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The Best Drones For Fishing Footage

The Best Drones for Epic Fishing Footage in 2023

As an avid angler and tech enthusiast, I‘ve seen the growing trend of fishermen using drones to capture stunning aerial footage of their fishing adventures. Whether you want to document an epic catch, scout fishing spots, or simply get a bird‘s eye view of the action, a good fishing drone can be a game-changer. But with so many models on the market, how do you pick the right one?

I‘ve spent countless hours testing and researching the top fishing drones to bring you this ultimate guide. Whether you‘re a beginner looking for an easy-to-fly model or a pro wanting the highest quality camera, I‘ve got you covered with my top picks in every category. Let‘s dive in!

Benefits of Using a Drone for Fishing Footage

Before we get to the best models, let‘s talk about why you might want a drone for fishing in the first place. The main benefit is the ability to capture epic aerial angles that would be impossible to get otherwise. Imagine wide, sweeping shots showing the vastness of the ocean or lake, with your boat just a tiny speck. Or tight shots hovering right above as you reel in a monster catch. Drones let you become your own fishing cinematographer.

Drones are also very helpful for scouting fishing spots, especially in shallow water. You can cover a lot more area than you could on foot, looking for underwater structure, bait balls, and signs of fish. This intel can help you catch more fish and save time.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fishing Drone

With those benefits in mind, here are the main factors I considered when picking the best fishing drones:

  1. Camera quality – You‘ll want at least 4K resolution and good stabilization for the clearest, smoothest video. A mechanical gimbal is worth paying for.

  2. Flight time – Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes of flight time per battery so you don‘t have to land for a swap at a crucial moment.

  3. Range – A range of at least 1-2 miles will give you plenty of room to fly while still maintaining a strong connection to the controller.

  4. Portability and durability – Your drone needs to be easy to pack along on fishing trips and durable enough to handle the elements. Look for compact, folding designs and robust construction.

  5. Intelligent flight modes – Auto-follow, orbit, dronie and other pre-programmed modes make it easy to get cinematic shots while keeping your hands free for fishing.

  6. Ease of use – A drone that‘s easy to set up and fly means you‘ll use it more often. Autonomous features like auto take-off and landing help.

  7. Price – You don‘t need to spend a fortune to get a good fishing drone. I‘ve included excellent options at a variety of price points.

The Best Drones for Fishing Footage

Here are my top picks for the best drones for fishing in various categories, taking into account the key factors above. I‘ll share relevant specs, pros and cons for each one.

Best Overall Fishing Drone: DJI Mavic 3

The DJI Mavic 3 is hands-down the best overall drone for fishing footage. It boasts a phenomenal Hasselblad camera that shoots 5.1K video and 20MP stills, a best-in-class 46 minute flight time, and an incredible 9.3 mile range. Despite all that performance, it folds up to about the size of a water bottle for easy packability.

Pros:

  • Exceptional camera quality
  • Long flight time and range
  • Portable and durable
  • Advanced tracking and autonomous flight modes

Cons:

  • Most expensive model on this list

Specs:

  • Camera: 5.1K/50fps video, 20MP stills
  • Flight time: 46 minutes
  • Range: 9.3 miles
  • Weight: 1.97 lbs

Price: $2,199

Best Budget Fishing Drone: DJI Mini 2

You don‘t have to break the bank to get a capable fishing drone. The DJI Mini 2 shoots excellent 4K video in a compact, beginner-friendly package for less than $500. Weighing in at just 249g, it‘s so light that you don‘t need to register it with the FAA.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Good 4K camera
  • Extremely portable
  • Easy for beginners

Cons:

  • Lacks some advanced features of pricier models
  • Shorter range

Specs:

  • Camera: 4K/30fps video, 12MP stills
  • Flight time: 31 minutes
  • Range: 6.2 miles
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs

Price: $449

Best Fishing Drone for Beginners: Potensic A20W

If you‘re new to drones, the Potensic A20W is the perfect starter model. It has built-in safety features like auto hovering and one-key takeoff and landing. You can draw a custom flight path right on your phone screen. And the price is very beginner-friendly.

Pros:

  • Very easy to fly
  • Kid-friendly safety features
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Only 720p camera
  • Short range and flight time

Specs:

  • Camera: 720P video
  • Flight time: 15 minutes
  • Range: 0.12 miles
  • Weight: 0.46 lbs

Price: $69.99

Best Waterproof Fishing Drone: SwellPro Spry+

Most consumer drones aren‘t built to handle the splashes and salt spray that comes with flying over water. The SwellPro Spry+ is the exception. It‘s fully waterproof, so you can land and launch it right from the water. The controller floats too!

Pros:

  • Completely waterproof
  • Can land and float on water
  • Good camera quality

Cons:

  • Expensive for the specs
  • No 4K video

Specs:

  • Camera: 4K video
  • Flight time: 18 minutes
  • Range: 0.6 miles
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs

Price: $989

Best Follow-Me Fishing Drone: Skydio 2+

If you want a drone that can autonomously follow and film you reeling in a big catch, the Skydio 2+ is the best in the biz. Its advanced AI can track you while nimbly avoiding any obstacles in its path. You can even launch it and have it follow you hands-free without a controller.

Pros:

  • Best autonomous tracking
  • Advanced obstacle avoidance
  • Good camera quality

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires additional Beacon for some modes

Specs:

  • Camera: 4K/60fps video, 12MP stills
  • Flight time: 27 minutes
  • Range: 2 miles
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs

Price: $1,099

Tips for Getting the Best Fishing Drone Footage

Now that you‘ve got the right drone, here are my top tips for getting the most epic fishing footage:

  1. Experiment with different camera angles. Don‘t just stick to the standard birds-eye view. Try low orbiting shots, reveal shots, follow-cam shots, etc. Mix it up!

  2. Use ND filters in bright light. Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light entering the lens so you can keep your shutter speed down for the most cinematic look.

  3. Color correct. Most drone cameras shoot a relatively flat image so you can color grade in post. Try boosting oranges and blues for a classic outdoors look.

  4. Edit to the action. Cut to the beat of the action, whether that‘s casting, reeling, or making a catch. Add some music for extra emotion.

  5. Obey regulations. Fly safe and legal. Don‘t fly in restricted areas, over people, at night, or beyond visual line of sight. Respect wildlife and the environment.

Wrapping Up

Whether you‘re a seasoned angler or a beginner, a drone can take your fishing footage to the next level. I hope this guide has helped you find the best drone for your needs and budget. Just remember, a drone is no replacement for fishing skills – it won‘t catch the fish for you. But pair it with your angling prowess, and you‘re sure to reel in not just fish, but epic footage too. Tight lines!