Newport’s Most Overlooked Fishery

Although the Big Creek Reservoirs, also known as Newport Reservoir, receive a fair amount of fishing pressure, virtually all of it is directed at the rainbow trout that are frequently planted in these two approximately 20 acre reservoirs – and the trout fishing after a plant can be very, very good.

However, these reservoirs also have good populations of several warmwater species that are almost never fished for. The warmwater fish do not seem to be as abundant in the upper reservoir which is somewhat larger than the lower reservoir, but the fishing for warmwater fish in the late spring on the lower reservoir can be excellent.

The first time I dumped my float tube into the lower reservoir, I only did so because as I was standing along the road running alongside the reservoir I happened to see a school of bass swim by. They were not lunkers, but they were big enough that I figures I had better launch my tube. In about three hours, I managed to fish the entire reservoir and had almost constant action. The bass were biting short, but I must have had about 50 strikes and landed about a dozen smallish bass, Yellow perch were biting very lightly, but I managed to land about 20 of them. But the big surprise, was getting into some great crappie action on fish to about nine-inches in length.

The crappie were located in a large cove adjacent to the road near the middle of the reservoir and one of the fish I hooked on the 1/100 oz tube jig slowly swam off with most of my 2# test line. It most likely was a largemouth bass, but if if was a crappie, it was a giant.

Brown bullheads are also present in the reservoirs, but are almost taken accidentally by trout anglers fishing bait. Bluegills have been reported, but if they are still present in the reservoirs, they are rare.

The point of this article is to inform Newport-area anglers that when the trout fishing falls off after the latest plant, there are still plenty of things to fish for in these two reservoirs located just east of Highway 101 at the north edge of Newport.

This photo was taken from the upper end of the lower reservoir which offers the best warmwater fishing of the two reservoirs.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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