UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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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 

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with South Carolina pro Bradford Beavers.  READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

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Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

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Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

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Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

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Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

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Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

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The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

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Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

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The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

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It’s not often an angler wins a Strike King Angler of the Year title in a Costa FLW Series division by chance, and while skill is what carried Jake Morris to his first Costa AOY title, chance definitely brought him to the opportunity. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

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Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

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The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »