What makes a reservoir a good place to fish for bass on a dark, summer night?

In North Carolina, at least, several things: current, clear, deep water and boat docks. That’s the opinion of Andy Fox of Claremont, N.C., who runs Fishers of Men Guide Service and does plenty of fishing after-dark, especially on Lake Hickory, a 4,223-acre reservoir on the Catawba River.

Hickory, along with Lake Norman and Badin Lake, make up a trio of great night-fishing lakes.

“The thing that makes Lake Hickory so good is the water flow; they pull so much water during the summer to generate power,” said Fox (828-312-8771). “There was one year three or four years ago where the water was up all year, and they were pulling the current all the time. The fishing at night was amazing. The Tuesday night tournaments, where you can weigh in three fish, if you didn’t have three 5-pounders, you didn’t have a chance.”

Fox likes the amount of boat docks on both Hickory and sprawling Lake Norman, which is two lakes downstream on the Catawba chain and is another night-fishing hot spot. “There are so many docks with lights that attract baitfish, and a lot of people with docks who have put out brush,” he said. “You don’t even have to put out any brush on your own.” 

Badin, which covers 5,200 acres on the Yadkin River southwest of Denton, N.C., is an extremely deep, clear lake with plenty of shoreline development — boat docks — and good current flow.