Straight Up Fishing School

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Brian Latimer Straight Up Fishing School. Held in Anderson, South Carolina home to Lake Hartwell. 

I could attend free of charge because I qualified for his Straight Up Fishing Classic by fishing in several tournaments he held during the year. 

Straight Up Fishing
Straight Up Fishing

Classic Qualifications

Fishing the tournaments throughout the year was a blast, and you compete with other anglers throughout the United States. One of my fellow anglers, Robert Reid, also qualified for the classic with me.

After being notified that we had made the classic round, Robert and I planned the trip. I did a little research on the area and found us a little cabin at Lake Hartwell State Park for our weekend trip. The classic set for Sunday was January 15, 2022, but we also had a fishing school set for the Saturday before. 

Lake Hartwell
Lake Hartwell

We went to Lake Hartwell on Friday. Traveling through the countryside of Georgia and South Carolina was quite a trip. Saw some small towns that are no longer in existence. What the interstate highways have caused in rural parts of the country is a shame. 

Lake Hartwell State Park

Arriving at Lake Hartwell State Park was indeed a pleasure. We made our way to the back part of the park, where our home was for the weekend—a small wooden cabin overlooking a cove of  Lake Hartwell. 

Lake Hartwell State Park Cabin
Lake Hartwell State Park Cabin

The little wooden cabin was perfect. We were happy campers roughing it in style. We unpacked our trucks because we wanted to go into town and find the Sportsman Warehouse and Academy Sports. 

Rough Roads

Making my way into Anderson, South Carolina, I thought roads could have been better in Georgia. Boy, that was a mistake. South Carolina has us beat. Our first stop was at Sportsman Warehouse and then at Academy Sports. It was my first time at both of them. Each store beats Bass Pro, for sure. 

Well, it was getting a little late, so we headed back to the cabin to settle in. As we pulled into the parking area at our place, we noticed a bass boat at the next spot over. As every angler does, you have to find out who the neighbors are. That is just southern hospitality. I strolled on over and introduced myself to the two gentlemen. 


They invited me to share a friendly fire and talk about bass fishing. We set around the fire and enjoyed an evening of fellowshipping and sharing information. The night got a little later, and we had to be up early the following day for our fishing school.  So off to our respectful cabins, we went. 


The following day, Robert and I had to find breakfast. Google Map the nearest Waffle House, just like every southern does. You can not beat an excellent ole Waffle House All-Star Breakfast and coffee.

After finishing breakfast, we were off to Straight Up Fishing School. Arriving, we met with other old and young anglers for our day of learning from Brian Latimer and Bobby Barrick. 

BLAT Straight Up Fishing School
BLAT Straight Up Fishing School

We learned from finesse fishing to frog fishing. I thought I knew a lot about frog fishing; I was totally amazed by some of the information I learned from Bobby. 

After spending a day with the pros talking about fishing, we headed back to the cabin to get everything rigged for our big classic.

Robert Reid and Brian Latimer
Robert Reid and Brian Latimer

Gearing Up

That night we again spent time with the neighbors around the fire. Before it got too late, it was time to settle in bed and get a good night’s sleep. As the night went on, the temperatures dropped into the mid-twenties.

Well, I told myself I was going to have to find the fish deep and slow. Stay tuned for the blog post on Classic Day. 

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