What Is Inshore Fishing? Everything You Need To Know

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what is considered inshore fishing

Inshore fishing is something that every fisher must try once. And after they try it once, they are going to try again and again. Inshore fishing is the type of fishing that takes place almost 30 meters deep in the water.

So it’s not about how far you are fishing from the shore; instead, it is about how deep you are fishing.

People always debate whether or not inshore fishing is better than offshore fishing. But the whole perspective depends on what kind of fishing you prefer. As I have told you that inshore fishing is done within 9 miles of the shore.

But, offshore fishing is done beyond those 9 miles (this is just a basic difference between the two, a more detailed difference will be discussed later).

If you are into inshore fishing, then you will also have different types of equipment that are only useful for what is considered inshore fishing.

What Is Inshore Fishing?

Since inshore fishing is done inside 9 miles of water (not strictly limited to it), the distance doesn’t matter; instead, what matters in inshore fishing is the depth of water in which you are fishing.

Difference Between Inshore Vs Offshore Fishing

The maximum depth in which you can fish with your coastal equipment is 30 meters. With this fact in mind, you can fish in intercostal waterways, flat water beds, saltwater fishing, and estuaries.

Because of the places where we can do inshore fishing, most anglers and fishers call inshore fishing ‘skinny water fishing’ and ‘fishing the flats.’

image of two persons fishing in a boat

The waters during inshore fishing are calmer than those of offshore fishing. And because of this reason, you don’t need a very powerful or intense vessel and can do the fishing with basic boats.

Apart from this, you can also fish successfully with light fishing equipment like light-weighted rods, small nets, and small storage boxes.

However, since inshore fishing is done in shallow waters, it also requires less hard work from the anglers, but the excitement is not at its peak.

You may also not catch the big trophy fishes like blue tuna, sharks, etc., because these fish don’t come towards the shallow waters. Therefore, you are looking for more adrenaline rush and excitement during fishing; offshore fishing is what you need.

People who are not very familiar with the ins and outs of fishing often say that inshore and offshore fishing are similar, but they are not similar at all. Both these fishing types are very different from one another in terms of techniques, equipment, vessels, etc.

Difference between Inshore and Offshore Fishing:

Now that you know about inshore and offshore fishing let us discuss the difference between inshore and offshore fishing in detail so that you may understand both types of fishing in a better way.

Inshore Fishing

The significant difference between both types of fishing is the depth of water. Inshore fishing is inside the limits of a few miles in the ocean.

The bays and estuaries are a significant sport in this type of fishing. Apart from this, the boats used for inshore fishing are small and basic, like small motorboats, kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, etc.

Image of a person fishing

Then comes the weather. You can go for inshore fishing in any weather, and you will most probably find fish in the shallow water even during drastic weather changes.

As inshore fishing is done nearer to the shore, there is no need for fuel and supplies for the trip. So you can just fill up your fuel tank, bring some basic supplies with you, and you will be all set. You just have to bring stuff for an hour or two-hour long trip.

Electronic equipment is essential whenever you go fishing, no matter if it is inshore or offshore. Still, the advantage of fishing inshore is that you don’t need extensive or detailed electronic equipment.

Instead, you just need a few basic things like a radar with less mileage, a phone on the boat, and torches.

Finally, the fish that you can catch while inshore fishing is going to be small ones like flounder (from the little mermaid), specked trout, drum redfish, and sheepshead redfish, etc. these catches will be small but still worth it because they don’t require much hard work.

Offshore Fishing:

Offshore fishing is done far from the shore, almost 30-40 miles away from the shore. It is also done in deep waters (hundreds and thousands of miles deep) than shallow waters like inshore fishing.

Therefore, offshore fishing needs bigger boats with strong motors with a large capacity and can survive in rough waters like console boats and yachts.

Image some people doing offshore fishing

Then comes the weather. Offshore fishing is greatly affected by the change in the climate. Finally, the time of the year will decide which type of fish you will catch. So, try to decide beforehand on the time of the fishing trip if you want to go offshore.

Since the offshore fishing trips are longer (sometimes overnight), you need more fuel and supplies for the journey. Because the trips are longer than inshore fishing trips.

Offshore fishing, you are far away from the shore, and this is why you need more electronic equipment to be on the safe side.

For example, you may need a 75-mile radar, which you can use for traveling and fishing at night, a satellite radio, and a chirp sonar designed explicitly for recreational fishing trips.

Finally, offshore fishing will land you bigger catches. You will be able to catch amberjacks, grouper, make sharks, yellowfins, wahoo, black fins, cobia, king mackerel, etc. These fish are worth all the hard work you put in for catching them.

