March 9, 2019 by FLW Communications – Photo Courtesy of FLW Fishing
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (March 9, 2019) – 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.
Around 8:15 a.m., after the fog had lifted, the 30 anglers that qualified to fish the weekend embarked on Day Three of competition. Pro Brian Latimer of Belton, South Carolina moved into the top spot after bringing a limit weighing 23 pounds even to the scale.
The field is now trimmed to the final 10 pros for Sunday, and Latimer (15 bass, 59-12) will start with a slim 1-pound, 10-ounce lead over second-place pro Braxton Setzer of Montgomery, Alabama, (15 bass, 58-2) who led the first day of competition. Also in striking distance is Sheldon Collings of Grove, Oklahoma, (15 bass, 56-2) who sits in third place. The four-day competition features 165 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“It might look like I had a really good day, but I only caught six fish,” said Latimer, who is fishing in his 26th career FLW Tour event. “I had nothing until 10 a.m., then I just started catching them slowly, one at a time, like every hour. I knew that if I could ever get five bites in the area I was fishing that I’d catch 20+ pounds, and today that finally happened.”
Latimer put a charge into the FLW Live broadcast Saturday morning, boating a 6-pounder on a wacky-rig two hours into the broadcast. He stayed in the same area for the entire day, grinding out six keepers.
“The current had pushed a lot of muddy water out of my area and it was crystal clear this morning,” Latimer said. “They wouldn’t bite flipping, so I had to go with the wacky rig. Tomorrow, unless the wind blows all night, it should be clear so I’ll start with the wacky-rig again. If the wind picks up and blows in muddy water from the river then I’ll have to pick them off by flipping.”
Latimer is already guaranteed to have the highest finish of his young career this week, yet seemed to have the confidence of an angler that has been fishing for many years. When asked about any nerves heading into the final day, the South Carolina pro said he had nothing to worry about.
“I’ve got no nerves – I’ve got one place to fish and two baits to throw. If I stay focused, land my bites and catch five, I think I can do it again. Fishing is momentum, and right now everything is working out right for me. I really feel like I can catch them again.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Lake Seminole are:
1st: Brian Latimer, Belton, S.C., 15 bass, 59-12
2nd: Braxton Setzer, Montgomery, Ala., 12 bass, 58-2
3rd: Sheldon Collings, Grove, Okla., 15 bass, 56-2
4th: Rob Kilby, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 55-9
5th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 15 bass, 48-14
6th: Hunter Freeman, Monroe, La., 14 bass, 47-10
7th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 46-13
8th: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., 12 bass, 46-10
9th: Miles Howe, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 14 bass, 45-6
10th: Rapala pro Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 45-4
Finishing in 11th through 30th are:
11th: Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 12 bass, 45-4, $12,000
12th: Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., 15 bass, 44-14, $12,000
13th: Jason Abram, Piney Flats, Tenn., 15 bass, 44-1, $12,000
14th: Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 15 bass, 43-2, $12,000
15th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 15 bass, 42-8, $12,000
16th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 11 bass, 42-4, $11,500
17th: Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 15 bass, 42-1, $11,500
18th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, 14 bass, 40-14, $11,500
19th: Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., 15 bass, 39-12, $11,500
20th: Tyler Woolcott, Port Orange, Fla., 10 bass, 37-13, $11,500
21st: Miles Burghoff, Hixson, Tenn., 14 bass, 36-9, $10,500
22nd: Jimmy Brewer, Marshall, Texas, 13 bass, 36-6, $10,500
23rd: Tommy Dickerson, Orange, Texas, 14 bass, 35-15, $10,500
24th: Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., nine bass, 35-14, $10,500
25th: Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, 14 bass, 35-13, $10,500
26th: Jacob Wall, Jacksonville, Ore., 12 bass, 34-5, $10,500
27th: Andy Young, Isle, Minn., 13 bass, 32-10, $10,500
28th: Kurt Dove, Del Rio, Texas, nine bass, 32-8, $10,500
29th: Nitro pro Dylan Hays, El Dorado, Ark., 12 bass, 30-12, $10,500
30th: Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 11 bass, 28-7, $10,500
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Overall there were 119 bass weighing 322 pounds even caught by pros Saturday, Of the final 30 pros, 18 of them were able to bring a five-bass limit to the scale.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 165 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to fish on Saturday. Now, only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa is more than $860,000. The tournament is hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off for the final day of competition at 7:45 a.m. EST Sunday from the Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin, located at 100 Boat Basin Circle, in Bainbridge. Sunday’s Championship weigh-in will also be held at the boat basin beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa will premiere in 2019. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water program will air Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran will be joined by veteran FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.