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The Best Drones for Fishing

Fishing has been around for an estimated 40,000 years, but modern technology has made today’s fishermen more efficient. Technology surrounding fishing is always evolving, from sonar fish finders to the latest in fishing technology: drones.

Drone fishing uses a flying drone to spot fish and transports and drops your bait from a distance. Using a drone allows anglers to drop bait much further out without a boat, allowing them to catch fish that otherwise would have been unreachable.

Now that your interest in drone fishing has been piqued, check out the best fishing drones on the market today. We’ve ranked these drones based on important factors like battery life, range, camera quality and more.

These are the Top Fishing Drones:

SwellPro SplashDrone 3 Plus

swellpro splashdrone 3 plus fishing drone

A recent upgrade from the SwellPro SplashDrone 3 Fisherman, this drone is the best on the market for anyone serious about drone fishing. Designed for use in marine environments, all parts of the SwellPro SplashDrone 3 Plus are 100% waterproof and corrosion resistant.

Unlike many other drones, which work for fishing but are not specifically designed for it, the SplashDrone is designed for fishing and marine purposes. It already includes a payload release mechanism for casting bait, so you won’t have to purchase a release clip separately. With a payload of 1kg, you can even fly smaller fish in, rather than reeling them in manually.

SwellPro SplashDrone 3 Plus Features:

  • Waterproof
  • Auto takeoff and landing
  • Return to home key
  • Auto return home feature at low battery
  • Payload release mechanism
  • Lost drone location beacon
  • 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal
  • New LiHV battery with 3 levels of battery life warning
  • Power-flip feature when floating

SwellPro SplashDrone 3 Plus Specs:

  • Max flight time: ~20-25 minutes
  • Max flight range: 1.6km
  • Max flight altitude: 200m (GPS), 1.3km (ATTI)
  • Working temperature: -10°C to 40°C
  • 1kg Payload

Pro: 100% waterproof, made specifically for fishing, payload release mechanism included

Con: Good camera, but not as high quality as other photography-focused drones

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2

DJI phantom 4 pro v2 drone

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 is a close runner up. This update on the Phantom 4 Pro includes a new OcuSync video transmission to send improved control signal and receive video signal simultaneously. This allows for clearer transmission and allows the drone to connect easily to DJI goggles.

This drone also has a FlightAutonomy system with dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems, allowing 5 directions of obstacle sensing and 4 directional obstacle avoidance. DJI does not make drones specifically for fishing, so you’ll have to buy accessories like the downrigger release clip separately to cast your line. They are better known for camera ability, however, so you can take better pictures and video of your fishing expedition.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 Features:

  • Auto takeoff and landing
  • Return to home key
  • 5 direction obstacle sensing, 4 direction avoidance
  • OcuSync video transmission
  • 4K Camera with 3-axis gimbal
  • High quality imaging

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 Specs:

  • Max flight time: 30 minutes
  • Max flight range: 7km
  • Working temperature: 0°C to 40°C
  • Speed: up to 45mph
  • 500g Payload

Pro: Longer flight time and range, high quality camera

Con: Release clip not included for fishing, not 100% waterproof

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Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

yuneec typhoon h pro drone

The Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is one of the best photography drones, but its features also set it apart as a fishing drone. With a solid 25 minute flight time, 1.6km range, and speeds up to 45 mph, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro drone will work well for any fishing expedition. You’ll have to purchase a downrigger release clip to drop your line, however.

One of the most exciting features of this drone is the Intel RealSense technology. This technology builds a 3D model of your surroundings, allowing the camera to focus on your subject while avoiding obstacles. This smart feature remembers former obstacles and makes intelligent choices to create the best possible route. This, plus the high resolution HD touch screen on the controller, makes it easy to spot fish while avoiding collisions.

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Features:

  • Multiple intelligent flight modes
  • Return to home key
  • Advanced 5 direction obstacle navigation and collision prevention
  • Point of interest focus
  • No Fly Zone safety feature near commercial airports
  • Touch screen display with HD 720p resolution
  • Intel RealSense 3D Technology

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Specs:

  • Max flight time: 25 minutes
  • Max flight range: 1.6km
  • Max flight altitude: ~122m
  • Speed: ~45mph

Pro: Intel RealSense technology, high quality imaging, slightly more affordable

Con: Need to buy release clip separately, not waterproof

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3DR Solo Quadcopter

3dr solo quadcopter drone

The 3DR Solo Quadcopter is a great starter drone for those who have little experience flying drones. The controls are simple and intuitive unlike other drones, and it is powered by dual computers. This drone has a decent flight time and range and flies at a higher speed than most, also withstanding wind gusts. It’s also a more affordable option compared to other drones.

