UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Getting to Know Brian Latimer

Getting to Know Brian Latimer
Brian Latimer (24th, 28-3)

This article was initially run on flwfishing.com on December 8, 2016. Now, Brian Latimer is officially an FLW Tour Champion.

Climbing the ranks in the bass fishing world can be like climbing a steep and unstable ladder. Sometimes you can see the top, but a wrong step here or there can knock you off balance.

Brian Latimer of Belton, S.C., knows all about the ups and downs of chasing the pro angling dream. He recently wrapped up his first season as a pro on the Walmart FLW Tour in 2016 and is looking ahead to bigger things in 2017. While he may not be a household name just yet, Latimer is all-in to make it that way, no matter how hard the climb.

 

Brian LatimerBrian Latimer

The early years

Most kids spend their youth heading down to a local pond with a father or grandfather who would take them fishing for whatever would bite. That’s all good, except Latimer wasn’t just a normal kid. His father, Jimmy, was a tournament bass angler – and a die-hard – throughout the late ’70s and ’80s until Brian was born, and then Jimmy pared it back some to spend more time with family.

From as early as Brian recalls he would be on the water with his dad practicing for tournaments on local lakes near his Belton, S.C., home.

“It was always about bass fishing when I was young,” he says. “I was really messed up with it [bass fishing]. I’d spend my time in the back of my dad’s boat instead of fishing a pond or creek. I fished my first tournament when I was in second grade. I loved it.

“I remember bringing all of my bass fishing magazines to class when I was in fifth or sixth grade. I was always thinking about bass fishing. I played sports growing up like most kids, and I remember going to practice but thinking about going fishing the whole time instead. By high school I just gave up on sports so I could spend more time fishing.”

Because his dad was heavily into the tournament-fishing scene, Brian learned at a young age that making it to the professional level was no cakewalk.

“My dad worked for a family-owned landscaping business, which is what I did, too,” recalls Latimer. “In high school my friends were getting boats and trucks bought for them from their family, but my dad wanted me to do it on my own if I was going to try and make a career in fishing. When my dad ‘cut the cord’ on me, I cussed him out, but it turned out to be the best thing for me and helped make me who I am today.”

 

Boater Brian Latimer of Belton, S.C., won the April 28 BFL Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell to earn $4,197 plus a $740 Ranger bonus.

Making the step up

As much as Latimer loves fishing, he knew that getting a college degree was also important after high school. But like any kid obsessed with fishing, he made sure school wouldn’t entirely get in the way of his time on the water.

“I always knew that I wasn’t going to be able to afford fishing, a boat and getting a four-year degree,” says Latimer. “So I decided to go to a technical school and get my horticulture degree.”

While tackling school he was also working his way up from the club level, and in 2003 fished his first T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) event as a boater.

“My maturity as an angler was a lot slower than some of the young anglers out there now,” recalls Latimer. “I started out at the club level and finally jumped into the BFLs. I won my first BFL on Lake Hartwell in 2007, just a few years into fishing them, and decided to move up to the Costa FLW Series since things were going pretty good. That’s when I started having problems.”

In 2008, Latimer signed up to fish all four of the Southeastern Division events on the Costa FLW Series.

“My first year on the Series wasn’t so hot,” Latimer says of his rough finishes. “It had nothing to do with the level of competition, but it was the fact that the area I grew up in was so unique that it was like having to learn bass fishing all over again on these different bodies of water.”

The learning curve was steep, and because he didn’t cash any checks, Latimer wasn’t able to afford to fish the entire Series in 2009. In fact, he wouldn’t fish the entire Southeastern Division again until 2012.

He took his “time off” to think hard about his decision to try to make a living at fishing. Latimer says it made him mad that he hadn’t been able to see success at the thing he lived for. He made the choice during that time to work at the family landscaping company to ensure a decent living, all the while planning how to get back on the path he wanted to be on.

The reality of paying the bills continued to challenge Latimer once he returned to the water.

“In 2013 I was having a pretty good year [in the Southeastern Division],” Latimer explains. “I was eighth in points going into the last event of the season. I decided that I was going to stay home and work instead of going to the last regular-season event. To this day I regret it, but I didn’t think I could afford to go.”

You could call that the last straw. From then on, Latimer says, he would always make sure that the funds were there to be able to fish and compete. And he worked harder to ensure he’d have sponsor relationships to help him out when needed.

 

Brian Latimer

The main event

Latimer was back on the water in 2014 chasing his dream, and it wasn’t long before he began to consider stepping up to the Tour level.

He actually tried to sign up in 2015 but had failed to qualify for priority entry and didn’t make it on the roster. He took the same shot in 2016 season, and this time he made the cut.

“I really didn’t think I’d get in the Tour for 2016,” he recalls. “I’m more grateful because of the work I put in to make it to this point. I’ve wanted to fish the Tour since 2004.”

His rookie campaign began on Lake Okeechobee, and though he has experience on the Big O through the FLW Series, Latimer posted a disappointing triple-digit finish.

“I was somewhat comfortable with Lake Okeechobee, and even though I had a bad finish, I didn’t take it personal. That’s just how the Big O can be.”

