Fishing has a lot of terms that fishermen familiarize themselves with. There are differences between the terms inshore, offshore, and big game. These terms describe the areas that fishermen fish in and the size of the fish that they are attempting to catch. This article will explore the key differences between inshore and offshore fishing.

Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing involves fishing in waters that are under 30 meters deep. The territory for inshore fishing spans from inshore waterways (inlets, creeks, intracoastal adjacent waters etc) to a few miles out from the coastline. The demands for inshore fishing are generally lighter compared to offshore fishing. The fish, as a result of being inland, are typically smaller and lighter. Inshore fishermen generally use lighter equipment than offshore fishermen in addition to smaller boats which are capable of navigating shallower inland waterways. Inshore fishing can often be enjoyed throughout the whole or much of the year depending on location, unlike with offshore fishing where the season plays a major factor with the fish populations. Inshore fishing is often associated with casting/working an artificial bait. 

Offshore Fishing

Offshore fishing, also known as deep sea fishing, involves traveling to deep waters that are often 30 miles or more out from the shore. Offshore fishing spots can often be as far as 130 miles out from the shore. The fish tend to be larger with offshore fishing and may require more of a fight to reel in. Fishermen who embark on offshore fishing expeditions typically set aside between 12 and 72 hours for their trips. There are more heavy-duty equipment needs for offshore fishing. The boats used for offshore fishing are larger and are equipped with more SONAR equipment to identify both target and baitfish under the water. Due to the fishing locations, offshore fishermen rely more on radar and radio equipment than inshore fishermen. Offshore fishing is typically associated with trolling to cover large areas of water. 


Both inshore and offshore fishing are great activities to participate in. The preference between either fishing type depends on what each fisherman enjoys the most. For those new to the sport, I would recommend trying each at least once.