I'd say a 26 lber is very uncommon in the Catawba chain but they are there. If you are looking for quantity, then Norman is the best of those mentioned. The stripers were starting to school in the creeks in the last few weeks but with 80 degree days, who knows where they'll be next week.
From what I've seen, Lake Norman has more stripers but thay are generally smaller. Hickory and Rhodhiss both have bigger fish but they are harder to find and catch.
I've never fished Lookout Shoals so I can't really say about it. My advice is if you want to catch fish, your best bet is Lake Norman in Mountain Creek or one of the creeks above the 150 bridge.
I've had better luck using live bait but there are those who swear by artifical.
There are hybrids in Moss lake and I have caught a few of them. Bait fish are very plentiful in Moss as well. I don't fish Moss very often even though it is the closest lake to home because I am usually looking for stripers. If you decide to give Moss a try, be aware they do require a Moss Lake Fishing Permit in addition to the regular state license.
The permits are sold in the office at the main landing on the lake. They will also have any special regulations posted there but I don't think there are any. Size and creel limits are the same as the state regulations as far as I know. You will also need a permit to put your boat in the water which is also sold at the landing. If the office is closed, there is a drop box and price information is posted outside the office.
I'm afraid so. The City of Kings Mountain own the lake and tries to make a profit every way they can. I can't remember the exact price but I think a daily boat pass is $10 and an annual is $50. I do know the annual fishing perimit is $15. and I think the daily is only a couple bucks.