Welcome to the home of Union County's finest bass anglers! Founded in 1985, The Carolina Crankers are the oldest bass fishing club in the county. Many of our members have been with us for 25 years or better. With two separate circuits and no annual membership dues, our club offers something for everyone. Weekend warriors may enjoy our year-round Saturday Series while others enjoy a late bite with our Sportsman's Series. Every season brings new members to our ranks and new members will always be welcome!
True South Style!!!
After a postponement for hurricane Matthew, The Carolina Crankers started a mini marathon hammering the lakes for three weeks straight. A late season mad dash heading into The Carolina Classic. Launching from Swift Island on Lake Tillery, teams idled out through dense fog and the cover of darkness awaiting a main lake blast-off. On the edge of dawn, anglers stood at attention for The National Anthem. Then they were gone. Only echos in the fog remained as teams stormed the lake. Bitter cold nipped at fingers and toes as teams raced to their secret spots. As expected, the 39 degree cold snap took its toll on the lake's resident lunkers. Anglers were greeted with a stingy bite as largemouth waited for the sun to warm the waters. As the sun grew stronger, baitfish started to move and pockets of shad became active in the back of creeks. Soon the bass started cutting through the schools ravenously feeding ahead of the changing season. It seemed for everyone the same outcome, lots of fish but seldomly a keeper. Alabama rigs and crankbaits were responsible for nearly a hundred small fish. Even with a schooling bite this strong, only two limits were managed for the season's allstar event. With two dead batteries and no trolling motor, Cale Helms and Jason Williams slowed down their presentation and dropped the Power Poles to pull the tournament's strongest limit with an even 9 pounds. Just ounces behind, Taylor Schneider and Patrick brought in a limit of 8lbs. and 6ozs. for second place. Falling just short of a limit, Todd Haigler sacked four largemouth for 6lbs. and 14ozs. to take home third place. The Classic's big fish honors go to Terry Benton with a solid 3 pounder. We would like to officially congratulate all of today's winners! Excellent job guys! Thank you to each of our dedicated anglers that qualified for this year's Classic. We appreciate all of our friends and families that joined us for our 2016 finale. Lisa and myself would also like to send a very special thank you to each of the hundreds of anglers that joined us on the water this season. We welcome each of our past, present and future members and friends to join The Carolina Crankers this January for the 2017 season opener on Lake Tillery. We would also like to remind everyone about this year's Christmas parade. The Carolina Crankers will be pulling our boats and families in The Hemby Bridge Christmas Parade on November 19th. The parade begins at 1pm. We ask that all members meet at Food Lion in Hemby Bridge by 12pm to line up for the event. So, get them cleaned up and bring lots of candy for the kids. Remember to stay for the festival and food afterwards. It's a wonderful family experience we are proud to be a part of! We look forward to seeing each of you in 2017! Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Lake Norman was the scene for The Carolina Crankers regular season finale this year. Unfortunately we hit the lake just after late season draw down had begun. For the Lake Norman novice, traveling on plane is very dangerous with low water levels. Shoals and shallows sneak up at a moments notice. The falling water levels have also taken their toll on a usually strong and predictable spot bite. While most anglers took advantage of hungry "bullets" in the shallows and points, Norman's notoriously aggressive bite fell flat. A successful tournament finish required steady nerves and lots of gas! Just when you felt you had a firm grasp on the "natives" you realize the water is so clear you can count the crawfish moving on the bottom! With determination and a touch of luck, anglers headed to the scales for the 2pm weigh-in. Finishing out the 2016 season on top, Jeremy Joyner and his partner Lee Wyre sacked five fish for 9lbs. and 8ozs. Just a pound out, Jacob Moore grabbed second place with 8lbs. and 6ozs. Todd Haigler and John Martin took home the bronze today with 8lbs. and 2ozs. to secure third. Grady and David Cheek had "big-fish" honors today with 3lbs. and 4ozs. Congratulations guys!! The Carolina Crankers would like to thank all our members, their families, and all our new friends for joining us this season! Lisa and myself would like to personally thank all of you for making The Carolina Crankers a family! For our members that have not qualified for next week's Classic, please remember we will be riding in the Hemby Bridge Christmas Parade on November 19th at 1pm. So shine 'em up and grab some candy for the kids! For all the lucky members who have qualified, we will see you on Lake Tillery for "The Carolina Classic" next Saturday, November 5th at 7am. Blast-off is from 24/27! Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
That's Brisk Baby!!!
