UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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How to be a Pro Angler 

How to be a Pro Angler 
Brian Latimer

I get a lot of questions from young and old anglers alike about the steps to becoming a pro. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted. The process seems somewhat obvious to me. How to execute on it might not be simple, but the steps you need to take really are. There are only a couple of ways to get into this sport, and they all start at the grassroots level, in $200 and $300 tournaments. 

Fishing through FLW there’s a very simple path to becoming a professional fisherman. That starts by fishing T-H Marine Bass Fishing League tournaments, or BFLs. It’s very easy to enter and very easy to compete, and there aren’t really any restrictions on the equipment that you need. 

You can start out as a co-angler with no boat – just your rods and reels and love of fishing. Obviously, if you’re looking to be a pro, I think it’s a very good idea to figure out how to get some type of boat. The BFLs are close to home, so it doesn’t cost a lot to compete. Chances are there’s a division close to where you live where you can compete on your home bodies of water. 

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.

I started at the club level first, and then I started fishing BFLs later on in life, in my early 20s. I fished the entire season for four years. The other years I was in school and fished one or two here and there. 

When I won one, that gave me a pretty good stash of money to fish the Costa FLW Series, which is the triple-A division and the next step up to the professional division. I fished the FLW Series for a long time, from 2008 until 2016. Some years I couldn’t afford to fish all of them, and some years I did. I fished those until I started to fish the FLW Tour. The FLW Series is your gateway to get to the Tour, which is the top level. 

It’s really that simple. It’s not anything you can’t overcome. Some anglers are going to go through that system in three or four years, and then there are other guys like myself that might take 10 or 15 years. 

I think the biggest piece of advice I could give anyone is to just be patient with the process and not get ahead of yourself too quickly. Let each level finance the next level, and know where you’re at and what you can do with your skill level. 

Also, be aware of tournament bodies of water you have or haven’t been exposed to. I didn’t know anything about fishing grass when I started fishing the FLW Series. I didn’t know anything about fishing for smallmouths. I used the triple-A level of fishing to expose myself to that before I started fishing the Tour. I learned how to fish grass in the FLW Series Southeastern Division where we always went to Okeechobee, Guntersville and Seminole, and this year I won the Tour event on Seminole. 

You just have to start where you’re at. Be prepared to be patient and maybe have to wait 10 years. It could be 20 years. If you’re 20 years old and it takes you 20 years to go through the system, you’re still only 40, and there are plenty of guys that are competing in their 60s and 70s. It’s a career where you don’t have to be a pro when you’re 22. If that happens, it’s great, but it’s not over for you if that isn’t the case. Joseph Webster is a perfect example. He started fishing as a pro in his 40s after he won the TBF National Championship just the same year I started on Tour. If I fish for another 20 years I’ll only be 56; I’d be satisfied with 20 years. 

There’s no need to rush. 

Tags: brian-latimer  blog 

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

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God, Grace, Grit

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How to Prepare for Big Water 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

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The First Morning with B. Lat

The First Morning with B. Lat

You won’t hear Brian Latimer complain about hot weather and tough fishing in Arkansas during this week’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. For B. Lat, sweating it out on the water is vastly better than working in the heat installing landscaping and mowing lawns for a living, which is what he was doing just a few years ago. A lot’s changed since those days. Now, Latimer is an FLW Tour champion, with a growing fishing media company and his first shot at a Cup title. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

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 Brian Latimer.  READ MORE »

Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I grew up fishing for whatever would bite with my grandfather and in middle school I had a friend who started taking me with his dad down to the Chesapeake Bay. That was my first time ever on a bass boat, and I was immediately hooked! READ MORE »

Riding the Roller Coaster

Riding the Roller Coaster

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Latimer, Upshaw to Discuss Wins with Radio Host Jerry Kripp

Latimer, Upshaw to Discuss Wins with Radio Host Jerry Kripp

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The History of the Drop-Shot

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From Dead Last to Making Money

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Fishing the Worst Conditions

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Watching giant bags of bass caught down in Texas and Florida on FLW Live during FLW Tour events has many anglers dying to get on the water. The only problem is that a lot of people are still facing some of the toughest conditions for catching a bass – cold, muddy, moving water.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Latimer is Champion at FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa

Latimer is Champion at FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – In one of the most dramatic finishes in recent FLW Tour history, fourth-year FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer of Belton, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces to win the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa Sunday and the first-place prize of $100,000... READ MORE »

South Carolina's Latimer Moves into Lead at FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa

South Carolina's Latimer Moves into Lead at FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – The weather threw anglers a curveball Saturday morning at the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa. A heavy, dense fog settled in over Lake Seminole and greeted the pros as they arrived to the Earle May Boat Basin in Bainbridge, prompting FLW Tournament Director Bill Taylor to delay takeoff for a little over an hour due to the low visibility... READ MORE »

How to Deal with Dock Talk

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Moving into My New Office

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The new year to many professional fishermen also means a new boat. Some people like the smell of a new car — who doesn’t, really? But the smell of new fiberglass is better than that. It’s better than the smell of warm apple pie to me. READ MORE »