DJI Drone Fishing –
Best and Complete Guide
Mavic and Phantom Drone Fishing - Catch Tuna, Snapper, Shark and more
Updated September 15, 2019
I LOVE FISHING and Drone Fishing is the latest thrilling fishing technique that I use during my fishing expeditions. Imagine to yourself going drone fishing in Florida, California and Alaska (USA), Australia, the Caribbean Islands, Costa Rica, Canada, Europe, the Red Sea and other places.
Drone Fishing took my fishing experience to the next level! Nothing can compare to comfortably sitting on the beach, dock or boat while my drone pulls my fishing line into the ocean or lake, and I'm viewing the drone's real-time camera video on my drone’s remote controller display, searching for the big fish. Forget about the limited application of the “in the water” fish finder, Kite fishing, Balloon fishing, Rigging, Trawling and other angling methods. Go with the “above the water” drone fish finder where you can actually see the fish in the water!
There is no need to guess where the fish is. I find the fish on the real-time video that the drone’s camera sends back to my drone’s remote controller display. Then, with a push of a button on the drone’s remote controller, or by simply rotating the drone, I release & drop or drag the fishing line with its lure/bait (bait casting or bait release or bait dropper) right at the spot where I see the fish. It's that easy and I’m in total control.
In Florida, the Caribbean Islands and Costa Rica you can do saltwater and freshwater drone fishing for Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi-Mahi (dorado or dolphin fish), Blackfin or Yellowfin Tuna, Snappers, Groupers, Jacks, Kingfish, Barracuda, spotted sea trout, Snook, sharks, Tarpon and Bass.
California fish are White Seabass, Halibut, Barracuda, Yellowtail, Salmon, Cod and Tuna.
Drone fishing in Alaska is a treat. You will throw back fish that would be considered trophies elsewhere. Halibut, Salmon (five species), Lingcod and rockfish.
Australia’s coast is surrounded by some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world and drone fishing is a fast growing sport in Australia: Black and Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Groper, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi (dorado or dolphin fish), Cod, Spanish Mackerel, Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Pink Snapper, Queen Snapper, Bight Redfish, Swallowtail, Yellowtail Kingfish, Samson fish, King George Whiting and Sharks.
The fish in Canada are plentiful and drone fishing can be done on the ocean or lakes: Tuna, blue fin, Salmon, Mackerel, Cod, Halibut, Skarks, Walleye, Northern pike fishing, Lake Trout, Arctic Grayling, Whitefish, Bass and Sharks.
Europe is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea: Blue Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, Swordfish, Bigeye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi-Mahi (dorado or dolphin fish), Wahoo, Skipjack, Tuna, Bluefish, Grouper, Barracuda and Sharks.
Drone fishing in the blue waters and coral reefs of the Red Sea for Groupers, Big bye, Snappers, Breams Wrasses, Coral Trout, Mahi-Mahi (dorado or dolphin fish), King Mackerel, Barracuda, Yellowfin Tuna, Giant Trevally, Sailfish and Sharks.
It is imperative to use a good quality drone for drone fishing. DJI drones (Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 [all models] and Phantom 3 [all models]) are well suited for drone fishing. These are very sophisticated and reliable drones with long range and many safety features like Auto Return Home. DJI drones can be flown by a novice operator. DJI is by far the leader in the drone market worldwide with an estimated market share of 70%. I stayed away from other drones since they cannot rival the quality and sophistication of the DJI drones. When not operating the drone for fishing, DJI drones can be used for other activities like aerial photography, carry and drop gifts and parachutes during a party or birthday celebration and even for search and rescue. Using the DJI drones year round for drone fishing and other activities make them a cost effective purchase.
My five fishing drones are the DJI Phantom 3 (4 years old and still flies well), DJI Phantom 4, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air. As seen on videos that people posted on YouTube, the maximum payload lifting capability (in calm air and without wind) of the DJI Phantom 3 is about 2.2 pounds (1 Kg) compared with 1.8 pounds (0.85 Kg) for the DJI Phantom 4, 1.75 pounds (0.8 Kg) for the Mavic 2, 1.5 pounds (0.7 Kg) for the DJI Mavic Pro and 0.6 pounds (0.27 Kg) for the Mavic Air. The DJI Mavic 2, DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air are more compact drones for transportation. To fly safe and maintain full control of the drone I never carried more than 1.1 pounds (0.5 Kg) with my drones (0.5 pounds or 0.227 Kg with Mavic Air).
Always have the latest software/firmware updates installed on your drone, remote controller and battery. Your DJI App should be up to date as well. Keep in mind that carrying heavy payload will drain the drone’s battery faster. Decrease the maximum payload weight during windy conditions and do not fly in very strong winds. For your safety and safety of others, always fly safe and away from people or objects. Follow and observe all laws, rules and regulations in your Country, State, Local County and Municipalities.
