This may a be a dumb question but while reading the FWC Safety requirements this weekend, I was confused regarding the VDS Requirements.
"Visual Distress Signal Required on the high sea and coastal waters only.
Must carry visual distress signal for both day and nighttime use.
NOTE: Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over 2 miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles."
Do you need one in inshore waters? I fish out of a 19ft boat.
Yes, you are required to have a visual distress signal. Your term inshore falls within the bounds of areas you described.
But it's always a good idea to carry smoke and flares in the back country. They make it much easier to find you.