Fishing has been a beloved hunting technique and pastime for centuries, with generations of anglers casting their lines into rivers, lakes, and oceans to catch fish for survival, leisure and sport. Over the years, technology has played an increasingly important role in the world of fishing, with tools such as sonar fish finders, GPS devices, and underwater cameras helping anglers locate fish more effectively. One technology that is quickly gaining popularity among anglers is using drones for fishing. In this article, we shall explore the best drones for fishing and the benefits and challenges of using this new technology.

Benefits Of Using Drones For Fishing

One of the key benefits of using drones for fishing is their ability to provide a bird’s-eye view of the water. With the help of an onboard camera, anglers can scout for fish and get a sense of where they are located in the water. This can be especially helpful when fishing in unfamiliar areas or when trying to locate elusive species.

Drones can also be equipped with sonar systems, which use sound waves to detect underwater objects, including fish. These systems can give anglers a real-time view of the underwater landscape and help them identify the best spots to cast their lines.

In addition to their imaging and sensing capabilities, drones can also be used to release bait or lures into the water. This can be especially useful when fishing in hard-to-reach spots, such as deep water or areas with dense vegetation. Drones, like the ones developed by SwellPro, the leading waterproof drone manufacturer, are even designed to carry fishing lines and hooks, allowing anglers to catch fish without ever leaving the shore.

Challenges Of Drone Fishing

Of course, as with any new tools, there are some challenges to using drones for fishing. One of the biggest challenges is battery life, as most drones only have a flight time of around 20-30 minutes. This means that anglers must carefully plan their flights and have enough time to locate and catch fish.

Another challenge is the cost of the equipment. While some affordable drones are on the market, those with advanced imaging and sensing capabilities can be quite expensive. Additionally, there may be regulations governing the use of drones in fishing, depending on the location and the species being targeted.

Despite these challenges, the use of drones for fishing is becoming increasingly popular among anglers. With their ability to provide a unique perspective and assist with finding fish, drones are quickly becoming an essential tool for modern-day fishermen. As drone technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how they are used to improve the art and science of fishing.

Is Drone Fishing Legal?

The legal status of drone fishing, also known as “drone angling,” varies worldwide and depends on each country’s regulations. In general, using drones for fishing is a relatively new practice and may not be addressed explicitly in existing fishing regulations, leading to some ambiguity in the legal status.

In some countries, such as the USA, drone fishing is generally allowed, provided the drone operator follows certain regulations, such as obtaining the necessary permits and adhering to safety and privacy guidelines. However, specific rules and regulations may depend on the state or local jurisdiction.

For example, the State of Hawaii prohibited drone fishing in 2022, however, if anglers obtain a permit from the department of land and natural resources, they can use drones for fishing. A similar rule also applies in the state of Texas.

However, in North Carolina, the use of drones for any fishing activity is prohibited, so it is best to see what kind of drone fishing rules apply to each individual state.

In other countries, such as Australia, drone fishing may be legal but subject to certain restrictions, such as limits on the size and weight of the drone or the requirement for the operator to hold a specific license.

In some countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, the legal status of drone fishing could be clearer and may be subject to interpretation by authorities.

It is important for anyone considering using a drone for fishing to research and understand the specific regulations and legal requirements in their country or jurisdiction to avoid any potential legal issues.

The Best Drones For Fishing

While researching this article, I realised that anglers use many different drones for fishing. However, only one company designs drones specifically for water-based activities, a UK-based company called SwellPro.

SwellPro is a company that specialises in waterproof drones, and they have developed a reputation for producing high-quality drones that are ideal for fishing. Here are some reasons why SwellPro drones are considered the best for fishing:

Waterproof design: SwellPro drones are designed to operate in wet environments and can even land and take off from the water’s surface. This makes them ideal for fishing, as they can drop bait or lures directly into the water and provide a unique perspective of the underwater environment.

High-quality camera: SwellPro drones come equipped with high-quality cameras that are capable of capturing stunning footage of the surrounding area. This can be particularly helpful for scouting fishing spots and locating schools of fish.

Advanced sensors: SwellPro drones are equipped with advanced sensors, including sonar and fish finders, that can help anglers locate fish more effectively. These sensors can detect fish and other underwater objects and provide real-time feedback to the drone pilot.

Stable flight: SwellPro drones are known for their stable flight characteristics, which can be especially important when flying over water. This stability makes them easier to control and reduces the likelihood of crashes and other mishaps.

Overall, SwellPro drones are an excellent option for anglers who want a waterproof drone that can handle the rigours of fishing. They offer advanced features, stable flight, high-quality cameras and decent flight times, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking to use drone technology for fishing.

