Trying to decide between an inshore trip or an offshore trip can be difficult because they offer drastically different experiences. Both of these trips are popular because they give you the chance to fight incredible sportfish and spend the day on the water, but the similarities end there. Finding an objective way to compare these trips is nearly impossible because it depends on your preferences. But, your preferences will likely make one of these trips better suited to you. To help you figure out which trip is right, let's dive in and look at what both of these trips bring to the table.
Offshore fishing is a popular category of fishing that happens miles from shore while chasing the biggest sportfish in the world. This category of saltwater fishing takes place in deep water (hence why it’s often called deep sea fishing) and provides anglers with unmatched action. Typically, boats have to travel miles away from shore to reach the deep water where giant fish roam.
In some locations, however, like Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the water drops off immediately, making for a good option for those looking for a deep sea experience who may not have time for a full day on the water.
Within the category of offshore fishing, there are various subcategories, including different fishing styles and target species. The most common types of offshore fishing trips are trolling, drifting, and bottom fishing. You can read more about these tacticshere.
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.
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.
The time required for each type of fishing can vary by location, but generally offshore trips start at eight hours, while an inshore trip can be as short as four hours. Deep sea fishing charters have to travel miles offshore to get to their spots, while inshore trips can wet lines in a matter of minutes. If you are short on time or don’t want to spend the whole day fishing (which would be hard to believe), an inshore trip will be better for you.
It’s also important to consider your experience level when picking a trip. Offshore fishing requires strong tackle to catch huge fish and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Inshore fishing is great for beginners because the tackle and fish have a shorter learning curve. Inshore waters also tend to be calm while offshore conditions can get pretty rough. If you get seasick taking an offshore trip can be risky because there’s a chance you will be sick while everyone else is having fun.
If you’re targeting a specific fish, the decision on which trip to take will likely be made for you, as very few fish can be found inshore and offshore. For some anglers, only the biggest fish will do, and when it comes to size, offshore fishing has the edge. While inshore trips can catch cobia or tarpon that can weigh over 100 pounds, offshore species easily hit triple digits with some hitting the 1,000-pound mark.
It all comes down to how your preferences align with what inshore and offshore fishing 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 massive fish far from shore in open water, our offshore fishing charters is just what you’re looking for.
Updated on January 1, 2023
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