If you’ve never heard of drone fishing, you may imagine this scene: a drone flying out over the water with a baited hook suspended from it. The drone’s operator then drops the bait into the water, 200ft, 500ft or even 2000ft out into the water. Try casting that far! That’s not all there is to it, though.

In drone fishing, the idea is to use a drone to carry a lure or baited hook much further out into the water than one could normally achieve by casting with a rod and reel. When fishing from shore, for example, a drone can carry your bait hundreds of yards out. It may also drop it into a strategically identified fishing hole. Drones allow you to engage a greater area of water and thus increase your chance of landing a lunker.

Check out some great drone fishing action on Chris Plaford’s YouTube channel!

If you want to try your hand at this fascinating twist on a traditional sport, you may be daunted at the price of the kind of drones you need to provide the power, distance, and battery life to get the job done. 

For anglers who want to drone fish on a budget, a refurbished or gently used model is usually the best choice. For instance, refurbished versions of the DJI Phantom sell for just under $500, a price that can dip even lower depending on how flexible you are with your fishing needs. 

Keep in mind that not all drones are waterproof. A waterproof drone is optimal but these models might be too far on the high price end, especially if you’re sticking to a firm budget. For anglers who want to use cost-effective drones, these are the four key things to remember:

  • The range of your drone
  • How long your drone can fly on one charge
  • How fast your drone can fly
  • How much weight can the drone carry (payload)

Many fishing drones come with the option for an extra battery, which can extend your drone fishing session. Remember that, for optimal performance, you’ll want to keep your drone clean, dry, and free of tangles. Make sure you practice; once you’re comfortable operating the drone, you’ll have new, uncharted waters to explore.