4 Tips For The Inshore Fishing Novice


Inshore fishing is considered fishing from a boat near the shore, before any deep drop-offs that put you in off-shore fishing territory. Inshore fishing opens up a whole world of possibilities beyond the usual fishing from shore, or fishing from a boat in deep seas. Inshore fishing allows you to access all those little bays, flats, mud bars, and narrow shorelines full of fish that would otherwise go unexplored. If you are new to the world of inshore fishing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Consider Buying a Bay Boat

Unless you have a generous friend who invites you along on their bay boat every weekend, which can quickly lead to wearing out your welcome, you're going to need your own boat. For inshore fishing, you can't go wrong with a bay boat. These versatile vessels are designed to be smaller and a bit more narrow than off-shore boats, with a much more streamlined design. This allows you to easily access small bays, tight shorelines, and flats you would otherwise not be able to reach.

Unlike flats skiffs, however, bay boats are designed to also allow for the occasional off-shore excursion, making them a very flexible option. They also have a large fuel capacity, so you can easily make it from one fishing spot to a more promising location without having to fuel up. Bay boats tend to be much more economical than off-shore boats, making them a great starter boat or complement to your existing boat.  

Learn to Read the Tides

One thing that involves a steep learning curve for many inshore fishing novices is learning to read the tides. When you're so close to shore, the tide's behavior and movement have a huge impact on your fishing luck. A dead spot near the shore can suddenly come alive with schools of fish all because of the tide moving in. Tidal flow has an impact on the temperature and movement of the water, which in turn affects which fish are attracted to a spot at a given time as well as which bait will be most effective.

You can learn to understand how tides work and how they affect your fishing by working alongside a more experienced inshore fisherman. Another option is to spend time reading online guides to tide behavior specifically designed for inshore fishing.

Use Google Maps to Find the Best Spots

In addition to the advent of bay boats, online technology has made inshore fishing easier than ever. You can actually use Google Maps on your phone or tablet to find the best inshore fishing locations on any given day. Use the online map feature to take a look at the bird's eye view of a potential fishing spot and then zoom in to check out the area in detail.

Look for spots where the water seems to be especially deep or flow especially nicely. When you are first starting out and aren't sure where to go, technology can help you narrow down a few fishing spots that look promising.

Use The Right Bait

Fishing inshore requires the right bait. In general, fish close to the shore respond well to movement and scent, which makes live bait an attractive option. When choosing live bait think beyond the typical small fish like minnows and sardines. Mussels, shrimp, and crabs can also make very tempting and effective bait for any larger saltwater fish looking for its next meal. 

Inshore fishing can quickly become your favorite new hobby. Buying a bay boat and following these tips will allow you to explore all the possibilities of inshore fishing in the bays and flats near your home.


18 December 2017

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