One of the most relaxing and educational hobbies that just about anyone can do is inshore saltwater fishing. In Fort Myers, FL, there are plenty of locations around the area where you can bring your rod and reel for a day of inshore fishing and catch fish species that you may not have expected.

At Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters, our charter captain can help you and your group have the best time as inshore anglers, even if it is your first fishing trip. Our team is here to provide you with all the information, best inshore fishing tips, and equipment you need for catching fish in Fort Myers.

What Is Inshore Fishing?

Inshore fishing (sometimes known as “bay fishing”) refers to fishing in waterways that are near land (no more than 15 miles offshore) and may or may not need a boat to access the area. As an inshore angler, you can expect to catch saltwater fish species including spotted sea trout, crevalle jack, flounder, redfish, sheepshead, and Spanish mackerel.

Inshore fishing can be done in shallow grass flats, mangrove shorelines, channels, inlets, passes, docks, bridges, as well as artificial and natural reefs. Depending on your particular preferences and what type of fish you are hoping to catch, that will help to determine where you will engage in inshore fishing, the type of bait (live bait or natural baits) and lures you use, and how long you may be out on the water.

Inshore Fishing vs Deep Sea Fishing

The primary (and most obvious) difference between inshore fishing and deep-sea fishing is the depth at which the fishing is done and the distance from the shore.

With the inshore saltwater fishing option, you will fish at a depth of up to 30 meters deep – the area where the water still appears to be green before it turns the deeper blue color. This is also approximately 15 miles from the shore. After 30 meters deep and further out than 15 miles (up to 80 miles or so), you will no longer be aiming for inshore fish but rather a deep-sea fish.

The size of the boat used for inshore saltwater anglers is usually about 22 feet in length with no top on the boat. For deep sea trips, the boat will be larger than 22 feet with a maximum capacity of 22 passengers, not including the captain and first mate.

Offshore fishing is great for large groups of Florida anglers who are looking to catch more exotic game fish such as marlin and tuna. An inshore saltwater fishing trip is good for smaller groups or solo fishing, and you will be focused on fish that are closer to the shore so there will not be a huge variety of unusual species.

Types of Bait that Can Be Used for Inshore Fishing

One of the most important fishing tips we can offer is to use natural baits or live bait. Natural bait such as live shrimp or baitfish will help to ensure you get consistent bites from the inshore fish you are hoping to hook. Rig the natural bait on a circle hook underneath a popping cork.

It is also important to remember that you should match the hook size to the size of the baitfish you are using and treat your live bait properly so that they continue to be lively and attractive to the popular inshore species.

Equipment Needed for Inshore Fishing

You will not need any specialized equipment for inshore fishing as you might for the deep sea variety. Starting with a 7-foot, medium-weight spinning rod and reel combo will set you up well for just about any fishing location you may decide to check out. You can adjust from there based on your developing needs.

Other equipment you may consider bringing is for safety and comfort. You should always bring high-SPF sunscreen since you will likely be out in the sun for several hours, and you should have plenty of fresh water and snacks on hand.

How to Find Good Spots for Inshore Fishing

When you want to find fish in an inshore location, it is best to do thorough research to figure out where the fish are biting and if they are moving with the tides. Inshore fish are not always found in the same locations, so it is important to use your resources and talk with other anglers to discover great places for saltwater fishing.

Otherwise, you can hire a fishing charter such as ours at Caloosahatchee Cowboy in Fort Myers, FL. Our team is always well-aware of the best inshore fishing locations, and we can guarantee that you and your group will have the best possible time fishing the inshore waters near the Atlantic Ocean.

Contact Us to Book a Fort Myers, FL, Fishing Charter

Whether you are just on vacation in Fort Myers or you are a Florida resident, hiring a fishing charter is a great way to spend time with your friends and family in a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Our team at Caloosahatchee Cowboy has all the information, equipment, bait, and skills to ensure that you can bring in fish and have a fun time.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have as well as address the concerns which may develop. Our charter captain and his team have been able to reel in more fish than you can imagine, and we have spent plenty of time out on the water getting to know all of the best fishing spots. If you are an experienced angler or brand new to fishing, our charters are guaranteed to bring you a great deal of happiness.

Contact Caloosahatchee Cowboy in Fort Myers at 239-628-2990 for more information and fishing tips or to book your next inshore fishing charter with our captain! All you need to bring is yourself – we supply the rest!