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Newport Harbor

Location and Directions:

     Newport Bay is located in Orange County near the city of Costa Mesa. From Los Angeles take I-5 South to the 55 fwy. South. Continue on 55 South until it ends (turns into Newport Blvd.) to the city of Newport Beach.

General Info:

    Newport Bay is a smaller harbor approx. 2.5 miles long and .5 mile wide in the main channel. It is primarily a private boat harbor and caters well to sport fishing interests both inside the bay and offshore. RV camping is available at the Newport Dunes RV Park

Reference Points:


Newport Jetty -  Can be accessed at the end of Channel Rd. Fishing is allowed on the entire jetty. Please use caution during high surf periods!

Newport and Balboa Piers -  Fishing is allowed on both piers. Hoop-netting for crab and lobster is also popular.

Davey's Locker Sportfishing -  1/2, 3/4, Full and Multi-Day fishing trips and whale watching. Skiff rentals and dock fishing are also available.

Newport Landing Sportfishing -  1/2, 3/4, Full and Multi-Day fishing trips and whale watching.

Public Docks -  Public docks are located at the ends of 19th street, 15th street, Opal Street, Coral Ave. and M street. There may be a few more that I'm not aware of. Fishing is allowed off of these docks and boats can moor for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Boat Launch -  Newport Dunes boat ramp. They also have sail, pedal and electric boat rentals.

PCH Bridge -  Good fishing structure. There is shore fishing allowed just north of the bridge along the cliffs but I'm not sure how to get down there.

White Seabass Pens -  Juvenile white seabass are raised here and then released into the wild when they are large enough to survive predators. The program continues to be extremely successful. Please stay away from these pens and don't bother the fish living inside.

Newport Bait Barge -  Usually here Spring through Fall. Live bait includes anchovies, sardines, mackerel and squid when available.

Boating Info:

    There is only one public launch ramp here, The Newport Dunes RV Park located in the back-bay area off Jamboree Rd. It's a seven lane ramp with a washdown facility. Current price is $20 for day use. Skiff rentals are available at Davey's Locker Sportfishing. Speed limit inside the bay is 5MPH.

Fishing Info:

    There are a variety of fish that live inside the bay including spotted bass, sand bass, white seabass, halibut, yellowfin croaker, jacksmelt, small sharks and rays, and the ever so popular "mud-marlin" - giant bat rays exceeding 150 pounds! Sometimes there are also a few mackerel, bonito, and juvenile barracuda just outside the mouth of the harbor, primarily on the "Wedge" side.

Read and Post Newport Bay Fishing Reports Here

    Note: With the exception of the white seabass, all fish inside the harbor are wild, native fish and there is no stocking program. Catch and Release fishing is strongly recommended and greatly appreciated to insure our fishing future.

Comments and Tips:

    For bass, try the 76 dock and adjoining Balboa ferry dock early mornings when there is no boat traffic. A good halibut spot is under and on either side of the PCH bridge. - Jeff

re:Newport bay

Posted by Jerry on May 19, 2000 at 00:38:12:

All you need to bring are three rods in 6 1/2 to 8 foot all with 6 pound and 8 pound test. The wedge area and the coast guard area are generally very productive for bass and halibut. The bay has tons of legals and the fishing has been very good in the past weeks. I usually set a rod out on clicker with bait and throw plastics with another rod. Smaller fish traps and aa curly tail grubs kill the bass and halibut. The area right in front of the pavilion is ok as well. Just set drift and fish hard. Tight lines

newport bay tactics

Posted by fongster on May 19, 2000 at 17:05:38:

Richard, I like 6# test on a 6 to 6-6 fast action graphite for tossing plastics. Try 3 inch bighammers or worm kings on 1/4 oz heads. 3" kalins grubs are great too. Please release your spotted bay bass as they are in an enclosed fishery and have been pressured too much over the years. You can catch a gob of them because the guys in the know always release theirs.

re:fishing in Newport

Posted by Jerry on May 29, 2000 at 11:58:24:

I have fished Newport for a long time now and some of the best action that I have had has been towards the end of the wedge area. The mouth is very productive, and two years ago in July I was fishing with two buddies of mine when we caught yellowtail!!! Yes, yellows in the 10-15 pounds range. We have our pictures on the board at Daveys. The mouth has been very productive for bass and halibut. good luck

Title=float tube Newport Bay?



Message=I've been introduced to float-tubing Newport Bay. What's it like in the winter. I'm using plastic grubs. What type of lure is best? What about the tides? Looking for any helpful hints.

Title=Tubing Newport

Name=Mola Joe


Message=Allen, what a great harbor to start tubing in. It's one of the few harbors left where you still can have 50 fish days, even though the average size of the has shrunk a little over the years. Still plenty of legal spotties left, with the occasionall 3 to 4 pounder thrown in. I have never tubed it ,but started fishing the harbor in a inflatable in the early 70's. You picked a tough time of the year to start fishing with the cold water, but you still can catch fish. Come spring it starts to get better. AS for fishing it, I personally like a 3 to 5 inch anchovy Worm King, the skinny ones, not the fat shad type. The absolute best time to fish is a early morning high tide before there's alot of boat traffic. Use a 1/4 ounce leadhead with a quality thin wire hook. You want it to sink slow because most of the hits are on the sink, be ready to set the hook. Pitch the bait right on edge of the docks ,especially the docks that have a piling in the front! Drop the bait right down the side of the piling. As the tide drops, try fishing farther out towards the channel, and swim your bait slow across the bottom.I've always done good all the way around Balboa Island, but the front side is best. Good luck, let us know how you do, and please let the spotties go so I can still be catching 50 fish a day 30 years from now! I sure would like to be there when you stick a 50 pound bat sitting in that tube. What fun.

Mola Joe.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!

Attn:Richard re. Newport

Posted by Jerry on October 19, 2000 at 21:16:15:

I fish the bay a lot and find that during the winter times the fishing is a little bit slower, but I catch most of my larger halibut during that time, especially in the Coast Guard station area and the inner bay. Bass fishing is slower, but the spotties are still on the docks. Fishing on a skiff can never be that bad though, you always catch a least 10 fish. Good Luck

     If you know something about this area or have some photos that you'd like to share, please E-mail and I'll post it here!

» Photos

  • FNN member Fishbones with a nice bat ray caught from Newport Bay 10/09.

    FNN Angler Dorado13 with a legal halibut caught while float-tubing in Newport Bay.

    A 12-pound salmon caught off Newport Jetty - 9/04

    A healthy spotted bass from Newport Bay.