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Inshore vs. Nearshore Fishing: Which is Better?

Trying to pick between an inshore or nearshore fishing trip is difficult because they can be very similar or drastically different experiences. Both of these trips are popular because they offer opportunities to catch incredible fish while spending the day on the water, but the variety of different trips makes them hard to compare.

Trying to decide between the two is almost impossible because it depends on your preferences and experience level. While there is no objective answer to which one is better, there will be a trip that’s better suited for you. To help you figure out which one is right for you, let's dive in and look at what both of these trips have to offer.

Nearshore Fishing Amberjack

Nearshore Fishing

Nearshore fishing is a broad category of saltwater fishing that takes place between the waters past the jetties, beaches, and bays and the offshore drop-off. This type of fishing borrows a lot of techniques from both inshore and offshore fishing. The distance from the shore where nearshore fishing takes place is totally dependent on location, but the style of fishing used will generally fall into one of the below categories.

Trolling is commonly used in nearshore waters to target some of the smaller offshore species like kingfish, mahi mahi, and Spanish mackerel. Bottom fishing uses a weight and baited hook to drop your line to reefs, shipwrecks, and other structures. Casting is most popular near rigs or other structures that surface predators like cobia, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and sometimes mahi mahi prefer.

Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing is a broad category of saltwater fishing that takes place from the backwater estuaries to just beyond the jetties and beaches.This type of fishing shares fishing styles with nearshore and inland fishing because many fish species spend time in both environments.

Inshore Fishing Redfish

Fishing along the coast or in the shallow backwaters offers nonstop action minutes from the dock. While bucket list species like snook, tarpon, and bonefish feed in the shallows during their migration, other popular sportfish like redfish and speckled sea trout live in these waters year round.

Inshore fishing is made up of sub-categories that come from targeting various environments and structures in shallow water. The most popular types of inshore trips include bay fishing. wading, jetty fishing, and flats fishing. Each type of inshore fishing can also be done using different fishing styles with casting, drifting, and bottom fishing being the most popular.

What is Better: Inshore Fishing or Nearshore Fishing?

The minimum amount of time required for each trip may vary slightly by location, but generally nearshore trips take longer. Inshore trips can be as short as four hours, but can run all day if you want. To reach nearshore water you have to travel anywhere from just offshore to several miles out, while inshore trips can wet lines in a matter of minutes. At the end of the day, if you’re short on time, an inshore trip will be the better choice for you.

Experience level is also important to consider when picking a trip, with nearshore trips generally requiring stronger and more complex tackle to target bigger fish in deeper water. Inshore fishing is great for beginners and kids because the tackle and fish are easier to handle. Inshore waters also tend to be calm while nearshore waters can be unpredictable. If you’re uncomfortable in choppy water, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather if you want to take a nearshore trip.

Fishing Charters

It all comes down to how your preferences and experience align with what inshore and nearshore trips have to offer. If you’re looking for a nice day on the water with short travel times and nonstop action, check out our inshore fishing trips. If you want to chase bigger fish and cover some water, our nearshore fishing trips will have all the action you can handle.