Outdoor activities have resumed as fishing weather approaches and restrictions ease. If you’re new to fishing, you may not know the difference between inshore vs offshore fishing, hence why you’re not sure which one to try.
Before we discuss their differences in detail, you should know these two kinds of fishing are both fun but offer very different experiences. Depending on the weather or season, you should also consider one instead of the other.
We will cover in this article everything you should know about inshore and offshore fishing.
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Inshore vs Offshore Fishing: Proximity to Land
What is inshore fishing? To define inshore fishing in the simplest way, it’s fishing in water less than 30 meters deep. Inshore fishing targets feed close to the beach. In general, this includes bays, flats, harbors, and all the areas where fish have structure.
Offshore fishing, on the other hand, is fishing in water that’s more than 30 meters deep or more than 20 miles from the shore. It’s also commonly known as deep-sea fishing.
Considering the vastness and magnitude of the sea, an angler is bound to encounter various species of fish at this depth. The species vary in size and appearance.
Regardless of whether or not you have chosen a particular fish to target, you’re most likely to hook a different fish than you had in mind.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Now that we’ve defined what is offshore fishing and inshore fishing, let’s examine them much closer so you can weigh their pros and cons, and decide which type of fishing you’d like to try.
Advantages of Inshore Fishing
When comparing inshore over offshore fishing, many beginner and advanced anglers choose inshore fishing for the following reasons:
- Easily Accessible: Inshore fishing offers easily accessible locations for fishing and they’re spectacular fishing destinations. They require little walking or paddling to reach, and this includes harbors, bays, channels, levies, inlets, lagoons, bridge areas, inland waterways, and estuaries. All of these fishing spots will provide you with access to a wide variety of light tackle game fish.
- No Boat Required: As you won’t have to go very far into the ocean when you’re inshore fishing, even a small vessel will suffice. Waters near the beach or shore are much calmer. This means vessel or boat requirements are less demanding and intense. As a matter of fact, you’ll be able to take a kayak for inshore fishing. You can also just paddle out and start angling when you’ve reached waters 20 ft deep.
- Simpler Fishing Gear Requirement: You’ll need less technical equipment and gear when you’re fishing inshore. Many anglers have hooked species of considerable size and girth with just the basic saltwater fishing equipment.
- Abundance of Gamefish: There are many species of fish that you can catch such as flounder, stripers, bluefish, mackerel, cobia, pacific kelp, King salmon, and silver salmon.
- Similar Tactics as Freshwater Fishing: This type of fishing is also easier for freshwater anglers as it employs the same exact tactics and techniques in landing fish. Inshore fishing also involves casting spoons and fishing with live baitfish with a tight line or a float.
Disadvantages of Inshore Fishing
Despite having many benefits, inshore fishing also has a drawback.
- Smaller Fish: This is compared to what you can potentially hook with offshore fishing. Anglers tend to bring in much smaller fish despite having a higher catch rate. Still, there are those that prefer landing medium size fish to bringing in a bigger one that takes up the entire day to catch from offshore fishing.
Advantages of Offshore Fishing
When comparing inshore vs offshore fishing, offshore fishing also presents several advantages, especially for those who love heading into open water.
- More Variety and Bigger Fish: This type of fishing offers the opportunity in catching massive species of fish that you will not be able to catch with inshore fishing. A lot of offshore anglers land amberjacks, goliath groupers, and tuna while angling further out from the shore. Many trophy size fish are also only caught when offshore fishing. In fact, the ones that are caught by anglers and posted on social media platforms are only caught by going offshore.
- More Exotic Fishing Destinations: If you want to have more exciting and unforgettable fishing adventures, then you can only experience them with offshore fishing. This type of fishing allows anglers to access the most exotic fishing locations available worldwide. An offshore angler, however, needs to hire a local guide in reaching sunken planes and ships where the largest species take cover and thrive. When offshore fishing, you can also visit offshore reefs, towers, and continental shelves with massive cracks and crevices for hunting gigantic bottom dwellers such as snappers and groupers.
Disadvantages of Offshore Fishing
It’s also important to consider the drawbacks of offshore fishing which are as follows:
- Fishing Crew and a Boat Are Essential: You’ll be traveling more than 30 miles from the shore even more than a hundred when offshore fishing. The journey can take several hours or even a couple of days to complete. As such, you will need a bigger boat that’s capable of traveling long distances. It should also be tough enough that it can withstand sudden changes in weather and water conditions.
- More Technical Equipment: You’ll target larger species. Naturally, you’ll need advanced fishing equipment that can stand up against gear-busting fish. You’ll need a durable fishing rod and a much larger reel to land gigantic fish.
Comparing inshore vs offshore fishing and weighing their pros and cons make it easier for an angler to decide which one to choose.
We would, however, suggest you try both down the line. Both types of fishing have their distinct charm and appeal. If you only have to choose one, it will all boil down to your personal preference.
Regardless of what you choose, you are bound to have an excellent time fishing and discovering what the sea has to offer.