How to Start Drone Fishing [Beginner’s Guide]

What is Drone Fishing?

Since the drop of this viral video drone fishing all of a sudden became a huge thing on the internet. The team over at Sea Ulcer show their technique of catching a huge and beautiful tuna using their DJI Phantom 3 and shoreline fishing gear.

So as you probably saw in the video, using a drone for fishing has it’s obvious benefits.

So let’s begin talking about how to do it.

But before we dive right into the meat of the How-To, lets talk about what drone fishing is NOT.

What Drone Fishing is Not

Fishing with your drone is the method of using a drone to cast your mainline into the water.

It is not intended to be used to use a method of reeling the fish into shore. Not only is this considered against IGFA guidelines but it can really screw up your drone.

Most drones today are pretty study when flying by themselves in the air. However, add the natural wrestle of the wind and altitude ON TOP of a 73 lb Albacore Tuna and you’ve got yourself drone in the water that’s probably been waterlogged.

Not a fun situation.

So needless to say, I don’t advise you try to “fish with your drone” but rather think of your drone as a tool to sneak up on the fish you are trying to catch.

Is Drone Fishing Legal?

So I won’t lie to you.

This was the first thing I wanted to find out when I learned that Drone Fishing was even a thing.

So I decided to turn the International Game Fish Association’s website for guidelines and what was considered allowed.

Here’s what I found. “Outriggers, downriggers, spreader bars and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of a connecting device.” 

So this means that even though drones are specifically mentioned, the same idea applies. As long as the mainline is “attached to a release clip that allows it to separate away from the apparatus once the fish strikes,” the catch is legal according to IGFA!

The IGFA final ruling is in favor regarding drone fishing because it does not “give the angler an unfair advantage with fighting the fish.”

How Drone Fishing is Done

Drone Fishing is essentially when you use a drone to assist with the cast of the bait/hook into the water. You will still need to use your rod to reel the fish in but using the drone, you can strategically cast the line into the area where you can see the fish are hanging out at. This is possible because most drones have a camera onboard which can signal back to your mobile device similar to what was demonstrated in the video at the top of this page.

Best Drones for Drone Fishing

The DJI Phantom 3 is an excellent drone for your everyday flight and sight enjoyment. However, it is the older model in the line of Phantoms that are already offered. I chose this drone because of the price. Though it is not waterproof, for $500 you will have yourself a very reliable and trusted piece of technology that more than likely will not fall in the water. However, if something were to happen you are only out $500 instead of a whopping $1000 or more! The other cool thing about using a DJI product is that you can attach a PhantomCast and get pretty much endless options for baiting the fish you are trying to catch. I would encourage you to check out their store.

The DJI Phantom 4 was another obvious choice because of the amount of options you have for drone fishing gear. The Gannet Bait release tool was specifically designed to work and function on the Phantom 4 and performs flawlessly. If you are looking for a cheap add-on to the Phantom 4, the Gannet Bait release is only $159.99 on the Gannet website and comes with everything you need from mounting bridge, release clip, to a charging cable so you can recharge the battery before your fishing trip… So handy!

The DJI Mavic Pro is an excellent drone all around. I have read and seen many decide to use this drone for their fishing adventures and who can blame them? Honestly, this drone is super reliable and comfortable to fly. It has steady handle and an excellent camera and viewing angle for finding the school of fish you are looking for. The Gannet Bait release contraption for this drone is also under the $200 range and has all the cool features that the Phantom 4 release tool had – it’s just made to fit the Mavic Pro.

The Splash Drone 3 Auto is the top of the line when it comes to drone fishing. Not only is this drone entirely water-proof but it has a 4K camera that is able to view fish under the water if you landed the drone on the water for better viewing. It has a remote with a built in 5″ display which wirelessly connects to the camera on the drone using a wifi transmission. The drone contains several “smart” features including Follow Me, Mission Planning (Fly to specific locations), and Tap to Fly. It also has a Return to Home button which returns your drone to you in one button, a low battery alert and an Auto Land function. The best part about this drone is that it contains a built in fishing line release form the drone which is controlled from the remote. For more information please click here.


As you can tell already, fishing with your drone has some pretty awesome perks but the idea behind this is still pretty new. I’d like to know, have any of you tried fishing using your drone before? If so, please leave me a comment below sharing how it went! I’d love to hear. Also, please be checking back. I will be adding to this article over time as I explore and dabble into a little drone fishing myself!