Best Drone For Fishing – Top 8 Drones To Up Your Fishing Game

Wait, drones for fishing are a thing?” 

You bet they are! 

And you know what we’re doing today? 

Helping you find the best drone for fishing there is – because one, using a drone will take your fishing experience to a new level, and two, drones are oh-so-cool. 

And to be quite honest, I couldn’t miss up on the opportunity to test a bunch of them. 

Ready to combine your love of fishing with the thrill of flying?

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In A Rush? The Winner After 41 Hours Of Research:

DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone

DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone

Our Rating: ★★★★★

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Why is it better?

  • Sit-inside kayak design that fuses stability, maneuverability, and efficiency for a safe ocean touring experience
  • The hull’s shape makes it glide seamlessly through the water, optimized for speed and stability
  • TruTrak adjustable skeg lets you switch from maneuverability to straight-line tracking with ease
  • Conveniently placed bungee rigging, three dry storage hatches, and a reflective safety line
  • Phase 3 AirPro XL seating provides you with the ability to stay in your ‘yak out in the open sea as long as you want without compromising your comfort 
  • Integrated bulkheads for added buoyancy 
  • Easily adjustable footrests and padded thigh braces give paddlers greater control over the kayak in challenging conditions
  • Built-in recess for a kayak compass 

How To Choose The Best Fishing Drone: Things To Keep In Mind

Close-up view of flying drone above mountain lake, bled, slovenia

Now, this part should be pretty apparent, but – you can’t just grab the first drone you see and call it a fishing drone. 

That’s not how this whole drone fishing works. 

A high-quality drone camera, extended flight range, longer-than-average battery life, and higher payload capacity are all factors that must be considered in the decision-making process. 

I know it all seems a bit overwhelming – especially if you don’t have much experience with these gadgets or kayak fishing in general – but that’s about to change. I’ve put together this guide that will hopefully clear up any confusion you might be experiencing right now. 

So, I’d advise you to read this next section carefully; it’ll come in handy when we get to the actual reviews.

Battery Life: More Than A Few Minutes, I Hope

I’d say that long battery life is a must when you plan on fishing with a drone. Unless you’ve got a waterproof fishing drone, you’ll have to keep an eye on the clock, hoping – and probably praying – that you get the drone back and land it safely in time. 

Missing the mark and running out of juice while it’s still over the water could spell the end for the drone.

Sounds like a lot of stress for a casual afternoon of fishing, huh? 

Now, for the good news: 

Most drones will give you 15 to 25 minutes of flight time per battery; some high-end models can go up to 30 to 35 minutes. That should be enough to get to your point of interest, drop the bait – and return to you safely. 

I have to warn you, though: 

These battery performance specifications might not account for the additional weight of your bait and line, meaning the real-world battery life could end up being slightly shorter. 

When in doubt, pack a spare battery – or two, if you’re going on a long fishing trip. 

Range: How Far Will A Fishing Drone Fly?  

You should probably check how far your drone will fly before you set it loose over the water. 

If you’ll be fishing on a smaller body of water, the drone’s maximum range might not be that big of a factor – but ocean kayak fishing? Well, unless you plan on following your drone around like a lunatic, I’d suggest you make sure it has a longer-than-average range. 

Now, there are drones that can go for miles without the transmission signal breaking. But others will have to stay within a few hundred feet from you. It’s definitely something you want to check.

And don’t forget that battery life and range work hand in hand. 

I mean, you could get a fishing drone with a range of a few miles, but it won’t mean much if the drone can only stay in the air for about 15 minutes or so, now, will it? 

Camera: It’s Not Just For The Cool Selfies

Who doesn’t want to bring home an aerial shot of them catching the biggest, baddest fish in the pond? 

You know you do – and you know that, without a decent camera, taking that photo will be flat-out impossible. 

It becomes even more crucial if you plan on using the drone for scouting the area. So, even if we put those cool selfies and stunning aerial shots aside, I’d still advise you to check the kind of camera your drone is packing. 

Don’t get too hung up on the camera’s resolution here, though. 

Good camera stabilization – preferably featuring a three-axis gimbal – and angle adjustability are equally important factors in its performance.

It’s only when you pair high camera resolution – that means at least 1080p HD with the ability to shoot video, too – with a high-quality stabilization system that the real magic happens. 

That’s how you get smooth footage and an excellent view of the area. 

