Drone fishing is something I took up early in 2017. I purchased a Splahsdrone with a remotely activated payload mechanism and learnt to fly it over a few weeks. In fact, I ended up completing my commercial RePL or remotely piloted aircraft license as I was using a Phantom4 Pro at work for vegetation monitoring amongst other things.
Having fished off the beach with helium balloons there are serious limitations unless the wind is coming from the right direction. Balloons are also difficult to position and control is minimal. Drone fishing on the other hand means you can drop the baited line in any position you want and at the distance you want with great accuracy.
Drone Fishing Procedure
Using an Alvey reel means the line spools off without hiccups or snarling. This can spell disaster for your drone fishing if this happens. Initially I had a standard reel but on one flight the bail flicked across, and the line went taut. Before I could react the Splashdrone was bobbing in the swell. Although sold as waterproof my experience didn’t show this. I had to send the drone back for repair after everything shorted out inside, very expensive. However, with the Alvey and of course I watch closely but I haven’t had any further issue.
I have now worked out my procedure so I can easily do this solo without assistance. Bait up and pull the line out about 4 metres to the right (I’m right handed). Near the rod holder I throw some sand down to weigh the line and keep it along the sand. I then position the drone over the bait and using a small circle ring fitted above the leader I activate the remote to engage and pin the ring. With the Alvey reel rotated for spool off I power up and take off. I have 600m of braided line and always leave about 100m on the line for play when I catch something. So, I generally drop the bait between 200-500 metres offshore depending on conditions, breakers, sand bars etc.
Drone fishing is great fun and it certainly adds to the beach casting repertoire. The small shark (tasty) was hooked up one morning drone fishing along Dalyellup beach in Western Australia.