2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Southern Divisional
Lake Okeechobee - Clewiston, FL, Mar 28 - 30, 2012

Farmer, Lubbinge top Southern juniors

John Neporadny, Jr.
South Africa’s Willem Lubbinge holds up a couple of his big bass from his winning 19-4 limit.

CLEWISTON, Fla. — Willem Lubbinge traveled 21 hours by plane to reach Lake Okeechobee, but it was well worth the time and effort for the South African angler. (To view the final standings)

Lubbinge, 18, caught a five-fish limit weighing 19 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 15- to 18-year-olds age group of the Junior Bassmaster competition in the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Southern Divisional on Lake Okeechobee. His stringer was the biggest limit Lubbinge has ever caught.

Florida youngster Luke Farmer won the 11-14 age group by catching four keepers weighing 12 pounds, 6 ounces. The young anglers both qualified for berths in the Bassmaster Junior World Championship (JWC) to be held in conjunction with the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship in Alabama in October.

Farmer, 12, flipped a jig into buggywhips, bulrush and pencil reeds to catch his four keepers. He fishes Lake Okeechobee frequently, so he had plenty of experience with his winning pattern.

“I caught big fish both days of practice,” he said. “Early this morning, I didn’t have anything until about 10 o’clock, and then I caught a 5-pounder.”

He caught the rest of his keepers later in the afternoon. The Big O Teen Anglers member is the son of Candace and Kenny Farmer.

Lubbinge, the son of Jan and Chagne Lubbinge, also pitched and flipped to the reeds all day. “We found that the heavier the cover, the better size the fish,” he said. Lubbinge also found out he had to slow down the jig to catch fish. He said he usually fishes Zoom Flukes on his home waters, but at Okeechobee, he had to rely on a 3/4-ounce jig (green pumpkin) with a Zoom Chunk (orange with green flake).

Youth Standings

11-14 age group

Rank Name Hometown No.of fish No./lbs-oz
1 Luke Farmer Estero,FL (FL) 4 12.6
2 Zeke Gossett Cropwell, AL (AL)  5 9.11
3 Wyatt Young  Bartlett, TN (TN)  5 8.0
4 Nico Retief South Africa (SA)   5 6.0
5 Chris Carnes York, SC (SC)  5 5.12
6 Austin Cole Rutherford, NC (NC)  4 4.12
7 Austin Hagan Clarkson, KY (KY)  2 2.14
8 Jake Mims  Douglasville, GA (GA)  1 1.1

15-18 age group

Rank Name Hometown No.of fish No./lbs-oz
1 Willem Libbinge  South Africa (SA)    5 19.10
2 Dustin Bozeman  Lakeland, FL (FL)  5 14.8
3 Carson Orelllana  Mooresville, NC (NC)    5 13.12
4 Ethan Eubanks   Marion, AR (TN) 5 11.12
5 Quentin Vercher   Titus, AL (AL)  5 8.8
6 Justin Singleton Rutledge, GA (GA)  5 6.13
7 Lance Freeman   Eddyville, KY (KY)  4 5.1
8 Samson Faulk   Lyman, SC (SC)   2 2.2