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Bass Fishing Near Dayton Ohio

largemouth bass fishing near dayton ohio

Bass fishing in and around the Dayton Ohio area can be kind of frustrating if you do not know where to go and what spots to hit. Ohio alone is a tough state to fish for bass in anyways, I’ve always heard “If you can catch bass in Ohio you can catch em anywhere else”, not sure if it’s true, but there are tough days and good days. Hopefully my group of lakes will give you some fishing enjoyment and just maybe get you that memorable fish.


Cedar Lake – Carriage Hill


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One place in Northern Dayton that I always love to fish is Cedar Lake (Carriage Hill Metro Park).

Many consider it a sleeper lake as there have been known fairly large Bass caught here, the only issue is it is a pressured lake!

What do I mean? Well most anglers hit this place up for angling each and every day, so most days Bass will see a multitude of different baits and presentations, so that just means the angler must use every means possible to present a bait that will cause the bass to strike.

The way I find success there is using a Big Joshua swim baits on a ¼ once jig head. Swim it around 3 to 6 feet below the surface and “BAM” your hooked up!

So far my biggest has been 2 pounds 3 ounces, but have heard of 5 pounders from there. Some of my spots I like to cast at is on the front of the lake there is a rocky outcropping, like a natural pier, casting left or right off that to catch bass, if nothing hits there I’ll usually go to the back side of the lake opposite of what I call the rock wall and cast there for bass.

I have had some action on the rock wall area with top water frogs but to this date have struck out getting them to fully bite and take my frog. One of the good things about Carriage Hill is that they do allow you to wade the water in parts of the lake, granted I would not go too far from shore, as I do not know the depths of this lake.

I have talked to a few anglers who have waded there and had some luck around the areas of the lake where the trees prevent casting from the shore. Kayaks are also allowed to be on the lake too, as this is written I’m still waiting to get my first kayak and definitely plan on using it there, along with a sonar to one, locate fish, but two to see what the contours of the lake looks like.

That alone may open up more locations around the lake that may hold the sought after Bass. Now there is a wooden pier on this lake but from what I’ve experienced an have seen there is not much caught over by the wooden pier, maybe cause I don’t give it a chance, or cause I have had success elsewhere on the lake.

There are other species in Cedar Lake, like Blue Gill an Crappie, those can be fun to catch as well but the main stay will always be the beloved bass. So if your ever in North Dayton area and want to take a day and rest while fishing look up Carriage Hill, spend some time chasing the fish around, enjoy the views of nature. Oh and if it’s winter check to see how the Ice is, as you can now Ice fish this body of water now. Could be fun, might even catch me out there trying it out. See ya out there.


Huffman Reservoir




Another fishing spot near Dayton that recently I started the past couple years, thanks mainly to my wife, who enjoys fishing as well, is Huffman. Now got to admit the first time there I was not impressed cause the area we went to was like chocolate milk, and we went away empty handed. But the lake is close by and as an angler with a “Never Give Up” attitude I went back a few times and check other spots on the lake.

I found out that the Mad River flows into Huffman, and as any angler knows current usually sets up for some good fishing. Low an behold I was right caught one of many to come a 1 pound 9 ounce beauty on a wacky rig. While fishing by where the river flowed in we met an angler who waded across to a section where we honestly hadn’t thought of going, he took a chair, sat and fished well past when we had left.

My next trip there I started at my normal spot fished for awhile, caught one and then threw on my waders, went out to the area the other angler went, and then even further as I noticed the spot of land across from there had open area to cast from. Now there are multiple spots available at Huffman to fish from all with current around them. I of course caught a smallmouth bass off the island there so my excitement went even higher as now this lake has both species of bass in it to target.

I’ve also noticed from the shoreline that at least my guess is this lake isn’t to deep as there is debris all out in the lake which made me wish I could get out there an fish near it. Well guess what Kayaks and canoes are allowed as well so eventually I’ll be hitting up some of the piles to see what lurks there as well.

You also have great access to fish the Mad River from Huffman, it can be fished from either wading or casting from the shoreline, there are definitely lots of fish in the river as they are always busting the surface there, plus many anglers I have talked to love to fish up and down the Mad River for Smallmouth, can’t say I don’t blame them pound for pound the fight harder than any largemouth.

So being just a little East of Dayton near Wright Patt AFB Huffman is a lake where you have running slightly stained water to chocolate milk water and a good decent fishing.

