Drone Fishing – How To Catch Fish With A Drone. Complete Guide
The right Drone, when used correctly, can be a fantastic fishing tool, giving a new dimension to your hobby.
It can help you with things like scouting new areas for sandbanks and any other features you look for, for a great days fishing, dropping bait to entice fish to a specific area, taking your line a long way offshore and dropping it, as well as taking high definition photos/videos of all the action.
This article will help you consider what you need when looking for a fishing drone, including battery life, flight range, waterproofing, auto take-off & land, payload release mechanism as well as many other nice to have features.
This article will give an indepth look at the features that you may want when looking for a drone, some of the things you can do with a drone, as well as making some suggestions for the best fishing drones.
In A Hurry?
If you do not have time to read the full article, but want to find the best Fishing Dronefor your problem? Below are my recommendations! Low, Mid & High-end.
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“We first flew the drone 1,200 feet away and spotted schools of longfins”
If you are a seasoned fisherman, and never used a drone, then you probably think of them as toys. But if you were to research what people who have actually used a drone when fishing believe, then you would probably be
surprised at how useful they can be. Below are some of the ways a drone can be helpful when fishing
Drones! – What They Can Be Used For When Fishing
Scouting new areas with the drone
We all like to try out new spots when fishing, trying to catch different fish and bigger than we usually do. This typically happens with a buddy telling you about a great spot they fished, or you scrambling through the undergrowth, looking for likely places.
With a drone, it is much easier to get a good idea of what new places will be like, simply fly the drone up a couple of hundred, feet and use the camera to look at the shoreline, and into the water. You can then fly up and down the coast watching on the base unit. When you spot a good looking area, maybe with a lot of baitfish, sand bars or rocks, then you can make your way there for a day’s fishing.
Saving you a lot of time and effort
Using a drone to look for fish
You do not just have to look for areas to fish, you can fly your drone over the waters and look for the fish that you want to catch. Most drones are fitted with a high-quality camera that you can use to zoom in on specific objects.
So again just fly your drone up a few hundred feet, and scan the waters. Fly the drone around until you spot a school of fish, then you will know where to cast your line!
Dropping Bait at a specific location
If you get a payload release mechanism (your drone can carry stuff, and drop it at the press of a button), then you can also use your device to carry out bait, and drop it accurately in a specific spot, to encourage fish into this area
Dropping your line near the fish
Dropping your line near the fish is probably the most useful thing that you can use your drone for, if it has the payload release mechanism. Even if you do not have a boat, you can do some deep water fishing. Some drones have very long ranges (several miles on a high-end model). Attach your line to the drone, fly far out over the water, looking for fish, when you spot some, drop the line and bait in their path. Hopefully, they will take the bait.
The downside is, of course, that you may have to wind any fish that you catch in a long way.
Even with a lower-end model, you will still be able to take the bait and line a lot further out. Then drop it nearer to the fish, than you would be able to casting it from the shore
Fishing with a drone
You can, of course, attach a line hook and bait to the drone, put the bait in the water, and catch fish. Then have the drone lift the fish out of the water and fly it back in to shore.
This sounds like a great idea, however, if you catch a huge fish, the situation may be reversed. The fish drags your drone to a watery death.
So while this can be fun, consider:
• How big the fish in the area can reach
• The maximum carrying capacity of your drone
• The battery life of the device when carrying something heavy
You need to be able to catch the biggest fish, pull it out of the water and get back to shore before the battery runs out!
Videoing all the action
Probably the most obvious of all the things you can do, is to take photos and videos of yourself, while you are landing that monster fish, right? You have probably seen great aerial videos on YouTube of people fishing.
But you need someone else with you to fly the drone, and focus on you while fishing, right?
Wrong! A lot of drones now come with “Follow me” technology. Set the drone to video you while fishing, and it will keep the camera focused on you.
You can just concentrate on your fishing and forget about the drone. It is going to keep videoing what you are doing, and should it start to run out of battery, or lose signal, it can land its self in a predefined spot without you having to do anything!
Fishing Drone – Features that you want your drone to have!
When you are buying a new drone that is to be used for fishing, or indeed a drone that you will be using for any purpose, there are several features which are nice to have. The features that you want will be constrained by your budget, as the very top end drones can be super expensive.
Below is a list of features that you can get in today’s drones, you should read them before buying a drone, you may see some things that you decide your drone must have!