Types of Inshore Fish

It’s now time for you to learn about the types of inshore fishing that you can catch on your inshore fishing trip. Knowing about the type of fish you can catch inshore will help you recognize them when you catch one.

Types of Inshore Fishes


These huge fish are pretty ancient, powerful, and aggressive. Hooking a harpoon is easy but reeling them is what is difficult. This is because these fish are incredibly acrobatic, and handling them is a challenge. But, they are one of the top inshore fish.


This fish gets easily startled and requires patience and stealth while approaching it. Therefore, when I want to catch this fish, I usually wade the waters very quietly.

Striped Bass:

Striped bass is also known as rockfish and is a common species near the coast of New England, but it is also found near Louisiana and Florida. These fish are very aggressive and resistant so catching them requires strength. Also, they are attracted to colorful lures and baits.


Catching a Snook requires a lot of practice and patience. However, they are one of the most exciting fish you will come across on your inshore fishing trip. These fish like to stay near man-made stuff, so it is very easy to find them.


The easiest way to recognize a redfish is by the dot in its tail. These fish are visible from above water because they feed in shallow waters. Because of their interest in a wide variety of diets, they are attracted to almost all types of lures.

Where To Fish Inshore?

Inshore fishing is done near the shore. It is mainly done within 9 miles of the shore. So, the places near the shore are mostly bays, estuaries, saltwater flats, intercostal waterways. Apart from this, any spot within 9 miles of the shore is ideal for doing inshore fishing.

What Equipment Is Needed For Inshore Fishing?

If you are planning to go on an inshore fishing trip, you need to bring the right fishing equipment. Your trip will only be successful if you have the right equipment.

From boats to fishing rods, everything should be ideal for inshore fishing. Here is a brief list of the equipment you will need for inshore fishing.

The boat:

Your whole fishing trip depends on your choice of boat. The boat you chose will be an element in the success of your inshore fishing.

Since inshore fishing is done near the shore, you don’t need a big and well-equipped ship because a basic canoe is also more than enough for such excursions.

image of 20 to 25 feet long fishing boat

Usually, a boat for inshore fishing is 20-25 feet long, is manageable, and very stable. You just need a few basic things like baitwell, fishing rod storage, first aid, torches, snacks, canopy for protection from sun, batteries, fridge, life jackets, etc.

You can include other luxuries, but they are not necessary, such as a fully-equipped radar, fish finder, microwaves, bathroom, etc.

Because your offshore fishing trip only lasts a couple of hours, and you don’t want to carry an extra load just for a few hours. So, try to keep the stuff you take to the ship to a minimum so that you don’t have to worry about your stuff and only about your fishing.


Tackle helps us in taking out the fish from water and to your boat. If you have the correct tackle, you won’t have to worry about bringing out your fish, but your fish will give you a tough time if the situation is reversed.

The tackle should be balanced between being heavy and lightweight. Because if it is too heavy, then you won’t be able to cast the baits far from your ship to where the fish are.

On the other hand, if it is too light, then you will most probably miss your fish because the tackle will float on the water.

The ideal rod size and tackle are 7’6 long and fast in action, the reel size 3000 and line should be 12lbs of monofilament or 12lbs of fluorocarbon or 20lbs of braid line. Make sure to buy the right tackle for yourself to ensure that your fishing trip goes successfully.

Weather conditions for Inshore Fishing:

Going for inshore fishing in hot and sunny weather is probably the most famous time of the year when people decide to go for fishing trips.

However, the best thing to do before you plan on going for a fishing trip is to carefully check the weather conditions and updates for the time and day you plan ongoing.

Read about everything, from the time when the sun will shine to clouds occurrence and humidity. All these factors affect your chances of catching fish. This is because the weather conditions affect the movement of the fish.

For example, some fish feed only in the daytime and that too in sunny weather. Then there are some species of fish that prefer darkness, night, and cloudy skies to feed. Therefore, if you want more fish to bite your bait, try to choose sunny and brighter weather.

Inshore Fishing electronic equipment:

It is true that inshore fishing doesn’t require much electronic equipment, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need any equipment at all on your boat. On the contrary, there are many important gadgets which you should install in your boat no matter how big or small it is.

Some of the equipment that you should install on your boat are:

  • GP187 or GP197IF has an accurate GPS, a WAAS chart plotter, and chirp and usual fish finders.
  • DRS4W is a wireless radar and can connect on the network to iPad or iPhone. This device can overlay into the charts.
  • Panoptix LiveScope, with which you can quickly identify fish on its upper left side of the screen.
  • Sonar and GPS are essential equipment for even the smallest boat because they help track where you are going and your location on the map.
  • SOS signaling machine. This machine is very important as it can save your life when in distress.
  • Transducers are paired with sonars so that they can function properly.