I use all my DJI drones (Mavic 2, Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 [all models] and Phantom 3 [all models]) on my deep sea fishing expeditions and fresh water fishing with much success. Be aware of the maximum payload lifting capacity of each drone type. The DJI Spark has very limited payload lifting capability and I do not recommend using it for drone fishing.
THE RELEASE & DROP DEVICE (bait release or bait casting or bait dropping)
The Release & Drop device is a separate device that is mounted on the DJI Drone. Your fishing line with its lure/bait is hanging down from the Release & Drop device that drops it into the water upon your command (bait casting or bait release or bait dropper). In my opinion, Drone Sky Hook company manufactures the best, most sophisticated and very easy to operate Release & Drop devices for the DJI drones (Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 [all models] and Phantom 3 [all models]). Don’t waste your time and money on other unsophisticated drones, cheap and inferior release & drop devices that attached to the drone with rubber bands or Velcro or solutions that don't work, aren't reliable and can cause your drone to crash into the water and become total loss! Do not use the available downrigger release clip, self-disconnect fishing clips or other mechanical release mechanism for drone fishing as they require yanking, pulling or jerking the fishing line to release and might not release the fishing line from the drone (or release it prematurely), causing your drone to crash or sink into the water (total loss). Your drone is not a fishing kite!
Never attach fishing line, hook(s) and lure/Bait directly to your drone! They must be connected to a drop wheel of the Release & Drop device via the Fail-Safe Drop cord.
Drone Sky Hook company has a Fail-Safe Drop cord (designed to work with Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop devices). The cord automatically disconnects the fishing line from your drone when the fishing line gets tangled in the reel or caught in seaweeds, rocks, seagulls, birds or other object in the water and thus saving your drone from crashing.
Pairing the DJI drones with Drone Sky Hook company Release & Drop devices and the Fail-Safe Drop cord creates the ultimate drone fishing system for me.
Drone Fishing Fun with Drone Sky Hook
Drone Fishing with Drone Sky Hook for Mavic in Australia
Install the Drone Sky Hook (DSH) Release & Drop device on your DJI drone. Follow Drone Sky Hook videos and operating instructions.
Verify that the drone batteries and remote controller are fully charged. Take at least 2 drone batteries with you. A DJI car charger will allow you to charge the batteries at the fishing area or you can plug a “12 VDC to 115 VAC (or 220 VAC) inverter” into your car power jack and then plug the standard DJI charger to the inverter.
Fully charge the DSH Release & Drop device.
At the fishing area setup your DJI drone and turn it ON (do not activate the propellers yet), turn ON the DSH Release & Drop device and hook the Fail-Safe Drop cord ring on the drop wheel of the Release & Drop device. Follow DSH videos.
Connect your fishing line to the snap on the other end of the Fail-Safe Drop cord. It should be connected to the fishing line at the connection point of the Sinker (weight) and the 1 to 3 feet Leader line with the Fishing Hook to the fishing line. See pictures below for Rig Setup.
Before you take off verify that the drone, Fail-Safe Drop cord, fishing line and bait/lure neatly lay flat and are not tangled with any object.
Unlock the reel on your fishing rod and apply gentle pressure with your finger on the fishing line at the reel to prevent it from unspooling too fast and getting tangled on the reel.
Activate the drone’s propellers and slowly take off away from people and objects. Carefully fly away towards the drop zone, allowing your drone to pull the fishing line from the reel with minimal resistance.
Point the drone’s camera downward and search the water for the fish on the real-time video that the drone’s camera sends back to your drone’s remote controller display. Then, with a push of a button on the drone’s remote controller, or by simply rotating the drone, release & drop or drag the fishing line with its lure/bait right at the spot that you see the fish (bait casting/bait release/bait dropper). It's that easy and you are in total control.
Fly the drone back manually or use the Return To Home (RTH) button on the remote controller to automatically return to your takeoff position on the beach or dock. Do not use the Return To Home (RTH) button on the remote controller if you fly back to a boat as the boat location continuously changes.
I discovered that I can remotely command the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop device to drop my fishing line with its lure/bait (bait casting/bait release/bait dropper) into the water by either using the C1/C2 buttons (C/Fn buttons for Mavic Air) on my drone’s remote controller or by simply rotating my drone. I used both drop methods and they work well. If I don’t want to be bothered with clipping the light sensor of the Release & Drop device to the drone’s light then I use the “drone rotation” drop method that requires no light sensor (self-contained).
Always have the latest software/firmware updates installed on your drone, remote controller and battery. Your DJI App should be up to date. Keep in mind that carrying heavy payload will drain the drone’s battery faster. Decrease the maximum payload weight during windy conditions and do not fly in very strong winds. For your safety and safety of others, always fly safe and away from people or objects. Follow and observe all laws, rules and regulations in your Country, State, Local County and Municipalities.
