Can you fish with an underwater drone?


Underwater drones can be used towards a multitude of purposes, ranging from inspection of sea installations to recreational uses like simple underwater observation and filming. But what about fishing? Can an underwater drone be used for fishing? The answer: yes, absolutely! Some drones were even designed for fishermen, namely Chasing F1, PowerVision PowerRay and PowerDolphin.

If you want to get more information about these fisihng ROVs, just carry on reading below! Let’s dive right into it!

How was this review done?

To begin with, we started with making an inventory of the devices available on the marketOpens in a new tab.. Then, based on features useful to angling, we retained a short list with recommended underwater drones for fishing!

Features considered when doing the review

Let’s agree that when it comes to fishing, anglers have specific demands. Those needs are different from what a lambda user would expect to find in the purchased product. Dedicated fishing underwater drones should be able to help us perform at least these basic functions:

  • Reckon of the underwater topography (bathymetry is the scientific term): from water depth to sunken obstacles to avoid
  • Identify the presence of fish
  • Observe the activity and interactions of fish with the bait
  • Be able to stream video in daylight as well as in nighttime

Chasing F1

Chasing F1 is the only drone whole sole purpose is to serve as fishing ROV. It is manufactured by Chinese underwater drone companyOpens in a new tab. Chasing Innovation. It’s also renowned for the very affordable Chasing Dory.

Chasing F1 is a floating drone whose camera module can be vertically controlled to reach the desired depth.  It is a wirelessly operated up to a range of 30 meters (98 ft), this is done via the phone app interface. The drone is modular and can be fitted with a bait box remotely controlled if you want order to drop the bait for fish. Also, Chasing F1 has a modular stand for a sonar ball which unfortunately must be purchased independently. However, you can either fit the bait module or the sonar mount, but not both at the same time.

Camera

The drone’s camera is equipped with a Sony Stellar sensor supporting 1080 full HD camera and 2 megapixel photos. The drone is capable of streaming live video feed. Thanks to Infrared LED system on the drone, the Sony sensor can shoot at a maximum range of 1 meter (3 ft). This comes in handy especially in dark and murky waters. The camera is weighted and can be vertically descended up to a depth of 28 meters (91 ft).

Other features

Chasing F1 is equipped with a GPS chip. Thanks to it, you can define interest points for fishing. Furthermore, should the device exceed the remote control range, it can automatically return to the initial home point and ensure that the drone is within a safe range.

The drone boasts also temperature and depth sensors capable of providing their real-time values on the app.

What makes Chasing F1 ideal for fishing?

The ability to be wirelessly operated and tether-free is a big advantage for fishermen, meaning less risk of tangling your fishing lines.

Added to that, a baitbox module can be attached to the drone and you can remotely drop the bait! This shows the drone was intentionnaly invented for fishermen.

Pricing

Chasing F1 costs $699 for the base bundle (drone + sonar stand). You can purchase the bait box module for an additional $149 and an additional spare battery for $129.

Pros & Cons

 

Pros
  • Modularity
  • Battery life (4 to 6h)
  • Wireless
  • Bait box
  • Return home function
Cons
  • Bait box not included in basic bundle
  • Sonar ball to be purchased independently
  • Wireless range of only 30 meters (98 ft)
  • Limited night vision range of only 1 meter (3 ft)
  • No regular LED lighting system

 

PowerVision PowerRay

PowerRay is an underwater drone aimed at the recreational market. It has been produced since 2017 by Chinese manufacturer PowerVision, he specializes in underwater and aerial drones as well as AI cameras.

The drone is remotely operated via a tethered connection. The maximum range of the cable is either 50 or 70 meters (164/230 ft) depending on the bundle you bought. Additionally, the maximum depth the drone can reach is 30 meters (98 ft), for a maximum battery autonomy of 4 hours.

Also, the device can be equipped with a fish finder from the same brand.