Inshore Fishing Techniques And Tips

Inshore fishing trips are one of the best ways to relax with family and friends. You can relax without any fears or issues because the waters near the shores are often very calm with many opportunities to catch some delicious and fantastic fish.

But, if you are relatively new to inshore fishing, you might need a few tips and techniques on what inshore fishing is.

  • Ensure that you acquire a license to fish in the saltwater of your state. You can easily buy or renew your license via phone or online because all these processes are very convenient.
  • Always check the weather reports and the tide chart of the place you are planning on going fishing to because if your trip is ongoing and the tide rises, that could mean disaster for you. Always plan your trip according to the tide charts and weather reports.
  • Always carry a medium-weighted, seven-foot spinning rod and combine it with a reel. It should be rated ideal for the 20-pound line. This rod will cover several spots for your inshore fishing experience.
  • Always remember to bring polarized sunglasses with you. Because polarized sunglasses not only save your eye from the sun, glare of the water, and reflection, but they also help you in spotting the fish underwater. Polarized glasses are specially made for fishing trips.
  • Try to use live and natural baits. If you are using live shrimp as bait, there are more chances that fish will be attracted to it than fake baits and lures. This is because fish likes live bait, the one they can bite and eat.
  • Either go for inshore fishing early in the morning or late at night. This is because fishes are roaming fearlessly during these times, and you can catch your favorite fish without any hassle.

These were some of the tips and techniques that you should never forget when you go for what is considered inshore fishing.

Final Verdict:

This was a brief guide for you to understand inshore fishing. However, if you read this guide carefully, you will have the best inshore fishing experience of your life because inshore fishing is an experience that you don’t want to miss if you are a fan of fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What are inshore waters?

Inshore waters are the calm waters near the shore. These are shallow waters that are no deeper than 30 meters. The coast of inshore waters extends from 3 to 9 miles after the shore.

The sea, which comes within 9 miles from the shore to the sea, is called inshore waters.

#2 – What’s considered inshore fishing?

The definition of inshore fishing depends on people to people. But, in reality, inshore fishing is the type of fishing done in shallow waters (almost in 30 meters of less deep waters).

So the depth of the water is what differentiates inshore and offshore fishing. But of course, there are also some other factors.

#3 – What do you need for inshore fishing?

Just like any fishing trip, you need a fishing rod, reel, leader, line, hooks, corks, rig, fishing gear, and first aid. These are the basic things that you need to go on an inshore fishing trip.

Apart from this, there are extra things which you can add to your trip like food, beverages, etc.

#4 – How far out is considered inshore fishing?

Fishing is considered inshore when it is done within 9 to 10 miles of the shoreline. The fishing is done no deeper than 30 meters. So whenever you are fishing in calm and shallow waters, it is the inshore fishing you are doing.

#5 – What is the best inshore spinning reel?

So, by now, you already know the importance of reel. And now you should know about the best inshore spinning reel. The best spinning reel for inshore saltwater fishing is Shimano stradic.

So, even if you are new to this sport, try to buy the Shimano stradic to make your trips go smoothly. But, the best inshore spinning reel depends from angler to angler.

#6 – What is inshore trolling?

Trolling for inshore is basically dragging the bait and lure in the water. The bait can be fake or natural. So you hang the bait behind your boat and then drag it slowly.

Use a secure loop and tie it with the hook. It doesn’t matter if you use live or dead bait because both work fine for trolling.

#7 – What size reel is best for inshore fishing?

When you purchase a reel for inshore fishing, you should first consider the size of the reel. The 2000 to 3000 series, which is corrosion-resistant, are ideal for saltwater fishing.

The size of the reel should be at least 150-200 yards in line capacity with an 11 to 15-pound braid.

#8 – What are the best inshore bay boats?

The best boat for inshore fishing is the one that has all the basic necessities installed in it. For example, your boat should have center consoles, a good cabin, stability, wave handling, deck space, storage space for bait and fish, first aid box, food storage place, etc. you can find thousands of models which will fit your description of a perfect inshore boat. You just have to keep an eye out for such boats.

#9 – Is offshore fishing safe?

All kinds of fishing are safe if you fish carefully. Deep-sea fishing is not dangerous because it involves water, boat, hooks, knives, etc. Every sport is challenging only when you are not careful enough. So, always keep yourself protected and safe whenever you go fishing.

#10 – What is the best inshore fishing rod?

The best inshore fishing rod depends on person to person. But, the best rod for inshore fishing is a medium rod that is balanced in weight, neither heavy nor light. In addition, the rod should be strong and have the strength to reel the fish back into your boat.

But, in my opinion, Penn Battalion is one of the best spinning rods.

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  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.

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