Our Top Catches for the Best Fishing Drones of 2020

Last updated: 22nd April 2020
SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+

SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+

IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro

IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro

Holy Stone HS720

Holy Stone HS720

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For many of us, fishing can be the most relaxing and enjoyable activity we can do. Picking up one of the best fishing drones currently available will not only make your catch easier but more exciting as well.

Regretfully, it is yet not really viable to fish for hours on end with drones. Many of them are capable of pulling a small-to-medium prize from the water but they usually can’t stay in the air for too long, with battery lives typically topping out at half an hour of flight time — and that life usually comes at a high price, too.

However, what drones do excel at is surveying the water for schools and dropping the bait.

A drone will enable you to have an eagle-eye view of the water, helping you to find the perfect spot for your bait. Fishing drones with a payload feature can even drop the bait right in the correct spot for you once you’ve identified it.

Also, an added bonus is that the best fishing drones can take some incredible footage from your trip.

All of the models we’ve listed in this post have good cameras — this is essential for the First Person View (FPV) feature that you’ll use a lot when drone fishing — and excellent picture stabilization for an added bonus.

The Types of Fishing Drones

There are two main types of drones for fishing:

  • Payload release drones that can drop bait into a specific location
  • First Person View (FPV) drones utilising a downtrigger release clip

Now, payload release drones aren’t too common. In fact, there’s only one included here. However, there a variety of payload drop add-ons you can buy — we’ve included our recommended example near the end of this post.

FPV drones are much more common and if you add a downtrigger release clip (like this one) then you can turn almost any good quality drone into one that is suitable for catching fish. All of the drones we’ve included are compatible with our recommended downtrigger release clip.

The style of drone you will want will depend on the kind of catch you are looking for.

Anglers focusing on rivers and creeks will want something with more range and a good camera transition. Having a waterproof drone for creek fishing is an excellent addition, but not vital.

On the other hand, those who want to fish on the open ocean will need to look for fully waterproof drones — one that can survive a fall into the water.

Good GPS is necessary in all cases.

Finally, wind speed must be taken into account when buying your drone. If your favorite fishing location experiences strong winds or gusts, you will need something with a stronger motor. All of the drones we have tested can fly in powerful winds.

You won’t want your drone to be too light either as it will likely get blown around.

Worse weather will be unsuitable for fishing regardless, so you will want to retire to your lodging until a storm passes.

The Best Fishing Drones

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Contents show hide

SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+

This exceptional drone comes with payload release functionality — it can transport & drop up to 1kg of items.

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SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+
  • Flight Time: ~22 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 1600m / 5250ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 90° adjustable 4K / 13MP camera
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 1600m / 5250ft
  • Weight: 1447 g / 51.04 oz
  • Carry Capacity: 1000g / 35.27 oz
  • Working Temperature: -10°C to 40°C
  • Rated for outdoor use

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The Splash Drone 3+ is the most dedicated drone when it comes to anyone’s water-bound needs.

Whilst it’s certainly not budget-friendly, it is definitely one of the best waterproof drones currently available.

Every drone can land into water…but usually only once. This one can not only land in water repeatedly, but can even take off from water’s surface.

It can even carry a payload of up to 1kg with it, perfect for life vests, fishing bait and more.

The robust build and durable blades give remarkable agility in winds up to 12 m/s (26 mph).

It is made to be sturdy and painted to be visible. The same way it can withstand winds, it will also take on any waves in the water it lands. While it has an option to auto-land, even a necessary manual landing will not damage the drone.

As far as other features go, it has everything you would expect from a drone of this price range.

There is a 4K camera that can take UHD videos in 24 fps. If you lower the settings to 2K, you will get 30 fps, and 60fps on FHD or 1080p. The camera that extends from the bottom has a wide lens that takes in a lot of light and can be used for aerial shots even in murky conditions.

The AI inside the drone is quite spectacular, combining multiple pre-orders and capable of working autonomously. It can follow a predetermined flight path or follow the remote and its holder.

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+ Pros

+ Completely waterproof up to 3ft
+ Excellent 4K camera
+ Payload release up to 1kg
+ Agile and maneuverable
+ Very sturdy

- Cons

- Somewhat bulky
- Not the best app

IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro

A strong wind-proof and waterproof drone that is buoyant for when landing on water.

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IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro
  • Flight Time: ~22 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~120 minutes
  • Range: 900m / 2952ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 1080p FPV camera
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 850m / 2788ft
  • Weight: 2300 g / 5.07lbs
  • Carry Capacity: 1500g / 3.3lbs
  • Working Temperature: -10°C ~ 50°C
  • Rated for outdoor use

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If you prefer calm lake waters rather than the wide ocean for your fishing, this will probably become your favorite drone. 