The next stop took him to a lake he is very familiar with in Lake Hartwell, which is just an hour down the road from his hometown. He finished 24th, earned $10,000 and took that momentum to Beaver Lake where he would cash another $10,000 check with a 33rd-place finish.

When the Tennessee River swing came that summer, Pickwick Lake provided a valuable learning experience for the young pro.

“The one tournament from last year that really bites me, daily, is Pickwick. I found what I needed to do in practice and didn’t trust it when the tournament started,” Latimer says.

That lack of trust in his instincts chalked up another triple-digit finish and likely cost him a Forrest Wood Cup berth.

From there, Latimer finished strong by cashing a check on Kentucky Lake with a 43rd-place finish, and he executed his game plan flawlessly on Champlain, though he wound up 60th despite catching more than 15 pounds per day.

Now, Latimer is planning for his sophomore season as an FLW Tour pro and looks forward to continuing his pursuit of becoming a staple name in the fishing industry.

“I’m very satisfied with how my first year went,” he says. “Results are only part of success. And for most of the tournaments I adjusted and caught my fish. I just need to keep doing my thing and having fun.”

Tags: brian-latimer  flw-tour  bass-fishing  flw  kyle-wood  angler-features 

Top 10 Patterns from Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Chickamauga

Tournament champion Brent Butler ran different patterns nearly every day in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Chickamauga last week. The tournament, presented by T-H Marine, wasn’t quite the slugfest many expected it to be, but Butler’s 68-pound, 8-ounce three-day total was still an impressive showing. The rest of the top 10 got on a handful of patterns – some the same all three days and some changing from day to day – but all worked well enough to earn a top 10 and a paycheck. READ MORE »

Day 1 Practice on Grand with Warren

Day 1 Practice on Grand with Warren

There’s a good crew of Oklahoma anglers on the FLW Tour, but of them, Chad Warren is definitely one of the favorites at Grand Lake. Stop No. 4 of the 2019 FLW Tour, which is presented by Mercury, heads to Grand in the early spring for a prespawn tournament that might feature really good fishing. READ MORE »

Covington’s Stokes Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Oconee Presented by Navionics

Covington’s Stokes Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Oconee Presented by Navionics

BUCKHEAD, Ga. – Boater Barry Stokes of Covington, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the... READ MORE »

Rampey Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Wylie

Rampey Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, S.C. – Boater 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... READ MORE »

Benton’s Vannerson Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes

Benton’s Vannerson Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Rob Vannerson of Benton, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday... READ MORE »

Shreveport’s Keith Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Dardanelle Presented by Navionics

Shreveport’s Keith Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Dardanelle Presented by Navionics

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Boater Kelly Keith of Shreveport, Louisiana, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces, to... READ MORE »

Vandiver’s Stracner Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Eufaula

Vandiver’s Stracner Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Boater Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing... 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 »

Vonore’s Butler Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Chickamauga Presented by T-H Marine

Vonore’s Butler Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Chickamauga Presented by T-H Marine

DAYTON, Tenn. – Fishing in his sixth event with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), pro Brent Butler of Vonore, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Costa FLW Series at Lake Chickamauga presented by T-H Marine. Butler’s... 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 »

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

Reaction Innovations got the name right when it created the Trixie Shark. The soft-plastic topwater bait has a literal shark-shaped body with side “wings” and two flapping rear legs similar to what you find on a traditional topwater toad, yet with enough differences to make the bait unique. 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 »

Registration for Fifth-Annual ICAST Cup at Lake Toho Now Open

Registration for Fifth-Annual ICAST Cup at Lake Toho Now Open

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Registration for the fifth-annual ICAST Cup presented by Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and Keep America Fishing™ is now open to all qualified media and companies that will be attending the ICAST trade show. The bass-fishing tournament, held July 9, 2019, in conjunction with ICAST On the Water, offers a four-hour bass-fishing shootout with 100... READ MORE »

Darrell Lowrance Part of Fishing’s First Generation of Innovators

Darrell Lowrance Part of Fishing’s First Generation of Innovators

The future of fishing is brighter thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of industry pioneer Darrell Lowrance, who passed away on Saturday at age 80. FLW joins the industry in mourning his loss, and offers its condolences to the Lowrance family. 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 »

Gross Joins the Outdoor Connection with Jerry Kripp

Gross Joins the Outdoor Connection with Jerry Kripp

FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, was a featured guest recently on the Outdoor Connection with Jerry Kripp, a longtime outdoor radio show broadcasting from... READ MORE »

La Grange’s Singleton Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mountain Division Tournament on Dale Hollow Lake

La Grange’s Singleton Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mountain Division Tournament on Dale Hollow Lake

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Boater 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... READ MORE »

West Palm Beach’s Terescenko Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Tournament on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Navionics

West Palm Beach’s Terescenko Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Tournament on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Navionics

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Boater Alex Terescenko of West Palm Beach, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Saturday to win... READ MORE »

Lampe’s Lippe Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Opener on Table Rock Lake

Lampe’s Lippe Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Opener on Table Rock Lake

BRANSON, Mo. – Boater Dustin Lippe of Lampe, Missouri, caught five bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to... READ MORE »

Lawrenceburg’s Jewell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Tournament on Wheeler Lake

Lawrenceburg’s Jewell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Tournament on Wheeler Lake

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – Boater Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds even to win the... READ MORE »