After postponing the tournament for the hurricane, anglers were anxious to finally take a shot at Lake Wateree. As luck would have it, a week of warm weather in the 80's came to a screeching halt just in time for The Carolina Crankers. The season's first major cold front had moved in overnight. Blast-off temperatures were in the low to mid 40's! Chances for a promising day had been rewritten. Add 20mph winds and you get the idea. Time to drop tried and true lures and patterns and break out the emergency box for a little "junk fishing." Teams threw topwater, deep water and finesse. Some, including myself, even threw the "kitchen sink" at them! While only a few keeper fish were caught, bank burners were eager to bite in standing grass and vegetation. Massive schools of shad were found roaming towards the back of creeks but unfortunately the bass weren't in the mood for feeding today. Traps in the grass and buzzbaits on top carried the load for today's tournament. After a long day of being tossed and blown around by cool crisp winds, Mike Love and Ronnie Rushing topped the scales with 11lbs. and 14ozs. The team also took home big fish with 3lbs. and 6ozs. Todd and Jesse Moore grabbed second place today with 6lbs. and 2ozs. Congratulations guys! Join The Carolina Crankers next Saturday as we finish the 2016 regular season on Lake Norman. Blast-off is at 7am from Beatties Ford Ramp. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Tillery before Hillary!!!
Avoiding the large number of boats competing in the BFL on Lake Wylie this week, The Carolina Crankers shifted today's tournament to Lake Tillery. With the recent stretch of beautiful, dry weather, the waters have become very clear allowing perfect visibility to 6 feet or better. Most laydowns and grass lines offered little to no coverage for a largemouth to stalk and ambush baitfish. Heavy schooling was observed in Norwood and larger coves and cuts but the bite was skittish at best. While the occasional keeper was taken, most school bites were useless. True to the late summer and early fall season for Tillery, fishing was tough. The combination of conditions tested even the best angler's patience and confidence. For a successful day, top off the gas and allow for a heavy dose of "junk fishing." With the tournament's strongest bag, Tim Helms took home the win today with 4 fish totaling 8lbs. and 10ozs. Tim also took big fish for the day with 2lbs. and 10ozs. Just ounces behind, Taylor Schneider and Patrick grabbed second place with 8lbs. and 2ozs. Great job guys! Thank you to all our anglers that joined us today. The Carolina Crankers would also like to welcome Jay Mcintyre and Hunter Culbreth as well as Hailey Haigler! Thank you for fishing with us today on Tillery. Check out the new 2017 tournament schedule. New members are always welcome! Join The Carolina Crankers October 8th as we head south to Lake Wateree. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Bring the Rake!!!
Oh boy! Nothing more fun than swamping through the garden on Tuckertown in the summer! For anglers familiar with the lake, I am sure you share my enthusiasm! If you made today your first trip, my apologies! It's on top, it's on the bottom and its suspended just like the bass. Most of us call it "jungle snot" but there are more appropriate names for it. If you are lucky enough to get your lure back cleanly, enjoy the moment, it won't last! Stack on the acres of hydrilla topping out just inches below the waterline and it's like starting a diet in the Krispy Kreme parking lot! It just isn't gonna happen! Although the deck seems stacked against you, someone always manages to stick a good bag. Fresh off of a Thursday Night Series victory, Tom Streater and his partner Tim Jones grabbed first place with 13lbs. and 2ozs. Anchoring their winning bag was today's big fish at 5lbs. and 6ozs. Taking home second place today was Jonathan Cook and Jeremy Plyler with 9lbs. and 8ozs. Congratulations guys! So, after some much needed therapy in the ac and a quick trip to restock at Bass Pro, join The Carolina Crankers on September 24th as we head to Lake Wylie. Blast off is at 7am from the Buster Boyd ramp. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
I Ate A Bug!