SwellPro currently offers three waterproof drones, each with its own set of unique features. Here is a list of the SwellPro drones and the features they come with:

SplashDrone 4

The SplashDrone 4 is SwellPro’s flagship drone and is specifically designed for fishing. It has many features that make it an ideal choice for anglers. One of its unique features is its IP67 rating, which means that it is entirely waterproof and can be submerged in 1 meter for short periods without any damage. The drone can be attached with different payloads, including a 3-axis 4k camera, a 2-axis night vision camera, a sonar device, and a payload release device. The drone comes with 3 intelligent flight modes: follow me, orbit and automatic return to home. The drone also comes with 30 minutes of flight time and a 5km transmission range. All of these features, along with its waterproof design, make the SplashDrone 4 an excellent tool for fishing enthusiasts who want to capture stunning footage and improve their fishing experience.

Fisherman FD1

SwellPro’s Fisherman FD1 drone is a specialised drone designed exclusively for anglers. It is designed to cast the bait and long lines with a range of up to 1.6 km. The drone’s waterproof and wind-resistant design, featuring an IP67 rating, makes it capable of operating in harsh weather conditions, while its automatic return-to-home feature ensures it safely returns to its takeoff location. With a 30-minute battery life, the drone provides ample time for anglers to locate and catch fish. Additionally, the drone is compatible with two payload release devices, including the PL2-F, which features an FPV camera for more effective scouting. Overall, SwellPro’s Fisherman FD1 drone offers a valuable tool for anglers looking to increase their chances of a successful catch and capture stunning footage of their fishing experience.


SwellPro’s Spry Plus drone is a highly capable, waterproof drone designed for aerial and water-based photography. It has a 4K camera that features electronic stabilisation for capturing high-quality photos and videos. A transparent, distortion-reducing glass dome protects the camera. The drone includes several intelligent flight modes and has a range of approximately 800 meters.

The Spry Plus is the fastest drone in SwellPro’s lineup, with a top speed of 65 km/h in manual mode. It can operate for up to 17 minutes on a single battery charge. For fishing, the drone can be fitted with SwellPro’s Trollsafe payload release mechanism, which automatically releases the fishing line and bait once the tension reaches a set limit.

This drone offers versatility and adaptability, making it a valuable tool for aquatic activities such as fishing, water sports, and other water-based activities. Its waterproof design and ability to take off and land on water allow for ease of use and accessibility in even the most challenging environments. Overall, the SwellPro Spry Plus offers a range of features and capabilities that make it a good choice for drone fishing.

Overall, each SwellPro drone offers a range of features that make them ideal for fishing. Whether you’re a professional angler or a beginner, a SwellPro drone can help you take your fishing experience to the next level.

While SwellPro drones are designed specifically for fishing and are widely considered the best option for this purpose, a few other drone models can also be suitable for fishing. Here are a few examples:

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a professional drone with a Hasselblad camera that can capture high-resolution 4K video and 20-megapixel photos. While not waterproof, its portable design, extended battery life, and exceptional image quality make it an excellent choice for surveying potential fishing areas. Additionally, the device is compatible with numerous bait-release accessories available on Amazon.

The Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro is a foldable drone with a 6K camera capable of capturing high-quality video and photos. It has a long battery life and a range of up to 9km, making it ideal for scouting fishing spots.

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a high-performance drone designed for professional photography and videography. It boasts an impressive 1-inch image sensor that can capture 20-megapixel images and 4k video footage at a high frame rate of 60fps. It has advanced features such as obstacle avoidance and intelligent flight modes that make it easier to operate. The drone has a long battery life and can be used for scouting fishing spots. Additionally, compatible bait release mechanisms can be found on Amazon to enhance its functionality.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is another drone that can be useful for fishing. It features a 4K camera with lossless optical zoom, making it great for scouting areas. It also has intelligent flight modes and obstacle avoidance features, making it easy to use. The drone has a flight time of up to 30 minutes and can be used for professional aerial photography and cinematography.

While these drones are not specifically designed for fishing and may not have some of the specialised features that SwellPro drones offer, they can still be helpful tools for anglers who want to scout out fishing spots and monitor fishing activity from the air. However, it’s important to note that using a drone for fishing may be subject to certain regulations in your area, so be sure to check with local authorities before flying your drone near a body of water.

Final Thoughts

Fishing with the aid of drones is an exciting way for anglers to scout and release bait and lures for catching fish. SwellPro drones are leading way in this area with their waterproof design, high-quality cameras, payload release systems, and intelligent features wellPro drones offer a range of features that make them ideal for fishing. However, other drones like the one I listed can also be useful tools for anglers. Whether a professional angler or a beginner, using a drone can help you take your fishing to the next level and provide a unique perspective on your fishing experience.