How To Catch Inshore Fish From A Boat Without A Trolling Motor
Here’s a question I got recently:
Is it possible to go out and catch inshore fish in an offshore boat?
Yes, it’s definitely possible!
Even if you have a shallow running boat or don’t have a trolling motor, you can still catch inshore fish.
Sure, you won’t be sight fishing reds in the shallows, but in this video, you’ll learn how to catch a ton of trout, mackerel, and jacks without having to go offshore.
Check it out below!
Catch Inshore Fish In An Offshore Boat [VIDEO]
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Trolling paddletails on the edges of flats with seagrass or oyster beds is one of the best and easiest ways to get tons of tight lines.
Here are 5 steps for how to do it successfully:
Step #1: Drift or troll
To find the fish, you need to cover ground.
If it’s windy or the current is really moving, then you can turn your motor off and drift.
If it’s a calm day, you can turn the motor on and either keep it in the lowest idle speed or a few taps forward.
You don’t want to be cruising through the flats, but you also don’t want to be going so slow your lure is dragging the bottom.
Step #2: Find the depth the fish are holding
Sometimes the fish will be on the shallower side of the edge, other times they’ll be a little deeper.
To find that ideal depth, I like to zig zag along the along the edge and make a note of where I’m getting strikes.
Step #3: Slow down to fish the honey holes
As you’re trolling, you’ll find that some areas hold more fish than others.
You can stop trolling and anchor up or slowly drift those areas to catch more fish.
Step #4: Experiment with different rod actions
Sometimes the fish like when you hold the rod still and let the paddletail do the action.
Other times, they’ll hit more when you jig it up and down a little bit.
Do some experimenting to see what they’re preferring that day.
Step #5: Check your lure for grass
Dragging around a clump of weeds won’t catch you any fish, so be sure to check your lure for grass every so often.
The good thing with paddletails is that you can feel the wobble of the lure in the water.
You’ll also get used to the weight of the lure, so if it feels a little heavier, you probably have some grass stuck on it.
Best Equipment For Trolling Paddletails
You don’t need anything fancy to do this type of fishing.
You can just use your typical inshore fishing setup consisting of:
- 7′ 6″ fishing rod
- 2000 – 3000 spinning reel
- 10 lb. braid
- 30 lb. mono
- 1/4 oz. jig head
- Slam Shady paddletail
Trolling a paddletail behind your boat on the edge of a flat is a great way to get lots of tight lines.
You don’t need a fancy boat or equipment and you don’t even need to be good at casting.
It’s great for kids, new anglers, and even experienced anglers who just want to have fun and catch a ton of fish.
Have any questions about this type of fishing?
Let me know down in the comments.
And if you know someone who wants to do this type of fishing, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Why not use a weedless hook instead of jig head when trolling next to grassy areas?
The jighead helps it get down closer to the bottom, so that benefit outweighs the com of not being weedless. If weeds are an issue, the better solution is to go with a Texas Eye jighead.
How do I find oyster beds in homoasassa bay. Been a member almost a year no slams. Have a Tritoon boat have tried drifting.trolling,anchoring using slam shady, Alabama leprechaun still have not caught a red fish, speckled trout, snook. I have lived on the nature coast a little over a year. Very frustrated
Make sure to go through the map reading section of the Finding Spots Mastery course. Here’s a link to the first lesson in that section: https://www.saltstrong.com/spotsmastery/spots-mastery/using-online-maps/
Because theres nothing more annoying than than “expert” anglers in their +100k 26′ boat blasting Cardi B ruining bank/pier fishermen’s day and calculating how to anchor exactly where the bank/pier fishermen are casting.
Grenade launchers should be standard in every shore fisherman’s tackle box.
Surprised you’re able to use a 1/4oz jighead. Was thinking that, even at idle, you’d need close to an ounce to stay below the surface.
Idle speed for most boats isn’t much faster than a normal retrieve speed for targeting aggressive fish, so going with normal sized jig heads can get the job done.
Thanks Luke…as usual another great vedio. I own a 20′ center council Key West with no trolling motor (yet) so its been hard getting in shallow water.
Like to trade up to a Pathfinder like yours
I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this lesson. I am a fan of Key West boats too… my dad has one that I’ve been very impressed with.
I used this same technique about 25 years ago in the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. My then 3-year old girl caught her first of many fish. Thanks for your always willingness to share.
How cool! Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment Arthur!
Nice video Luke.
You mention boat speed, depth, and locations for your targeted trolling but are you going with or against the tide or does it matter?
With the current is preferred, but going into the current can work as long as it’s not a super fast current flow.
Great info. I have a 27′ boat and love to fish the 10,000 Islands when the Gulf is too rough.
So glad to see that you enjoyed this lesson.
Great info. Thank you
You briefly talked about speed. Can u give approximate mph (or kph)?
Do u change for weather or species?
I’m guessing it’s about 2 or 3 mph. I haven’t yet seen a noticeable trend in catching specific species on specific speeds… in most cases, it seems like using the speed to help get the lure up or down to the desired depth is what works best for all species.