for the Annual T.U.F.F. FISHING DERBY

Tournament dates - March 1st through November 15th

Go back to catchesI'm ready to submit!

Tournament schedule:

  • The Trace Union of Fervent Fishermen (T.U.F.F.) is a fishing club open to all Carolina Trace residents. Tournament dates - March 1st through November 15th


To be an eligible contestant to enter this tournament, one needs to be of the following –

  • A resident of Carolina Trace (property owner or renter) or a member of a resident’s family;
  • A house guest of a resident or renter.
  • An employee or family member of the Carolina Trace Country Club.

Tournament Rules:

  • One tournament will be conducted each year which includes the Adult Division and the Youth Division (ages 16 & Under);
  • Participants may compete for awards in four Categories (Largemouth Bass, Bream, Crappie, and Catfish);
  • In the Adult Division, Bream must measure at least ten inches and Catfish 21 inches (4 pounds) to register for a prize;
  • Prizes such as plaques or medals will be awarded for 1st and 2nd places in each category with TUFF Certificates of Fishing Excellence going to Honorable Mentions;
  • Anyone in 1st Place in any category cannot also be in 2nd Place in the same category with a lesser weight fish;
  • Due to the TUFF budget, anyone in 1st or 2nd Place in multiple categories at the end of the contest will receive one award with all honors noted;
  • In order to win, fish must have been caught in Carolina Trace Lake or Lake Arnold. Fish caught in Creeks and Ponds within the Carolina Trace boundaries are also eligible for entry;
  • Fish must be caught using a hook or lure with natural or artificial bait. It is illegal to catch sport fish with trot lines, set-hooks, seines, or from a gasoline powered boat in Lake Trace. Jug hooks or floats with hooks are unsightly, could cause damage to boat props and are also not allowed on Lake Trace. Such entries will not be eligible.

Registering Your Catch:

A new policy is now in effect for registering your catch in the TUFF Derby. Fishermen no longer need to bring a fish to the gatehouse to measure/weigh it and have a security guard initial the registration form. This change in our registration process will reduce the stress on big fish, so they can be released back into Lake Trace with a better chance of survival.

Here’s how to register:

  • Simply measure the length and the girth of your catch and then release the fish where you caught it. (If you don’t have a tape measure, cut your fishing line to measure length & girth.) Measure the length from the lower lip to the tail (with the tail pinched together so it is at its longest). The girth is the fattest part around the middle of the fish. There are three ways to record your entry:
  • Register the measurements in the TUFF notebook at the CT Gatehouse Fish Registration Station. The T.U.F.F. Fish Registration Notebook is kept in the bottom section of the Fish Scoreboard/Display Cabinet that is to the left of the Gatehouse door as you exit Carolina Trace. Registration Forms are in the Notebook;
  • Another option is the online registration form available at Fill it out and click submit and it automatically goes to Libby’s e-mail which is
  • Or call the Lake Hotline 919-499-1300 and speak with TUFF Director Libby Bibb who will fill out your registration form – after hearing all of the exciting details like when, where, what tackle you were using and anything else you would like to share besides length & girth.
  • To avoid damage to the scoreboard,only members of TUFF can place a name on the TUFF scoreboard in the appropriate Division (Adult or Youth 16 & Under) and Category (Bass, Crappie, Bream or Catfish.) Only erase markers are used!
  • To get posted, report your catch to TUFF Director Libby Bibb (HL) at the Lake Hotline, 919-499-1300; or TUFF members Buster Harrill (NS) 919-770-2425; or Pepe Corello (WM), 919-498-0226.
  • We will check your stats and calculate weight via the website:
  • Weights are always rounded up. To covert tenths to ounces, we multiply the rounded up tenths by 1.6 which converts it to ounces.
  • Pictures are welcome and should be e-mailed in jpeg format to Director Libby Bibb at for future posting on the CTA website!

Catch and Release policies:

Fishermen are encouraged to release Lake Trace largemouth bass and bream. Catfish, white perch and white bass can be culled out of Lake Trace due to their high population. Any fish that looks stunted (big heads, skinny bodies) can be removed.Any DEAD fish that has red sores should be immediately put on ice and our contact at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) called. His name is Michael Fisk and his cell is 919-758-9024 Or call Libby at the Lake Trace Hotline at 919-499-1300. If you catch a tagged bass, scrape the algae off the tag and report its tag number with length & location to Al Zulich 919-897-2168.

NC State Records of interest include: Largemouth Bass (15 pounds, 14 ounces); Crappie (4#s, 15 oz.); Bream (4#s, 5oz.) If you think you may have caught a State Record, call the Division of Inland Fisheries at 919-707-0220 to find out the steps that need to be taken to apply for a State record. NOTE: You must beat the State record by two ounces. You must have a NC fishing license.

To become a member of TUFF, call Libby at the Lake Hotline. Yearly dues are just $15 and go towards bait, tackle and prizes. (Plus big fish alerts). Join this fun group of anglers! We hold “Fish for Fun” lessons and occasional tournaments for the “no dues” Carolina Trace Kid Casters Fishing Club. We also teach the Lee County Boys & Girls Club and the 4-H Summer Fun Camp. We are lake advocates and support all Lake Trace work projects that help preserve our fragile eco-system.

E-mail Libby at and get on the fishing database to get notice of upcoming events!

Image here

Many thanks for your support, Libby Bibb Director, Trace Union of Fervent Fishermen (T.U.F.F.) Director, Carolina Trace Kid Casters Fishing Club (KCC)

Go back to catchesI'm ready to submit!