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Everything You Should Know about Inshore Fishing

Updated: Oct 8, 2019


If you’ve never experienced the exhilaration of a bull redfish run or the excitement of a gator speck on your line, you may not know exactly how much fun inshore fishing on the northern Gulf Coast can be. While many people hire charter boats to carry them offshore for deepwater quarry, there’s tremendous action to be found much closer to the coast through inshore fishing charters in Orange Beach, AL. Inshore fishing can be thrilling and offers many benefits that other fishing charters can’t match.

Orange Beach inshore fishing can provide anglers with the opportunity to catch a wide variety of prized fish. The best inshore fishing charters may even allow you a chance to get an Alabama inshore grand slam by catching a trophy red, speck, and flounder all on the same outing. If you love to fish but have never tried an inshore charter, you may be missing out on some of the best fishing on the northern Gulf Coast. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about inshore fishing around Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL.

What Is Inshore Fishing?

While there’s no definitive feature of inshore fishing that everyone in the angling community can agree to accept, inshore fishing is usually distinguished as any saltwater or brackish water fishing done within three miles of the shore and in waters of less than 30 meters in depth. Some people also categorize fishing trips as inshore based on the types of fish that are being pursued.

What Fish Are Common in Inshore Fishing?

While there are many species of fish that can be found in waters that are considered inshore, there are a few specific types of fish that frequent inshore waters. These fish are commonly associated with inshore fishing tactics since they inhabit shallow waters and are sensitive to movements on the surface, and many of them thrive around structure or beds of seagrass or marshes where food sources are plentiful. Fish that are commonly considered inshore include redfish or red drum, black drum, speckled trout, white trout, flounder, cobia, tripletail, bluefish, sheepshead, and tarpon.

What Type of Boat Is Used?

Because of the proximity to the shore and the shallow depth of the waters, expert inshore anglers prefer smaller boats that can get them on fish quickly and nimbly. Because the primary targets of inshore fishing are wary and watchful of surface activity, it’s also important that boats used for inshore fishing have shallow draft and are quiet. Most inshore fishing boats are around 22 feet in length, though there are some slightly bigger and others much smaller. Because inshore fishing takes place in waters adjacent to the shore, there’s no need for sleeping quarters or bathrooms. While many types of boats can be used, center console boats that allow anglers to move freely around the gunwales are preferred. Some inshore fishermen use specially designed flats boats that have extremely shallow draft, low gunwales, and a standing platform at the rear that allows fishermen to see into the shallow water and pole the boat along to keep it quiet.


Type of Bait Used

While the old angling maximum that the best bait is the kind the fish are baiting holds true, there’s great diversity in bait used to catch inshore species. The premier type of bait preferred by inshore anglers, particularly those on the hunt for flounder, specks, and reds, is live bait such as shrimp, croakers, pogies, and shad. However, live bait isn’t always available. In those cases, cut bait can be an effective alternative, as available saltwater baitfish, such as croakers, mullet, pogeys, or dead shrimp, make perfect bait on a drop rig. Some anglers have success with artificial lures, such as rubber worms. Buzz baits can be particularly devastating on surface-striking fish including speckled trout and redfish, as the noise can drive them into a feeding frenzy.

Benefits of Inshore Fishing

There are many reasons anglers prefer inshore fishing on the Alabama Gulf Coast. First, it’s more cost-effective since the fuel costs for smaller boats and shorter trips are lower. Also, fishing can be more pleasant since the inshore waters are somewhat protected, making seas smoother and easier to navigate. The fish species available to inshore fishermen are plentiful, and most are perfectly suited to the table. Inshore fishing trips are easy to manage, since they don’t require hours of preparation or travel to the fishing site. You can easily charter an inshore trip in the morning and expect to be home before sundown.

If you’re planning to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast, do yourself a favor and consider booking an inshore charter fishing trip. The action is fast, the trip is pleasant, and you’ll get a firsthand look at the beauty of the northern Gulf Coast. To learn more about inshore fishing around Orange Beach, AL, contact Liquid Force Inshore Charters at (251) 233-5731.

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