March Fishing in Las Conchas with Kids

kewilliam

New Member
Hi everyone! I've been lurking on this board for a bit now so I finally decided to post.

We (4 adults, 4 kids - two 10 year olds and two 7 year olds) will be in RP starting Saturday, March 13 and leaving Saturday, March 20, staying in Las Conchas (Section 5, Lot 9). We are bringing PaddleBoards and inflatable kayaks to fish from. Been looking at map and it looks like we are fairly close to the Maura Estuary. Thought we could try at the mouth of the Estuary around high tide. The kids really want to catch fish!

I've got 1 oz silver kastmasters, krocodile spoons and some rapalas. Can anyone post a link of some bait fishing rigs we should consider? And what type of bait should we use? I've also heard paddletail jigs work well but there are so many options (size, colors etc) online I wasn't sure which one to pick? Finally, do I need to use a steel leader? I'll have a 6 foot Ugly Stik with 12 lb mono.

Anything else to consider? We want to make ceviche, fish tacos etc. Besides pufferfish, what other varieties would NOT be good to eat?
 

mondone

Whitecaps
Forum Supporter
I fish Morua regularly to catch corvina and halibut using these in 3" or 4" size:
1614036105207.png
with these (Eyestrike Trout Eye in pearl color):
1614036338784.png
Been catching halibut the past four months. They may still be around in March and the corvinas may be around then also. You will likely hook into a few sand bass also, which are good for tacos too. I don't get many triggers in there, but they are great for ceviche. I usually fish the reef off Encanto Beach with metal, rapalas, or bait for triggers, groupers, and rock bass. Good Luck.
 

audsley

Well Known Member
Mondone, do you drag your lures along the bottom for halibut (flounder)?

Kewilliam, if you aren't catching fish at Marua, consider a drive down to La Pinta estuary just past the Mayan around kilometer marker 32. I believe it's a little better than Marua for fish. Turn on the dirt road at the old house ruin next to the highway and go about a mile to the water. Don't worry about the panga fishermen putting their boats out there. They're harmless. There will be a guy or two sitting around watching their stuff. It can be a good place for corvina at sunrise and just before sunset, provided there are any in the area at the time, and that's where you break out the kastmasters and crocodiles, trying to keep the lures up off the submerged rocks. The soft baits Mondone showed you will get you bites and probably fewer rock snags, but take a bunch as the tails tend to get bit off. Incoming tides are also good. Watch very, very carefully for stingrays especially if you have kids. That goes for anywhere although this time of year they don't seem to be as dense as when the water warms later in the spring. Good luck.
 

kewilliam

New Member
Ok thanks for the info. Would an 1/8 oz jig head work for a 4 inch swimbait? Also, what types of bottom rigs should I consider if I use live bait (squid, mackerel etc). Looks like I can leave the steel leaders at home?

I'll check out La Pinta, thanks!
 

audsley

Well Known Member
I've never needed steel leaders.

You won't be able to cast very far with a 1/8 oz jighead launched from an Ugly Stick. Those are stiff rods that are best for jigging (lifting bait up and down) from your kayak. For casting a swim bait you'll want a longer, whippier rod and jigheads closer to a full ounce. You have time to look for a used spinning rod or two maybe 7 feet long. Try casting your swimbait in your driveway with the 1/8 oz jighead and see how it performs. (Ignore wisecracks from neighbors. I always do.) I'd want to be able to cast a swim bait at least 50 feet from a kayak, preferably farther.

I'd like to hear Mexico Joe's take on this since he's done a lot more of this type of fishing around Rocky Point than I have and has been pretty successful.

Also, don't forget important accessories such as good needle nose pliers with a really long nose. Harbor Freight used to sell some excellent stainless fishing pliers and possibly still does. Dragging bait across the ocean floor can bring up all kinds of stuff including a few things you'd rather see only in pictures. Scorpion fish can be unhooked and released very, very carefully, but eels, sea snakes and octopus get snipped off and are allowed to keep my tackle. I once hooked a needlefish on a Kastmaster at La Pinta. Not hard to release, but glad I had good pliers.

I jig in deeper water than you'll be fishing and use heavier weights. I'm guessing your depth will be no more than 20 feet, usually closer to 10, so jigging with a one ounce jighead should be fine. If the bottom is really snaggy you can tie a sinker to the hook so it hangs a foot or so below your bait.
 

mondone

Whitecaps
Forum Supporter
Ok thanks for the info. Would an 1/8 oz jig head work for a 4 inch swimbait? Also, what types of bottom rigs should I consider if I use live bait (squid, mackerel etc). Looks like I can leave the steel leaders at home?