The Carolina Crankers returned to Fishing Creek this week. Memories of this Spring's earlier tournament weights had teams lined up to the highway for the 6am blast. By 5am the mayflies looked like white out snow as anglers carefully launched in the dark. By blast-off they were gone. All but the swarms that were trapped in everyone's truck cabs! By dawn's first light it was easily obvious where the bite was at. Boat after boat took a hard turn to the left headed to the river. Personally, I don't have the nerve to follow when the depthfinder starts flashing on plane. To those brave few that made the run, the payoff was on the rocks near Cane Creek. For the weak of heart, Fishing Creek is a beautiful lake but save those rainy day pennies for some quality electronics if you wanna run with the big boys! Rockin the scales at weigh-in was the father-son team of Clint and Joel Hunter. The pair sacked a limit of 19lbs. and 6ozs. anchored by the day's big-fish at 5lbs. and 2ozs. Bringing home second, with a limit of 12lbs. and 4ozs. was Taylor and his partner Patrick. We would like to thank our members that made the trip down south today. We also would like to congratulate today's winners. Great job guys! Join The Carolina Crankers on August 27th as we hit Tuckertown. Blast off is from highway 49 at 6am. Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
One of the hottest summers on record! 96 degrees in the shade the heat wave crushes like an ocean on your shoulders. Racing the sun, The Carolina Crankers blasted at dawn. With practice weights for several weeks in the mid to upper teens, expectations were high. But angler after angler soon realized that the extreme temperatures had taken a toll on the lake's population. Even as school after school broke the surface, most fish refused to bite. Before midday, many anglers left from the combination of heat and frustration. For the tried and tested that remained, teams hammered it out cast after cast in search of the winning bite. By day's end, only one team managed a limit of largemouth. Cale Helms and Jason Williams grabbed top honors today with 6lbs. and 14ozs. Club directors Lisa and Rodney May took home second place with 5lbs. and 8ozs. after a dead fish penalty. They also won today's big fish pot with 4lbs. and 4ozs. Congratulations to today's top finishers! We would like to thank everyone that joined us on Lake Tillery today. Join The Carolina Crankers on August 13th at Fishing Creek. Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
Drain on Cane
Three years ago The Carolina Crankers said goodbye to Cane Creek. Extreme fishing pressure drove anglers to frustration with the former trophy lake. After many requests to return, the club gave it another chance. As expected, three years wasn't long enough! even the most seasoned anglers were left scratching their heads. With no pattern whatsoever, and the ultimate case of lockjaw, members threw everything in the boat at them. But even a pro will tell you, sometimes it's luck that saves the day. With a serious case of angler's elbow, Mike Love and Ronnie Rushing managed two keepers totaling 7lbs. and 14ozs. for the win. They also grabbed big fish with 5lbs. and 8ozs. Justin and Megan Moore took home second today with 6lbs. and 6ozs. Congratulations guys and girls! Join The Carolina Crankers on Lake Tillery on July 30th at 6am. Until then... keep 'em hooked!
Don't Take This Personal!
That phrase gets tossed around at weigh-in as much as the one that got away! Don't be mistaken, it's all business when The Carolina Crankers hit the water. It ain't personal, so leave them feelings at home. It was a full house today as the club blasted from Alcoa. By dawn, multiple tournaments from multiple ramps unleashed an assault on Badin's largemouth population. Fortunately the previous Memorial Day weekend's pleasure boaters got it all out of their systems. The lake was far from calm but it was enjoyable for anglers. Although Badin sees heavy tournament traffic throughout the week, several patterns dominated today's weigh-in. While blades and cranks played their roles, early limits were found fishing topwater in the shallows, culls and kicker-fish fell for plastics and jigs. As with many productive days on the lake, the 2pm weigh-in promised to be a nail-biter decided by ounces. Tom Streeter and Cale Helms overcame a dead fish penalty taking first place by ounces with 13lbs. and 14ozs. Tight on their heels, Mike Love and Ronnie Rushing landed 13lbs. and 8ozs. for second with Keith Wood and Lee McConnell grabbing third just 2 ounces behind with 13lbs. and 6ozs. Today's big fish of 4lbs. and 10ozs. was weighed in by Jonathan Cook and Corey Love. We would like to welcome our new teams that joined us for today's event and also to congratulate the tournament's top finishers. Great job today guys! Always remember, it ain't personal, this is business! Join The Carolina Crankers on July 16th as we visit Cane Creek. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Toss Me My Keys!!!
