T.U.F.F. Club

Sanford, NC 27332

Lake Trace Hotline



See what we've been up to lately!


by Miss Libby

Posted on Wed Jul 31 2019

Lake Trace Summer Fishing Update

Very pleased to announce that 13-year-old Ezekiel Bucur (Stonegate N) caught a 24 inch largemouth bass on Monday at noon “up the creek” from the 18 Creek Golf Cart Bridge. (Note: Sizeable crappie have also been reported caught creekside near that bridge.)  

EZ has already qualified for our new 2019 Golden TUFF Lake Trace Fishing Award because he caught and released a Bass, Crappie, Bream and Catfish from his POA Stonegate pond. Any Trace youngster (lot owner family or renter) who catches any size fish in those four categories from Lake Trace,  their POA pond or Lake Arnold in Trace qualifies for the Golden TUFF.

Ezekiel had been in 2nd Place Bass with a 12 inch bass after Aidan Bailey caught a 21 incher out of Lakewood basin. Ezekiel's awesome catch catapults him into First Place Bass (TUFF Youth Division). Best news is he has started using artificial bait (green pumpkin trick worm) rather than live worms.  His mom Eunice shared with me that they had never really fished anywhere until they moved here. Very proud of EZ and school doesn't start until Aug. 26th. Hope more "KidCasters" will get involved.

BTW, in past weeks fishermen who braved the goose poop situation brought to the shore almost four pound and five pound bass from Lakewood basin and North Traceway Bridge. Check blogs below. Click on big pics in Photo Gallery for captions with details.

Despite this heat, there are fish to be caught in Lake Trace! Even the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC) agrees!


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Lake Trace Spring/Summer Fishing News

by Miss Libby

Posted on Mon Jul 01 2019

Long time TUFF member Buster Harrill (NS) reported not one but two 22.5 inch length by 17.5 inch girth largemouth bass caught in early April near Charles Holder's (NS) brick wall.  The first seven pound, eight ounce lady was caught on a green pumpkin shaky head and a Dinger green pumpkin w/ purple/green flakes landed #2 lunker about 30 feet from the first one caught a week earlier.  Fourteen to 19 inch bass have been landed during March/April fishing excursions by long time bass anglers in Lake Trace. These one to four pound "dinks" are not plentiful and hard to catch. (Our fishery is unbalanced and over populated with white perch which can decimate a fishery and eat bass, bream eggs/fry).  They should be culled out. Click on Page 8 of BLOG for pics & details..

NOTE: Click on big pics in photo gallery for captions

However, monster bass are still around in 2019. In early March another 13# largemouth was caught around the spawning grounds of South Bridge/Eagles Nest/Harbor Creek. Double digits were also reported in shallow areas there. Another nine pounder reported on a spinnerbait at North Traceway Bridge.

Lake Trace probably has a NC State record largemouth bass in its waters.  It would have to be a sixteen pound bass! I know she's here!



UPDATE FROM BUSTER - A dramatic catch from a true Bassmaster of Lake Trace! Any one who has fished 18 Creek bridge knows that it is famous for hang-ups around those bridge pilings and dropped fish structure from years ago!  Here is his story:


"I caught a good one Friday the 24th  at the creek 18 bridge. It weighed 8lbs 2oz and 24-1/2" long. Got it on a shaky head with a purple roboworm. I pulled it out from under the bridge over those cross members. The fluorocarbon leader was frazzled so bad that it was hard to believe a fish that size could have been caught. My rubber land ...

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Go for the GOLD this summer!!

by Miss Libby

Posted on Sat Jun 01 2019

In case you didn’t know, the first week in June is “National Fishing and Boating” week, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. With summer vacation almost upon us, here is something fun for Trace families!!

CLICK ON READ MORE TO SEE OUR FIRST QUALIFIER FOR THIS AWARD! Click on each photo in picture gallery for captions.


To encourage more fishing (the other sport) in Carolina Trace, the Trace Union of Fervent Fishermen, aka the TUFF Club, has announced a new fishing award aimed at youngsters (13 and under) who catch one sunfish, one crappie, one catfish and one largemouth bass. They can be any size.  Just measure the length, take a picture of your child with the fish and release the fish where it was caught. Send the pic to  and call the Lake Hotline at 919-499-1300 to register. The new prize (the “Golden TUFF”) features a large gold fish mounted on an engraved marble stand (suitable for bragging rights).


These four species are the categories in our seasonal TUFF Derby which runs every year from March 1st to November 15th. If any fish has some size to it, it will automatically be entered into our 2019 derby where youngsters receive handsome gold, silver or bronze fish medallions, an official TUFF Certificate of Fishing Excellence and a Gift Bag at the winter Awards Ceremony.


To see what each fish looks like, a FREE North Carolina SPORT FISH Identification Pocket Guide is available starting June 7th in the compartment below the TUFF Scoreboard at the Gatehouse exit or by calling the Lake Hotline 919-499-1300.

Click on Read More to see more pics. You can also pick up the Fish ID booklet at my house at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue in Hidden Lake POA anytime. ...

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by Miss Libby

Posted on Thu Apr 25 2019

On April 16th, TUFF Club members enjoyed our fifth fishing excursion to Perkins Pond with eleven First Baptist Church youngsters.  We enjoyed PERFECT weather and an astounding 71 fish including five bass were caught and released in less than two hours!

Unfortunately the weather was chilly and very windy at our April 20th "Fish for Fun" event at the CTCC dock. We had 28 folks from the Carolina Trace community drop by to brave the elements and see what the Lake Trace fishery had to offer. The dozen "Kid Casters" who attended reeled in a total of 15 white perch, bluegills, red ear sunfish and catfish.  Click on the big pictures in the Photo Gallery below for more details.  Special thanks to Escalante, the Carolina Trace Country Club owners for opening this event to the entire CT community! 


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by Miss Libby

Posted on Sun Mar 24 2019



Save the Date:  Saturday April 20th, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Location:           Carolina Trace Country Club docks


Weather permitting, enjoy two hours with TUFF teachers during our 10th Annual Spring Break Fish for Fun lesson. Last year this event took place in March and if you check the Blog posts, you will see that the weather was windy & cold and the fishing was less than spectacular.


We are expecting MUCH better fishing off the dock in 2019.  Youngsters 8 and under MUST be accompanied by a parent or grandparent. We have a dozen rod/reel combos available on a first-come basis if you can’t bring your own equipment and bait.  For participants, we’ll also have a random drawing for a Shakespeare rod/reel donated by Julee Snyder of Southwind.

Join the fun! Any questions, call “Miss Libby” at 919-499-1300


Winter fishing updates: Double digit bass have been caught and released in the shallow areas of Lake Trace near the Traceway bridges and Harbor Creek area, although no official registrations with length/girth measurements have been received. To register your catch, click on Catches and go to New Catch form (non-members). If you get lucky, PLEASE handle these big pre-spawn females gently and release quickly. Good luck!

Our seasonal Derby runs every year from March 1st to November 15th, so "game on" folks! You don't have to be a member of TUFF or the Country Club to register for prizes. We have four categories (Bass, Crappie, Bream & Catfish) in the Adult and Youth (16 & younger) Divisions. Click on Derby to see past winners and where, when & how they caught their fish. Trace reside ...

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