The difference between offshore and shore fishing in Fort Walton Beach is mostly based upon the depth of the water. Inshore fishing is executed within a few miles of shoreline. Offshore fishing consists of being at least 20-25 miles from the shores in waters exceeding hundreds of feet deep.
There are several factors differentiating between onshore and offshore fishing in Fort Walton Beach:
1. Fishing License
Florida fishing licenses are required for all Florida residents between the ages of 16 and 64. Anyone over the age of 65 must possess a Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. These are obtained free from the county’s tax collector. Permanently or total disabled Florida residents are eligible for free licenses.
Nonresidents may obtain a freshwater or saltwater license for:
$17 for a three-day pass
$30 for a seven-day pass
$47 for a twelve-month pass
Florida Residential annual passes:
$17 annual Saltwater pass
$32.50 for Freshwater/Saltwater combo pass
$48 for Freshwater/Saltwater/Hunting pass
However, residents fishing for saltwater fish from land or structure affixed to land (such as a pier) are required to possess a no-cost saltwater shoreline fishing license.
2. The Size Of Your Boat
If you’re utilizing a kayak, canoe, BOLO board, or small rowing boat, you’re most likely going to be doing inshore fishing. Once you upgrade to an offshore boat, fishing boat, yacht, it’s obvious you’re heading for the deep seas to do some offshore fishing.
Think about tackle. For shore fishing, you’re mostly looking to use lightweight tackle, and live or dead bait fish. Offshore tackle will consist of heavy tackle, trolling equipment, radar, radios, weather technology, and sonar. Also, consider the cost of fuel and supplies. If you’re staying on or near shore, your fuel supply need is low, in addition to meals, drinks, and ice. Once you head out into deep water, you must have enough fuel for the trip, food, and drinks that can last anywhere from 8 to 72 hours. Don’t forget, when you get back, it is wise to get some fresh ice to bring home the big catches.
With shore fishing in Fort Walton Beach, you’re mainly catching the same type of fish all year long. When you head offshore, the seasons, the weather, and the temperature of both air and water will decide what type of fish you’ll be catching.
5. The Results
When you’re fishing closer to shore or in bays or estuaries, you’re most likely going to reel in the smaller species such as flounder, redfish, and trout. However, once you head out into the deep blue wonder, you’ll be reeling in the big boys like mako, yellowfin, wahoo, marlin, cobia, and king mackerel.
So, to answer the big question: Which one is best? It all depends on what you’re wanting out of your fishing excursion. Some folks prefer spending the day rocking in a boat, holding on to a reel, waiting for the rush of adrenaline when that marlin gives their line a yank. Other folks prefer seeing land nearby and constantly reeling in medium-sized fish just right for tonight’s dinner.
Take a look at our Top Fishing Spots on Okaloosa Island for you land-loving anglers. For you deep sea lovers, we have all of your charter boat needs here: Best Fishing Charters in Fort Walton Beach. You’re sure to have an absolute blast whichever type of fishing in Fort Walton Beach you choose. You could even do both and decide for yourself which one is your favorite! Book a charter for the beginning of your trip. Then towards the end of your trip, plan a day of rest and relaxation staying close to the shoreline and dropping that hook into the shallows. At the end of each day, we’ll welcome you back to The Breakers and help you get settled in after a day of sun, sand, and sea.