For boaters, there are two cardinal rules never to be broken on the water. Unfortunately, yesterday both happened on a Carolina Crankers trip to Stumpy Pond. No matter how sure the hands or how close, never toss the truck keys to your partner in the boat! That particular set of keys now swims with the fish near 20 feet deep. Thankfully a qualified locksmith can help you get back home. As to rule number two, and far more dangerous, always be certain that the plug is in the boat before launching. Most newer boats have an automatic float switch that will automatically turn the bilge pump on to drain the water should you forget to put the plug in. I strongly urge that anyone that does not have a float switch, pick up and install one before you hit the lake again. At $25, it might just save your life and your vessel. However, as in yesterday's situation, if left unchecked that bilge pump will kill the battery. So get the boat on the trailer quickly and secure the plug. On that note, most anglers will agree that a set of jumper cables should be permanent equipment with every boat. With that being said, yesterday turned out to be a marginal day for anglers at Stumpy Pond. With over 2 inches of rain in 48 hours, the muddy waters were to be expected. Fortunately, the forecasted rains held off for the tournament. Many teams hammered smaller fish while keepers were more illusive than normal. Most fish were caught in 10 feet or less of water. The strongest bite was found just after blast off while the remainder of the day was hit or miss with no dominant pattern. Topping the scales this week was the team of Mike Love and Ronnie Rushing with 11lbs. and 2ozs. Terry Benton and Mitchell York grabbed second place with 7lbs. and 6ozs. and also took big fish with 4lbs. and 4ozs. Congratulations guys! Join The Carolina Crankers on June 4th as we travel to Badin. Blast off is from Alcoa at 6am. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Stanly Community Christian Ministries Tournament
Congratulations to Todd Haigler and Brian on today's win in the Stanly Community Christian Ministries Charity Tournament on Tillery! Todd and Brian weighed in 13 pounds 8 ounces. Not far behind, Mike and Joshua Love grabbed the number two spot as well as today's big fish pot. Mike and Joshua weighed in 13 pounds with a big fish of 4 pounds 4 ounces! Brandon and Walter grabbed third place with a total weight of 10 pounds 4 ounces! We want to thank all our Carolina Crankers members for helping in today's event! We hope this will help the ministry help children and families in need with less fortunate circumstances. Sometimes we don't realize how much we take for granted on a daily bases! Again, thanks to you all. See you on Stumpy Pond May -21-16 Until then... Keep 'em Hooked!
Lake Norman played host to this week's Carolina Crankers tournament. 17 teams eased out on the lake just before dawn anxiously waiting for blast-off. Then, like a rocket, they were gone. Running North and South with their ears peeled back eager for that first cast. As always, promising days have curveballs. Once again, heavy winds drove the gin clear waters to whitecaps and froth. Only the determined anglers set up shop on the main lake. As thick as thieves on hot summer days, spotted bass traveled in wolf packs today. Grouping was sporadic but steady when discovered. Mostly in the 1 1/2 to 2 pound range, they fell readily to jigs, plastics and crankbaits. The 2pm weigh-in found many "spotted" limits in the 8 to 9 pound range. Fun to catch but just no meat on them. With only two teams reaching double digits, today's tournament was a game of ounces. With their first win, Patrick Killion and Taylor Schneider sacked 11lbs. and 12ozs. They anchored their winning bag with the tournament's big fish weighing 4lbs. and 6ozs. Just ounces behind, Brian and Wendy Secrest took home second place with 11lbs. and 2ozs. Congratulations guys and gals! Join The Carolina Crankers next month on Stumpy Pond on May 21st. Blast-off is at 6am!!! Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
Zip it, Zip it Good!!!
The Carolina Crankers headed to Tuckertown for this week's round of tournament action. Warm weather and calm, clear skies are a given during the work week. However, tournament time on Saturdays is as unpredictable as a potluck dinner. The second week of April welcomed anglers with a 29 degree blast-off and then proceeded to punish with 25 to 35mph sustained winds. The heavy turbulence and whitecaps were possibly harder on anglers than the trolling batteries. Big or small, boats were tossed through a spin cycle. Add in the lake's fierce algae bloom covering the bottom and hanging from every laydown, and another day at the office takes on a whole new meaning! The extreme combination of weather and lake conditions became a true test of an angler's skills and patience. Making all the right moves today, the team of Jonathan Cook and Corey Love dropped a scale punishing limit of 20lbs. and 2ozs. for first place. They anchored their sack with today's big fish at 7lbs. and 6ozs. With 15lbs. and 14ozs, Brian Price and his partner Michael took home second place at weigh-in. Terrific job today guys! Thank you to everyone that joined us on the lake today. Check out The Carolina Crankers on April 23rd as we continue on Lake Norman. Blast-off is from Beatties Ford at 7am. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
Bump The Stump!
The Carolina Crankers hit Fishing Creek at dawn this morning. 25 boats rocked the lake from North to South. With off-limits qualifying, patterns that proved to be successful last weekend were not on the menu today. As far as structure is concerned, Fishing Creek is an angler's paradise. Laydowns and stumps number in the thousands. As far as the eye can see, everywhere looks "fishy." Any cast, any second, it's possible to tackle a toad. But don't be mislead by this garden of eden though. This moody river system can just as easily serve you a " dink in the creek." Seasoned fishermen must walk a fine line to tame this low-country system. Today was no exception as the best of the field played the lake like a fiddle. With a sizeable limit of 17lbs. and 4ozs. Chad Sims and Michael Thomas grabbed the top spot for the 2pm weigh-in. Only half of a pound behind was Jonathan Cook and Jeremy with 16lbs. and 12ozs. for second place. The team also took home today's big-fish pot with a 6lbs. and 6ozs. largemouth. Rounding things out with third place today were Clint and Joe Hunter with 14lbs. and 8ozs. Congratulations guys! We would like to thank all our anglers that participated today! We would also like to welcome our new anglers that came out today. Great to have you today! Hope we see you again very soon! If you are looking for a club to call your own, welcome home! Join The Carolina Crankers on Tuckertown Reservoir on April 9th. We will be blasting from the highway 49 ramp at 7am. Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
The Night Bite!