Drone photography tips and camera settings | STEP BY STEP

Payload: How Much Weight Can A Fishing Drone Carry?  

One of the main differences between a “regular” drone and a drone for fishing is that you expect the latter to carry some additional gear. Granted, bait and line don’t sound that heavy to you, but your little quadcopter might beg to differ. 

The lure, live bait, fishing lines, the release mechanism, and quite possibly, sinkers all make the weight add up fast – sometimes up to a full pound, mind you.

So, before you fall in love, check if it’s capable of flying with some additional cargo on its back. And don’t get too carried away: 

The more you add in terms of payload, the faster the battery goes out of juice. 

Now, since many commercially available drones aren’t designed to be carrying additional loads, you might want to test how your quad behaves when fitted with your fishing kit and what its limit is on dry land. 

Additional Considerations & FAQs

Drone Fishing at sunset

And just in case there are any questions left unanswered, here’s a quick FAQs section to cover them, too. 

Do You Need A License To Fly A Drone? 

Yes – and not only a license but four years of piloting school, too. I’m just messing with you. No, piloting a drone doesn’t generally come with any additional paperwork. However, you should be aware that drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds do need to be registered with the FAA

And as it turns out, most drones for fishing weigh a lot more than that. 

While we’re at it, beware of the no-fly zones

There are some areas throughout the US where drones are forbidden. These so-called no-fly zones are determined by the Federal Aviation Authority and typically include airports, security zones, and stadiums during sporting events. 

My advice is to check local and federal laws before going airborne.

Is Drone Fishing Legal?

The IGFA (International Fish and Game Association) specifies that it is legal to fish with a drone, in the United States, only if the line detaches from the device once a fish is hooked. 

Furthermore, it is lawful to use a drone for dropping bait or scouting fishing spots.

It is, however, unlawful to use a drone to hook and pull a fish out of the water.

How Much Does A Fishing Drone Cost? 

Sure, if you’re new to this whole drone craze, you should go with something inexpensive. You’ll be in for quite a few not-so-graceful landings and crashes; the chances of damaging your drone at this stage are pretty high. 

You’ll feel a lot better about it if you didn’t spend a fortune on a drone. Plus, that means you can use the leftover budget to get some cool fishing accessories

For those of you who have enough experience, though, my advice is to go with a powerful set of specs – as powerful as your budget allows it. 

How Do You Drop A Fishing Line From A Drone? 

Assuming that you’ve set up everything right, opened your reel release, and pulled out a decent amount of your fishing line to prevent it from getting caught in the drone’s propellers, you should be set for take-off. 

Once the drone’s in the air, you want to keep the altitude constant and the speed relatively slow so that there’s no risk of the line jamming or getting tangled. More importantly, steady speed will ensure that the bait and sinker don’t turn into a pendulum of sorts. 

Fly the drone to the desired location, adjust the camera angle to scout the area a bit better – and if the conditions are right, hit the release button to trigger the drone’s mechanism to drop the line and bait. 

Now, fly the drone back and proceed as usual. 

How Do You Fly A Drone For Fishing? 

Look, it’s a legitimate question. We’re kayakers and anglers, not drone pilots, after all. 
And sure, flying a drone isn’t rocket science – but it takes some getting used to, especially when you add a kayak, fishing equipment, and a body of water into the equation. 

Start with setting up your fishing rod before you move onto the actual remote controller and your drone. Now, tie a slipknot on your fishing line and hook it onto your drone’s release mechanism – and get ready for take-off. 

Yes, the setup is that simple. 

As for your piloting skills, that’ll probably take a bit more practice. 

Drone Fishing Tutorial with Splash Drone 3

8 Best Fishing Drones Reviewed & Rated

1. DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone

DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone
  • Overall Best Drone For Kayak Fishing
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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It’s impossible to talk about drones without mentioning DJI. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll know why. Everyone – and their mother – knows about DJI’s drones. 

Look at this thing:

The Phantom 4 Pro is made from a combination of titanium alloy and magnesium alloy, ensuring better rigidity while keeping the drone’s weight as low as possible. It still clocks in at a massive 3 pounds, though. 

The camera features a one-inch 20MP CMOS sensor and supports 4K videos at 60 frames per second. It’s also equipped with a three-axis gimbal for stabilization. 