Camera

PowerRay is equipped with a camera capable of recording videos in 4K/25fps UHD and of shooting pictures of 12 megapixel resolution. It can stream live video at 1080P/30FPS. In addition, the drone is equipped with strong LED lighting of 450 lumens with dimmable control, which is ideal for murky or dark waters. For a more immersive experience, you can use VR goggles to navigate your drone underwater.

Other features

The drone is can be fitted with PowerVision PowerSeeker. It is a sonar ball that you can use to track fish and scan the seabed for topographical information. The Fish Finder can give readings of depths from 0.6 meters (2 ft) up to 80 meters (262 ft) at an angle of 30°. Let’s not forget that it can give you water temperature. The device has a price of $99.

What makes PowerRay ideal for fishing?

Well, obviously sonar capabilities (although for an extra fee) are a must have when looking for fish nowadays. Other than that, PowerRay is equipped with a magnetic bait release system that you can trigger via a dedicated button on the remote control.

Price

PowerRay can be purchased in 2 possible bundles:

  • Explorer for $899: you’ll have PowerRay, controller, and base station
  • Wizard for $999: you’ll have everything in the PowerRay Explorer bundle plus bait drop, PowerSeeker FishFinder, and ZEISS VR ONE Plus goggle

At this difference in price, we recommend you buy the Wizard package: you’ll have the full experience for an additional $100!

Pros & Cons

 

Pros
  • 4K UHD camera
  • Strong and dimmable LED light of 450 lumens
  • Bait release system
Cons
  • Fish finder ball not included in basic package

 

PowerDolphin

PowerDolphin is another ROV drone from PowerVision. It has been released into the market in 2019. It is aimed to be used as recreational drone, for seabed mapping and of course for fishing!

It’s very important to know that PowerDolphin is a water surface drone, and can’t dive underwater. Nontheless, this comes with an advantage: it can be wirelessly operated via a remote controller for a distance up to 800 meters (almost 0.5 mile). This is way more important when comparing it to underwater drones. In addition it has a battery life of 2 hours, and can be associated with PowerSeeker (PowerVision’s sonar fish finder).

Camera

PowerDolphin features a 1/2.3 inch CMOS capable of recording videos at 4K 30 fps camera. It is also capable of taking photos of 12MP. The camera is able of streaming live feed at 1080p/30fps. Thanks to a jointed arm, it is possible to use the camera underwater as well as on the water surface at your convenience. You can also film in dark conditions with the help of 220 lm headlight.

Other features

Like the PowerRay, the PowerDolphin can be rigged with the PowerSeeker to take advantage of sonar capabilities. You can define a surface are to be scanned by the drone in search of fish or simply to have an idea about the seabed topography.

The drone can also reach speeds up 8 knots or 10 mph. Should you exceed the controller’s radio frequency range, the drone is able to come back to a defined home point.

What makes PowerDolphin ideal for fishing?

Other than the sonar capabilities, with the PowerDolphin you can drop your baits right under the nose of the fish you’re angling. To do so, you have 2 possibilities:

  • Either with fishing line tow and release system, most useful to drop your baited hooks or lures
  • Or with the bait box included in the PowerDolphin Wizard package. This is especially ideal when chumming or releasing pieces of bait to attract fish

Price

You can choose between 3 packages if you want to buy the drone:

  • Standard: priced at $799, it includes the PowerDolphin, a mobile device joystick, an intelligent charger, an intelligent battery and a waterproof storage bag.
  • Explorer: priced at $899, it contains the same things as the Standard bundle, but the Remote Controller replaced the Mobile Device Joystick.
  • PowerDolphin Wizard: priced at $999, it is the same bundle as the Explorer, plus a PowerSeeker sonar ball as well as a bait box.

Pros & Cons

 

Pros
  • Communication range up to 800 m (0.5 mile)
  • Path navigation and auto-return
  • Bait dropping functionality
  • Max sailing speed of 8 knots (10 mph)
  • Ability to define sea floor scanning area
Cons
  • Operates only from the surface
  • PowerSeeker not included in basic package
  • Bait box not included in basic bundle

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