In South Africa, Drone Fishing is Really a Thing

Fishing and flying drones may seem completely unrelated, but a drone fishing tournament in South Africa argues otherwise.

Drone Fishing - Gannet

The Sky Anglers Drone Fishing Tournament took place at Rocky Bay near Durban in South Africa last weekend. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Drones are now officially being used to assist in fishing. 

To be frank, this symbiotic relationship between unmanned aerial vehicles and casual hobbies should no longer be surprising. But even though we’ve seen drones being used in surfing, in the beloved hobby of destroying things, or to create sophisticated light shows, these sorts of drone implementations continue to surprise and inspire. 

On Saturday, one of the first drone fishing competitions in the world took place on a South African beach, where 65 of 70 anglers used UAVs to carry their bait offshore to gain an advantage in the competition.

According to the South Coast Herald, a regional South African publication, 100,000 South African Rand (a value of $7,326) were on the line. Yugen Govender, who organized the tournament, claimed that this was the first time in the world that drones were used for fishing, and that using a UAV almost guarantees the angler he’ll catch a fish. Of course, since this was a catch and release session, all fish were returned to sea upon being caught. 

The South Coast Herald reports that Govender has been fishing for more than two decades, and was introduced to drones two years ago. Apparently, combining these two passions has led him to catch a fish weighing 230 kg, about 507 pounds. Now, I don’t know much about fishing, but I do know about drones, and there are only a few UAVs that can carry that kind of weight. 

Many of the anglers confirmed that their drones helped quite a bit in the tournament, most notably in rocky areas. Viren Raju, a Reservoir Hills resident, caught a blacktip shark weighing 95.4 kilograms, about 210 pounds, which garnered him first prize for heaviest overall catch of the tournament. 

Let’s take a look at these drone fishers in action, shall we?