We are happy to announce that our Thursday Night Series will begin on March 24th. This season we will rotate between Lake Monroe and Lake Twitty on a monthly basis. We will begin on Lake Monroe on March 24th and continue through the month of April. We will then rotate to Lake Twitty the first Thursday in May. We will then continue the rotation for the season. The full monthly schedule is listed on our Thursday Night Tournament Schedule page. Entry fees are $20 a boat and winner take all! Tournament hours are 4:30pm to 8:30pm.
The Carolina Crankers made its second annual trip to High Rock Lake this weekend. As the sun slowly broke the horizon, a steady procession of boats and anglers hit the ramps at Tamarac. Contrary to the day's final numbers, a steady dance of topwater swirls near the ramp had anglers anxious for an aggressive bite. The Tamarac bridge, scene of last year's winning bite, was a ghost town today. Dealing with an unusually slow bite for the lake, teams voted to make the long runs to chase a winning pattern. At weigh-in, teams watched as the results shook up the field. In a 17 boat field only 7 managed to bring fish to the scales. With the tournament's only limit, Brian File and Jeff Davis finished on top with 11lbs. and 14ozs. Brian and Jeff also sacked the day's Big Fish with a 5lb. High Rock largemouth. With a weight of 8lbs. and 14ozs, Anthony Goins and Don Oakes grabbed second place today. Great job today guys! Congratulations to member Todd Haigler on his 50lb carp today but "Best of Show" would have to go to Ronnie Rushing and "Mr. Whiskers" for 38lbs! We would also like to give a big shout out to rising star Brayden Mueller. Join The Carolina Crankers for our next road trip as we head to Fishing Creek on March 26th. Don't forget our Thursday Night Sporstman's Series begins on March 24th at Lake Monroe. Until then... keep 'em hooked!!!
The Carolina Crankers made stop number two this week on Lake Wylie. Heavy storms from mid-week had anglers anxious about water conditions. As expected, waters were "thick" with little to no visibility. Shallow and deep, on the main and in the creeks, teams struggled to pattern a winning bite. A hard days work on the water landed a few bites but mostly frustration. Getting it done in the creek this week was Marshall and Nicky with the tournament's only limit of 11lbs. and 10ozs. Taking home second place was new angler Steve Helms. Steve had four largemouth with a total of 10lbs. and 14ozs. Mike Love and Ronnie Rushing grabbed big fish with a solid five pounder. Congratulations to all of this week's top finishers! The Carolina Crankers would like to welcome each of our new anglers that joined us on Lake Wylie. Join us March 12th as we travel to High Rock Lake. Blast-off is at 7am from Tamarac. Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!
So what's the cure for cabin fever? The clock counting down while the brisk chill of daybreak tickles the back of your lungs. Maybe it's the new season's anticipation as the hair on the back of your neck stands on end. Waiting, waiting, and then...The hole shot! The bow lunging towards heaven as the outboard roars to life. Pure, raw horsepower sling-shotting anglers on a side by side, white-knuckle ride. Then, it's gone...forever a memory. To the unfortunate ones that don't tournament fish, words just can not convey the rush of emotion and adrenaline of our sport. At first light, The Carolina Crankers officially kicked off the 2016 season with 31 boats; gone by dawn! Hard to imagine that only a week ago this entire area was blanketed with ice and snow. But not now, not this day. By midday, the morning's chill loosened its grasp while temperatures slowly climbed to near 60 degrees. Honestly, whether the tank was full or empty, today was the perfect day! As we capped off our visit to Lake Tillery, teams eagerly waited to weigh-in their catch. Grabbing the season's first victory was the team of Jeff Coley and Brice Hollis with a five fish limit of 17lbs. and 6ozs. Less than a pound behind, Daniel Springs and Myles Stewart took home second place with 16lbs. and 8ozs. Grabbing third place today was True South Lures frontman John Martin and his partner Todd Haigler. John and Todd had 15lbs. and 6ozs. anchored by a 5lb. largemouth for today's big fish. Great job guys! Thank you to all our anglers that helped kick off the new season! Join The Carolina Crankers on February 27th as we continue at Lake Wylie. Until then...keep 'em hooked!!!