The price of the drone, and the number of positive reviews, will likely be the first and most prominent factors in picking the best fishing drone for you, but below are some other things that you may wish to consider:
Drone Flying Time
The average flying time for a drone is about 20 minutes. But this varies a lot, based on the price and type of drone. Average flying times are:
5-10 mins for a lower end drone
15-20 mins for a midrange drone
20-30 mins for a high-end drone
This information should be given for each model when looking to make a purchase
Drone Flying Range
Drone Flying Range will vary from drone to drone and should be clearly stated with each one, so you can see the distance before buying. The law states that in the US a drone hobbyist, must not fly above 400 feet. In the EU, that figure is 500 feet in the air.
The actual distance that the drone can fly from you and the controller varies a lot, the very low-end models can only travel a few hundred feet from the controller, but some of the higher-end models can travel 5 miles or more!
Standard drones tend not to be waterproof and are not designed to fly in the rain, as they are electrical devices. Rain, fog, and snow are common reasons to crash and lose drones!
You can get drones that are splash resistant, and can fly in the rain, but as your drone is going to be used for fishing, it may be worth getting a waterproof model.
When using a drone for fishing, if there is a problem, or you are a beginner, and the drone goes down, there is a good chance that it will land in the water. A standard drone is going to be destroyed if this happens. So either get a waterproof model, or learn how to use it well before taking it over water. Otherwise, you will be buying a few of these devices!
How to Drone Fish Video – step by step
Auto Take-off and Landing
Some of the better drones have auto take-off and landing. This means at the press of a button the drone will take-off and goes to the required height, which can be useful sometimes.
More useful is the automatic landing. Once you have dropped your load or whatever, you can set the drone to land automatically. It will not land too hard and damage itself, and some can find a place to land with the on-board camera.
This feature means that you can pretty much forget about the drone (if it also has “return to home” feature – see below) and concentrate on your fishing once your drop has been made
Return To Home Feature
Return To Home Feature allows you to tell your drone where its “Home” location is, and the drone will be able to return to this point when instructed to. This will save you from losing the device in several situations.
Simple Return To Home Feature – your drone will return to its home location at the press of a button
Low Battery Return To Home Feature – When the battery is low, the drone will automatically return to its home location, meaning that you will not lose it in the water!
Lost Signal Return To Home Feature – If the drone loses the signal for any reason (e.g. out of range, battery failure, etc.) The drone will automatically return to its home location. Again meaning that you will not lose this expensive piece of equipment
Drone Payload Release Mechanism
Most drones do not come with this as standard, but it can be fitted to most devices. What this does is allow your drone to carry something, and release it at a given point.
This is probably a must-have when using a drone for fishing, as it allows you to drop the bait, or your line at a given point, and this can be many times further than you would be able to cast the bait to.
Hobby drones can usually carry between 0.5 to 4 pounds. Some professional drones can carry more than 100 pounds. The amount that a drone can carry should be clearly stated for you to see before purchase.
Pretty much all drones now come fitted with cameras, and these can vary a lot in picture quality. You can even change a lot of cameras for better ones should the need arise.
Only you know the quality of the picture that you need from your device, but I would recommend that you go for at least a 4k high definition camera. That way you will get a beautiful picture. The images that the drone takes can be stored on the device for later viewing, and sent to the base station for you to see everything in real-time.
Check that the drone camera has all of the features you need. With a fishing drone, you want to be able to see the drone’s images immediately on the base station.
The camera will be able to move on the device to get the images that you want. This is usually on 2 or 3 axis. With two-axis, the image can be a little bumpier, but if the camera has three-axis, then it weighs a bit more, reducing flight time.
Drone Obstacle Avoidance
A drone with obstacle avoidance will have less crashes! If you lose concentration while fishing, you can easily fly into things that are near to the drone.
A lot of people who have never had a drone are concerned that they may crash it on the first flight, losing the drone and wasting their money. If it crashes into the sea that would be bad, if it hit another person that could be disastrous!
An obstacle avoidance system would remove a lot of these concerns
Drone operating temperatures
Most drones are designed to operate in temperatures from 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees C) to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees C).
If it is likely that you will be using a drone outside these temperatures, then make sure that you buy a device that can operate in them
Review of Popular Drones
DJI Mavic Pro 4K Quadcopter
Item Weight: 4.44 pounds
Batteries 2 Lithium-ion batteries.
Max Speed 40km
Flight Time 20 mins
3 Gimbal-Stabilized 12MP / 4K Camera
Has Follow Me Technology
Max Height 400ft
16 GB SD Card included
Includes Extra propellers
Drone size 10×10 inches
Has Camera Zoom
Obstacle Avoidance forward only
Camera supports RAW
UPair One Drone
7-inch LCD Screen on base unit
Advanced Intelligent Battery,
15 mins flight time
Aircraft can return to home .
