How Far Out Is Deep-Sea Fishing?

Deep-sea fishing is one of the most popular types of recreational fishing. If the possibility of landing a trophy fish excites you and you look forward to not seeing anything but water, you’ll enjoy being on a deep-sea fishing charter.

But how far out is deep-sea fishing? Deep-sea fishing charters go anywhere from 30 to 130 miles far from the shore. Deep-sea fishing usually takes place in waters at least 100 feet deep. The distance takes to reach deep waters varies, depending on where you’re fishing. In some areas, deep waters are a few miles from shore. 

Keep reading to discover what offshore fishing is and what you need for a deep-sea fishing trip. This article will tell you the difference between deep-sea fishing vs inshore fishing and help you decide which one is better suited for you. 

What Is Deep-Sea Fishing?

Deep-sea fishing is usually done far away from the shore in waters at least 100 feet deep. This type of recreational fishing is also referred to as big game fishing, sport fishing, and offshore fishing.

Deep-sea waters are generally far from shore, so deep-sea fishing is always done on a boat. Large boats at least 30 feet long are typically used for pelagic fishing trips to accommodate rougher weather conditions, strong waves, and big fish.

Most deep-sea fishing charter boats are filled with fishing equipment, including specialized fishing rods and reels designed to catch and land big fish aboard a ship. 

Deep-sea fishing is often done dozens or hundreds of miles away from the nearest shore. But in some areas, the seafloor slopes sharply close to shore, creating deep waters only a few miles from the coast. 

In these cases, anglers can start deep-sea fishing a few minutes after boarding the boat and departing the dock.

How Far Is the Deep Sea?

Deep-sea can be anywhere from 30 to 130 miles away from the coast. In some locations, the seafloor drops sharply a few miles from the beach, creating deep-sea fishing opportunities relatively close to shore. 

Depending on your location, you may come across deep waters after a short boat ride, or you may need to travel for hundreds of miles before casting a line. 

Offshore (Deep-Sea) Fishing VS Inshore Fishing: Difference

Fishing VS Inshore Fishing

Whether you’re a novice or experienced angler, you’re probably familiar with some angling terms, like offshore and inshore fishing. 

Most experienced anglers know the difference between offshore and inshore fishing. But beginners may have a hard time understanding the various fishing terms. 

Having said that, these are the biggest differences between deep-sea fishing and inshore fishing:

Inshore Fishing

Any fishing that happens in waters within 9 miles of shoreline or in water 30 meters deep or less is considered inshore fishing. 

When fishing inshore, anglers are usually within a couple of miles of the coast. Or within a casting range of distinctive areas like coastlines, piers, apartments, jetties, and mangroves.

Unlike offshore fishing, inshore fishing usually happens in shallow, calmer water. When going on an inshore fishing trip, anglers typically don’t need a large, high-tech boat and don’t have to travel far to reach their destination.

If you’re planning an inshore fishing trip, expect seasonal but consistent weather conditions. This is unlike unpredictable weather conditions you’ll likely face while offshore fishing.

The fish found in inshore waters tend to be significantly smaller than fish living in deep-sea waters. Don’t let this discourage you, because you’ll likely catch more fish on an inshore fishing trip than while fishing offshore. 

Although you likely won’t catch trophy fish while fishing inshore, you may catch much smaller fish. If you’re looking for some light, sport-fishing action while fishing in shallow waters, try catching a tarpon. These fish can grow pretty big and will likely put up a fight. 

Offshore Fishing

Unlike inshore fishing, deep-sea fishing takes place anywhere from 30 to 130 miles from shore. Deep-sea fishing charters venture into waters no less than 100 feet deep in pursuit of trophy fish.

In most cases, offshore fishing charters need to travel miles away from shore to reach deep waters where big fish live. But in some locations, like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Hawaii, the seafloor drops close to the shore. 

These areas are ideal for people looking to experience everything deep-sea fishing has to offer without having to spend several hours traveling away from shore. 

Offshore fishing calls for larger, better-equipped boats with radar, radios, weather equipment, and even sonar. When booking a deep-sea fishing trip, know that the weather can change quickly, and be prepared that you may need to reschedule the trip because of stormy weather.

Deep-sea fishing is one of the most popular types of sport fishing because it allows anglers to catch trophy-size fish. If you decide to go on an offshore fishing journey, you may get a chance to hook a monster fish. 

But as opposed to numerous catches associated with inshore fishing, most anglers catch a single big fish during an offshore fishing trip. 

It’s hard to say whether offshore fishing is better than inshore fishing or vice versa. At the end of the day, everything hinges on personal preference and the type of fishing experience you’re looking for. 

What Do You Need for Deep-Sea Fishing?

Fishing from a boat requires a certain level of preparation. This is particularly true for deep-sea fishing trips where the weather can change instantly while you are miles away from the shore. 

Here are some things you should bring along on an offshore fishing trip:

Protective Clothing

The type of clothing you’ll bring on a fishing trip depends greatly on the weather. Bring something warmer like a fleece jacket, windbreaker, or waterproof winter coat, in colder weather.

A light, long-sleeved t-shirt with UPF protection is ideal for the summer months. Choose non-skid rubber sole shoes to avoid slipping on the deck.


Don’t underestimate the effect the sun has on your skin, even on overcast days. To protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, pack an SPF 50 sunscreen, and lip balm with sun protection.

Food and Drinking Water

Although the captain will probably have drinking water and food on board, you can never have too much-bottled water and snacks on a deep-sea fishing trip. Offshore fishing is challenging, especially if traveling hundreds of miles from the shore. 

An insulated water bottle or a thermos will keep your water and beverages cool for long periods of time. Check if the captain has some snacks before the trip, and see if you can bring some sandwiches and snacks on the boat.

First Aid Kit

Whether the constant rocking of the boat makes you queasy or you end up with a cut, it’s best that you come on the trip prepared for all sorts of injuries. 

If you’re likely to suffer from motion sickness, take Dramamine or other medicine a few hours before a trip and pack some with you onboard. Don’t forget to pack band-aids, gauze, topical antiseptic, and hand sanitizer for minor cuts and injuries. 

How Long Is Full-day Deep-Sea Fishing?

A full-day deep-sea fishing trip lasts from 8 to 9 hours. When booking a full-day offshore fishing charter you get access to the necessary bait and tackle and expert fishing guides. In most cases, the boat’s crew will also take care of hanging and filleting the fish upon docking. 

What Month Is Best for Deep-Sea Fishing?

The fish species fishermen can catch vary according to the season and the place you want to fish. Some species overlap, allowing anglers to choose which type of fish they want to target during a deep-sea fishing trip.  

If you’re planning an offshore fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, June and July are the best months for offshore fishing. Summer is an ideal time to go deep-sea fishing for various medium to large fish, such as yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, Almaco jack, banded rudderfish, and lesser amberjack. 

Spring, summer, and fall are the best time of year to go on a Myrtle Beach deep-sea fishing charter. Late spring creates ideal weather conditions for Spanish mackerel, dolphins, and mahi-mahi. Anglers looking to catch blue marlin should book their fishing trips from May to September because this fish species is the most active during these months. 


Offshore fishing takes place in waters that are at least 100 feet deep. Depending on the location, deep-sea fishing charters go from 30 to 130 miles away from the shore. 

Offshore fishing is one of the most popular types of fishing and gives anglers a chance to catch trophy-size fish. If you’re planning a deep-sea fishing trip, look for an experienced captain who’ll take you to the best fishing spots and ensure you’ll have a great time.