The 2016 World Carp Masters in France saw the emergence of the drone as a potential game-changer when Jacques Venter and his team landed a 30-lb. carp.
A drone was used to locate a hotspot, drop feed and finally land a hooked bait. The question now is – are drones the next evolution to the calm, technologically-devoid world of fishing?
It all started with a frustrating problem. Jacques Venter, who hailed from South Africa, was unable to cast baits to lure large sharks in. Casting from the beach proved to be an exercise in futility, as Jacques could only catch small sand sharks. Then he came up with the exceptional Gannet bait release system that proved to be a perfect match for drones.
Jacques had set up a line and used a live bonito, attached it to a drone and flew it out the ocean to 300 yards, which went past the 100-yard mark for the sandbar. Soon the line was active and the father and son pair knew that it was going to be a great catch. The fish swum hard and pulled equally hard on the line. When it came to shore, Jacques witnessed a 61-lb. monster king mackerel!
Jacques has mentioned that they usually get a huge bite every time they take the drone out for fishing along the coast lines. The inventor and fishing enthusiast further states how they were able to catch fish that were normally reserved for those who were in boats and fishing expeditions.
Joining the Drone Fishing Crowd
So how does one join the drone fishing game?
The first step is in choosing the right drone to buy. Recommendations include the Phantom 3, the Phantom 4 or the Mavic Pro. If you wish to get a specialized drone that’s fitted out for fishing, then you can get the one offered by Aquadrone. Keep in mind that bait-release rigs will be an additional expense. For recommendations, the bait-release rig by Gannet is one of the most popular drones that do the job well.
Keep practicing until you have your drone flying at a steady clip. The most important skills to master is landing, hovering and taking off. Just think of it as a grown adult’s video game and you should have learned how to fly a drone in a few hours.
Before flying that drone to fish though, check out the current drone laws regarding recreational use in your area. These can be found straight at the source at faa.gov. Keep in mind that federal laws are in effect across all states. You can also download the FAA’s app B4UFLY to get a primer on drone-fishing activities.