Recently anglers have been experimenting using drones like the ones in the DJI Phantom range to help land more and bigger fish. Following that success there are now drones in development such as the forthcoming AquaDrone which have been designed for the sole purpose of helping fishermen.
The primary benefit is that by using a drone you can carry the bait out much further than you could possibly cast with a rod. This is a big advantage when fishing at a beach or estuary. At the moment you are either limited to your casting distance or someone has to paddle out in a kayak or boat to drop your bait. Having a drone do this saves a lot of effort paddling out, speeds the process up and saves a huge amount of time organizing a boat/kayak for each session.
For those that fish inland on lakes for carp, drones offer a very viable alternative to the ‘bait boat’, a device commonly used to deliver ground bait and a hook bait very accurately to a specific spot.
As well as by the hobby angler, drones will also be used by commercial fishing operations to increase efficiency when looking for shoals of fish on the surface.
Fishing agencies have been using drones in the Mediterranean since 2013 to monitor what fishing boats have been catching and to check on net types/sizes. Not only has it enabled the authorities to spot check more boats at a fraction of the cost, it’s been a huge deterrent. Previously unscrupulous fishermen could destroy the evidence before being boarded for an inspection and inspections were quite rare. As agencies around the world start copying the example in the Mediterranean, the conservation of our fishing grounds and species are going to benefit.
There will no doubt be those that will claim using a drone takes away from the skill of fishing as you no longer have to have the best cast technique to reach a good distance or be deadly accurate. However, this is the same argument that occurs every time there’s a new technology that starts getting used for fishing. There are numerous examples of this such as when fish finders started becoming more affordable making it much easier to find a shoal. There were claims that it took some skill away, but now it’s been in use for many years and is just accepted as a great tool.
In the coming years we will see an increased selection of drones purposely designed for fishing on the market with a longer battery life and at several price levels. There are a lot of fisherman that won’t be put off spending to give them an advantage over others, and once that happens it will be a common sight to see people using drones at your local beach or carp lake.
By Paul Marks
Paul is a keen fisherman and drone enthusiast. He started FishingDrones.uk to share ideas and help identify which drones perform best for fishing.