What’s even more impressive is the drone’s battery life and overall flight performance. You’re in for roughly 30 minutes of flight time and a 4.3-mile range, all while having five-direction obstacle sensing and several different intelligent flight modes at your disposal. 

You’ll have to pair your Phantom with the Release and Drop device by Drone Sky Hook, though. Otherwise, you can’t use it to drop your line. 

Technical Specs 

  • Camera with a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor 
  • 30-minute flight time 
  • Five-direction obstacle sensing 
  • 4.3-mile maximum control range
  • Weighs 3 pounds

Pros

  • Omni-direction obstacle sensing for safer flying 
  • High-resolution camera with a three-axis gimbal 
  • Three flight modes to choose from based on your needs 
  • Above-average range and battery life

Cons

  • The drone is going to set you back roughly two grand 
  • Requires an additional Release and Drop device 
  • It weighs more than three pounds and requires registration 

Sophisticated functionality, exceptional range and battery performance, a 20MP CMOS camera sensor coupled with a three-axis gimbal; if that doesn’t sound like the ideal drone for fishing, I’m not sure what does.

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2. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Drone

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Drone
  • Best Hexacopter For Fishing
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★☆
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Most drones you’ll see today are quadcopters, meaning they have four motors – but not this one. Yuneec took on a slightly different route when designing the Typhoon H Pro, a six-legged beast of a drone. 

You can get the Typhoon H Pro to fly some 2500 feet before you begin to notice stuttering in the video transmission and signal strength. Then again, even if you go beyond its specified range, it will return to home automatically. 

The battery life left me wanting more; I managed to get roughly 19 minutes out of it – and that is without any additional fishing gear attached. 

It’s cheaper than DJI’s top competitors, though. I’m sure your wallet will appreciate that. 

But again, it requires you to add a release mechanism; my vote goes to the Top Race Drone Clip Object Launcher

Technical Specs 

  • GCO3+ 4K gimbal-stabilized camera 
  • Inter RealSense obstacle avoidance 
  • 19-minute flight time 
  • Half-a-mile maximum control range 

Pros

  • Intel RealSense Technology for safer autonomous flying 
  • Unobstructed, 360-degree view 
  • Carbon fiber components 
  • Retractable landing gear improves how the drone flies
  • Folding arms for easier portability

Cons

  • Flight time is limited to 19 or so minutes 
  • Requires an additional release mechanism 
  • It comes with minimal instructions

If If you want a mighty-looking hexacopter, my vote goes to Yuneec’s Typhoon H Pro. It’s the ideal choice for scouting smaller bodies of water, like lakes and rivers.

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3. DJI Mavic Pro Drone

DJI Mavic Pro Drone
  • Best Fishing Drone Bundle
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★★
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And we’re back to DJI. But honestly, can you say you’re surprised? Yeah, I didn’t think so. 

Look, I don’t want to sound like I’m overselling it. But DJI pretty much single-handedly brought the consumer drones market to where it is today.

But what makes this fishing drone stand out from the others in the range? Like its cousin, the Phantom 4 Pro, you must upgrade the Mavic Pro with a payload delivery system. Then again, if you plan to use it only for scouting the area, skip the additional rig and just enjoy the fantastic flight experience this drone offers. 

You’re getting up to 27 minutes of flight time per charge (three batteries are included in the Fly More kit, by the way), a 4.3-mile range, and live video transmission at 1080p or 720p resolution, depending on what you prefer. 

Another big plus is that it weighs less than the Phantom 4 – although it’s still far from lightweight, clocking in at 1.6 pounds. 

Technical Specs 

  • Camera with a 1.5-inch CMOS sensor 
  • 27-minute flight time 
  • 4.3-mile maximum control range 
  • Weighs 1.6 pounds 

Pros

  • It comes as part of the Fly More bundle 
  • Excellent range and nearly half an hour of flight time
  • A high-precision three-axis camera stabilization 
  • Smaller and lighter than the Phantom 4 Pro 

Cons

  • You’ll have to add a payload delivery system 
  • The phone mount on the controller is a bit awkward to use

I don’t have to repeat why a drone like the DJI Mavic Pro is worth considering for all your fishing trips. What I do have to mention, though, is that you should pair it with the RCGEEK Drone Clip Payload Delivery System.

