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Epic Drone Fishing Trip to Glinks Gulley in Northland – West Coast Style!

We recently hit the road to head up North to chase the fish with our drones on the West Coast – North of Auckland to a magic place called Glinks Gully.   It turned out to be one heck of a day so read on!

We had setup a weekend recently in the NZ Autumn with the boys where everyone of the team was able to make it & the weather was still warm.  Luckily for us the weather was playing ball luckily.  We settled on taking three drones with us for the trip, the new Splashdrone 4, the Big Boy Rippton Mobula (capable of carrying 25x baits with ease) and at the other end of the scale the ultra compact Swellpro SPRY+. We brought along these three models for different reasons, the SD4 (Splashdrone 4) because were wanting to give the unit more flight time to – as our own testing continues on this brand new model, the Mobula because it is the Full AUTO Heavy Duty Model, and the little SPRY+ which suites the West Coast Fisherman who is not able to surf-cast in line out past the West Coast Breakers, and therefore is really only wanting to cast one or two baits out.

We started out late Friday night after work, and after loading up the two 4×4’s were off for Dargaville and then onto a little batch at Glinks, after a quick stop at BP for Pies and supplies – we were back on the trail. Luckily the trip was pretty smooth for the most part.  We were actually pretty excited because we had heard that some good fish had been caught in the general area of recent times, so this helped to ignite our anticipation for sure.  By the time we reached the batch, we were all pretty tired so the troops hit the sack and a pretty respectable hour – as the weather looked good for tomorrow with light offshore winds, so no one really wanted to miss the early start.

Just as planned we work to a stunning morning – with no clouds and no wind.  So after a quick cup of tea and piece of toast we were on our way.  Luckily one of our team had remembered about charging the drone batteries the night before (everyone else had forgotten) and so we had full charge on our many batteries across three different model of drones.drone fishing vehicle

The tide had peaked a little earlier, so we were able to head down the beach to our first spot about 1km away.  The surf is what i would call medium to small for the West Coast- not that is matters much when you are drone fishing!

Once we had our spot, we pulled up our 4X4 Utes and started setting up our gear.  it didnt take too long to get everything ready: Rods and tackle out, Beach Spikes all set, Baits all cut, and Drones set up & Calibrated & a couple of plastic chairs for extra comfort!

We got the SPRY+ in the air first as this drone was setup to take out just a couple of baits for our surf-casting Spin gear setup. IMG 2858 The SPRY+ was able to get to it’s desired 300 Metres within a couple of seconds & a quick lock on the reel with a hand mean’t that the drone drone dropped it’s load.  Auto Return to Home Actioned on the remote and the little drone quickly flew it’s way back to the beach auto landing in a couple of puddles (which is fine given the SPRY+ is water resisstant).

The next Drone in the air was the new Splashdrone 4.  A couple of our team had been looking forward to this puppy because the SD4 represents the very latest of technology in Drone Fishing a couple hadn’t seen it flown first-hand.  The Calibration on the SD4 is really quick, which meant we could get the drone out and into the action quicker. We loaded the SD4 up with seven baits & because of the current went with a 6 OZ sinker and rubber bands to hold the  wire grapnels in place better.  WIth the 2kg Max Payload capacity of the SD4 we knew we had some redundancy in lift capacity.  After getting the drone in the air, when of the things we really appreciated was the good quality camera on the SD4, the 4K Camera really made it easy to spot the current flows and therefore gave us a really good idea where we wanted to do our trace drop.

The last drone in the air was the big Mobula.  This Drone is a real beast in every way particularly with it’s size and weight, its able to take out 25X baited hooks, so really is a replacement for the old Torpedo style of fishing.  In this case we took out much less than 25 baits as we were fishing on rod & reel.  One of the things we really liked about the Mobula is that is has this auto fishing feature which means the drone is basically on autopilot the whole time.  Before you take off, you set the fishing spot you want to go to on the map screen your phone which sits on the remote control – and the drone does the rest!  All you really have to do is tell it to drop the baits – so the drone flys out and flys back by itself, talk about automatic fishing!

We continued to fish the rest of the day and although we had a slow start to our catch rate, by mid afternoon we were starting to fill our Icey-Tek Chilly Bin.C1088.00 46 08 23.Still103

One thing we were really impressed with, with the Splashdrone 4 was it’s abilty to change batteries quickly after three sets by sliding out the depleated one and sliding in another.  Also as the wind came up a little by about 2pm, the SD4 seems to really handle the conditions very well.  Very Impressive .

The thing to note was that the little SPRY+ drone was really quite compact & easy to setup and transport around.  It built really tough & is also water resistant.  We really liked how the propellers come already installed while in the case & that combined with its smaller size meant that it could be setup and working in moments.  The SPRY+ Setup is really ideal for many traditional Surf Caster guys that want to get their bait out a little further.

By 4pm we had a full bin of fish with a number of Good sized Pannie Snapper, Large Gurnard, and even a few Kahawai and a Trevally, so at that point we decided to call it and head home.

All in all, we had a really good day out on the Mighty West Coast.  This is the first time we have trialed three very different fishing drones at one time so it was really interesting to see how they all behaved and the stregnths of each.  We ended up with enough fish to do a smoke & the Snapper came out perfectly, so there was fresh fish to eat all-round!

IMG 9074
Some of the restults of a successful drone fishing day!

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