Technology designed to help you catch fish is advancing rapidly. The humble fisherman can now employ a military-developed drone to greatly improve his chances of landing a catch.
No fishing rod required, just a remote control and an evil streak, (mwahaha)! Using robots and machines to catch fish might seem a little extreme. But isn’t landing a catch by any means necessary the whole point?
Whichever side of the pond you’re fishing from, here are five of the coolest fishing gadgets. We’ll let you decide which can be classed as fishing aids and which are bordering on fish warfare.
1. The rise of the drones
The machines are coming and drones are leading the way. No longer exclusive to the military, drones can now be bought by the consumer. Underground drone racing, drone-assisted home videos and drone-aided game hunting and fishing are all new sports.
A recent Daily Mail article described a new fishing drone that flies out your line and bait to prime fishing spots. There’s also a “fish-finder module” to help you locate your catch.
Fishing with drones is sure to catch on. But is it going against the rules? One thing’s for sure, it does look fun (although not for the fish).
2. Fish everywhere with fun-sized fishing rods
Fishing gear can be cumbersome and hard to carry around. And often it’s just not convenient — it’s not like you can just pull out your full-sized fishing rod and start fishing if an opportunity suddenly arises. But you can with a pen-sized rod and mini reel. Using this gadget isn’t cheating, but rather maximizing your fishing opportunities.
Check out how one man got on by visiting the Hunter Gather Cook blog, where he writes:
“For any trip into the wilderness, when you don’t want to be lumbered with lots of fishing gear but still want to have a dabble, this is the perfect tool to snaffle a few breakfast-sized brown trout from a moorland stream.”
3. The all-seeing fishing rod
This has been out for about four years and it’s a tricky one to include in the ‘cheating or not cheating’ debate. It’s a fishing rod (great), but it has an underwater camera attached to the line and an LCD screen fixed to the handle — so basically you can see what’s happening underwater. Thus you can keep casting until you find the best spot. It’s certainly easier than diving in yourself.
Mike Shouts sees it as a great way to get “kids interested in fishing” or “to eliminate the mystery of whether there are or aren’t any fishes in the area before proceeding with a more professional rod.”
4. Wake me when when I’ve got a bite!
Fishing with friends? Taking a snooze? Fishing with more than one rod? You need a bite alarm! Simply rig it up to your rod and it will beep when you’ve got a fish tugging on the line. According to Black Country Carpers, the bite alarm has come quite a long way since the 60s:
“One of the first bite alarms was made from a piece of silver foil hanging from the line on front of the reel. This evolved into a bell operated from movement of the line to give an audible signal that a fish was hooked. The bell is still used today by sea anglers, but not so much in the carp scene!”
For something a bit more, er, modern, our Mag Runner Ignite Bite Alarm does a nice job; you can watch the video below to learn more.
5. Smartphone sonar
We live in the age of useful apps. No surprise, then, that there are quite a few handy fishing apps out there. One of the most impressive is ReelSonar, an app that works alongside the sonar fish-finding device, iBobber.
The iBobber floats on the surface and sends information — about where the fish are, what the temperature of the water is and what the contours of the waterbed are — straight to your smartphone via the app. Watch the video below to see it in action at a fish take!
So is using technology cheating?
Matthew Eastham of the North Country Angler blog summarises the situation quite nicely: “We fish in a manner which brings us pleasure – surely that is the ultimate aim regardless of how ‘proper’ our chosen method might be.”