If you are in a hurry and want to check the best drone for fishing, go for the DJI Phantom 4 fishing drone.
Have you ever sat in frustration on your fishing kayak and waited for the fish but though everyone else seems to be having a great catch, you don’t have any sizable catch to rave about? Using a drone for fishing might just change that.
I first saw a video on YouTube about using a drone when you are fishing. I was amazed at the ease with which you can increase your catch using a drone. Check the drone fishing for tuna footage below:
If you are keen about fishing and are looking for a way to improve the size of your catch, then you should really consider buying a drone.
You can use the drone to check the area for fish and then move your kayak towards the school of fish. If you don’t want to take you your kayak out, that is fine, you can use your drone to cast the line in the water while you are chilling on the shore.
We have mentioned below the Top 5 Drones for Fishing:
- DJI Phantom 4 fish drone
- DJI Inspire 2
- Swellpro Waterproof Splash Drone 3+
- PowerVision PowerRay Explorer Underwater Camera
- 3DR Solo Quadcopter
Let’s get started on what a drone for fishing really is and answers to all your questions about fishing drones.
The Ultimate Guide to Drone Fishing
What to look for when choosing a drone for fishing?
A fishing drone is an addition or an accessory to your fishing experience so you don’t have to worry about getting a right one as you would when you decide to buy an expensive product like say a kayak. However, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind when you choose the right drone.
The most important aspect when choosing a drone for fishing is the life of the battery. Drones, in general, consume a lot of battery life and fishing drones are no exception.
If you are an avid fisherman, you know that sometimes it takes ages to get a fish to bite. Sometimes, an hour may pass before the first nibble. In such a situation, you don’t want the battery of the drone to die before you get that bite or even worse after the fish has caught the bait and you want to bring it ashore.
That is the reason that a drone which has a long battery life is very important. In addition, it makes sense to carry extra batteries with you especially if you are planning to spend the whole day fishing.
The range of the drone is another important aspect when you are fishing. You need a drone which is able to cover a long distance without losing connection with your control box. In case you decide to buy a drone which has a lower range, you can fix the issue by buying a signal booster which is pretty cheap.
You may also need a long range if you want your drone to go out into the sea and scout for fish. The longer the range, the further your drone can go in search of fish and once it identifies a school of fish, you can follow in your fishing boat or kayak.
This is where a fishing drone differs from a normal drone. Most drones will have an excellent battery life and range. But when you go fishing, you need a drone that will be stable and hover steadily in the air for a very long period of time at a stretch.
Space to rig the clip
You also need to keep in mind that you need a spot on the frame of the drone that is rigid so that you can rig the clip of the line to the drone. The best place to rig the clip is on the landing gear. Since it very rigid and there are no movable parts, it is the best, most secure and safest place to mount your clip.
Weight carrying capacity
In addition to the four points above, depending on the size of the catch that you expect, you will need a drone that can carry a heavy payload. The drone will need to drop the bait, hold the line and then pull out the fish from the water and bring it to your kayak or the shore so you need to have a drone which can carry heavy weight.
All the drones that we have reviewed in this article are perfect for fishing.
How do you use a drone when you are fishing?
Now that we have identified the most important features that a drone needs when it comes to using it for fishing, let’s see how to use it for fishing. Drone fishing is mostly done in two ways.
The first way is to just attach the string or the fishing line to the drone with a hook and bait. You can then hover your drone over a location where you expect the fish to be. After some time, the fish will bite and you will be rewarded.
This is the most common method of drone fishing. The problem with this method is that there will be a time when you come across a huge fish which will be able to pull your drone into the water rather than the drone pulling it out. Not only will you lose out on a BIG CATCH, you will also have to say goodbye to your drone.
This is the reason why many fishermen prefer the second method. This is a more advanced method. In this method, you don’t put pressure on the drone. The drone will guide your string into the water. This will allow you to catch fish which are far away from your kayak or even if you are on the shore.
The line needs to be attached to a clip. This clip will hold the fishing line while your drone whirs away towards the area you want to fish. When a fish is caught, the weight of the fish will pull the line out of the clip and into the water. You can then directly pull the line towards you while your drone is free and hovering in the air.
