"Right now we're still catching largemouths on a deep pattern, throwing shakey head rigs at secondary points, and also I'm using small buzzbaits at rocks on secondary points," said Fox (828-312-8771), who said bass are following schools of threadfin shad that haven't quite reached the backs of creeks yet.
"It's not wide-open fishing yet; the bass are just starting to school up," Fox said. "As the lake water temperature cools down, these fish will follow shad wherever they go. They're trying to feed up and get nourishment before winter weather gets here. So they're following the baitfish."
A narrow, riverine reservoir of the Catawba River chain, Lookout Shoals is downriver from the Lake Hickory's Oxford Dam and upriver from Lake Norman, covering 1,305 surface acres. It runs roughly parallel to I-40, several miles north of the interstate near the towns of Sharon and Sunset Beach.
Best places to fish contain hard bottoms, he said.
"The first thing I do is look for balls of shad on my depthfinder," said Fox, who described most bass as ranging from 2 to 3 ½ pounds, "but there are some larger fish caught as well.
"Right now, we're still catching a few bass on the summertime pattern in the main river and creek channels in 10 to 15 feet of water."
Fox said his best results have come from a shakey head jig fitted with a 4- to 6-inch finesse or trick-type worm in green pumpkin.
Buzzbaits in white or chartreuse/white are effective early in the morning.