Do you, like many others, wants to come back home from the beach carrying a giant yellowfin tuna on your back?
According to so many videos on YouTube, it looks so easy. You just need a rod, reel, line, bait, and a drone and you are good to go. So what’s the big deal?
Well, it is not that easy. So, if you want to be able to accomplish this highly desired mission, keep reading this guide about drone fishing with Phantom 4.
Shall we begin?
Drone fishing with Phantom 4 is one of the most popular drones to be used for fishing nowadays. And here is a nice video – which most probably you are already familiar with it, showing, in short, the whole idea behind drone fishing.
Drone Fishing with Phantom 4– Clarification
While drone fishing with Phantom 4 can defiantly improve your fishing, I must clarify one thing so you won’t have any illusions or false expectations.
Phantom 4 or any other drone that you will use for fishing, will not bring you fish. The drone is not a fish magnet.
However, drone fishing with Phantom 4, or drone fishing, in general, provide you with new abilities that you couldn’t do before. So, in order to catch these great fish, that you see on YouTube, you still need to have great fishing gear, and you still need to be an angler in order to succeed.
Now, let’s go to where it all begins…
Drone fishing with Phantom 4 became a real trend in surf fishing. And if you will ask senior anglers they will even tell you that drone fishing with Phantom 4 is very common these days.
Since DJI is the biggest company in the world who makes high-quality drones. It is no surprise that the DJI Phantom 4 is one of the most common drones that is being used for this task.
There is no need to explain here why the DJI Phantom 4 is a good drone. If you are not familiar with this drone yet, you can read more about it in DJI official website. And regardless to fishing, the Phantom 4 is a remarkable drone – one of the most popular drones in the world today.
Note: before we explain how to drone fishing with Phantom 4, it is vital for you to understand that the Phantom 4 was not made originally for fishing. First, it is not waterproof, which means that if a drone error will occur or a pilot error will happen, this will cause the drone to crash into the water, and it will be the end of the story for it. So be careful when using this drone for fishing.
Why drone fishing from the first place?
Well, I believe that most of you know the answer for this, but in short, people use drones for fishing since they want to drop their bait in places they normally cannot reach.
But this is not the only reason. Many times, before you drop your bait in a specific place, it will be better to scout for the best place to drop it. So, using a drone with a camera is a real requirement in drone fishing.
Why drone fishing with Phantom 4?
The fact that the Phantom 4 is a popular drone, does not mean it automatically makes it the best fit for fishing. So why is it a good drone to be used for fishing?
Well, DJI has put a lot of effort into making the Phantom a high end performing drone. Since its first release, we could see how well this drone performs compared to the others on the market. In addition, DJI developed a very easy mobile app, so you can control and plan your flight in a very detailed way.
That makes it easy not only for Phantom drone’ pilots, so they can enjoy a very easy-to-use mobile app. But it also has many advanced features, which makes it very straight forward and easy, even for beginners.
Sounds very easy, right?
Well, it’s not! In case you have no experience with flying drones, I highly recommend you to first purchase a cheaper drone, a used Phantom 3 will be a great start, and gain yourself some experience.
Flying a drone is very risky for people who have no experience. For example, we hear a lot lately about drones that flew near airports. This is a very serious thing since drones can cause an airplane to crash. This is not a joke! But it is not only risky next airports. Flying a drone above people heads can cause serious damage and even death if the drone will fall from the sky on a head of a person.
Many crashes occurred when flying the drone just for fun, not for fishing. When you go drone fishing, it will require from you additional experience, since you will need to control the drone and your fishing tackle as well.
So, I recommend you to learn more about the risks in drone fishing. It can save you a lot of money, sorrow, and damage.
Where do I start?
Assuming that you already have experience with flying drones, let’s dive into what it takes in order to take your Phantom 4 and turn it into a fishing machine.
Basically, drone fishing with Phantom 4 will allow you to scout for schools of fish and drop your bait just in front of them.
In order to accomplish this task, you will need a bait dropping device which will be able to carry out your bait to those specific places.
Bait Dropping Device – Payload Release System
In drone fishing, there are several payload release devices which each one works a bit differently than the others. And whoever is drone fishing with Phantom 4, probably is familiar with at least one of the following devices. I decided to split this group into 2 groups. The first is the premium, highly designed payload release devices. The second group is having a simple and cheap solution. Solutions that are less safe for your drone. The reason why I say it is less safe is since the simple device can’t understand when you are in a situation that is risky for your drone. Premium solutions detect that and releasing the bait with its line, in order to prevent your drone from crashing.
Drone Fishing with Phantom 4 – Premium Payload release devices
Sky Rigger is a payload release device developed by Sea Ulcer. Do you remember the video at the beginning of this post? That video, when it came out, went viral very fast. So the Sky Rigger was made by these 2 Australians, which only later, developed the Sky Rigger.
The Sky Rigger will release your bait when a fish takes your bait, or in case you want to release it in a specific spot, you need to close the bail of the reel and let your drone keep flying forward – in both the cases, the resistance of the line on the device will release it. It is not an electronic device and you can see it in action in the following demonstration video:
SkyClip is a new mechanic bait dropping device for every drone that can be used for fishing. Currently, SkyClip has a specific bait dropping device for the following drones: DJI Phantom, Mavic, SPARK, XIAOMI, and SJRC.