I'll check out La Pinta, thanks!
I use mostly a 3/16 oz size of those Eyestrike Pearl eye jig heads on a 3"size of that Z-Man in pearl/blue glimmer color for the best results. These soft baits from this company hold up incredibly, rarely do I go through more than 1 or tops 2 in a full day of fishing. I use a 5 1/2' ultra light ugly stick (maybe not the best for beginners, but I love using very light tackle) and a 6' med. ugly stick and they work fine. You don't need to cast out all that far in Morua. Just get over there a low tide and find the channels. As the tide flows in, just cast into those channels. Most always catch fish in no more than 4 to 7 feet of water tops. Here's some recent photos using this method.
 

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mondone

Whitecaps
Forum Supporter
Mondone, do you drag your lures along the bottom for halibut (flounder)?

Kewilliam, if you aren't catching fish at Marua, consider a drive down to La Pinta estuary just past the Mayan around kilometer marker 32. I believe it's a little better than Marua for fish. Turn on the dirt road at the old house ruin next to the highway and go about a mile to the water. Don't worry about the panga fishermen putting their boats out there. They're harmless. There will be a guy or two sitting around watching their stuff. It can be a good place for corvina at sunrise and just before sunset, provided there are any in the area at the time, and that's where you break out the kastmasters and crocodiles, trying to keep the lures up off the submerged rocks. The soft baits Mondone showed you will get you bites and probably fewer rock snags, but take a bunch as the tails tend to get bit off. Incoming tides are also good. Watch very, very carefully for stingrays especially if you have kids. That goes for anywhere although this time of year they don't seem to be as dense as when the water warms later in the spring. Good luck.
Bouncing it continuously up about a foot off the bottom and letting it back down to hit bottom works great. Like I said in the other post, no need to cast far or deep. These fish hang out in the channels in very swallow water in Morua .
 

audsley

Well Known Member
I'll defer to Mondone's greater local experience. Where I fish is much farther south and has a high population of trigger fish which means you lose a rubber bait tail on nearly every cast.
 

estevan

Active Member
For bait fishing I like using a hi-lo rig with squid and a 2 oz weight. You won't be catching monsters, so a size 2 or 4 hook should be fine. Night fishing can be fun if the tide is in. I've caught smooth-hound sharks (I think), catfish, rays and bonefish at night.

Sabiki rigs are a lot of fun too. Put a 1 oz spoon spoon on the end and jig it on the bottom or cast it. I've used them from shore and the boat with lots of success. If the sierra are around you can catch 4-5 fish at a time.
 

JoseAz

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
We fish the reefs just off the shore in Las Conchas all the time. Catching a dinner plate sized trigger on a light rod is a lot of fun!
I put a little fishing guide together for bait fishing off kayaks or paddle boards. Send me a note with your email address if you want a copy. My package also includes a recipe for fish cakes you can make from trigger fillets.
 

estevan

Active Member
Thanks everyone for the input! Great reminder on the needle nose pliers!


Would this type of Sabiki rig work well?

Also, is there a good local tackle shop for these items or should I get everything I need before I come to RP?
That Sabiki rig is perfect. Get everything you need before going except maybe the bait, but that's not even a guarantee. Squid can be hard to find sometimes but don't be afraid to cut up a fish.
And be careful on the kayaks and paddleboards. The wind can pick up quickly and catch you off guard. We helped rescue a girl on a paddleboard a couple years ago. The wind picked up and blew her about 2 miles offshore because she didn't have the strength to paddle back. It can start the day blowing towards shore, die down completely and start blowing the other direction within few minutes. Always check the wind/weather forecast.
 

AzUmassted

New Member
Hey Everyone,

Headed down to Las Conchas on Friday. Taking a fly rod and a couple of spinners with me. I've had some luck on the fly off the beach in the past, but I've never been down in March. Can anyone make any recommendations on flys to bring. I have all the usual suspects, clousers, deceivers, otp water poppers, even some crab and shrimp flys. I suppose I'm more wondering about the color, sizes and tides.
For the spinners, I have a ton of bait rigs, spoons, flashy lures and white paddle tails. Based on what everyone has said that seems to be about right.
Anyone having any luck with anything thing down there this week so far?
 

estevan

Active Member
Hey Everyone,

Headed down to Las Conchas on Friday. Taking a fly rod and a couple of spinners with me. I've had some luck on the fly off the beach in the past, but I've never been down in March. Can anyone make any recommendations on flys to bring. I have all the usual suspects, clousers, deceivers, otp water poppers, even some crab and shrimp flys. I suppose I'm more wondering about the color, sizes and tides.
For the spinners, I have a ton of bait rigs, spoons, flashy lures and white paddle tails. Based on what everyone has said that seems to be about right.
Anyone having any luck with anything thing down there this week so far?
Chartreuse/white #2 Clouser is will do the trick if you can find the fish. A black Clouser works great from sunset to dusk. Sometimes that's the best time to fish. Poppers are fun too if you find a bunch of corvina. Early morning and evening seem to be the best times for me, but that's not always consistent. Honestly, in 15 years of fishing down there I still haven't figured it out completely. There seem to be tendencies but never a sure thing.
 
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