Fishing is a past-time enjoyed by millions of people since the stone-age. Fishing is as accessible today as it was when the caveman first waded into the water to make his first catch!

But, you probably already know that, which is why the question at hand is, “what is inshore fishing?”

Fishing in Waters of Depths of 30 Meters or Less

A man fishing while in the water

image source: via Tyson Dudley

So what is inshore fishing? With so much terminology associated with the sport, such as inshore fishing, offshore fishing, deep-sea fishing, and game fishing, you may drown in a sea of confusing jargon.

But, as it turns out, the question of what is inshore fishing may be explained simply enough. Inshore fishing may be considered any fishing that takes place in waters of a depth of 30 meters or less.

The 30-meter definition for the depth of the water is the crucial factor here. The 30-meter definition seems to act as a line in the sand between the many terms.

Rural Sports is a very informative site on the different types of fishing practices that exist and may help you to understand which kind of fishing interests you the most.

Inshore fishing requires far less specialized equipment than other types of fishing and therefore becomes more accessible to those with little or no experience. It also makes it a favorite hobby to undertake as a family.

The wealth of clubs and associations, such as Torbay & Fishing and the American Sportfishing Association, offer a surplus of information on the subject and demonstrates its popularity.

What Do You Need for Inshore Fishing?

A man fishing while in the river

image source: via Taylor Grote

In addition to wondering, “what is inshore fishing?” you may also be asking, “what equipment do I need for inshore fishing?”

Well, the joy of inshore fishing is that it requires far less sophisticated equipment than you may think. A smaller boat will suffice, as will lighter tackle, bait, and lures. With just a small investment in some essential items, you will soon see yourself enjoying the thrill of your first catch.

The basic requirements you may wish to consider

A fishing rod and reel is the most vital piece of equipment you will need. For inshore fishing, a rod between 7 and 8 feet long is deemed appropriate. Angelfire is a great resource for learning more about the different types of rods available.

Tackle is the components added to the end of the line, such as weights, floats, and hooks.

Bait is added to the hook and lures the fish to your line, such as colorful flies made of feathers. You may purchase a wide variety of bait in a complete set if you intend to go freshwater or saltwater fishing.

Fishing Pliers are essential for removing the hook from your catch. Spring-loaded pliers are much easier to handle, and they will easily slice through your line.

You will need a bucket in which to keep your catch. Choose a bucket big enough for your catch and ensure the bucket has a tight-fitting lid.

A first aid kit is another essential. Taking a hook to the finger will make you realize really fast the necessity of a first aid kit. It just makes common sense to always have one on hand for any mishaps.

A spare spool of line is a good idea for making rigs on the spot. A rig is the arrangement of items on the end of the line such as hooks, sinkers, lures, and bait.

What Is Inshore Fishing Compared to Offshore Fishing?

Even though inshore fishing takes place in waters of 30 meters or less, you may still fish in saltwater. Saltwater fishing includes docks, coasts, and shorelines.

With calmer water in these environments, boats used for inshore fishing tend to be less complicated. Boats also tend to be of the smaller variety as explained in the excellent Fish Anywhere.

Inshore fishing

Equipment for inshore fishing is much less expensive and lighter than its counterpart. A small boat is far less costly to hire for a weekend compared to a chartered vessel for offshore fishing.

Also, with offshore fishing, you are far more likely to remain on the water overnight, whereas inshore fishing is something you do over a few hours or a day.

Offshore fishing

Offshore fishing requires a great deal more planning and is not so spontaneous. You will need to charter a larger boat equipped with heavier fishing gear as the fish you will encounter tend to be larger and heavier. You will also need to ensure you charter a boat fully equipped with sonar and radio.

The types of fish you can expect to catch with inshore fishing differ from offshore. You may expect to encounter a wide variety of catch while inshore fishing, the size of which may surprise you. A man in Florida, back in 2017, grabbed himself a huge 10-foot-long tuna, so you never know your luck.

Weather also plays a vital part in your choice of inshore or offshore fishing. If the water is rough, you are less likely to venture out into the ocean depths.

Adverse weather conditions may not affect inshore fishing so much. Even if the water does feel a bit choppy in your little boat, you are far safer and more stable than if you ventured out into the deep ocean.

Types of Fish You Can Expect to Catch with Inshore Fishing

A person holding a fish that was caught

image source: via Sticker Mule

While it is highly doubtful that you will snag a shark, inshore fishing will prove to be just as exciting and fulfilling as fishing in the deep ocean.

You will experience a wide variety of fish of various sizes, and some may even put up a bit of a struggle! Cobia is legendary for their ability to fight against the line, and they can reach 70 pounds!

The species on offer will, of course, vary depending on your location. You may catch Tuna in Florida, Calico Bass in San Diego, or Sea Trout in the Gulf Coast. A smaller boat will allow you to pursue far more species, which opens up the opportunities for a great day of fishing.

Angler shops and even souvenir shops in the area where you choose to fish may be an excellent resource to find out what you may expect to catch in a given location.

Fish you may expect to catch

  • Redfish
  • Snook
  • Flounder
  • Black Drum
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout

Fish you may expect to catch

It is clear that the type of fish you hope to catch will dictate the type of equipment you will need. Real Adventure Fishing further expands on this and will help to focus your efforts.

What Type of Boat Do I Need for Inshore Fishing?

3 person fishing on a boat

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Motorboats, kayaks, and even canoes are suitable for inshore fishing. The beauty of inshore fishing is that you do not need anything complicated, as long as it is safe and serviceable. You might want to consider a boat that can take a small fridge to keep your drinks cold!

Anything stable and maneuverable in the water is suitable for inshore fishing. Safety should always be crucial, even though the water is relatively shallow compared to offshore fishing.

Storage is useful. If you have somewhere to keep your bait, tackle, and rods safe, then you are far less likely to succumb to accidents. As in everything else in life, it is wise to keep your working space clean and free from clutter.

A boat that offers a canopy is also useful. While you are out enjoying your day, you may be exposed to the elements, be that rain or sunshine. Protection of some kind should be a key factor when choosing your boat.

If you are buying a boat rather than hiring one, then you may wish to think about the transportation of your boat. Something you may strap to the roof of your car or move using a trailer may prove invaluable.

However, you may wish to use something as simple as a dingy or an inflatable raft. The attraction of inshore fishing is that the size of your boat is not limited, which makes this pass-time far more accessible to the beginner.

Boat Trader is an excellent resource to begin your fishing journey, and Boat U.S. goes into great detail with regards to the various types of boats suitable for inshore fishing.

What Is Inshore Fishing for the Family

A family fishing together on side of the beach

image source: via Adam Sherez

What is inshore fishing? Inshore fishing is a great day out for you and your family. There is a lovely charm about inshore fishing. It allows you to venture out on to the water with all the excitement that entails. It enables you to experience firsthand the thrill of catching a fish.

The beauty of inshore fishing is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can visit a harbor, an inlet, or venture into a lagoon and still experience the joy of fishing. It is safe enough that you can take your kids out with you. Imagine their faces as they experience the satisfaction of catching a fish to cook for dinner.

What is inshore fishing? Inshore fishing is fun for all the family. Why not tell us your experiences with inshore fishing in the comments below. Share with us your hints and tips for the best equipment and the best places to visit.