Most fishing drones can carry a heavy payload so you don’t have to worry about losing the drone to large fish. But if you fish in areas where the catch is really huge then I suggest that you use the second option of fishing.
Fishing drones can easily carry your fishing line, drone fishing bait, or even nets. You need to keep in mind though that the more the weight the faster your battery will drain. Heavyweight may also make your drone sluggish so make sure that you test the speed and the battery life on land first before sending it out into the water with a heavy load.
Are there any tips when it comes to using drones when fishing?
Weight on the Drone
The most important thing that you need to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t lose your drone. This will happen if the weight of the net or line along with the fish caught is too heavy and the battery is low.
In times like this, the idea of using a clip makes the most sense. Keep in mind Make sure your drone can take enough payload. Keep in mind that you will not only be having the clip, but also the lines or net and the bait on the drone for a long period of time when it hovers on the water. You need to keep a check on the time the drone has been in the air and decide when to bring it down and exchange the batteries or recharge it.
Another thing that you need to pay attention to when you are fishing with a drone is the speed of the wind. If you are going fishing in a place where there is a lot of wind, try to direct the drone with the wind rather than against the wind. The problem with wind is that if it is very windy, the drone won’t hover properly and may even crash.
Avoid getting the drone wet
You need to keep an eye on the range and the battery level. If the range is too far and the battery level goes low, the drone may fall into the water. Even if you retrieve the drone, it may get affected and may prove useless.
You also need to be careful when using a drone when it comes to change in weather. If it starts to rain or if there are frequent rains in your area then using a drone is not a good idea. Since a drone is an electronic device, if there is a change in weather or starts raining heavily, the drone can get damaged.
The IGFA guidelines allow fishing with drones. You also need to check if drone fishing is legal in your local area and in your state. There may be laws against using it so be sure to check with the local law enforcement officers if you can use a drone while fishing.
As you can see, as a fisherman you can improve your efficiency and get a much better catch when you use a drone. It is fun to use the drone and once you start using the drone you will love to take it out every time you go fishing. You can use it to scout for schools of fish and then take the line out to where the fish are. You have the advantage of not disturbing the fish with your kayak.
Since most fishermen are not tech experts, I decided to research and review the best drones in the market so that you can use my research to get a drone for fishing that is most appropriate for you. Now that you know all the important things to know when it comes to drones for fishing, let’s get started on the Top 5 drones used for fishing in the market.
Fishing Drone Reviews
Here are some of the top rated fishing drones decided by verified customers.
The Phantom 4 Pro is one of the best quad copter drones in the market today. It has a lithium-ion battery which can last up to 5 hours. It has a flight time of over 30 minutes when it is fully charged. It has a range of almost 20,000 feet. This makes it an excellent drone for surf fishing.
The drone also comes with a 20-megapixel camera which is multi-directional. It has a 1-inch CMOS sensor. This allows the drone to capture images in high quality and even take 4K videos. Having a fishing drone with a camera is pretty crucial because you can record hot spots that you can come back to later.
You can draw routes on the screen and the drone will follow the same path of the drawing. It does so while maintaining the same altitude. You can also use the DJI Go app on your Android or iPhone and it will record the route of the flight so you can find the spot again where you got the fish the last time.
DJI is one of the best-known brands in the market today when it comes to drone manufacturing. They make the most powerful drones in the market and the Phantom 4 PRO is one of the most powerful and advanced drones in the market. Along with being advanced, it is also very easy to use which makes it excellent for non-tech people like you and me who are avid fishermen rather than tech enthusiasts.
The reason we have ranked the DJI Phantom 4 as our favorite is that it has an excellent operating range. You can use the drone to a very long distance into the sea without worrying of losing range. This makes it an excellent drone for scouting for fish even while you are on the shore getting your kayak ready for fishing.
Though the image quality and video quality is not very important when it comes to fishing, having one of the best cameras on a drone doesn’t hurt. You can take excellent videos in 4K resolution.
Another feature of the Phantom 4 Pro that we found is very useful when it comes to fishing is its gimbal stabilization system. Since the drone needs to be steady and not move for a long time while you wait of the fish to bite, the stability of the drone gives it an edge over other drones.
The quality of the drone is excellent and it will last for years. Even on high impact, the drone won’t shatter or get damaged.