You will, however, be required to buy an action camera (GoPro recommended, as it was designed to be compatible with GoPro cameras) and a gimbal separately, as the two are not included with the drone itself. You’ll also have to purchase a downrigger release clip to cast your line. Overall, however, the 3DR Solo is a solid drone and remains one of the best options available today.

3DR Solo Features:

  • Auto takeoff and landing
  • Return to home key
  • 5 Autonomous flight modes

3DR Solo Specs:

  • Max flight time: 25 minutes
  • Max flight range: 0.8km
  • Max flight altitude: ~120m
  • Speed: ~55mph
  • 420g Payload

Pro: Affordable price, intelligent flight modes

Con: No gimbal, camera not included, reports of spotty GPS

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Autel X-Star Premium

autel x-star premium drone

The Autel X-Star Premium is one of the most cost-effective drones for fishing. Similar to our other top drones, the Autel X-Star Premium has a good flight time and a long range, although it is not as fast. It also comes fitted with a 4K camera on a 3-axis gimbal, making it easy to catch high quality images and video. It also features a Beginner Mode for those new to flying drones, which limits speed and forces you to stay within a predetermined range for safety.

The Autel X-Star Premium is not made specifically for fishing, so you’ll have to buy a downrigger release clip separately to cast bait. Another downside is the lack of obstacle sensing and avoidance. It does, however, come with two battery fail-safes and auto return when the battery hits 25%. For the price, the camera is very advanced.

Autel X-Star Premium Features:

  • Auto takeoff and landing
  • Return to home key
  • Auto return to home at low battery
  • 4K Camera with 3-axis gimbal
  • Autonomous flight modes
  • Beginner mode option to limit speed and range

Autel X-Star Premium Specs:

  • Max flight time: 25 minutes
  • Max flight range: 1.9km
  • Speed: ~35mph

Pro: Affordable, good camera, decent specs

Con: Not waterproof, no obstacle safety, release clip must be purchased separately

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What is Drone Fishing?

Drone fishing utilizes a flying drone, usually equipped with a camera and other features, to catch fish. Often used for surf fishing, these drones can be used to fly out over the water to spot schools of fish, and they can even cast your line once you spot a target.

Drone fishing is extremely useful for catching fish far off the shoreline that otherwise could not be caught when surf fishing.

Some fishing drones can carry fish themselves, but if you’re looking for a larger catch this can be dangerous, as they may drag the drone underwater.

The best fishing drones use a downrigger release clip. This safer, more efficient method uses the drone to cast your line, but when a fish pulls on the bait, the pressure releases the line so that your drone is not dragged or damaged. Once the pressure from the fish’s bite releases the line, you can reel it back in manually by fighting the fish with your surf rod.

Drone Fishing Accessories

Since most of these drones are not specifically outfitted for fishing, you may need extra accessories to drop your line over the water. There are professional attachments available, most upwards of $100 that will drop your bait for you, but many are fitted only for specific drones.

You can also simply use fishing line and a downrigger release clip to rig your drone. We recommend this downrigger, known for its high quality and reliability.

How To Rig Your Drone

Rigging the release clip to your drone is easier than you may imagine. The simplest way to outfit your drone to drop bait is as follows:

  1. Tie fishing line from one corner to the diagonal corner.
  2. Repeat step one across the other two corners, creating an X with the fishing line.
  3. Attach a downrigger release clip to the point where the two lines cross.
  4. Attach your fishing line to the release mechanism. Make sure your reel is unlocked so the drone can fly out as far as you need.
  5. Fly your drone to your desired location and lock your reel once it is there so that the tension will drop the bait, or wait for a fish to pull it off the clip.
  6. Fly your drone back and reel in your catch with your fishing rod.

It may be useful to test this method over dry land first to ensure that your tension is set correctly and the fishing line drops. This will prevent any accidents or issues with fish dragging your drone into water – especially if the drone is not 100% waterproof.

Drone Fishing Videos

Still not convinced that drone fishing is for you? Check out these drone fishing videos to see fishing drones in action. This video, from SwellPro, showcases our top pick in action in Australia. 


 

 

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