Newport is one of the top spots on the coast for charter fishing, and opportunities abound at the home port of Oregon’s second-largest recreational fleet. Bottom fishing (year-round), tuna fishing (Aug.–Oct.), crabbing (year-round), and salmon and halibut fishing (seasonal) are all possible.
Typical rates here are $65 for a half day of bottom fishing, $100 for a full day; $125 for an eight-hour Chinook salmon outing; $210 for 12 hours of tuna fishing; and $180 for a 12-hour halibut charter.
In addition to a full menu of fishing excursions, most Newport operators also offer whale-watching charters. Newport Marina Store and Charters (2212 OSU Dr., South Beach, 541/867-4470, www.nmscharters.com) offers a combination crabbing-fishing trip ($90 for six hours). Two-hour whale watching trips are $30.
Two other local operators are Newport Tradewinds (653 SW Bay Blvd., 541/265-2101 or 800/676-7819, www.newporttradewinds.com) and Captain’s Reel Charters (343 SW Bay Blvd., 541/265-7441 or 800/865-7441, www.captainsreel.com).
For those who prefer to take matters into their own hands, the clamming and Dungeness crabbing are superlative in Yaquina Bay. If you haven’t done this before, local tackle shops, such as the Newport Marina Store in South Beach, rent crab pots or rings and offer instruction.
The best time to dig clams is at an extremely low tide. At that time, look for clammers grabbing up cockles in the shallows of the bay. Tide tables are available from the chamber of commerce and many local businesses.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel