Inshore Fishing TIps

By Jonathan Bales , last updated January 12, 2012

Inshore fishing is fishing that takes place near the shoreline, often in a boat or on a pier, and it is a bit different from other types of fishing. The most important thing to remember is that there is no universal rule for how to catch fish while fishing inshore. Instead, you need to customize your rod, bait, and fishing technique based on your location and the type of fish you want to catch. To help you along the way, read below for a few inshore fishing tips.

Use Fresh Bait

This is perhaps the most important tip on the list, as it is vital to use fresh bait while inshore fishing. Whether you are using shrimp, clams, or slices of fish, you want it to be as fresh as possible. A general rule of thumb is that if you would not eat it yourself, do not use it while inshore fishing. This might seem excessive, but your inshore fishing efforts will go rewarded with very fresh bait.

Present the Bait Naturally

It is crucial that you do not use beads, swivels, or other items on your line while inshore fishing. Instead, present your bait as naturally as possible. Make simple rigs that do not contain these items, whether you are using shrimp or finger mullet. This is particularly true if you are using live bait.

Consider Scented Lures

Certain fish love to bite on scented lures. Redfish, speckled trout, and striped bass all love scented baits. Unlike in past years, anglers do not need to deal with excessive smelly or messy baits. Instead, today's scented synthetic lures are easy to use and attract fish just as well as live bait. When using a scented bait, rig it just like your would any other bait.

Use the Tide to Your Advantage

One of the unique aspects of inshore fishing is the tide, and it can be an anglers’ best friend or worst enemy. Most important in using the tide to your advantage is to know how certain fish bite during different tides. Some fish feed when the tide is running in, for example, while others eat when it runs out. Do a little research, and your efforts will go rewarded.

When fishing on a pier, the tide is vital to your success. When the tide gets rolling, bait from other anglers that has fallen down or fallen off of lines tends to pile up near the pier. Many anglers want to throw their lines out as far as possible, but many of the big fish tend to hang out around the pier during these times. This is because smaller fish come to the piles to feed, and this is a perfect chance to catch fish like redfish or flounder. Simply drop your rig near the pilings and wait for the bites.

Use Larger Baits

Fish that live inshore tend to feed less frequently than other fish, eating one or two large meals per day. Even when fishing for bluefish or speckled trout, cast in larger bait than normal. These larger baits will entice the fish that reside inshore.

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