As drones become cheaper and more readily available, they're being put to all kinds of uses: planting trees, responding to emergencies, spotting exam cheats, delivering mail, providing Internet access, and catching bugs. Now there's a drone for fishermen (and women) in the form of the AguaDrone, a contraption that can spot fish lurking in the depths of the water and even fly your hook out to a specific point.
Fishing has already embraced a number of high-tech innovations, including sonar scanners, automated reels, carbon fibre rods, and underwater cameras, and the AguaDrone builds on these ideas. It comes in two parts: the actual drone itself, and replaceable pods that you can swap out as required. You can choose from the AguaDrone Pod (a waterproof camera for spotting fish below the surface), the Fish Scout Pod (which finds fish via sonar pulses rather than a camera) and the Line Flyer Pod (for flying your line out to wherever the fish happen to be).
Everything is controlled via a smartphone app, and the makers of the AguaDrone say you can bring your unmanned aerial vehicle back to base with a tap on the screen - you might have to do this on a fairly regular basis considering the battery life is quoted at 14 to 18 minutes. Still, that should be enough time for you to scout out the water or cast your line, giving you another advantage over the fish swimming below the surface.
As the official website explains, AguaDrone was born from a passion for both remote-controlled aeroplanes and fishing, and the small team of three are taking pre-orders now for delivery in November. The drone itself costs US$699 and you can then pick up the pods for $89 (the line flyer), $179 (the sonar) or $418 (the camera). If you want everything together, the cost is $1,099.
The drone itself is built from a blend of polycarbonate and ABS composite plastic, and it's designed to withstand most conditions the great outdoors can throw at it. The controller and the GPS unit are mounted on top of the quadcopter, leaving the underside of the drone free for whatever pod you wish to attach.
The AguaDrone inventors aren't quite the first to bring the technology to the sport of fishing: the Hélibaits drone doesn't have a camera or a sonar emitter, but it can carry your bait out to wherever you want fish to congregate. If the technology continues to progress, before too long you might be able to catch a prize fish with the push of a button. But then that's not exactly sporting now, is it?