You’ve reached this point. You’re considering purchasing a fishing drone, congratulations on reaching the epitome of fishing greatness. But you need help choosing, right? Who better to help you than I?
There are so many factors to consider when buying a fishing drone because it’s not a cheap investment and you can do so much with them if you choose one that performs.
By the end of this guide, you should be able to make a firm decision on which drone is the right choice for you and you should understand how they can positively impact your fishing game.
Our Picks For The Best Fishing Drones
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
The DJI Phantom Pro is the king of fishing drones for a few reasons. First, the incredible 2160p resolution allows you to get a brilliant idea of what’s going on in the water. It’s reliable, durable, and easy to rig to the landing gear. Not to mention the 11-mile flight range. I hope you brought a lot of line.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom with Smart Controller
This drone is loaded with unique features like ActiveTrack 2.0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, and much more. It’s a fun, functional, and stable drone that will help improve your fishing game in many offshore applications. You can rig your line release system to the wings or purchase a dedicated release system.
DJI MAVIC MINI QUADCOPTER
By sacrificing some size you’re also losing a little bit of functionality. When you’re flying over water the wind is your enemy and if winds exceed 18mph which is quite common in surf fishing, you can’t fly this drone. Since it doesn’t have landing gear, you’ll also have to purchase additional attachments to rig it to hold your line since it’s too small to rig to the wings.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
This drone is very smooth and the landing gear makes it really easy to install your line release system. It doesn’t require any additional parts other than the standard clip. The carrying case, rechargeable batteries, and remote control make this drone a great choice for budget-conscious beginners.
Snaptain SP650 Pro
The most interesting feature about this drone is the multiple control modes so you can control it using the remote control, app, gesture control, voice, and gravity control. According to experiences from others, all of these work very well.
I think the main reason many anglers may choose to go with this drone is that it’s affordable and doesn’t possess a lot of the bells and whistles that some of the others have. The only big downside is the short run time of only 12 minutes. If you’re casting frequently, this won’t cut it for most people.
Autel Robotics EVO Foldable Drone
This might be one of my favorites yet. It’s an amazing drone with advanced technology that allows you to capture images and convert them into 3D maps that you can store on the SD card. The drone has a great and stable camera plus it travels up to 4.3 miles with a total travel time of 30 minutes.
The only issue you will encounter is when you try to rig it with your fishing line. You can try figuring something out with the wings but for stability purposes, you will likely need to purchase additional landing gear.
Chasing Dory 1080p
This is a pretty cool waterproof fishing drone that you can use to scope out new lakes and ponds before you decide to fish them. If you’re searching for underwater structure to identify honey holes, this would be the most effective and enjoyable way to do it. Some people have issues navigating from the phone and it would be nice to have a remote control. There’s also concerns over use in saltwater, I would suggest just making sure you clean it very well after.
Swellpro Splash Drone 3
This is one of the only drones out there that is actually a drone for fishing. It comes with a payload that drops your line automatically when you tell it to. It also features 3mm reinforced ABS to prevent water corrosion. There are a million great things to like about it but the reviews are a bit critical. Just be sure to follow the instructions, program everything properly, and be careful with it.
DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Fly More Combo
The DJI Mavic 2 with the Fly More kit comes loaded with a variety of accessories and additional gear that will help you save money by spending a little more upfront. The two things I think that are completely necessary are the extra batteries and the 64GB SD card for smooth video capturing. For what you pay for this premium drone, the added cost isn’t that much.
Snaptain A10 Mini
If you’re looking for a serious fishing drone, this might not be the right option. That said, it’s a great choice for kids, amateurs, and people who just want to play around with a drone for fishing. It’s a budget-friendly choice that offers fun voice commands and an easy to use interface that works for beginners.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Drone
We looked at some of the best drones for fishing, now we need to determine how we’re going to settle on one. Keep in mind that, while all of these drones used for fishing work in a variety of applications, they’re great choices for all types of fishing.
But, some are better in certain scenarios, fishing styles, techniques, etc. This section will help you figure out which is the best one for you.
One of the most important features will be choosing a fishing drone with a camera. The main purpose of using drones for fishing is scoping the area out, identifying ideal fishing spots, and seeing what’s happening down near the water. If you have a low-quality camera, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
There are a few things to consider with a drone camera. Resolution is the first factor to look for. Most of the drones recommended above have at least a 1080p HD camera with video recording as well. This seems to be the standard and they improve from there. Some even have up to 4k camera resolution so it doesn’t seem like you’ll have to worry too much.
Bear in mind that you’re not trying to capture Instagram worthy images (or maybe you are). If you’re trying to get a drone that serves two purposes, you might want to pay a little more attention to the camera you choose.
If you’re using this drone strictly for fishing assistance, the camera won’t carry quite as much weight.
There is one other important factor and it’s the stabilizing system that holds the camera. All drones use a gimbal that allows you to freely control the camera separate from the drone itself. So, as you’re flying over the water, you can rotate the camera, point it up or down, and snap pictures as you’re moving.
You want to make sure that the drone you choose uses a high-quality stability control method so you can clearly see what’s happening. If the gimbal is shaky or it vibrates, you won’t be able to get good video or picture quality. Based on my research and reviews from others, all the drones recommended above pass this test.
