As part of the Stanley Legacy Series launch, we invited brand ambassador and professional bass angler Brian Latimer to share his legacy. We sat down with Brian to ask him a few questions about his family, fishing career, and perspective on the movement for racial equality.
Brian’s legacy will inspire you to build and share your own legacy with those who adventure with you.
Stanley: How did you become interested in fishing, and how did you become a pro angler?
Brian: I grew up in a family that fished. I don’t ever remember deciding that fishing was what I was going to do as a career. My mom has pictures that I drew as a kid of me on stage, accepting awards, and on the deck of a boat. I took part in my first fishing tournament when I was in the second grade; I knew I was supposed to be a professional fisherman at that age.
I struggled with how to make it happen, however. There are fewer than 300 anglers worldwide who make a living by fishing. There were times when I was broke and wondered how I was going to make it.
You have to push through challenges. It took time to get the opportunity to compete on a national level. But after four years on tour, I won my first tournament. It was a long journey; there were good tournaments, and there were bad ones, but the good ones make it all worth it.
Stanley: As one of the few Black men on the pro fishing tour, what does that mean to you?
Brian: There are only two other Black men who are pro fisherman. I’d be lying if I told you that there is no mental hurdle being one of the few Black men on tour. What we see in the media and on social media about racism and inequality hits me square in the face sometimes, but it doesn’t hold me back from catching a fish or being successful.
When I was younger, there was this element of doubt because I never saw anybody else who looked like me fishing. But now it’s incredible having other Black men doing what I do. It was a special feeling when my close friend, Mark Daniels, Jr., won the Bassmaster Elite tour in 2018, and then I followed by winning the very next year. That was my career highlight to date!
Stanley: Do you see yourself as a role model for Black youth interested in fishing or outdoor sports?
Brian: Absolutely. The sole purpose of my career is to show others that they can do it. I get direct messages on social media daily from people sharing how I’ve inspired them.
I want to change the narrative on Black culture, Black men and Black people being active outdoors. I want to make this accepted and normalized. It is my job to be a good steward for everybody.
Stanley: You shared in the Legacy video that your legacy is for your children to follow their dreams. How are you instilling this in them?
Brian: I don’t want to box them in. I do take them fishing, though, and my youngest son, Brooks, really enjoys it. My older son, Brev, is more into karate. And Mia is only a few months old, so she’s a bit young to be expressing her career path!
Stanley: We know you use Stanley products in your everyday life, on the road, and at competitions. What do you like best about Stanley?
Brian: You can tell that Stanley products are designed by someone who lives and breathes the outdoors and provided attention to detail that would normally be overlooked. You can take them with you fishing or camping or whatever your jam is!
Other mugs and coolers can’t take the wear and tear that I throw at them. I’m always dropping them on rocks, or my crew is tossing gear into my truck or across a parking lot. The Stanley Legacy Series is incredibly durable.
Stanley: One last question, Brian, what do you do for fun?
Brian: That’s an easy one. I go fishing. And then I go again. And again.