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4. SwellPRO Splash Drone 3 Plus Waterproof Drone

SwellPRO Splash Drone 3 Plus Waterproof Drone
  • Best Drone For Offshore Fishing
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Now, there’s a big difference between a drone that could also be used for fishing and one that was specifically designed for fishing. And this one right here – the SwellPRO Splash Drone 3 Plus falls into the latter category. 

Oh, and did I forget to include that SwellPRO only makes waterproof drones? Yes, that means that the Splash Drone 3 Plus, including the remote control, isn’t afraid of getting wet. Come to think of it, the name’s probably a pretty good indicator of that. 

Besides waterproof, IP67-rated construction, SwellPRO’s quadcopter features a 4K camera with a three-axis gimbal and has its own payload release system. 

It lacks obstacle avoidance sensors, though, and it weighs 3.2 pounds – not counting the battery – which is massive for a drone. Whether or not you consider this as a downside is up to you, but I figured it’s something worth mentioning. 

The good news is that it can carry up to two whole pounds.

Technical Specs 

  • IP67 waterproof rating 
  • Up to 23 minutes of flight time 
  • Two-pound maximum payload capacity
  • One-mile control range 
  • Weighs 3.2 pounds 

Pros

  • Waterproof, self-righting, and floating design 
  • Has a load capacity of up to two pounds 
  • Features a bait-and-line release system 

Cons

  • The drone doesn’t feature obstacle avoidance sensors 
  • It’s incredibly heavy and bulky for a quadcopter

Safe, stable, versatile, and predictable – in a good way – Baffin P3 is an excellent cIf y

If If you want to play it safe, a waterproof drone – one that floats, mind you – is your best bet. And given everything it offers, I couldn’t recommend the SwellPRO Splash Drone 3 Plus enough.

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5. 3DR Solo Quadcopter

3DR Solo Quadcopter
  • Best Affordable Drone For Fishing
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★☆
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What if you can’t afford to spend more than a grand on a fishing drone? I have you covered – or, should I say, the 3DR has you covered with their Solo Quadcopter. 

This surprisingly affordable drone is, believe it or not, the world’s first smart drone. 3DR’s quad is powered by twin 1GHz computers and boasts some pretty impressive features you wouldn’t believe were available in this price range.

I’m talking about pushbutton flight and computer-assisted Smart Shots, along with a few unique safety features. Even if you’ve never piloted a drone before, the Solo feels familiar and intuitive. 

Camera-wise, it provides wireless video streaming in HD from your GoPro directly to your phone (iOS and Android), with a range of up to half a mile. 

There’s a reason why it costs so little, though: 

You only get the drone. Everything else – the controller, the payload system, additional batteries, and the camera – has to be purchased separately. Plus, you’re not getting obstacle avoidance sensors. 

Technical Specs 

  • Compatible with GoPro action cameras
  • Half-a-mile maximum control range 
  • Up to 25-minute flight time  
  • Weighs 3.3 pounds 

Pros

  • “Smart” drone powered by twin 1GHz computers
  • In-flight GoPro access 
  • Costs considerably less than other drones in this category 

Cons

  • The drone weighs over three pounds 
  • It doesn’t feature obstacle sensors 
  • The controller is sold separately

It’s a drone with a brain – and it doesn’t cost a fortune. What’s not to like about this little quad? Just remember to add the VGEBY Airdrop System, and you’ll be good to go!

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6. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone
  • Best Camera Drone For Fishing
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★☆
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DJI continues to stand strong in this category – but who’s even surprised at this point?

Their Mavic 2 Zoom is a real gem, and without question one of the very best fishing drones camera wise.  Sure, it’s not the most affordable drone out there, but at least you know that quality is guaranteed. That should put your mind at ease – if you decide to shell out nearly two grand on this gadget, that is. 

There are some things you’ve come to expect from a DJI drone, like the 31-minute battery life or the omnidirectional obstacle sensing; these things are standard. But the camera on this drone is insane: 

The 1/2.3-inch 12 MP CMOS sensor, the ability to zoom in up to four times – including the two-time optical zoom – and automatically adjustable focus all amount to an excellent camera. And that also means better scouting for you. 

The fact that it comes with DJI’s Fly More bundle further sweetens the deal – although you still need to add a payload release system, like the Drone Sky Hook’s Release and Drop Device, to it. 

