T.U.F.F. Club

Sanford, NC 27332

Lake Trace Hotline



See what we've been up to lately!

42 Fish caught & Released by the Lee County Boys and Girls Club

by Miss Libby

Posted on Tue Aug 29 2017

Our August 17th fish for fun lesson was a great success -- even with the extra kids that came. We had twenty instead of the usual 14!  Bringing all nineteen "Kid Caster" poles helped, although we ran out of water. Fortunately Pam Zorn brought some watermelon so we could re-hydrate.  Special thanks to our teachers Pepe Corello, Buster Harrill, Frank Gagliano, Bud Burgess and Jody Jackett who provided bait and instruction.  A total of 42 fish were caught and released at the CTCC dock. Special thanks to Debbie Betts who did name tags and took great photos, while I had the pleasure of untangling line, putting on lost hooks/sinkers and baiting those hooks with red wiggler.


The girls at the LC Boys & Girls Club  were better about baiting their own hooks and holding/unhooking the fish.  Anniyah (pronounced ah-NIGH-ah .. not ANNIE-YAH like I said) and Kimberly both won the TUFF Fish Medallion for Excellence in Lake Trace Fishing catching six bream and five white bass respectively.


With the heat index approaching 108 degrees, the TUFF Club members decided to re-think our annual "Back to School" lessons. Each year it has gotten hotter and hotter! Our Spring Break outreach will continue - and we'll have to figure out some sort of fall outing for this great group of youngsters from B&G Club!


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by Miss Libby

Posted on Fri Jul 28 2017

A hands-on fly fishing session was held the evening of June 1st at Hidden Lake pond with instruction by new Woodmere resident Henry Kennedy who shared his teaching skills with seven Tracers from Hidden Lake, Golf East, North Shore and Sedgemore. Anyone interested in learning more about this sport should call the Lake Trace Hotline at 919-499-1300. Big Fish Alert! Mallard Cove resident Don Facciolo certainly had some amazing luck around the June full moon with not one but two double digit largemouth bass in the lower end of the lake pitching a green pumpkin jig with craw trailer. (Hint: go deep in this heat!) ...

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by Miss Libby

Posted on Tue Jul 25 2017

At the April 11th Spring Break "Fish for Fun" lesson for Trace children, TUFF guest Henry Kennedy (WM) shared his fly fishing skills with the 21 people who attended. Each child caught a fish and youngsters enjoyed trying to cast a fly rod. Three children caught fish (bream and catfish) that are now registered in our seasonal 2017 TUFF Derby (Youth Division) and may qualify to win a beautiful gold or silver medallion!

Our outreach to the Sanford community continued two days later with nineteen coming from the Lee County Boys & Girls Club. Over 30 fish were caught and it was two hours of fishing fun with these enthusiastic middle school kids! Thanks to TUFF volunteers Mike, Pepe, Buster, Frank, Jody, Debbie and Bud for helping with our 6th Annual spring break FFF lessons!


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by Miss Libby

Posted on Mon Dec 12 2016

24 Trace fishermen were invited to this special "Greet and Meet" event to enjoy Thai appetizers and talk about fishing in Lake Trace. Thanks to those who attended for their input!  I found the lengthy discussions about invasive plants, silt dredging and dam problems informative.  However, these are issues that basically we have no control over (other than voicing our concern to management)  ... because Escalante controls the decision-making and the checkbook.  In the time left at the meeting we were able to discuss what the TUFF Club can do to help improve the fishery. Please note that approaching Escalante about getting permission and money to pay for materials for our volunteer "work" projects (in spring 2019) is currently on hold until dam repairs are made. 
Thanks to those attendees who expressed an interest in volunteering to help with:
  • building new fish structure to place in shallow areas. Buster is getting an estimate on how much it would cost to build 50 of them. Plus pretty sure we can use the CTCC maintenance building area at Emory Point to build these structures, like we did for the JLC Fish Haven effort. Note these new structures are smaller and less labor intensive as the CT Christmas trees and large, stacked havens dropped in the past;
  • locating where and if those older fish structures from JLC have shifted by using boats with electronics such as fish finders or side imaging; 
  • emplacing the five buoys recovered after hurricanes along the shoreline in shifted locations, perhaps enhancing the areas with shallow new fish structure;
  • Lake Trace clean-up Read More

    Lake Trace Fish Health

    by Miss Libby

    Posted on Thu Dec 08 2016

    If you catch any kind of fish from Lake Trace that doesn't look healthy, call me at the Lake Trace Hotline 919-499-1300. Since 2008 I have been TUFF Director and have only gotten a handful of e-mails and pictures from concerned fishermen which I am posting in the gallery below. (Click on Read More and then click on each picture to see caption.) All pictures of the bass were sent to a NCWRC fish biologist.

    • Fish with sores occurred after Hurricane Matthew. Four were caught, but Mike said it was common after a flooding event;
    • Fish with sores along their belly and tail are common during and after the spawn when the nest is fanned and guarded;
    • The bass Ralph Newberry caught (and removed) five years ago had tumors on its back.

    The back tumors caused a lot of interest with NCWRC and if you catch one with back sores, call me. I will bring a cooler of ice to the Hidden Lake marina, where you can drop the fish off and I will immediately call Mike and the State will send it to Auburn University for analysis.

    There was speculation from TUFF members that the fish could have been caught by an eagle or osprey and dropped and an infection from talon punctures occurred. Our current contact at the Division of Inland Fisheries is Mike Fisk 919-758-9024 (cell) and here is his comment on the bass with the large growth on its mouth: "It’s some kind of tumor, probably the result of catch and release looking at the location but could also be coincidence. I would not worry about a few fish with tumors, it can be present in any population. If you start seeing a lot of them then maybe we should look into it a little more. Its up to you to decide whether to cull those fish or not. Again if its just a few fish that have them, they w ...

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