Event with recent cooler weather, November has had enough balmy days and nights to confuse Lake Hickory’s bass, but guide Andy Fox of Claremont said the situation is about to change.

“I’ve been fishing Lake Hickory the last couple of weeks in tournaments, and to tell you the truth, it hasn’t took a lot to win,” said Fox, of Fishers of Men Guide Service (828-312-8771). “But the weather should cool down the water soon, and then it’ll be game on.”

Fox caught a limit in a tournament last weekend fishing the deep ends of docks with a shakey head worm and a creature bait, but he said it wasn’t a typical November pattern.

“They were docks near the main-lake channel, and it was sunny, which is backwards of what you’d expect this time of year,” he said. “I’d skip a bait to the backside and work it toward deeper water.”

Fox said Lake Hickory’s surface water temperature remains in the 60-degree range because of mild weather, when it should be in the mid 50s.

“When the (water) temperature gets into the 50s, if it’s like last year, people are going to really like it,” he said. “I think it’s getting ready to break loose in another week.”

When the water cools sufficiently, largemouths will follow shad schools to the backs of creeks.

“I’ve been checking the middle of creeks for shad and haven’t found any,” Fox said. “When (bass) go shallow chasing shad, that’s when you may catch them on topwater lures, crankbaits and Alabama rigs.”

Last winter, cool weather triggered a tremendous largemouth bite, the best he’s seen at Lake Hickory.

“I saw the biggest fish weighed in I ever saw come out of Lake Hickory,” he said. “We had 3-fish tournaments, and people would weigh in 19-pound sacks. They included big females, 8- and 9-pounders.”

Fishermen found most of those hungry chubs on rocky points last December and January, hitting Alabama rigs.

“I hope it’s like that this winter,” Fox said. “If I’m gonna freeze to death, I’d like to catch some fish while I’m at it.”