Inshore VS. Offshore Fishing: Which One Is Better?


Whether you’re living in a coastal area or taking a vacation in one, you’ll want to give saltwater fishing a try. There are two main types of saltwater fishing as hinted earlier, and more often than not people find themselves torn between inshore vs. offshore fishing. If you find yourself in a similar situation and would like more information about inshore fishing/offshore fishing and help in determining which style best suits your fishing charter, then this article is for you. Here we’ll take a look at both inshore fishing and offshore fishing as well as the pros and cons of each. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to decide which between inshore fishing and offshore fishing you would like to try.

What is Inshore fishing?


Inshore fishing is generally defined as a type of saltwater fishing that is conducted in waters up to 30 meters deep. Some would define it as any type of fishing that occurs within three miles off the shore, but it appears that the earlier definition is the more accepted version.

Pros of Inshore Fishing

Many anglers prefer inshore fishing over offshore fishing for several reasons.

  • Easily Accessible Fishing Locations. One of the best things about inshore fishing is that there are plenty of spectacular fishing destinations available, some of which will require very little paddling or walking to reach. You can fish from harbors, channels, bays, flats, inlets, levies, bridge areas, lagoons, estuaries, and inland waterways. All of these can provide an inshore angler a variety of pan-size table fare and light tackle game species.
  • Smaller Vessels Required. Since you don’t need to go far out into the sea when inshore fishing, you won’t need a large boat as you would when offshore fishing. Since the waters near the shore are calmer, the boat or vessel requirements are less intense and demanding. In fact, you can take a reliable sea or ocean fishing kayak for kayaking and paddle out to waters 20 feet deep and start angling from there.
  • Less Technical Fishing Gear or Equipment Needed. Anglers need fewer technical gear and equipment when inshore fishing. In fact, many anglers have landed fish species of considerable girth and size using only basic saltwater fishing gear and equipment, sometimes even landing.
  • More Accessible than Offshore Fishing. Considering the distance from the shore, the water depths, and gear and equipment required, inshore fishing rests well within the means and reach of many anglers. Just remember to follow safe saltwater kayak fishing tips and practices to avoid any issues or problems.
  • Similar Techniques with Freshwater Fishing. Inshore fishing also allows freshwater anglers to employ the same fishing techniques they’re used to like fishing with live bait with a float or a tightline, casting spoons, jigs tipped with plastics, and so on

Cons of Inshore Fishing

Despite the many benefits of inshore fishing, it does not come without at least one drawback.

  • Fewer Fish Species to Be Encountered than Offshore Fishing. Perhaps the biggest drawback to inshore fishing, when compared to offshore fishing, is that there are fewer fish species to be drawn out of the water. Sure there are plenty of fish to be caught when inshore fishing, but if you’re looking for giant marlins or swordfish, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. Also, the type of inshore fish species will vary from one region to another, and some prized species may not be available in other areas.

What Is Offshore Fishing?

Offshore fishing means going about 20 miles or more out into the sea. Basically, you’ll be fishing in waters deeper than 30 meters, possibly a hundred or more meters deep, hence it is also referred to as deep-sea fishing. At this depth and considering the magnitude and vastness of the sea, you’re bound to encounter fish species of a wider range of sizes and appearances. So even if you already have a target fish in mind, you may still find yourself surprised because you’ll never know what you’ll be pulling at the end of your line.

Pros of Offshore Fishing

Offshore fishing enthusiasts love heading out into open water and casting their lines there because of the following reasons.

  • Variety of Big Fish Species. Offshore fishing presents you with the opportunity to catch some really big fish that you won’t otherwise catch when inshore fishing. Many offshore fishermen were able to land large Goliath Groupers, Amberjacks, Tuna, and others while angling out far from shore. In fact, many of the trophy-sized fish you have usually seen being posted by anglers on Instagram are caught only by going offshore.
  • Exotic Fishing Destinations. Offshore fishing also presents some wonderful and exciting adventures as anglers find themselves in some of the most exotic fishing destinations available. Offshore anglers can hire guides to take them to sunken ships and planes, the debris of which provides a nice sanctuary for some of the largest fish in the sea. They also often visit offshore towers, reefs, and areas with drop-offs shelves that have large cracks and crevices to hunt for gigantic bottom dwellers like groupers, snappers, and others.

Cons of Offshore Fishing

Although offshore fishing may seem exciting, certain requirements can make it rather challenging to do.

  • Need a Bigger Boat and a Crew. Offshore fishing means traveling anywhere from 30 to 100 miles away from the shore, a journey that can take hours or even days to complete. That said, you’re going to need a larger boat that can travel such distances, carry supplies, and tough enough to take sudden changes in the water and weather conditions. Also, you’ll need a boat that is properly equipped with more technical boating and navigation equipment. Out in the sea where the weather can turn in an instant, this high-end equipment can help ensure that you can get back to shore safely.
  • More Technical Fishing Gear and Equipment Required. Offshore fishing often means targeting large fish species, which naturally means that your fishing gear checklist will include more technical fishing gear and equipment. More often than not, you’ll need a longer fishing rod and bigger spinning reels to reel in those gigantic fish and land them.

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So, which one between inshore vs. offshore fishing is the better choice? The answer is both of them. Both inshore/offshore fishing has their own charm and appeal, though of course there are still pros and cons to both. All in all, though, it’s really more of a matter of personal preference. Anglers who prefer fishing on land or close to land will have fun doing inshore fishing, while those who love venturing way out on the wild seas and angling for the big game will love offshore fishing. Although different, both inshore and offshore fishing have their merits, and whichever one you choose you’re bound to have a great day of fishing.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!