Call it what you will, blue-water fever, inshore, flats, we all have our preferences when it comes to our favorite species of fish and the waters we enjoy. As for how we get there, the styles of boats are endless from small skiffs or bay boats to large sport-fishing battle wagons. What might not be clear to a would-be angler, what are the real, down and dirty differences between offshore and inshore fishing?
Given there’s not an actual rule book (a Captain or two might argue here), inshore fishing as the name implies is usually reserved for throwing lines within a few miles away from coastal areas. The types of fish are virtually limitless but there are always a few native species that just like us humans, prefer “safety” of coastal waters. As for specifics, think trout, snook, tarpon, with live or dead baits which roam in great numbers making this type of fishing perfect to entertain family and first-timers alike. One of the largest appeals of inshore fishing over offshore, the ability to quickly return to the dock with considerably less concern for weather. In short, grab the kids or a buddy, leave in the morning and the inshore fisherman can be home by noon.
Offshore fishing might be a bit more intimidating for land lovers (or the mother-in-law) as the coast completely vanishes with nothing but water as far as the eye can see. Again, there’s no set rule but true offshore anglers often set aside half a day or longer to simply get to their desired fishing spots. Once there, the quantity of fish will typically be less than inshore but the fish that are present are much larger be it tuna, white whales (*winks), sharks, or marlin. Unlike the inshore folks, going offshore demands the needs to study the weather not only for safety but also to understand how it impacts fish behaviors. Finally, you’ll need the assistance of big boy tackle, sonar, and radar. A tip: If you’re taking the kids or family, take along these 10 essential items for your boat.
– Great for smaller boats
– Land is just a few minutes away
– Ideal for first-time fishing and family
– Less concern with the elements / weather
– Check out the FX & SV Series of Bay Boats
– Larger boat with greater fuel and range capacity
– More freeboard / higher side walls
– In-console head unit
– Heavy duty tackle, radio, sonar and other tech goodies
– Check out the SX Series of Offshore Boats