Hematite Lake, located within Land Between the Lakes in western Kentucky, has shallow water, lily pads, weedbeds and big bass. "It looks like Florida with all of the lotus and coontail," said Dave Dreeves, fisheries research biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "Ive caught a lot of big fish from Hematite."
Hematite Lakes extensive weedbeds harbor an expanding population of panfish. Biologists transplanted bluegill and redear sunfish from Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley during the past few years. Recent population sampling at Hematite revealed many 5- to 8-inch bluegill and redear sunfish.
Most anglers fish Hematite from the bank. The lake, although too weedy for float tubing, is a good place for a canoe, kayak or small johnboat with a trolling motor. Gasoline motors are prohibited on Hematite Lake.
Bank fishing season on Hematite Lake starts March 16, while boats are allowed on the water beginning May 16. The lake, a designated waterfowl refuge, is closed to fishing from November through March 15.
Lily pads, weedbeds, lotus and coontail.
Summertime bass fishing in Hematite is tough because of heavy vegetation. Try heavy lures like a jig-and-pig or a plastic lizard with a pegged ¼-ounce bullet weight. Good lures for early morning and dusk include plastic frogs or buzzbaits worked on top of the weeds.
Anglers should use heavier lures to reach panfish hiding under the weeds. Good choices include 1/8-ounce tube jigs or curly-tailed grubs, or small safety pin spinnerbaits like the Beetle Spin.