The SkyClip, like the Sky Rigger, is a mechanic bait dropping device, which has several advantages over the electric release device.
The air-dropping system by PGYTECH works with a photoresistor, like the previous ones. This payload release has a smooth looking design and looks like its an original part of the drone.
It is installed on the Phantom 4 similarly to the Sky Rigger. And in order to operate the drop mechanism, you need to turn on the front light of the drone. In order for the PGYTECH air dropping system to be controlled this way, the device comes with a photoresistor which operates as a switch. So when you turn on the light, it is like you clicked on its switch.
The same goes for the opposite when you turn off the light, it brings the device’s arm back again.
The price of the PGYTECH air dropping device is 140$.
FLiFLi Payload Release
The FLiFLi payload release works differently than all of the above. If the switch for dropping the bait with PGYTECH was according to light. The FLiFLi is activating the drop mechanism using a switch button that works as a remote control for the device.
The FLiFLi payload release device is an airdrop accessory that comes with wireless remote control that triggers the device. That makes the FLiFLi airdrop a simple device which does not require any special installation. No screws are needed. A very easy installation. You just clip the bracket to the Phantom 4 and then sliding the Airdrop device into the bracket.
The installation should not take you more than 15 seconds. And when you are done with it, the FLiFLi comes with a nice black bag so you can store it there.
The device has the same looking style of the Phantom 4 drone. Its’ power button and the battery indicator looks exactly like the ones on the Phantom 4, and of course, also the color of the FLiFLi is white, like the Phantom.
The range for the FLi FLi air dropping device is 1 kilometer. Which is a decent range, and you won’t need more than that.
The price of the FLiFLi air dropping device is 120$.
Drone Sky Hook
In short, Drone Sky Hook is a company who makes accessories for drones. Among their products, you can find electronic payload release devices for almost every DJI drone.
The Drone Sky Hook has a unique DROP WHEEL to drop the bait.
In addition, loading the bait or the fishing line is fast and easy, using only one hand.
Another great feature of the Drone Sky Hook is an optional Fail-Safe drop cord, which can save your drone from crashing into the water.
The way it works, it automatically disconnects the fishing line from your drone when the fishing line gets tangled in the reel or caught in seaweeds, rocks, seagulls, or other objects in the water.
Drone Sky Hook devices offer triple release redundancy, which means:
- The bait can be released with C1/C2 buttons on the remote controller.
- By simply rotating the drone.
- You can set a drop timer, that automatically drops the bait after a predetermined time.
The Drone Sky Hook device can work with the included light sensor or without it. In addition, some models have that ability to do 2 drops: one drop to release chum into the water to attract the fish and the second drop releases the bait with the fishing line.
Drone Sky Hook is offering 18 other accessories for your drone. Accessories like Daylight & Low-Light Drone Fishing Systems are offered. The Low-Light system incorporates a remotely controlled powerful Searchlight that shines its bright light forward, downward in angles or straight down. It improves the visibility of your DJI drone’s position and orientation in the air during dim light conditions or at night. That allows you to drone fishing at night without risking your drone.
After all, I do recommend you to have eyesight at your drone at all times,. Having these accessories help you out.
Here is an example showing Drone Sky Hook in action:
The prices of the Drone Sky Hook systems are around 163$ – 249$.
Gannet Payload Release device
The Gannet is a popular device which is compatible with DJI drones. You can find such a device for almost any DJI drone that can be used for fishing. As such, you can find a few compatible devices for the Phantom 4 as well. During January 2019, a new release came out which is the Gannet Sport. Gannet has several of bait dropping devices and their prices are around 150$ to 200$.
There are several models for the Gannet payload release device. Some of them work with resistance, and some of them work with a photoresistor. Nothing innovative when we compare it to the previous premium devices I just mentioned.
Drone Fishing with Phantom 4 – Other Payload release devices
Except for these five payload release devices I just mentioned, there are others to consider. These are simple devices that are working great as the rest in this list.
There are simple payload release devices that work with a photoresistor, like most of the payload release devices on this list, and are doing a great job. Their price is 55$.
I cannot say anything bad on any of the devices I mentioned. They are very popular among many anglers, just keep in mind that these devices won’t prevent your drone from crashing in case an unwanted situation occurred.
Moreover, if you don’t like to spend your money on a payload release, that is okay. You have an option to build your own bait dropping “device” which you can have from a metal coat hanger. Many people are using that till today and it works like a charm.
Here is a video showing how it works
If you want to know about other air dropping devices you can read it in our article about drone fishing with DJI drones.
Payload release installation
Several payload release devices can only be installed on the landing gears of the Phantom 4.
Drone Fishing – How far should I take the bait out?
While some companies say that the Phantom 4 (or any other Phantom or Mavic drone) is great for fishing since it has a great range of several kilometers, I would say that this is just a way to pursued customers for something they don’t need. You, as an angler, don’t need to take your bait for more than 1 kilometer away. In general, most anglers need to take their baits out for no more than 500 meters.
