Inshore fishing includes any fishing you do that is in water less than 30 meters deep or close to the shore. You might fish in the inter coastal waters, or it could be in the backwater areas.
There are many different types of boats you can use, and it will depend on where you want to fish and what method you want to use. Read on to learn about the different types of inshore fishing boats.
Inshore Fishing Boats
1. Flats Boats – Skiffs
You can use Flats boats in places such as the flats of South Carolina or the Florida Keys. They can go into shallow waters that are just a few inches deep, such as canals, bayous, and creeks near the coast. Anglers often use them in place of wading.
Size: Flats boats range from 15 to 21 feet long, and they have a 6 to 7.5 foot beam.
Capacity: They can hold two to four passengers.
Where They Are Used: They are mostly used in flats and in the backcountry.
Features and Equipment: These boats have a side, flat bow for casting, and they often have a poling platform and pole. They will come with navigational equipment and safety equipment.
The outboard motor is usually less than 100 horsepower, and they can come with a trolling motor. Some of them have forward casting platforms, as well, and a shallow water anchoring system.
What They Are Good for: Flats boats offer great visibility, and the engine noise is normally reduced so that it won’t scare the fish away. This boat does well in very shallow waters as few as six inches deep. It provides a relaxing and quiet fishing experience.
2. Bay Boats
Bay boats are low profile, and they have a low enough profile to navigate through shallow waters. However, they can also handle waters that are not calm and still because they have a higher freeboard. They are most popular with anglers who fish in larger bays.
Size: Bay boats are normally 18 to 23 feet.
Capacity: Most bay boats can hold four people as well as a captain.
Where They Are Used: Bay boats are often used near the shore including inshore, bays, and the backcountry.
Features and Equipment: When you get a Bay boat, you can expect to find safety equipment and navigation equipment. In addition, it will have an outboard motor.
These boats sometimes are equipped with a trolling motor as well. They have shallow water anchoring systems so that you can sit and fish. You should also have a live bait tank.
They can carry a lot more inshore tackle than a smaller boat.
Bay boats can handle waters that are choppy because they have higher sides in the higher freeboard. The hull also has a deeper vee than the flats boat. There is not normally a poling platform.
What They Are Good for: When you are inshore fishing, bay boats offer more versatility because they can be used in a variety of inshore fishing situations. They are pretty easy to operate, and they have enough seating for a family fishing trip.
3. Center Console Boats
The Center Console boats are great all around boats for inshore fishing. The helm is in the center of the boat on a console, and you can move around more than you can on a Bay boat or a skiff.
You will also have good visibility. In addition, some of these boats have a toilet on board. You can get this boat anywhere from 18 to 40 feet long, which gives you a lot of choices.
Size: Center Console boats range from 18 to 40 feet long.
Capacity: Depending on the size of the boat, they hold between four and six passengers and a captain.
Where They Are Used: They can be used in a variety of locations, including inshore, near the shore, and even offshore.
Features and Equipment: In addition to navigation and safety equipment, you will find a live bait tank. This boat will also have up to four outboard motors. Some of them have a trolling motor as well. You can have it equipped with a toilet, outriggers, and downriggers, too. Another option is the T-top for shade, as well as a Tarpon or Cobia tower.
What Are They Good for: Because the console has the controls in the center of the boat, you can fish from any spot on this boat. It is capable of going inshore or offshore fishing, but it is easier and less expensive to run than big offshore boats. It gives you the flexibility to do whatever kind of fishing you want or need to do.