The debate on inshore vs offshore fishing has been going on, well, forever. In case you are new to fishing and are wondering whether inshore or offshore fishing is the right choice for you, you should first know the difference between them. It is prudent to remember that both types of fishing have their pros and cons and once you weigh them, you will find that one type is more up your alley than the other.
Understanding Inshore Fishing
You can do inshore fishing in waters that are less than 30m (98 ft) in depth. Usually, this depth extends to about 9mi off the coast. So, you can opt for surf, intracoastal waterway, estuary, or bay fishing. This water is typically saltwater.
Inshore fishing is more accessible to people as it does not require specialized equipment. You can stand at the pier or beach and use the best baitcasting reel for surf fishing and enjoy your fishing. In fact, you may end up using the same equipment as a fisher does for freshwater fishing as long as it is corrosion-resistant and can take the rigors of saltwater fishing.
In the US, you will find ample places along the Gulf Coast and the East Coast to experience inshore fishing; there are several shallow saltwater flats in these regions to offer you a bountiful inshore fishing trip.
Requirements for Inshore Fishing
When you go inshore fishing, you do not require a lot of complicated gear or equipment. The type of tackle and bait that you need will depend on the fish species and sizes you want to catch.
Usually, the tackle is lightweight as is the bait. Since the water is relatively shallow, you do not need a fishing reel with a massive line capacity like you would when you go offshore fishing. Also, you can stand at the shore and fish, or you can use a small boat, kayak, or canoe to fish.
Understanding Offshore Fishing
Offshore fishing, also known as deep-sea fishing, is fishing that is done in deep waters. The depth is always over 98ft. That means once you go beyond 9mi from the shore, you will be doing offshore fishing.
When it comes to inshore vs offshore fishing, the boat, tackle, and bait are different for the latter. You will need to use a big boat that is designed for offshore fishing as you would have to go into high sea. Usually, offshore fishers travel around 30mi from the coast to enjoy a superior offshore fishing experience.
Requirements for Offshore Fishing
Since the fish species and sizes will be bigger compared to inshore fishing, you need a strong tackle. The fishing rod has to be heavy as also the deep sea fishing reel. The reel should have a high reel capacity as the water will be deep and the line will have to go deep to reach the depths where the fish are swimming. Braided line is a favorite among offshore fishermen as it is strong and can easily take the rigors of tackling a fighter.
Another equipment that offshore fishing requires is a fish finder. Many fishers invest in a quality offshore fish finder so that they can easily identify underwater structures and spots that have fish.
Types of Fish You Can Catch
As stated earlier, a major difference when you are comparing inshore vs offshore fishing is the fish species and sizes that you can catch. When you fish in deeper waters, you may end up with a trophy fish. You are more likely to catch bigger fish compared to the sizes you may catch in shallow water.
Depending on where you go inshore or offshore fishing, the species of fish will vary. While you will be able to catch bluefish, flounder, and bass in shallow water, deeper waters are home to tuna, grouper, marlin, shark, and amberjack.
Now that you know more about inshore vs offshore fishing, you can take up one or both. You need to remember that both types of fishing are great but with a difference. You try your hand at both and then decide which one you prefer.
Fishing is more than just a hobby for me—it’s my obsession. I was born into a family of fishers and have carried on that tradition almost every day of my life. From Denmark to Thailand, the Bahamas, and more, I’ve gotten a chance to see the world because of fishing. I currently live in Thailand and run FishingKris where I post tips, tricks, and guides to help ordinary people fish better, and have a more fun time out on the water.