- Very easy to learn to fly
- Excellent features
- Long time of flight
- Long battery life
- Good quality
- Excellent camera quality
- Long set up time
- Large so a bit difficult to transport
If money is not an issue then the DJI Inspire 2 is the best drone that you can buy for fishing. It has the most advanced features and is truly in a class of its own.
It has many advanced features like a feature to sense obstacles, it can return back to your location automatically, it can follow you automatically and has advanced CineCore 2.0 image processing.
You get a flight time of 27 minutes because it has two batteries which give it a longer flight time
You can record in Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG. It is completely compatible with 5.2K gimbal cameras.
If you are a person who loves speed you will love this drone. It can reach 50 mph in just 4 seconds and it has a maximum speed of 67 mph.
It has amazing data storage. It has a 16GB MicroSD card. In addition to that, you will get a 64GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD card, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and an SPC cleaning kit.
This is a multi-purpose drone and you can use it for many purposes including fishing. Your kids will love it and so will your friends. DJI has made sure that there is something for everyone. You can use this drone as a scouting machine. It has a range of 6 kilometers and about 27 minutes per battery.
You would like to take aerial photography? It’s perfectly fine. You can use the 4K camera and X5S gimbal of the drone to click amazing photos and shoot breathtaking videos.
One of the main reasons why DJI Inspire 2 is a perfect drone for fishing is that it is very powerful. You can attach the line, bait, net and the clip or anything else you want and it will still take the load.
If you love fishing with drones, then you will love this drone. Other than it being expensive, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get this baby if you are an expert in drone fishing.
- Double battery increases flight time
- Heavy weight carrying capacity
- Excellent range
- 5.2K Gimbal camera quality
- Mobile phone control, GPS, and remote control
- Strong construction from carbon fiber and magnesium alloy
- No issues in cold weather
- Obstacle sensing ability
- Follow me and auto return features
- Complicated to set up for beginners
If you are looking to fish in any type of weather then you need a drone that is waterproof. As you have read in the guide above, one of the biggest dangers that you face when you use a drone for fishing is that the battery may die or the drone may go out of range and fall into the water. Most drones will get damaged beyond repair in such a case but not the Waterproof Splash Fishing Drone 3+.
The Waterproof Splash Drone 3+ is world’s first all-weather, modular waterproof drone.
The biggest and most defining feature of the drone that separates it from the rest of the pack is that it is a waterproof drone. The camera is a 4K HD waterproof one.
It can land on water and it has the ability to float rather than sink, unlike other drones. It can land on fresh or salt water. The frame and the motor of the drone are waterproof.
The Waterproof Splash Drone 3+ is an all-weather drone and you can use it in any type of weather including sleet, snow, and rain. This is a big advantage as in many places it rains frequently and though a little rain would not interfere with your fishing trip, if you use a normal drone you would have to pause. With this drone, you can fish regardless of the weather.
The Waterproof Splash Drone 3+ has many of the advanced features that the DJI above has including position hold which is very important when you want the drone to hover over the school of fish, follow me, and return home automatically, waypoints, auto land and tap to fly. Once you get used to using a drone, you will appreciate the features and how it enables you to focus on fishing rather than on operating the drone.
Another feature that helps in fishing is the amphibious UAV platform that the drone has. It can be switched out in various modes which will help use it better while fishing.
A disadvantage that I felt would impact fishing is that it has a flight time of 16 minutes. Since fish generally take time to bite, you may need to keep bringing it back to the shore or your kayak to recharge.
- Waterproof camera
- Ability to land on water
- Good power efficiency
- Advanced features like position hold, return home, follow me, etc
- Amphibious UAV platform
- Can fly in any weather
- A low flight time of 16 minutes
- Device for releasing the payload is sold separately
When it comes to experiencing how your fish catches the bait underwater, the PowerVision PowerRay Explorer is one of the best underwater drones on the market.
This is one of the most unique drones that I have come across and though it is not like a typical fishing drone, I just needed to add it to the list.
The PowerVision PowerRay Explorer isn’t for every fisherman. It is designed to explore the world under the water as a professional or for recreation.
