Newport Bay graces the shores of Newport Beach in Southern California. The region enjoys more sun-filled days than not, with a plentitude of surf as well. Newport Bay is a popular body of water for sailing and sport boating, making it a bit congested. Fishing may seem to be a crowded affair, but big fish are still catchable with the right tips and techniques employed. Be sure to have the proper California fishing license and sun protective gear when you head out to land the big ones in Newport Bay.
Landing big fish, such as white bass, sharks, bat-rays and halibut is best done from a boat, letting you get into the deeper fishing waters and away from the crowded shoreline. Anglers writing on the Newport Harbor Fishing website recommend the 76 dock and adjoining Balboa ferry dock in the early morning for white bass, as there is little to no boat traffic at this time. If you want to go for halibut, try under either side of the PCH Bridge. Anchor your boat mid-channel under the bridge and go for the deep water flat-fish.
Many anglers giving tips on the Newport Harbor website agree that fishing the wedge around the coast guard section of the bay produces top results for white bass and halibut.
Tackle and Gear
White bass anglers reporting at Newport Harbor Fishing suggest bringing three rods for white bass onto Newport Bay. Set them up with 3-inch big hammers or worm kings on 1/4-oz. heads. Also try using 3-inch Kalin's grubs for the Newport Bay white bass. Rods should be 6.5 to 8 feet in length, with a bait-casting reel. Use 6 to 8 pound test for your line choice, and consider a 10-foot chunk of monofilament for a leader.
For live bait, try using anchovies, shad tails or single tail shrimp. If you use swimbaits or grubs, err on the larger side with them when going for the big fish in Newport Bay.
Location and Tides
Professional guides sailing Newport Bay know the secret to landing the big ones, which is location. Watch where they go and how they fish for the best clues in getting your big fish out of these waters. Head to pilings, the jetty, rock piles and other structures in the water. Larger fish use these places to hide, rest and feed, allowing the chance to entice them into a strike.
Your boat trips to these structures should take advantage of high tides and fluctuation between the changes. Larger fish will follow the waters coming in during high tides, allowing for strikes and big catches.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.