A lake where you can wade the river the lake shore, kayak or canoe and fish, and enjoy a wonderful day angling, now who would not love that! All within a short drive from anywhere in the city where there are multiple places to go but only a few that will produce a bite, give Huffman Reservoir a try spend a day or two there bring your kayak or float tube, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed in this place.


Dominick Lafino Park


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One of the first places I ever started bass fishing years ago while at Cabela’s it was recommended by my supervisor who fishes there. I went a couple times taking my daughter but those were busts because of her being bored and claiming to not feel good. This lake is another as most that are a pressured lake as Bass must be released upon catching them but she does produce some nice beauties when you do catch them, in fact my personal best came at this lake at 21.5” and 6 pounds 8 ounces.

I was like kid in the candy shop on that September day, so giddy was I. This lake has them in all sizes tho from 1 pound up, with the best spots being on the backside of the lake. On that side there is what looks like a dock that extends out about 10feet that you can cast off of with some grass flats to the right of the dock. Areas around the whole lake has cattails in various points which also will hide some small bass.

I have been told as well that there are 55 gallon cans submerged in 4 locations around the lake as well, just exactly sure where they are at. When arriving the font left corner has an area that is like a wooden pier approximately 30-40 yards long to which anyone can fish off of. Most of the time my main bait of choice has been a Texas rigged senko worm, although any bait would work well here, my best was on a 360GT Searchbait Houdini color.

I have seen anglers there also searching for catfish so my guess is there are a population of them in there too. There appears to be water running into this lake from two possible locations from the south East, sure if they are creeks or water run offs. But it does add some water replenishment to the lake.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve fished this body of water mainly due to it being a slight bit further driver for me to get there, but is still on my list of places I like to hit up, it’s actually located in Beavercreek Ohio.

It can be a hit or miss lake depending on the Solunar charts, weather and barometric pressures, but for a day of relaxing fishing it’s worth a try and there may even be a trophy Bass swimming in there.


Eastwood Lake


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Eastwood lake is another place that is good for fishing although you do need a boat or kayak. Back in the day this lake use to be home of the Dayton Hydro Bowl Boat Racing. Now it’s just for Recreational sailing, Fishing, Kayaking.

There is a fairly good population of smallmouth in this lake, which for the most part stays fairly clear, at least the days I’ve been there. Right next to there is a small lake called Blue Lake that’s full of fallen timber, that from the days I’ve seen there were fairly clear as well. So any chance to hit either of these two places would be worth a days adventure of fishing.


Kiser Lake


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Now my next couple lakes are a little bit further out from Dayton, one is about 45 minutes north, but has some great fishing as well as if you want to spend a weekend camping you can. When you arrive on Route 235 you can actually pull off the side of the road by the small dam and fish right there I’ve caught some nice hybrid strippers there in the past.

There is also a place in the park where there is a gravel walk way that gets you out into the lake a little bit, off to the western side there is sunken Christmas trees for fish habitat. The only boats allowed are row boats or kayaks on this lake, so no worries of high powered speed boats.

I have heard this lake has largemouth bass Crappie, Blue Gill, and Catfish just to name a few along with the aforementioned hybrids. This place is a fun place to spend the day or to camp out for a weekend and enjoy it fishing, should provide lots of memories, and maybe a trophy as well.


West Harbor Lake Erie


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Further north of Dayton like approximately 3hour drive, and more than likely needing a boat, is West Harbor, Lake Erie. I got the opportunity to fish this water with may Bass club for an event, and it did not disappoint.

You can just about throw any thing out there and catch bass, Senkos, Crankbaits, Topwater, etc. and you might even catch a walleye on a crank bait like I did ( what a surprise). But the best way to catch most of the bass we found was using a wacky rigged Senko pitched at various break walls and shore areas, that seemed to produce the most fish for us when I was there.

As for color selection just about any color they were hitting on, didn’t matter. I also threw a blue gill colored square bill crankbait out on the jetty an was just slaying the fish. All in all my boater and I ended up in 3rd out of 5 teams that week but we had a great week fishing an really could care less if we finished last, we had a blast just catching fish.

So if you are headed north to Erie and have a boat, plan a few days to fish West Harbor, I promise you’ll have a good time fishing this harbor, and surrounding waters.


John Slaven

I am an avid angler who fishes in local club tournaments, and bank fishes for the fun of the sport. I love the sport of angling, and would love love nothing more than to further my experience level, advance up the ranks, and promote the sport to kids across the country.

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