Offshore wind farms often co-occur with biodiverse marine ecosystems with high ecological, economic, and cultural value. Yet there are many uncertainties about how wind farms affect marine organisms and their environment. The before–after–control–impact (BACI) design, an approach that compares an impact location with an unaffected control both before and after the intervention, is the most common method used to study how offshore wind farms affect finfish. Unfortunately, this design has several methodological limitations that undermine its ability to detect effects in these studies. An alternative approach, the before–after-gradient (BAG) design, would sample along a gradient with increasing distance from the turbines both before and after the intervention, and could overcome many of the limitations of BACI. The BAG design would eliminate the difficult task of finding a suitable control, allow for the assessment of the spatial scale and extent of wind farm effects, and improve statistical power by incorporating distance as an independent variable in analytical models rather than relegating it to the error term. This article explores the strengths and weaknesses of the BACI and BAG designs in the context of offshore wind development and suggests an approach to incorporating the BAG design into existing fisheries surveys and a regional monitoring framework.