The total distance your drone can travel, paired with its total battery life is another important factor we need to bear in mind. The battery life refers to how long you can fly the drone before you need to land and either change or charge the battery.
This is important because you might be fishing for eight hours and very few (if any) drones will supply you enough battery power to make a whole day of fishing. So, getting the longest battery life will allow you to scope out the water, take photos, and put together a plan before having to ground the drone for a recharge.
On a different note, distance is another fish drone essential. Some drones can travel for miles from the pilot while others can only go a couple of thousand feet. Most drones have compatible transmission boosters that will allow you to go further but just adds another accessory that can break down and an added cost.
I would consider what type of fishing you plan on doing with the drone. If you’re only scoping out rivers, lakes, and ponds you can go with a short-range drone because you’re not going that far. In offshore fishing, you could travel long distances and may require a bit more range. Just keep that in mind as you decide on a drone.
Your drone’s payload is how much weight it can carry while still flying reliably and safely. With a drone fishing rig, this is an important factor because you’ll be carrying your lure, release mechanism, the lines drag, and potentially sinkers too. This can add up to as much as a full pound or two when you factor in the drag resistance.
Many drones don’t offer a payload and they don’t recommend using them for that purpose so you might be on your own when it comes to determining how much weight the drone can hold.
I recommend testing it out well before you plan to hit the water and go with drones that have a track record of use in fishing. All the options recommended above are used for fishing so you know they’ll be able to carry some weight.
Also, bear in mind wind resistance and how all of these factors combined will diminish your flying time because they’ll drain the battery faster.
The best drone for fishing will be waterproof but unfortunately, it seems like drone manufacturers have had a hard time getting this right. Many “waterproof” drones don’t protect all the essential elements of the drone which is misleading and frustrating for people who buy them.
As a result, the waterproof drones on the market aren’t that well recommended by the fishing community. The only real waterproof drone for fishing is the floating drone submarine-style option which is great for scoping out the water, but it’s also great for scaring away the fish.
As you review some of the dedicated fishing drones reviewed above, you’ll notice that many of them have extremely poor reviews due to inconsistent performance. If you decide to purchase one of those, I would recommend fully understanding the instructions, doing plenty of testing ahead of time, and ensuring that you’re taking all the necessary safety precautions before flying over the water.
Ease of Use
One important factor that many of you need to keep in mind is, we’re fishermen(women) not drone pilots. I don’t know about you but, I need something that isn’t overly complicated because I don’t need it to be. I need a stable drone, with a decent camera, great battery life, and a solid interface so I can easily see what I’m doing.
I suggest you take on the same attitude. If you go with something that has too many bells and whistles you’ll end up complicating the process which will lead to damaging the drone or ruining it for good. It should be easy to take off and land. Also, make sure that the bait release and payload release process is straightforward.
All the drones recommended above are some of the most popular on the market for both beginners and experts alike. They don’t have steep learning curves and their instructions are clearly outlined to make it easier for you to learn.
How to Use a Drone for Fishing
If this sounds foreign to you, this section should clear things up. Besides the very few drones that carry their own payload, most will require you to rig the drone with a downrigger release mechanism.
This is essentially a pin that you’ll run your line through so the drone carries your baited line out to wherever you want to fish. You’ll release the bail on your reel so the drone flies out to where you want to drop the lure.
Then, when you’ve reached your ideal spot, you’ll close the bail, fly a few more feet and the release mechanism will drop your lure and you will fish as normal. So, the question is, why would anyone want to spend $1,000+ to fish with a drone?
I see a strong advantage on the research side of things. If you’re the type of angler who really likes to find the best fishing spots you can save a ton of time and likely have a lot more success on the water this way.
You can use the drone to identify ideal fishing locations based on weed beds, stumps, docks, overhanging trees, and more. I would use these to put together my own personal map of the lake I’m fishing. I’ll identify multiple spots where I want to fish with specific lures, jot them down, and make sure I put together an action plan for the day.
Some drones even make it possible to put together a map using 3D topographical mapping technology.
You also have underwater drones that make it even easier to identify the best spots. You can find drop-offs, underwater weed beds, and structure and make personal notes of where they are so you can come back later when the water settles down.
Drone fishing is the act of using a drone for both researching and casting. Some people use them to scope out the water to find ideal fishing locations, potential obstructions, and structure while others use them for casting. Casting with a drone involves using a release mechanism and the reels drag to pull the line out and trigger the mechanism.
You need one with a decent camera, strong stability for taking pictures, ease of use if you’re not a drone expert, and it needs to have a long battery life for plenty of fishing. Keep in mind the payload as well as you’ll be carrying lures and weights. Size is another important factor because you’ll want a drone compact enough to fit inside a fishing backpack.
If this is your first time looking at drones, going with brand names is a good choice too. Brands like DJI, Autel, and Gannet produce high-quality products and most are available on Amazon.
The biggest benefit is that it will help you catch more fish. Now instead of trolling the water for an hour trying to find the best spot to drop your line, you can stand on the shore or sit in your boat and let the drone do this for you. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
Drones are becoming a popular part of many different industries and fishing is one of them. If this is something that’s been on your mind for a while, it’s time to give it a shot. The best fishing drone is calling your name and if you choose wisely, it can really take your fishing to another level. Have fun!
By the way, if you end up purchasing any of the drones recommended above, please drop a comment with a short review of which one you bought so we can help others choose!