Justin Lucas: New Dad, New 2018 AOY Title


This time last year, Justin Lucas was merely a spectator for the Angler of the Year Championship tournament. He had just wrapped up one of his worst seasons to date on the Bassmaster Elite Series, with no bid to the Bassmaster Classic the following year. With little turn around time, and only a short winter to reflect and prepare for a run at the 2018 AOY title, Lucas received a ‘secret weapon’ which would turn out to be exactly what he needed to get things back on track.

After reflecting on his 2017 season, Justin determined the cause for his poor fishing was due to forcing things a little. He found himself putting “too much emphasis on practicing to win” opposed to practicing what he does best. It’s something that has been the pitfall for several anglers’ seasons over the years, and it left Justin searching for something to help free his mind.

“The birth of my son, Cooper Jack, had a huge impact on me. It’s unbelievable what something like that can do to your thinking. I realized that regardless of how I fished or where I finished in a tournament I had a responsibility to help take care of him and to set and example for him, even at a young age.”


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Meet your 2037 Bassmaster Classic Champion…Cooper Jack Lucas! He weighed 9lbs 10oz and 22” long. #lunker #pinkbeaniesareforboys

A post shared by Justin Lucas (@justinlucasbass) on

In the video below, Justin talks a little bit about his childhood growing up in California, and how he got into the world of professional fishing. He’s also very candid about the struggles he faced during that 2017 season, but shows he has the will and determination to come back stronger than ever:

“Recognizing that there were other things more important in life that the tournament I’m fishing in allowed me to relax and just do my thing. In the end, that was what I needed to get things back on track.”


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I bet he catches more of these than I ever will 😍

A post shared by Justin Lucas (@justinlucasbass) on

Lucas entered the 2018 season with his focus solely on becoming an elite father, and it immediately helped him settle back into a groove on the water.

Among recent dramatic shifts in the professional bass fishing landscape, this victory serves as a testament to the next generation of anglers. Young and hungry, Lucas exemplifies that the baseline of a champion is a humble appreciation for sport and pursuit. But throughout each elite performance and the persistent competitive drive, the bond that tied skill and success was indeed Cooper Jack Lucas.

Congrats on achieving Angler of the Year, Justin. We’re already looking forward to see what you do next year as an encore!

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