Another reason for not taking your bait out for more than 1 kilometer is the battery life.
If one battery gives you the ability to send out 4 baits, then sending your drone to a doubled range, will provide you with sending out only 2 baits.
Drone Fishing with Phantom 4 – The Rig
Like every fishing style has its own rig, drone fishing has its own special rig (or rigs) as well.
There are many different approaches to these rigs. However, one thing should be in common to all of them. Before landing a fish, you want to succeed in landing your drone back next to you.
Many times I heard about drones, not only the Phantom 4, that crashed since the fishing line got tangled in one of the drone’ propeller. And while the drone is flying above the sea, having such an accident has only one sad meaning – This is the end of your drone – which, by the way, happened so many times before.
So, the idea with the fishing rigs for drones is firstly to be safe for the drone.
Things we need to consider when setting the fishing rig:
- Prevent the pendulum effect.
- Keeping the line away from the propellers.
In general, the line should be around 2 meters’ length (some others even recommend it to be 3 meters).
This length of the line will not prevent a pendulum effect to occur, but it won’t affect the drone in a way that it can lose its’ balance. If a strong pendulum effect will tilt the drone, the crash will be unpreventable.
Can we Waterproof DJI Phantom 4?
Drone fishing with Phantom 4 keeps many pilots worried when they fly the drone above the water. It is true that as long as everything is okay, nothing bad should happen to the drone. But still, the fact that the drone is far away from us, keeps us worried. And it is not only since it is far away from us. In case the drone will fall into the water, that means you won’t see it again (most chances). After all, not too many people will go diving to rescue a drone which probably is dead anyway.
This is the reason why other companies made drones special for fishing, so in case the drone will fall into the water you won’t lose the drone. For example, you have the SplashDrone 3+ by SwellPro which is 100% waterproof and was specially designed for fishing. Read our post about the best drones for fishing in case you want to get familiar with the available fishing drones in the market.
Back to the Phantom 4. So, in case you don’t know, the DJI Phantom 4 is not a waterproof drone. And according to my knowledge, there is no such an accessory that can make it waterproof. And, If you are familiar with such an accessory, do leave me a comment in the comments section below about it.
But, even though you can’t make your Phantom 4 to be waterproof, still, there are great solutions for you.
So, in case you prefer to purchase a Phantom 4 drone, but you are still worried about your drone getting wet, I have good news for you. There is an amazing solution for your worries.
Phantom Rain Wetsuits
Phantom Rain is an American company that developed several amazing products for DJI drones. Their products were not intended for drone fishing. However, they fit perfectly for our fishing purposes.
The first, and relevant one is the Phantom Rain Wetsuits. The wetsuit is a 3 parts suit which you install on the Phantom 4 drone. However, the Phantom Rain Wetsuits makes the Phantom 4 water resistant – not waterproof, but still water resistant is a good thing for the Phantom.
Another great accessory that you can purchase for your Phantom 4 is the Phantom 4 Rescue Jacket. The rescue jacket is another product by Phantom Rain which makes the Phantom 4 floats over water.
That means that combining the Wetsuits with the Rescue Jacket will make your Phantom 4 almost completely protected from the water. And if your drone fell into the water next to you, you can surely save your drone from a disaster.
Here is an explanation about the Phantom Rain Wetsuits
This is something that most people are not aware of. However, I do not recommend you to do it unless you know what you are doing.
In the following video, you can see how you can waterproof any electronic device (well, almost anything – except ESC devices). If you will understand it completely you can waterproof your drone before each time you go fishing.
Remember! This solution is good for one time only. Every time you will need to redo it in order to protect your drone.
Drone Fishing with Phantom 4 – Reducing the Risks
DJI, one of the biggest manufactures for drones today, cares about the drone you buy from her. As such, DJI understands that not all the drone pilots are good enough for this mission, and with that said, DJI has developed their DJI Flight Simulator which will help you practice flying a drone, before having the drone yet.
DJI Flight simulator is accessible, intuitive and realistic, and you can practice lots of different training scenarios. It has 3 training modules that will allow you to develop the skills you will need to fly your drone safely for any task. You can practice, take off and maneuvering tasks. You can practice lots of hours behind the sticks. It accurately has all the drone models and the way the drones perform in real life scenarios, including the effects of winds, sunrise, sunset and more. Learn more about DJI Flight Simulator in the following video.
Drone fishing with Phantom 4 is a great way to improve your fishing level, and you can expect to catch big fish with it.
But, make sure that before you take your Phantom 4 for fishing, you will do the following:
- Know your drone, know how to fly it, how to operate it smoothly.
- Practice in a safe place how to drop the bait – depends on the payload release device you will choose for yourself.
- Don’t fly the drone where it can be risky for your surroundings.
- Plan ahead how long it will take the drone to go out, drop the bait and come back to you. Make sure each time, that you have enough battery for it.
You will need to have enough time for practice, but it will be worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this guide about drone fishing with Phantom 4.
Let me know in the comments section below what you think about this post about drone fishing with Phantom 4.