Bass fishing on Lake Hickory has been excellent recently, especially at night, according to guide Andy Fox of Claremont.

“I’ve been fishing Lake Hickory … a lot lately,” said Fox, who runs Fishers of Men Guide Service (828-312-8771). “My partner, Kerry Kanipe, and I have been in night tournaments, and last Tuesday, (we) won the Lake Hickory tournament with about 14 pounds, including the big-fish prize (a 6-pounder), a 5-pounder, and we caught several more bass.”

Duke Energy has kept Lake Hickory’s flood gates closed recently to allow the water level to rise in the 4,223-acre lake, and that’s made fishing easier.

“The water level is up, so the fish have moved out of deep water to fairly shallow at night,” said Fox, who has been using a 3 ½-inch green Zoom Big Critter Craw to whack the chubs. “We’ve been catching them on a shakey head (jighead) that’s got a 5/0, wide-gap hook, but best of all, it stands straight up when it gets on the bottom, and the bass can’t stand it. It mimics a crawfish.

“It’s a solid green color, with no chartreuse or orange. The water’s also been clearing up in the lake recently, but that really doesn’t matter. Bass feel the vibration of this bait when you move it if the water’s dirty or clear.”

Fox said he’s been fishing “mostly at rocky points” at Lake Hickory in two to 15 feet of water.

“The bass get to chasing baits in shallower water as the night goes on,” he said. “I think they feel safer and the baitfish get shallow, too.”