerson Gets LBL Division Win

Vannerson Gets LBL Division Win

Rob Vannerson of Benton, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his win, Vannerson was awarded $3,466. READ MORE »

Ostmann bags 54-12 for Co-angler Win

Ostmann bags 54-12 for Co-angler Win

Scott Ostmann’s last tournament on Chickamauga wasn’t what he knew he was capable of. He found out just what he could really do on Chick this week with a 54-12 three-day total in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, and a huge dose of redemption on a lake that beat him up in 2017. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 3

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 3

With bluebird skies and a little breeze, day three conditions on Chickamauga almost mirror those of day two, which saw a 37-pound, 5-ounce bag caught by current leader Brent Butler. Weights might have been down a bit across the board, but there are enough anglers in the top 10 that are on enough fish to make today’s weigh-in interesting. They’re all out there chasing down some Chick giants today. READ MORE »

Butler Hangs On

Butler Hangs On

Brent Butler weighed in a bag he’ll never forget on day two of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Chickamauga. Not only was the 37-pound, 5-ounce stringer his best ever, it also sent him to day three of the tournament, presented by T-H Marine, with a large enough lead to finish the job. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Day-one leader Rusty White caught his fish on Thursday throwing a variety of lipless crankbaits at transition points where fish are moving up to spawn. He did the exact same thing in the same locations on day two, but he struggled to get the same quantity of bites this time around. READ MORE »

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Day two of the Costa FLW Series presented by T-H Marine on Lake Chickamauga was fairly humdrum until Brent Butler walked to the weigh-in stage. Weighing in 37 pounds, 5 ounces, Butler rocketed up from 40th to first with a 51-13 total, and made his mark on the record books in the process. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Despite improving weather conditions – including abundant sunshine and rising air temperature – the fishing seems to be as slow on Chickamauga today as it was on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

On a lake like Chickamauga, there are usually a lot of ways to catch fish. The top five after day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine proved that. READ MORE »

White Leads with 28-11 on Chickamauga

White Leads with 28-11 on Chickamauga

Overall, the fishing wasn’t quite what some expected out of Chickamauga on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event. However, even a slightly off Chickamauga is really impressive, and Rusty White of Harrison, Tenn., put it to them to the tune of 28 pounds, 11 ounces to take the day-one lead. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Despite indications that Chickamauga might be ready to churn out a bunch of mega-bags on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine, early returns suggest the fishing has been a lot tougher than expected so far. READ MORE »

2019 Grand Lake Preview

2019 Grand Lake Preview

Grand Lake is situated in Northeast Oklahoma among the foothills of the Ozarks. The impoundment was created in 1940 when the Pensacola Dam was finished along the Grand River. The 46,500-surface-acre reservoir now hosts plenty of recreational opportunities, but more importantly, is also home to some of the best bass fishing in the country. READ MORE »

Terescenko Swims for Big O Title

Terescenko Swims for Big O Title

Alex Terescenko of West Palm Beach, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee presented by Navionics. For his win, Terescenko pocketed $3,792. READ MORE »

Lippe Goes Back-to-Back on Table Rock

Lippe Goes Back-to-Back on Table Rock

Dustin Lippe of Lampe, Missouri, caught five bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Table Rock Lake. Lippe earned $6,229 for his efforts and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. Should he go on to win the division’s Angler of the Year title, he will earn another $3,000. READ MORE »

Singleton Works Laydowns for Title

Singleton Works Laydowns for Title

Aaron Singleton of La Grange, Kentucky, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Dale Hollow Lake. For his catch, Singleton took home $6,319. READ MORE »

Jewell Camps on Point for Wheeler W

Jewell Camps on Point for Wheeler W

Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake. Jewell earned $3,747 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Holice Stacey has a little more spending money in his pocket after taking home the top prize in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest at Lake Seminole last week — money he plans to pump right back into his passion for fishing. READ MORE »