Blat 2024 Straight Up Fishing Championship

The 2024 Brian Latimer Straight Up Fishing Championship is in the books, and it was a great one!  The tournament was held on beautiful Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia.

To qualify for the bass fishing championship, an angler must participate in one of Brian’s online tournaments and finish in the top forty.  I qualified for the championship round by fishing Brian’s 2023 Straight Up Fishing Fall Classic online tournament. 

SEGKBF Attendees 

SEGKBF was represented at this year’s championship by myself and member Jared Russell.  Jared has been a member and active supporter of SEGKBF for over three years.  This was his first year qualifying for the championship round, and he came in at 24th with a total of 17.25”.

Straight Up Fishing School – Lake Sinclair Marina 

Saturday before the tournament, Jared and I attended the Brain Latimer Straight Up Fishing School; held at the Lake Sinclair Marina.  During this eight-hour class, Brian gave us helpful tips about fishing the muddy waters of Lake Sinclair.

t 2024 Straight Up Fishing Championship students sitting in chairs

Qualifying anglers are eligible to attend his one-day Straight Up Fishing School Seminar for free (the normal cost is $100.00 per person).  This seminar was held on Saturday before the tournament on Sunday.

During the seminar, Brian shared the top three baits he would use to fish the muddy waters of Lake Sinclair.  These baits included spinner baits, crankbaits, and dark-colored plastic worms.

Anglers walked away with advice from an experienced bass fisherman and the knowledge they needed to fish Lake Sinclair.

Straight Up Fishing Championship Tournament

The 2024 Straight Up Fishing Championship had a total of 35 anglers.  While the waters were muddy, anglers were successful with catches from all areas along the lake.   

The top three finishers were Bradford Van Demark, Jason Starley, and Mark Jonas.  The Big Bass award went to Alex Sterling for his 24.50-inch monster!

The tournament had a fantastic turnout with a diverse group of participants including boat fishermen, bank fishermen, and kayak fishermen. It was great to see anglers from different backgrounds and using various fishing methods coming together for the championship event. The competition truly showcased the inclusive and diverse nature of the fishing community.

Championship Competition

Due to the recent rainfall and temperature changes, the championship was anticipated to be a demanding competition for all anglers. The lake was muddy, and the water clarity was poor, making it challenging to catch fish. Moreover, a cooler front had moved into the area overnight before the championship day, causing the water temperature to drop to the mid-50s.

The anglers dropped their lines in at 7:00 a.m. with lines out at 3:00 p.m.

Techniques and Tactics

The water was murky, and the cooler air temperatures made it difficult to get the bass to bite.   I decided to slow down and use an old-fashioned approach.  My bait of choice was a Charlie Brewer Slider Worm with a Favorite Lit rod and reel combo, which I lined with a 10lb Kastking Braid and Seaguar 8lb Basix fluorocarbon line. 

Limit By Noon

My strategy was to fish docks and rip rap.  This strategy allowed me to catch my limit of bass before noon. My biggest bass measured 18.25 inches.  I caught a total of 78.75 inches, which helped me secure a seventh-place finish out of 35 anglers.  My first top-ten finish in a Brian Latimer tournament!

About Brian Latimer

Brian Latimer is a professional angler who lives in South Carolina and specializes in bass fishing. He is also passionate about teaching anglers the right techniques to catch fish in their local lakes, rivers, and ponds.

I would like to extend a special thanks to Brian, his staff, and Lake Sinclair Marina for hosting such a great event!

Championship Video on YouTube

Check out the video Mastering Bass Fishing on Lake Sinclair, over on my  YouTube Channel.  Be sure to hit the subscribe button before you leave!

If you are not a member of my Facebook group, head on over and join today! 

Be sure to check out all of the SEGKBF tournaments!

Remember always wear your PFD, and fish on!