Fail-Safe Drop Cord Rig Setup
Fail-Safe Trolling Drop Cord Rig Setup
For low-light, low visibility conditions or night fishing I use the Drone Sky Hook’s Searchlight that is mounted on my DJI drone and can be Turned-On or Turned-Off remotely. It requires the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop PLUS device for operation. I found that it attracts fish to my lure/bait at night while helping me see the drone position, orientation and direction much better.
On average, DJI drones cost between US$500 and US$1,200 depending on the selected options and accessories (free shipping from DJI). Release & Drop Device: US$199 for Drone Sky Hook Daylight System or US$349 for Drone Sky Hook Daylight & Low-Light System. The Fail-Safe Trolling Drop Cord model number DSH-FSTDC1 cost US$39. Drone Sky Hook offers free shipping.
But let’s put things in perspective: The cost of a good fishing rod is US$300 - US$500, a good reel goes for US$200 to US$1,200 each and don’t forget to add the cost of the fishing line, hooks, lure/bait and other fishing accessories. Hiring a private deep sea fishing charter boat for a few hours can cost you US$700 - US1,500.
Do yourself a favor and do not buy cheap, ineffective and dangerous Release & Drop device that can cause your drone to crash into the water! Do not try to save a few Dollars on a device that put your drone at risk of crashing into the water (total loss of the drone).
Drone fishing is not cheap but going for the big fish is not cheap either. The excitement of drone fishing is worth every penny you invest in it.
WHAT AND WHERE TO BUY
Warning: Stay away from cheap, low quality, short range and unreliable drop devices that can cause your expensive drone to crash into the ocean!
As discussed earlier, you can use your DJI drone or purchase one (DJI Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 [all models] or Phantom 3 [all models]). Buy the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop device that fits your drone model: Drone Sky Hook Daylight System that includes the Fail-Safe Drop cord or for low light or night fishing buy the Drone Sky Hook Daylight & Low-Light System that includes the SearchLight and Fail-Safe Drop cord. For trolling fishing add the Fail-Safe Trolling Drop Cord model number DSH-FSTDC1 to either system.
Important: The SearchLight will not operate with the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop device. It requires the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop PLUS device for operation.
I strongly recommend that you purchase the Drone Sky Hook Drone Sky Hook Daylight & Low-Light System that fits your drone model. This system comes with the Sky Hook Release & Drop PLUS device that allows for future expansion of your drone fishing adventures. The nifty PLUS model let me add SearchLight for night fishing and other future accessories to my DJI drone. I can remotely operate the SearchLight and other accessories by either using the C1/C2 buttons on my drone’s remote controller or by simply rotating my drone.
Occasionally, DJI reduces their drone prices. They also sell refurbished drones at lower prices. DJI offers free shipping.
Drone Sky Hook offers sales, special offers, discounts and free shipping for their Release & Drop devices and other items. To receive a free gift enter this Promo Code in the Drone Sky Hook’s shopping cart: dronefishing18 (case-sensitive).
I put together the following drone fishing systems. I suggest that you purchase one (or more) of my recommended systems directly from DJI and Drone Sky Hook (DSH). Click on the following links in the table below to go directly to the corresponding product web page.
Recommended Drone Fishing Systems
Enter Promo Code dronefishing18 (case-sensitive) in the Drone Sky Hook’s shopping cart to receive a free gift.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Drone fishing is the latest innovation in fishing. Take your fishing experience to the next level!
Forget about the limited application of the “in the water” fish finder, Kite fishing, Balloon fishing, Rigging, Trawling and other angling methods. Go with “above the water” drone fish finder where you can actually see the fish in the water!
I’m very happy with my drone fishing systems that include my DJI drones together with the Drone Sky Hook Release & Drop devices, Release & Drop PLUS devices, SearchLight and Fail-Safe Drop cord. My Searchlight was useful during low-light, low visibility conditions or night fishing.
Go for for the recommended Daylight & Low-Light Systems or Daylight Systems for Drone Fishing that I listed above. It elevated my drone fishing experience to new heights.
Practice on dry land and in an open area before you fly over water. Fly low and slow and get use to flying the drone with your fishing line attached. Try the Searchlight at night. Practice will make your drone fishing experience much better.
Keep in mind that carrying a heavy payload will drain the drone’s battery faster. Decrease the maximum payload weight during windy conditions and do not fly in very strong winds. For your safety and safety of others, always fly safe and away from people or objects. Follow and observe all laws, rules and regulations in your Country, State, Local County and Municipalities.
Wishing you an exciting drone fishing experience and don’t forget to share it with other drone fishing enthusiasts.
Watch more exciting drone fishing videos at www.djidronefishing.com
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