Technical Specs 

  • 12 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS camera sensor
  • 31-minute flight time
  • Omni-directional obstacle sensing 
  • 5-mile maximum control range  
  • Weighs 2 pounds 

Pros

  • High-resolution camera with up to four-times zoom
  • Seems a bit quieter than the original Mavic
  • Superb obstacle avoidance 
  • It includes two extra batteries for extended flight time

Cons

  • It will set you back by nearly two grand 
  • It might be overkill for casual anglers 
  • You’ll have to add a payload release system 

If you’re primarily getting a drone to do some scouting and get a birds-eye view of the area you plan on fishing in, then I can’t recommend the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – and its camera – enough!

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7. TORTOISE Fishing Drone

TORTOISE Fishing Drone
  • Best Payload Release For Fishing Drones
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★☆
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Okay, let’s take a break from drones and talk about something you’ve probably noticed reading these reviews: 

Most of these drones require you to purchase a separate payload delivery system before using them for casting – and not just scouting the area.

So, I figured I should include at least one option in my list, and the TORTOISE payload delivery device seemed like a decent enough option. 

It makes for an incredibly lightweight – seriously, it weighs only 1.76 ounces – and affordable way to improve your fishing experience and turn your regular drone into a line-casting, bait-dropping machine.

Of course, it’s far more versatile than that; there are tons of ways you can put this little device to good use. While we’re at it, the unit’s maximum capacity is 0.18 pounds. I’m not sure if that’ll be enough for everyone, but it had to be mentioned here. 

It fits only the Mavic Mini and Mavic Mini 2, though, so if you have any other drone – tough luck.

Technical Specs 

  • 0.18-pound maximum payload capacity 
  • Weighs 1.76 ounces 

Pros

  • The device can support up to 0.18 pounds of payload
  • Lightweight and straightforward design 
  • The battery lasts for up to 5 hours 
  • Wide range of possible applications (besides fishing, that is)

Cons

  • Only suitable for DJI’s Mavic Mini and Mini 2 drones 
  • Some might find the payload capacity a bit limited 
  • The components have an “unfinished” feel 

TORTOISE is a safe bet if all you want is a simple but effective payload release system for your drone – well, for DJI Mavic Mini and Mini 2, anyway.

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8. DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo
  • Best Budget Fishing Drone Kit
  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Look, fishing drones can be pretty expensive – most of them, that is. DJI’s Mini 2 proves that it’s possible to get outstanding performance at a more reasonable price point. 

This drone weighs only 8.8 ounces – less than an apple. Don’t let the name fool you, though: 

There’s nothing “mini” about this drone’s performance. 

Thanks to the built-in OcuSync 2.0, the drone can maintain video transmission at distances of up to 6.2 miles. Despite its light design, it can resist Level 5 winds and reach a maximum speed of 36 miles per hour.

And much like other DJI drones, the Mini 2 also boasts a flight time of up to 31 minutes. 

Oh, and did I mention the 12MP camera with a three-axis motorized gimbal that allows for the best birds-eye view of the area? 

The only thing missing from this Fly More kit is a payload release system; you’ll have to add that one yourself. On that note, I recommend the GUGELIVES Airdrop Device for Mini 2

Technical Specs 

  • 31-minute flight time 
  • 12 MP camera with a three-axis gimbal 
  • 6.2-mile maximum transmission range 
  • Weighs under 249 grams 

Pros

  • A lightweight drone that doesn’t require registration 
  • It costs less than other DJI drones 
  • It comes as part of a Fly More kit  

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with propeller guards 
  • You’ll have to purchase a separate payload release system for it 
  • Potential issues with the controller not pairing 

If you’re hoping to save a few bucks, you won’t find a better deal. I mean, a complete Fly More kit and a DJI Mini 2 at this price? Who could say “No” to that? 

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Best Drones For Fishing: Conclusion

Fishing Drone and remote controller with monitor on concrete jetty

I made it pretty clear that the DJI Phantom 4 PRO is the type of drone you want to have on you when you head out for your next kayak fishing trip. But why this fishing drone so great? Well, it checks all the boxes – excellent battery life, above-average range, high-resolution camera. 

But, it’s expensive – and I get that spending as much on a drone as you would on an actual ‘yak isn’t ideal. No, scratch that; it’s pretty much insane. 

So, while I do believe that it’s the best drone for fishing currently available on the market, I’d like to encourage you to give the other drones on my list a shot. It’s all about finding something that will meet your needs without burning a hole in your pocket. 

Let me know how it goes!