The Poseidon Pro can carry up to 1.5kg (3.3lbs) of cargo for more than 20 minutes and drop it on command from any position.

This is enough to drop considerable amounts of bait where and when you need it. Or…it could carry four beer cans and deliver them to where you need them. 

The drone is waterproof and windproof, but it can’t be submerged. It is tested to be buoyant, and the wide design makes it easy to spot if it falls into the water. In all cases, it would be better to keep it in calm waters and retrieve it relatively quickly after landing.

As far as the flying goes, the IDEAFLY has remarkable speed and agility. The controller feels responsive and very precise in headless mode. 

The GPS stabilization fixes all of the other issues novice drone pilots might have. The AI will keep the drone stable in its GPS coordinates in winds up to 12 m/s (26 mph).

The camera is not remarkable, being only 1080p HD with a relatively small chip. But, it is enough to give you an FPV perspective through your controller with enough detail for everything you need. 

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+ Pros

+ Buoyant for up to 3 hours
+ Excellent agility
+ Large carrying capacity

- Cons

- Bulky
- Not submergible
- Camera is only 1080p

Holy Stone HS720

26 minutes of battery life and brushless motors give this foldable drone reliable, long-lasting performance.

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Holy Stone HS720
  • Flight Time: ~26 minutes
  • Charge Time: 5-7 hours
  • Range: 800-1000m / 2624-3277ft
  • Remote Controller: 2.4GHz transmitter included
  • Camera: 2K HD (2048 x 1152) with shock absorption
  • Weight: 459g / 1.01lbs
  • Rated for outdoor use

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The main benefit of the Holy Stone HS720 is definitely the mammoth battery life it provides. This level of flight time is virtually unrivalled in this low-to-medium price bracket. In fact, there are drones that are twice the price with half the battery life!

However, it’s not all battery. It’s a high-performing drone too, with brushless motors that give it powerful lift and a variety of flight features like GPS-Assisted Intelligent Flight and 5GHz FPV transmission to make flying this craft a dream.

Due to its lightweight build, you’ll need to be wary in breezy weather. You’ll usually find that with lightweight drones, the build quality feels cheap. However, this definitely has the feel of a more expensive product.

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+ Pros

+ Foldable for handy transportation
+ Premium feel at an affordable price
+ Staggering battery life

- Cons

- Slow charge time
- No spare parts

3DR Solo Quadcopter

This is an excellent fishing drone for those that already own a GoPro camera.

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3DR Solo Quadcopter
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: none; supports mounting of a Go Pro camera
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

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Surveying is one of the most important factors when fishing and the most tiresome. Finding the right spot to place your gear where the fish to people ratio is just right.

With the 3DR, you can find your perfect place quickly and easily, with ample time to take a closer look. Snap a few photos and report back.
The drone can fit a GoPro on the bottom to take all of the pictures and videos you need. The mod has a gimbal and will keep the device secured and stable.

While you can see a video stream on your smartphone, you can also snap some pictures and look them over in greater detail once you return the drone. This will tell you exactly where you need to go.

By using this drone, you can easily fish or trek in places you have never been to before. There is no need to study detailed maps or old photos, as you can take a look for yourself. The 3DR Solo gives you about 20 minutes of flight.

As the camera operates quite nicely, even in low light, you can use your drone to find the right spot.
Without moving from your base of operations, you can scout the area and decide on your ideal location from an 800 feet high vantage point.

Once you arrive there yourself, you can use the drone to take some good track-shots and for the drone to follow you in real-time while you catch your winning fish.

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+ Pros

+ Works seamlessly with your Go Pro camera
+ Lots of autonomous flight modes that go beyond just Follow Me
+ Requires zero experience and skill to fly properly

- Cons

- Works only with Go Pro camera owners

UPair One

One of the better value drones with 4K HD video and an included built-in screen controller.

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UPair One
  • Flight Time: ~18 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 1000m / 3280ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 5.8GHz (2.4 for video)
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbal 4K Camera
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 500m / 1640ft
  • Weight: 4330g / 9.55lbs
  • Carry Capacity: N/A
  • Working Temperature: ~5°c to ~35°c
  • Rated for outdoor use

We may receive compensation on qualifying purchases via our links. This does not change how we review items. For more information, please read our affiliate disclosure.

The UPair One can help you ease your way into the advantages of drones when fishing. It is a light, affordable, drone that offers all of the features of more advanced drones, albeit in a smaller capacity.

With the UPair One, you can learn what you need from a fishing drone before spending some serious cash for a more advanced model. Even if you don’t find your fishing purpose, you will still be left with a great drone that is fun to fly.

The ‘One’ is an excellent choice for novice drone pilots and those who didn’t fly a drone before. It has a good 500m video feed range (total flying range is 1000m) and an excellent video feed on the controller screen.

