Imagine fishing with a device that sends your eyes and your hook far out into the water. And positions the hook right in front of the fish you want. Efficient? Sure. Ethical? That depends on who you ask.
Ever heard of drone fishing? Well, if not, you will. Especially if you spend your time around the sea. Drones are coming, and their tasks are numerous. Fishing is definitely one of them.
Drones for fishing have two main features. First, providing video overview over the area where you want to fish. Second, carrying your hook and/or bait to wherever you want it. You can basically sit in your boat—or even on land—with your remote control and monitor the progress on a screen. The drone does the work for you. A major advantage with drones is that you become more independent from needing a boat. When on the beach with your rod, a drone can carry your tackle hundreds of meters offshore.
Multi Use Devices
You can use basically any drone to fish. But of course, as soon as new technology opens up for new functions, specified products will pop up. So, there are a lot of drones specifically made for fishing on the market. Some of them have quite surprising features.
Drones can provide video overview over the area where you want to fish, and carry your bait to wherever you want it.
Most drones have several “modes” or intended uses. One is of course photography and video. Drones for fishing have high-quality cameras, gimbals and vibration reduction. And you can of course use them to photograph objects that are not fish. Some models even have a search and rescue mode. Drones for fishing are also waterproof, which extends their intended uses even further.
Some fishing drones can fly, some can swim. The flying versions can typically land on sea, and from a floating position shoot video in all directions under water. But of course, from the surface. The swimming ones can dive deep and get a better look. Some drones for fishing can not only bring your line and hook out, but also release bait exactly where you want it. Most often the fishing gear is dropped where you see activity, but some advanced models can even stay attached, and bring in small fish. Ice fishing seems to benefit especially well from underwater drone assistance.
Airborne drones have been on the market for quite some time, and you can use a wide variety of models. Swell Pro is a leading manufacturer of maritime/waterproof drones. If fishing is your thing, check this one out. Underwater drones are a bit more specialized and based on newer technology. Power Vision has several interesting models, for example this one.
Sportsmanship and Ethics
As you can see, the opportunities are amazing. For you, that is. Not for the fish. Obviously, there are sportsmanship issues, and even ethical aspects. Defenders of drone fishing will argue that fish finders have been popular and used widely for years already. Fish finders are screens with advanced graphical images of the seabed and any physical objects there, including fish, and drones are basically just taking this a step further. And, of course, adding the possibility to deliver tackle at the preferred location.
France has already banned the use of drones for fishing. Partly to protect fragile fish populations, and partly to protect fishermen that are still using traditional methods from unfair competition. On the other side of the Atlantic, there are various regulations in different states, and in some places drone fishing has already been banned. In addition, there are so-called no fly zones near airports, nature reserves etc. Drones for hunting are already prohibited in most places, and drones for fishing could also end up with increasing legal restrictions.
Read more about Marine drones on NauticExpo website.