Recreational offshore fishing is fishing far from the shores. It is done using fast and robust boats often large enough and equipped for fishing trips that can last for days.
Catches are usually big and strong fish species like various marlins and tunas. Since these species are rare and difficult to find and catch, fish is often released after being caught...
Offshore Fishing Positions
Offshore fishing positions are usually far from the shore (hence the name), often over the distant reefs, wrecks or on the edges of ocean currents where small fish can be found in large(er) quantities. And where there are little fish present, then there are predators that feed on them - various species of tuna, marlins, king mackerel etc. Some of these species are endangered, so 'catch and release' is recommended. Recreational fishing cannot be compared with commercial fishing of such species, but at least one knows that he/she did a good thing ...
Offshore Fishing Boats and Charters
Offshore fishing boats have strong hulls to endure harsh weather and rough seas - similar like Deep Sea Fishing boats. In fact, many boats used for offshore fishing are used for deep sea fishing and vice versa. After all, offshore fishing is done in deep waters, too.
Boats for offshore fishing have engines, batteries, pumps, tanks and other heavy equipment deep in the hull, which give them great stability badly needed if caught in the open by strong winds and waves.
Basic electronic equipment of these boats are GPS, radio, sonar - some larger boats have radar installation on board. Survival gear include at least a small rescue boat, number of life vests, few survival packages (flares, water, canned food etc), first aid kit etc.
Offshore fishing take place far away from the shore and most often, the best solution is to rent a boat with a good crew or at least a good skipper. Such charters provide usually everything what one needs for few days trip - boat, fuel, water, food, fishing tackle ...
Offshore Fishing Rods, Reels and Lines
Size of the game fish caught during offshore fishing vary greatly - sometimes small mackerels are so aggressive that hooking larger fish is almost impossible. But from time to time, 'giants' (200kg or more) strike and create a total mess on board - often beginners think that they have hooked a submarine or something like that :)
Anyway, 25-30kg+ lines are recommended with matching rods and reels. If larger fish are expected, then stronger lines should be used. Don't forget that you need plenty of line on your reel if your bait attract some predator like marlin ...
Offshore Fishing Lures and Baits
Trolling lures are often used when trolling at high speeds (5 knots or more) and covering large area. Live bait is often used at lower speeds when large fish is detected by sonar or by noticing signs at sea - fish running away just under sea surface, small fish jumping, seagulls feeding on small fish etc.
When fishing on or near the bottom, pieces of fish or other sea organisms can be used as bait.
Offshore Fishing Tips
Few tips for offshore fishing:
I can write tips like these for ages - long story short - don't be stupid, safety first!