Catching Fish with Drones



Jacques Venter can be seen posing with a huge fish at the 2016 World Carp Masters championship in France. By finding a hotspot with their drone, Venter along with his team, were able to catch this massive carp. The team of fishing men then dropped feed and hooked bait on the fish.Brandon Jones was aware of the fact that there sharks in waters just off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. However, it turned out to be a rather tricky proposition to reach out for them from the beach.Jones says that he was looking for more proficient ways of catching sharks after several years of shark fishing with a kayak and having to brave the surf. He adds that this is where the idea struck and after carrying out some research online, he came up with his own drone.

After getting to learn to fly it, he was able to control it enough to make it over 30 feet above the water’s surface. The fisherman could now keep an eye at his dangling bait through the drone’s camera.Jones dropped the bait as soon as he spotted a shark. It was just a matter of seconds and the drag seemed ominous while the sand-spiked fishing pole appeared to have gone crazy. In just about 10 minutes or so, he was in possession of a 60-pound blacktip shark.This story makes me go back to a memory 15 years old. It was a summer night with the moon casting down its shimmering light onto the beach and I was trying to find out how to drop bait into the shark zone. I got hold of my surfboard with a live bunker held between my teeth and traversed into the water.

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I had gone no more than 300 yards into the water when I heard a splash following by a huge explosion. At face level, I could see a massive 5-foot tail of a thresher shark slapping the water. I let go of the bunker and made my way back to the shore as fast as my limbs let me do so. That was the last time I ever tried to bait a shark using this technique. I did give other techniques a try including the three man slingshots, altered potato cannons, radio controlled model boats etc. But all had their limitations!Drones are bringing about a revolution in numerous fields ranging from reconnaissance to pizza delivery and to fishing. But before you go away in disgust wondering about the future of the angling world, there are a few more stories that you must listen to.

Boat? None required!

Jacques Venter invented and designed the Gannet bait-release system and hails from South Africa. He seemed quite agitated by the fact that despite seeing large sharks finning beyond the first set of breaking waves, he was not able to get baits far enough to catch them.He says that he was so disappointed that he had stopped casting from the beach for sharks as the sandbars could go no more than 200 yards and all that came his way were small sand sharks.
Sitting in his backyard with the ocean in front, Venter got hold of a revolutionary idea.He says that he set up a line with a live bonito for his son.

He then flew out the drone about 300 yards and leaned back. His son’s reel got mad and he knew that it was something massive. The fish was dragging hard in a bid to escape. It was a huge king mackerel that weighed 61 pounds. He adds that ever since they have started using drones, they almost invariably get a good fight. The game has changed with the arrival of drones as fishermen are catching fishing from the beach or cliffs that were once considered the domain of guys on boats, he says.

Tune Flights

YouTube video

Here is another story about Jaiden MacLean. Jaiden is an Aussie youth whose video on YouTube has got more than 3 million views. He employed his drone to spy on a school of longtail tuna off Fingal Beach in New South Wales.
He says that the drone was first flown about 350 meters away and it caught sight of a school of longfin tuna. An octopus bait was dropped into the water and as one of the fish latched onto it, the resulting hookup was awesome.
Afterwards, Jaiden was able to capture the massive trevally, cobia and snapper and was engaged in a great tussle with a coral trout.Jaiden recalls that he went on an excursion to the Coral Sea, 350 nautical miles off the coast of Cairns last year.

He was able to get his eyes on a large sized trout in the shallows around an island but they seemed quite careful. So, the bait was dropped meticulously so that the fish are not scared away. The result was a 44 pound trout which proves the point that wary reef fish can be caught with a drone. He says that it is quite fascinating to see the fish behave naturally and see how the prey is ambushed without being spooked away by the motor noise of the boat or terminal tackle in water.Jaiden is planning to launch his personally designed drone fishing clip and initiate a charter service to help differently-abled people, letting them catch fish from the beach.

The Drop Dead Shot

Drones cannot be used by those stationed on the beach only. A number of fishermen employ drones for spying, to identify bait activity or to get figure out an area of interest. Chris Marion of Aguadrone has several other ways of deploying drones for boating fishermen.Marion tells that one of their testers in Florida uses Aguadrone accessories when kit fishing for sails or king mackerel. The kite heavily depends on the wind and in case there is none, a drone is deployed with the bait clip. This lets them hover and drop the bait into the water from the above; thereby achieving the same results as those obtained with a kite.

Become an expert angler

Well, you have to get your hands on a drone first up. They are quite expensive as you will have to spend about $1,500 for a DJI Phantom 3 or 4 while the DJI Mavic Pro comes for $800. Aguadrone’s fishing drone comes bundled with interchangeable pods that clip on and off for bait releasing features and cost around $650. You can also get your hands on bait release rigs. Gannet has designed bait release rigs which cost about $159 for popular drone models.
You can also build a bait release rig of your own. Get 4-inches of 65 pound braided line tied off the bottom of each of the four drone rotor hubs. Now, attach a caribiner to each along with 24 inches of 65 pound braided line tied to a snap swivel.

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Now, tie a 12 inch section of 80 pound monofilament to an offshore flatline clip. Keep in mind that the weight bearing clip can be calibrated based on the weight of the bait that is to be flown to the water. The rod can either be anchored into a sand spike on shore or a rod holder if you are on a boat. Allow the line to pay out until you access your release target and engage the reel.Flying a drone is not all the complicated an affair. It will take you a few hours to get acquainted with the takeoffs and landings.

While salt water based fishermen are way ahead when it comes to innovation, freshwater anglers are also not far behind.Marion says that people always get attracted to fish in places that are hard to reach. He recounts that there are people who have flown baits on long leads to spillways. If you can catch small fish, you may do it directly from the drone. But your expensive machine is always at risk during this process. Drones have also been used to scatter chum in an area to get a bite going before making out the cast.

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