- Calibrations not done, or not done correctly
Probably the number one cause of fishing drone problems while out flying are related to people not doing their calibrations before each flight OR not doing these properly. The product Manuals all have detailed instructions on how to do this, and many manufacturers also have videos to show you how calibration should be done properly.
There is no excuse for not doing the calibrations when the manual asks you to do so.
- Battery Issues
It’s really important to make sure firstly before you go flying that the drone and remote battery are FULLY Charged. Secondly its really important that you battery is in good order and is well maintained.
This also includes not pushing your battery life to its limit during flights. If your battery is getting low, DO NOT attempt to do “one last fishing set”, be smart and change your battery over to a fresh battery. The Lithium Battery manufacturers tell us that you shouldn’t discharge your battery any lower than 20%.
It’s also really important to look after your Lithium Battery during it’s life, and making sure you are doing simple things like NOT Storing the battery when it is drained of charge, and NOT storing the battery on Full charge either. Both can make your battery unusable or even dangerous. Lithium Batteries from most manufacturers should be stored at 50-60% of charge.
- NOT Practicing with a New Fishing Drone in a safe area before your first fishing trip
It’s highly recommended that before you go out Fishing with your new drone, that you practice with your new drone is a wide open paddock with no people of animals. Although the drones these days are relatively easy to fly it STILL requires training, and it is suggested that you do at least 5 test flights BEFORE you attempt to take your new Drone over water. Especially if you are a new Fishing Drone Pilot, not practicing with your drone first and instead going straight onto the beach and fishing can have disastrous consequences.
- NOT reading the Manual
Because the fishing drones these days are so easy to fly, many people take reading the product manual for granted. This is certainly not advised, as you are more than likely to come-a-cropper if you don’t read the manual and follow any videos that the manufacturer has published, it’s as simple as that! Even if you flown a drone before, every drone has differences in how they operate.
- Over Confidence
This is another big issue, particularly with new pilots who are finding the whole process of flying their new drone too easy. Problems like orientating the drone so it faces you in the air, and being too aggressive with the joysticks can all lead to big problems
- Fishing Tackle
It’s really important that your fishing gear is in good condition and that you synchronise your drone flight with your setup on the beach of rod, reel, and line particularly so you don’t have any issues while flying your bait out (because the drone will fly fast), and this can lead to jamming the reel as the line spools off, which can be a disaster. The other thing to watch for here (and something that happens too often) is while in flight allowing the bow in in the line to come in contact with the propellers. Remember your propellers are what keeps the drone in the air so if the propellers catch your line, there is a very good chance the drone will crash into the water and you may lose everything, so be mindful of keeping your fishing line well away from the drone propellers.
- Not maintaining your Drone & Drone Fishing Gear
Like everything if you don’t keep your fishing drone maintained it’s more likely to let you down. This also goes for the fishing tackle, rods, and reels.
This is especially important in this case in that your fishing drone is often used around the harsh and corrosive environment of New Zealand’s marine environment, which has a real habit of causing all sorts of issues over time.
The first thing we would say here, is that it’s really important to make sure that you give your drone (if it’s a water resistant model) a light mist spray down with fresh water after a days fishing and then wiping off any water before you put your drone away. This simple task will keep your drone in tip-top condition for years.
- Animals, Children, and other people in the area when you are Drone Fishing
This is another big thing that can go wrong for Drone Fisherman. Dogs and Children are often difficult to control, and can often move in unexpected ways while you are trying to fly your drone, so it is REALLY important to keep this in mind when out drone fishing, and make allowances for this. As a general rule it’s best to go fishing when there is no one else around, but we do realise this might not always be the case. Remember that many of the modern fishing drones are equiped with Carbon Fibre Propellers – and if they come into contact with soft tissue will cut like a knife, so it is super important you are very cautious at all times when around others or any pets.
Always monitor the Weather before going drone fishing. Most modern fishing drones will handle some light winds, but even for most robust fishing drones you don’t want to fly in much more than 15-18 knots, particularly if it is gusty, as this can really effect the flight of the drone and make it much harder to fly.
Of course depending on what model you have, some drone fishing brands are now weather and rain resistant (Splashdrone, Rippton, etc) so that makes rain showers not a problem, but it’s a good idea to check your drones rain resistance rating before you go out fishing especially if there are rainclouds around on your fishing day.
The other important thing to bear in mind is Wind Direction and Windspeed at height. Even if there is little or no wind at the beach, sometimes at height there is wind, this can be especially the case if you are being sheltered from the offshore wind by high hills, cliffs, or trees just off the beach. Because Fishing Drones operate at height they are more likely to be effected by wind at higher altitudes.
- No Idea what to do if the drone doesn’t fly as expected
If you have a problem with your drone while in flight (and this can happen from time to time, normally due to external interference) it’s really important that you know how to control the drone and fly it home safely and land it. Never use RTH, or Return to Home if you are having issues with control in flight. Instead switch the flight mode to ATTI or MANUAL Mode (not GPS mode) and fly the drone home manually. Get used to flying in ATTI Mode, because the drone behaves differently in ATTI flight mode vs. GPS mode, as the drone will lack the horizontal position lock & will likely drift with the wind.
We really hoped you have enjoyed this short article and have learned something from it that you can take away and use to make your Drone Fishing experience even more enjoyable. Any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Please note that all our articles are put together by our team and should not be replicated or plagiarised in any way without express written permission.