Drone fishing is quite a new concept to the angling community. While there are mixed feelings about this fishing style, it has some obvious edges over other traditional fishing approaches.
The flying drone sends the baited fishing lines from where the angler is standing to the body of water where a bluefin tuna or other pelagic species are roaming around.
You’re not fishing with pure luck, and the chance of catching a big game is significantly higher. However, knowing how to use drone for fishing is a step you should not skip before all these good things happen!
What Is Drone Fishing?
Drone fishing is the latest modern fishing technique that involves a fishing drone from which a bait release mechanism is attached. This new type of fishing somewhat resembles balloon and kite fishing but offers a few more advantages.
The angler first uses the drone to scout from above and locate the fish. Once the fish is detected, the baited line is dropped from the drone into the water to catch fish.
Fishing by drone allows anglers to send the bait out to distances of up to 500 meters. It’s a game-changer as you can access deeper water, which increases the chance of catching larger game fish.
Another advantage of using drones for fishing is the vantage point it offers for scouting. A drone lets you get a clear view of a wider coverage area instead of relying on a limited view from the shore or boat to spot schools of fish.
How To Choose Fishing Rod For Drone Fishing
A fishing rod for this style of fishing should comfortably deal with fish of at least 20 pounds while being strong enough to battle undesired larger sea monsters. It also needs to have a large line capacity for retrieving fish from at least 400 meters.
Also, make sure the fishing rod is compatible with the reel, especially when you’re offshore fishing. Typically, it should accommodate a spool capacity of 500-700 meters of line.
How To Choose Fishing Reel For Drone Fishing
While there are various types of fishing reels, not all of them are suitable for drone fishing. The 2 most common types of fishing reels are spinning reels and overhead reels:
Spinning reels are the most commonly used of all fishing reels. While they are specifically for luring fishing, you can also use them for bottom fishing or float fishing. Unlike some other fishing reels that require a learning curve before you can fish with them, spinning reels are more straightforward to use.
Although some seasoned can use these reels efficiently to cast the lures to where they want in the water, spinning reels are not well-known for accuracy. However, the usage of a drone can offset this drawback; it helps you drop your lures with exceptional precision so you can send the baited line to the desired fishing spots.
Overhead reels are the most popular for fishing from boats and ideal for both bait and lure fishing. They are robust enough to fight against the biggest fish, like tunas, that your rod and reel can handle. As you can fly your drone and drop the bait as far as half a kilometer, a tough, long overhead reel is a perfect match.
With traditional fishing, the line is dropped directly below the fishing rod’s tip with these reels, so the reach is relatively limited. A drone helps to move the line to extend the distance that you can reach to the fish.
How To Choose Fishing Lines For Drone Fishing
Line requirement for drone fishing
Drone fishing calls for significantly more lines than the shore fishing, ideally around 500-700 line meters. It is because the drone carries the bait lines further out to the sea, and you need to leave some extra room in case the big game fish can run out the line before getting exhausted.
Due to the large line capacity this type of fishing calls for, it is advisable to choose the line with a small diameter so more lines can be spooled to the reel.
Besides, make sure that the line is strong enough to withstand the game you’re catching. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the fish, the higher the breaking strain the line should have.
Recommended types of lines for drone fishing
Braid fishing line is thinner than mono. Thanks to the narrow diameter, you can spool up more lines to the reel. It also has little to no stretch and allows you to feel every bite in deep water.
Fluorocarbon line is thinner than mono of the same breaking strain. In addition, it has excellent abrasion resistance and sinks quickly into water.
Mono is a budget-conscious choice; it’s more affordable than either braid or fluorocarbon. It has decent abrasion resistance, but the thicker diameter might not allow you to spool enough lines for your fishing plans.
Braided line is the first choice for most anglers when it comes to drone fishing. However, it is advisable to use a leader line, either mono or fluorocarbon, when using this line type.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fish with a drone?
According to IGFA (International Fish and Game Association) guidelines, drone fishing is legal in the US only when the line detaches from the drone once the fish is hooked. It’s against the law to use the drone to hook and pull a fish out of water.
Max weight of fish that drone fishing can catch?
It’s worth mentioning that the max weight that drone fishing can handle is not the drone’s payload (as it’s illegal to pull fish from the water with a drone) but the weight that your rod can withstand for drone fishing.
How much money is needed to prepare for drone fishing?
Drone fishing costs you more as you have to invest in a drone and extra attachments. However, depending on how willing you’re to spend for this pastime, the investment may vary.
Avoid purchasing drones under $500 since most models in this price range do not provide lifting capability and have limited battery life. Meanwhile, between $500 – $1500 is a sweet spot as there are many capable drones that you can choose from.
Any model costs higher than $1600, such as the Ceuta Copter Trident 500, is dedicated to drone fishing. They are waterproof, so you can fly them without the fear of soaking your device.
Drone Bait Release
For non-waterproof drones, you also need to purchase bait release. There are 3 types of bait release for your consideration:
- Electronic bait release is the most expensive mechanism, with price tags starting from around $120.
- Mechanical bait release is the cheapest type. You can get a decent one at under $100.
- Hybrid or electro-mechanical drone systems give you the option between electronic and mechanical bait releases and are often more expensive than their mechanical counterparts.
In addition, as drones have limited runtime, you may want to consider the cost of spare batteries when deciding whether to go drone fishing or not.
Most drones’ operating time is tested in the ideal condition, meaning no wind or weight is added to the equation. For that reason, the battery life will be relatively shorter than the manufacturer claimed when you’re fishing.
There are some other optional accessories you may want to get for your fishing adventure, such as a fish finder (to maximize the chance of spotting schools of fish) or landing pads (if you’re afraid that sand might get inside the drone upon landing).
What makes a good fishing drone?
A good drone for fishing should have a long battery life to allow more time on-air. However, most fishing drones in the market have a paper flying time of no more than 30 minutes, and with more weight added to the machine and the less ideal conditions, you should expect the drone to provide around 20 or 25 minutes at maximum.
For a good view of the sea, the drone should also have a camera to provide a stable, high-quality image. Distance also plays an important role, especially for offshore fishing, so make sure the model you get can cover a decent range, or you’ll risk losing it.
Last but not least, it’s essential to choose a drone with a generous payload so it can carry the baited hooks and bait release system without exhausting the battery and cutting down on the flying time.
We hope our article provides you necessary information about how to use drone fishing. Besides purchasing a quality drone, keep in mind to choose the fishing gear that’s set up for this fishing style.
It’s also crucial to learn how to fly your drone proficiently before you’re heading offshore for an exciting fishing day. After all, you don’t want your newly bought drone to vanish over the horizon.