The brothers Lucas

Justin Lucas’ younger brothers, Kevin (left) and Joe (right) came from California to watch him win the Toyota Angler of the Year Championship.

Four of the people closest to Toyota Angler of the Year Champion Justin Lucas got a bird’s eye view of his Championship Sunday. They followed him all over Lake Chatuge, cheering his every catch, and celebrating them with adult beverages.

Lucas’ spectator boat included his brothers Joe and Kevin Lucas, his best friend in California Andy Lippert, and his best friend in Guntersville, Ala., Devin Campbell.

It was a special weekend for the Lucas brothers, not only because of Justin’s AOY win, but also because Joe and Kevin celebrated recent birthdays.

“This is our birthday weekend,” said Kevin. “Justin is giving us the best birthday present ever.”

First, some background on the Brothers Lucas: They are remarkably close in age. Justin is 32, Joe is 31 and Kevin is 30. ““Four days of the year Joe and I are the same age,” said Kevin. “That means we’re Irish twins. And we are Irish.”

The boys have been battling each other since an early age. Kevin is a professional golfer, competing on the Tour this year, which is the primary path to the PGA Tour. Joe is a former Special Forces Army Ranger and MMA fighter, who now has a welding business. Both of the younger brothers still live in California.

“Being as close as we are in age we competed hard at everything,” said Kevin. “Justin would take up something and we’d want to beat him. Joe would take up something and we’d want to beat him. All three of us don’t like losing. If you play something like corn hole with us you’ll see.”

The brothers remain very close despite the physical distance. “Three brothers, three best friends,” said Kevin.

“I talk to Justin three times a week,” Joe added. “Sometimes we talk about business, his and mine. You know, he’s a businessman too. He gives me advice and a different perspective. It’s very helpful.”

“We’ll sometimes talk for two hours straight when we’re both driving to tournaments,” said Kevin. “Golf and fishing are so similar because they’re both individual sports. We help each other a lot.”

From left: Kevin Lucas, Joe Lucas, Devin Campbell and Andy Lippert.

Justin rebounded from 64th in AOY last year to the title in 2018. His brothers had insights on how that happened.

“He was pissed off about last year,” said Joe. “All he wants to do is come back and beat you. That’s all he can think about. The disappointment of last year motivated him. And not fishing in the Classic last year made him mad too. He doesn’t want to do that again.”

But Justin’s success in 2018 goes much deeper than fishing angry.

“In his mind he doesn’t think he’s really as good as others see him,” said Kevin. “He always wants to get better. That mindset means he keeps learning. He’s one of the most determined people I know. We all are. We got that from our parents. When Justin sets his mind to something he’s hard to stop.”

Justin’s support system also plays an important part in his fishing success.

“He keeps a close circle of friends and family,” said Devin Campbell. “The four of us in the boat today and Bree. He’s not hearing from a whole bunch of people. Having his first kid has motivated him too.”

It’s no surprise the Brothers Lucas keep very close track on each other’s careers.

“Their tournaments [fishing and golf] really mess with my work,” said Joe. “I get nothing done when they’re competing.”