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Inshore vs offshore


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When I head out past the Isle of Wight I often find myself wondering how many marks and fish I'm passing over on my way, and when I think about how kayakers must clearly catch good fish close inshore, assuming they probably wouldn't keep fishing from their yaks if they blank, I wonder whether boat anglers are missing a trick by heading to the horizon.

Thoughts or experience one way or another? Are we guilty of thinking that all the good fish are over the horizon when in fact they could be on our doorstep?

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I definitely catch more thornbacks (Raja clavata) in the river along with school bass but to catch decent hounds it’s necessary to push out a bit

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2 minutes ago, JonC said:

A huge drawback to fishing in the river is that there are very few dogs.

FTFY Jon 😉

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absolutely - i'm proof of this - I sit at anchor in 40ft of water just off Portland's east entrance and see many boats heading for 100ft or more - i've had double figure rays inside portland harbour - yes there different species and different ground/structure etc but its not always better

I've had worse days offshore!

depends if size really matters too - some are happy with a variety of species, or quantity and full on action over that one biggun.

time also plays into it - if i only have an evening i'll be quite happy to anchor up close in and maximise the fishing time. (cue predictable joke about mikes slow boat)

 

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2 minutes ago, mike farrants said:

absolutely - i'm proof of this - I sit at anchor in 40m of water just off Portland's east entrance and see many boats heading for 100m or more - i've had double figure rays inside portland harbour - yes there different species and different ground/structure etc but its not always better

Interesting - to get to 40m of water round here we have to motor 15+ miles out. Mostly 10-20m close in with predominantly flat ground. I've wondered whether we're actually chasing the depth and equating depth with better fishing, which may not really be correct.

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Cardiff all fishing is inshore. 1-2 miles out will get big cod, hounds, rays, bass, sole, conger. You generally need to move up and down the coast though to find fish. 
 

Seansea/Milford, you got lots of fish inshore, no need for a 20 mile run… 

Sharks, yes it’s offshore, 40 miles+ That’s only time I go offshore 

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

Interesting - to get to 40m of water round here we have to motor 15+ miles out. Mostly 10-20m close in with predominantly flat ground. I've wondered whether we're actually chasing the depth and equating depth with better fishing, which may not really be correct.

apologies - i meant FEET not meters

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If it is dogfish, school bass, wrasse, Plaice, flounder, and small pollock, then inshore marks will always win.

If it is larger Pollock, Ling, larger Bass, etc, then the offshore wrecks are the place to be.

I define offshore as more than 6 miles out ..........................

 

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For me going "offshore" just isn't a viable option on a regular basis at least. This is due to the location of where I live. Being in the middle (east to west) of the Solent means I have to travel approximately an hour in either direction to clear the confines of the north coast of the Isle of Wight. 
But, having said that there is not much there that can't be caught in the Solent. The exceptions are Tope, Spurdog, blonde rays (they may be in the Solent but I've never heard of them there), turbot and big conger. 
All my PB fish have come from what you guys would call inshore marks, 15lb cod (5 minutes from the Hamble river), 17lb smooth hound (from the shore), 10lb 8oz bass, and a 20lb undulate ray (25 mins).
So, do I NEED to go offshore?? No I don't. But I LIKE to for the change of scenery. 

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Surely it's more about where specific features are than how far out? Ease of access for the commercials must come in to it too, you're more likely to catch on a mark they can't fish ( a point well covered by kayakers, they can get where you daren't take a boat)......

I know the skipper we use spends hours looking for new marks, scanning the charts for potential areas then checking them out on the sonar when time allows. Not a cheap hobby with the rate that thing goes through diesel!

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On 1/26/2022 at 10:28 AM, Andy135 said:

When I head out past the Isle of Wight I often find myself wondering how many marks and fish I'm passing over on my way, and when I think about how kayakers must clearly catch good fish close inshore, assuming they probably wouldn't keep fishing from their yaks if they blank, I wonder whether boat anglers are missing a trick by heading to the horizon.

Thoughts or experience one way or another? Are we guilty of thinking that all the good fish are over the horizon when in fact they could be on our doorstep?

I think it depends on your chosen quarry,  some species are lovers of deeper marks other not so much.  I go searching for a particular feature that will likely produce my quarry rather than go for depth.  Blonde rays being a good example,  I have caught them on shallower grounds but also deeper ones, the key I look for is a series of sandbanks with a good run of tide.

A tactic I use which has come with me from shore fishing is to research the most consistent marks for your chosen quarry, one that produces them year after year.  Then put the time in to learn whether they fish better on the Ebb or Flood, Big or Small tides.  Yes fish can turn up anywhere but you cut your chances on a mark with little history of producing what you want.

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On 1/27/2022 at 10:39 AM, suzook12 said:

Surely it's more about where specific features are than how far out? Ease of access for the commercials must

I would tend to agree.

I kayak more than boat fish, so I have a foot in both camps.

I can cruise out to areas I have seen on navionics at home at 3kn and lots of times I find a patch of rough ground that doesn't feature on charts, some are just a flat bit of ground no more than a foot or three above the sand, and I can see the change in colour on the sounder, quick drop down and the lure tap-taps on rock. Other times it is up to 8-10 ft high above the sand and still not on charts and it isn't because they are small as they can be 40-150ft long very few are 20-30ft. I noticed my friends sounder didn't show the bottom at speed, so I presume that is either a problem with his system or the speed (?) anyhoo, at 20+ kn you could be across it without noticing, plus I am sure you all pay 100% attention to what is in front of you 😜

Big fish... I have caught Pollock up to 8-9lb and lost bigger within a mile of shore the closest was within 150yds but it needs the right features obviously and in this instance was an old arch from a cliff that was now just a stump sub surface with 25-30ft of water around it and the tide went the same direction on both inshore and offshore sides for the ebb but the flood tide it eddied clockwise around it so all the food was swirled around it like a sushi bar so the fish could just sit there and pick it off.

Would I head out 5-10-20 miles? Hell yeah but I would do my homework before spending the dosh on the fuel. Several times I have been out with my friends on their boats and we have been beaten by the weather so we sat inshore catching dabs and whiting, we even managed an uncomfortable couple of hours less than a mile out and added haddock to the list of species. So what have we had within a mile and a half of shore in the areas of the mull of Galloway, Fife and Angus and Tyneside? Doggies, smoothies, tope, TBR, gurnard, whiting, cod, ling, Pollock, coalfish, SS sea scorpions (big lumps just under a pound), dab, flounder, pouting, mackerel, herring, ballan wrasse, launce, sandeel. This year we hope to add a few new species to the list.

So in summary, why not give the inshore marks a try, but you need to be able to spot them.

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  • 4 months later...

This topic came to mind when I was out recently, Report here, as we were around a mile offshore maximum and at one stage 4-500yds.

The skip and his wife are also kayak anglers and these marks were ones they found kayaking and have repeatedly produced, not every time obviously, and speaking to others in the marina we are doing just as good as those heading out much further. Yes they may get ling in the bag but is that worth the fuel? Also we can put the fish back as they aren't blown. 

It also asks the question about knowing your ground and if you are well offshore would you move around if its quiet or stay put? 

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Around the IOW I found so many fish in shallow water from snorkeling inshore that it even changed the way I fished from the shore. I rarely used rods longer than 8ft as casting range didn’t need to be far.

It makes perfect sense when you see how much bait holds in the shallows. Also marine growth is far more where sunlight can penetrate.

My boat allowed me to get to shallow marks that were hard to reach by car and foot. There were of course species I never saw inshore, which could only be found in deep water.

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