Additionally, the drone is very easy to fly and stays stable even in windy conditions. Beginner pilots will not need to fret about losing altitude or position.

Finally, while the 18-minute flight time is not as much as some other models, it is more than enough to scout the surrounding area, and find that perfect camping or fishing position that you can only see once in the air.

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+ Pros

+ Easy to fly and land
+ Good camera
+ Good value
+ Durable construction

- Cons

- Not waterproof
- Very heavy

Top Race Remote Release

A remote release clip for drones to deliver items from the skies. 

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Top Race Remote Release
  • Drone not included
  • Range: 180ft / 54m
  • Included: drone clip, clip fastener, USB charging cable, remote transmitter, batteries for remote and device, parachute and water balloons

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This simple and affordable payload release device allows you to transport items via your drone and drop them from the sky.

This can be perfect for fun pranks, sheer laziness, or more practical things like dropping fishing bait in the ideal location over a lake.

You’ll need to ensure your drone is capable of carrying any weight if you’re looking at purchasing this product.

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+ Pros

+ Affordable
+ Adds more practical functionality to existing drones

- Cons

- Small range
- Sometimes unreliable

What to Look for in a Fishing Drone

Drone fishing may be a new invention, but it is quite intuitive and easy to get into.

Depending on the place you want to fish, you will either go with a waterproof drone that can endure some beating from the waves or an agile drone that can survey a lot of land.

Additionally, some models will have the capability to drop a bait or carry supplies. This can make for some innovative uses for drones when it comes to our favorite pastime.

The most important thing to remember is to search for the drone that will fulfill your exact needs. All drones are fun, but having something extra will make the whole experience better and more satisfying.

What is Drone Fishing?

While there are drone models today that can pull even a large fish from the water, that is usually not something commercial drones are capable of. In these cases, it is regular fishing assisted by a drone in some regard.

For most people, the drone will be most useful when it comes to surveying their surroundings and picking out the best spot to make their camp. Drones have a much better vantage point, and you can see the whole expanse in front of you.

Some fishing drones are capable of making crisp and detailed videos, letting you notice schools of fish on your controller or smartphone. This will take you directly to the area where you need to throw your lines.

Finally, some models have dedicated droppers that can drop bait or supplies where you need them. Flying a pound of cargo doesn’t seem as much, but it can be crucial in certain situations.

How Does Drone Fishing Work?

Depending on if you are dropping a bait or not, you will need to prepare in advance.

Once you get near your location, you will park and command the drone to take flight. Here you will be able to see the whole area from up above.

If you are fishing on a river, you will be able to see all of the bends in front of you and pick out a spot you know fish will swarm to feed.

On an ocean, you will be looking for dark, moving spots that indicate schools of fish. Larger fish, like a long tail tuna, will be clearly visible from the air.

If you have some bait to drop, you can drop it right then, and the fish will be ready by the time you get to the spot.

You can use your drone to pull a line a long way from your boat or the shore. That way, you can fish for the large specimen from hundreds of meters away. Also, you can drop your line in the middle of large rivers like the Mississippi.

Unlike a boat, the fish will not hear the drone and will not suspect the bait to be any trouble. This way, you can make a catch much faster and even monitor your progress through the drone’s camera.

What are the Advantages of Using a Drone When Catching Fish?

The exact limits of drone fishing are yet to be explored. 

We know that advanced models that can be used to release lines and pull fish from the water will be available as industry drones can already do that. They will have all of the capabilities of a person fishing from the shore.

Additionally, some advanced models will be able to carry a whole human, who can then fish from the air, as that has already been done in Australia.

For now, commercial drones are best for surveying the landscape and dropping bait where you need it. Advanced video and imaging, combined with quite long ranges, can work wonders for your trip.

And, when you come home, you will have some amazing aerial pictures and videos from your trip to show your friends.

Conclusion

Fishing is enjoyable, as is flying a drone. Combining these two activities can create something simultaneously relaxing and exciting.

By using the capabilities of the best fishing drones available today, you will be able to find the best spot you want, drop some bait, and pull your line right where you want it.

New flight assistance in GPS drones will keep the drone stable and ready for as long as you need it.

Finally, you can get some awesome photos and videos of your fishing trip from perspectives that were inaccessible until now.

You will remember your drone fishing trip for a long time, and others will be able to see it in high definition.

We may receive compensation on qualifying purchases via our links. This does not change how we review items. For more information, please read our affiliate disclosure.

SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+

SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+

This exceptional drone comes with payload release functionality — it can transport & drop up to 1kg of items.

IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro

IDEAFLY Poseidon Pro

A strong wind-proof and waterproof drone that is buoyant for when landing on water.

Holy Stone HS720

Holy Stone HS720

26 minutes of battery life and brushless motors give this foldable drone reliable, long-lasting performance.