With the PowerVision PowerRay Explorer, you can explore where the fish are in the water and actually see how they behave as they approach the bait and are hooked. More than an aid to fishing the PowerVision PowerRay Explorer gives you an amazing visual experience.
With the PowerVision you can explore the world under the water and don’t even need to get wet. The drone has a 12-megapixel camera and a 4K video so you get excellent photos and videos.
You have always seen the fish after it has been hooked and when you are pulling it out of the water. With the PowerVision you get to experience the fish swimming towards your bait, biting it and getting caught. You get to learn and understand fish behaviors with the Explorer.
Why limit yourself only to fishing? With the PowerVision PowerRay Explorer Underwater Camera, you can find hidden treasure or explore a ship that has sunk on the coast. Since the drone has a diving capacity of 98 feet and a range of over 230 feet, you can literally explore everything on the seabed.
- Deep dive up to 98 feet
- 4K UHD fully-integrated camera that can shoot 12MP still photos
- 5 frames per second burst mode
- 32GB SD card
- Introduction to the world of underwater videography
- Fast operation in ocean current
- Fast and easy maneuvering
- Takes time to understand the control of the ROV
- Three step activation process
If you are looking for an affordable drone for fishing then the 3DR Solo Quadcopter is the one for you. Since it is very affordable you can use it to try your hand at fishing with drone and even if you don’t like it or find it too much of an effort, you still have not spent too much so it won’t pinch much.
The 3DR Solo Quadcopter is perfect when you want to identify where the fish are in the water and then go towards it. It is a perfect scouting drone.
The flight of the Solo Quadcopter is very smooth. It has basic modules so it is very easy to learn and more importantly very easy to control. Even though it is a budget drone it has many excellent features so it is great for fishing.
The 3DR Solo does not come with a camera or a gimbal. You will need to buy it separately. If you already have a GoPro camera, you can use it. You can attach the GoPro camera to the gimbal and then you will get streaming videos directly from the drone to your iPhone or Android smartphone.
The 3DR Quadcopter has a Cable Cam feature. This feature allows you to send your drone into a specific area and pan around there. This is an excellent feature when it comes to scouting for fish.
You can easily fly this Quadcopter for 20 minutes and it has a range of about half a mile if you are pulling in video footage. The drone has a flying height of 400 feet. In case the drone goes out of range it has returned to home feature. Make sure that you activate the feature before you set it off.
In case you have a camera brand other than GoPro, you need to check if it is compatible as many other camera brands are not compatible with this drone.
- Very affordable price
- Fun to fly and easy to control
- Video game-style mobile app controller
- Excellent scouting features
- Auto mode for takeoff and landing
- Return to home function
- No gimbal
- No camera
- Makes sense to buy only if you have a GoPro camera or are planning to buy one
Drone fishing takes you to the frontiers when it comes to fishing. Not only will it enhance your experience it will also bring in a bigger catch. All things considered, the best drone in the market is the DJI Phantom 4. It is a complete package and is perfect for fishing. The price is reasonable for the features that you get and it comes from the DJI brand which is one of the best drone manufacturers in the market.
If you want a drone which has the most advanced features and don’t mind the price then the DJI Inspire 2 is the drone for you. It may pinch your pocket but you will literally see the envy in the eyes of your fishing friends when this baby whirls in the air.
The Swellpro Waterproof Splash Drone 3+ is a perfect drone if you live in an area where it rains a lot. Along with that, you don’t have to worry if the drone runs out of battery or goes out of range and falls into the water as it will float and you can retrieve it.
The 3DR Solo Quadcopter is one of the most affordable, high-quality drone in the market which you can use for fishing. The quality of the drone is excellent and it has great scouting abilities. It has good range, decent flight time and is very easy to use. The only issue is that it does not come with a camera or a gimbal and it is most compatible with a GoPro camera. So if you already have a GoPro camera or plan to buy one and feel the urge to try drone fishing, you can test the waters with the 3DR Solo Quadcopter.
Finally, I would suggest the PowerVision PowerRay Explorer Underwater Camera if you want to actually experience how the fishing process takes place within the water. How the fish approaches the bait and how it is caught. You can visualize this process in absolute clarity with the PowerVision Camera Drone. The drone has a deep dive depth of 98 feet and a range of 230 feet so you can take your fishing experience to a different level.