Total Weight: 1350g
Flying distance: 800m
video transmission distance: 500m
Max height: 300m
Flying duration with load 18mins
photo resolution Maximum at 8MP
Photo Shooting Mode: Single shot
Recording Resolution: [email protected]
SD card type: Micro SD card 16G or 32G/C10 high speed card
Working Temperature: -10℃ to +50℃
Photo format: JPG
Video format: MP4/MOV
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Drone
Camera with 1-inch 20MP sensor
Five-directions of obstacle sensing.
4-direction of obstacle avoidance.
More powerful video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps
Max Flight Time Approx. 30 minutes
Titanium alloy and magnesium alloy construction
Choose between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz transmission
Draw a route on screen device will move in that direction while keeping its altitude
automatically recognizes subjects, follows and captures them as they move
Upgraded Return to Home mode,
Detect the ground to see whether there is suitable spot for landing
Gesture Mode, selfies can be captured
Dual compass modules and dual IMU units,sensors to ensure a stable flight
3DR Solo Quadcopter Drone
Does not come with camera
Flight time 15-20 mins
If using GPS mode the solo will return to its origin point when range is lost
max unlock speed 40 mph
it comes with two sets of props, and a rechargeable transmitter.
Solo’s video game-style controller will feel familiar the second you pick it up
Push button commands put both camera and copter at your fingertips.
Take off, land or instantly pause your flight midair with a single touch.
Click to start and stop recording or snap a photo, even adjust camera angle while you fly
High-quality HDMI port directly from the controller
Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.
Solo is powered by two 1 GHz computers
Wireless video streaming in vivid HD from your GoPro
Unique safety features like pause and ‘safety net’ mean you can fly with confidence.
Take to the air in seconds with effortless pushbutton flight.
Can canrry GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4
Get an iconic wraparound shot by locking your GoPro onto any object
Follow Me Go completely hands-free.
14.8 volt LiPo (5200 mAh)
Autel X-Star Premium Drone
4K Ultra HD video camera with quick-release 3-axis gimbal stabilizer
HD Live View up to 1.2 miles away and autonomous flight modes
Dual GPS/GLONASS outdoor navigation,
Intuitive remote controller with LCD display and one-touch action buttons
Premium hard case
64-GB MicroSD card
1-hour fast charger
Max speed in GPS mode is 16m/s or 35 mph
Returns to base if flown out of range
HD Video and stills
No Collision detection
Has a return home
Has auto take off, auto land
Has follow me function
20 minutes flight time
supports RAW Photos
Is it legal to shoot down a drone
No. Both in the USA and the EU.
In the USA, the FAA considers drones or unmanned aircraft to be covered under Title 18 of the United States Code 32, which states “sabotage to include the destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the USA.”
So, it is illegal to shoot down any aircraft, manned or unmanned, even if it is over your private property.
Breaking this law can lead to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
It is also illegal to shoot down a drone in the EU and UK, even if over your private land
How can I prevent losing my drone
There are several things you can do so that your drone is easy to find in the case of an “unexpected” landing
• Make sure that the devices home coordinates are set adequately.
• Practice flying in an open area where the drone can be easily found in case of an accident
• Install a drone crash alarm, so you will be able to locate it by sound in case of an accident
• Install a GPS tracker on the drone so that you can track it in the event of a problem
• Keep the drone in line of site, so you can see where it lands
Where am I NOT allowed to fly my drone
In the United States, the law states that you are not allowed to fly your drone in the following places. Please check that there are no other restrictions in your state, or country
• Sporting events such as Major League Baseball, Football, NCAA Division One Football, Nascars, and other significant sporting events. You are not permitted to fly within three miles of these events.
• Over Wildfires
• Anywhere near Airports
• Restricted air space
• Temporary flight restrictions
Can I fly my drone over private property
The law is currently in draft, but if it becomes full law flying a drone in the airspace under 200 feet over private property would be, by definition, injuring the landowner and committing aerial trespass. This includes using the drone for commercial purposes, like taking a photo of your neighboring property, as well as harassing the property owner
So to be sure, if flying over private property I stay between 200 and 400 feet from the ground
If you require more information, please check these references
www.dronezon.com , article, “Top Drones With Obstacle Detection Collision Avoidance Sensors Explained “, retrieved on, Fri 16-August-2019
rchobbyreview.com , article, “Drone With Camera “, retrieved on, Fri 16-August-2019
store.dji.com , article, “Return To Home Rth Must Have Drone Feature “, retrieved on, Fri 16-August-2019
www.flyingtech.co.uk , article, “Drone Remote Control Payload Release Mechanism”, retrieved on, Fri 16-August-2019