Posted In Fishing Tips, General

Inshore versus Offshore Fishing: What’s the difference?

December 9th, 2015

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Inshore versus Offshore Fishing | Share A Fishing Charter

Inshore versus Offshore fishing – what’s the difference?

With fishing terms like inshore, offshore, deep sea, big game fishing and more, it can be tough to get a grip on what’s what. In this post we’ll compare inshore versus offshore fishing and help you determine which style best suits you for your next charter fishing trip.

The biggest difference between inshore and offshore fishing is the depth of the water, with 30 meters of water being an accepted line-in-the-sand acting as the border between the two. When you’re fishing inshore, you’ll usually be within a few miles of shore and, more often than not, within casting distance of it working popular spots like beaches, rocky shorelines, piers, jetties, flats, mangroves and islands with light tackle. Offshore trips that often require a commitment of 12 to 72 hours will take you anywhere from 30 to 130 miles away from the coast. This kind of water warrants larger sportfishing boats equipped with heavier gear and technology like sonar and radio. The techniques used out here are less hands on – until a marlin is trying to steal all of your line – and you may only catch one or two, but hookups can last hours.

Is one better than the other? Absolutely not. Some people prefer to be close to land while others love seeing 360 degrees of horizon around them. Preference plays a huge part, but it’s just one of many.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the main differences between inshore and offshore fishing:


Inshore Fishing

  • Small motorboats, kayaks, and canoes.
  • Within a few miles of shore, or in water less than 30 meters deep.
  • Light tackle, more casting and use of live and dead bait.
  • Less equipment needed, less reliant on a graph for locating fish.
  • More consistent year-round fishing through seasonal climate changes.
  • Smaller species like snapper, speckled trout, striped bass, snook and tarpon.
  • Catch larger quantities of fish.
  • More family friendly.

Offshore Fishing

  • Large sportfishing boats.
  • Water depth of 30 meters or more, usually 20-50 miles offshore.
  • Heavy tackle, trolling equipment.
  • Greater use of radars, radio & weather technology, and sonar.
  • Seasonality and weather has more impact on fish behavior.
  • Larger species like tuna, wahoo, marlin, amberjack and sharks.
  • A couple of fish landed can be considered a great day.
  • Less family friendly, trips range from 8 to 72 hours.


Thanks for reading! Adventure awaits.


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[…] you want to do an inshore trip? Offshore? Reef? Night fishing? The kind of fishing that you’re looking to do plays a pretty big […]'
Luke Smith
4 years 2 months ago

I think that going on a fishing charter in the ocean would be a lot of fun. I would seem like a real challenge to go out there and catch a large fish like tuna, or a marlin. That would be a real adventure, and then you get to tell stories about the fish you caught.'
Jade Brunet
3 years 10 months ago

I am looking to know more about inshore fishing. I was unaware that the main difference between inshore and offshore fishing was the depth of the water. It would be good to consider which fish one is seeking and then plan a fishing trip accordingly. has a Shopper Approved rating of 4.7/5 based on 418 ratings and reviews.