Is Drone Fishing Legal?Here’s What You Need to Know

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Drone fishing has gained popularity among Australian anglers over recent years. While the use of drones for fishing provides many advantages, including enhanced accuracy, convenience, and wider access to fishing spots, it has also raised questions about its legality. So, is drone fishing legal in Australia?

Firstly, it’s essential to note that the legality of drone fishing depends on the specific state or territory where it is being used. While some states, such as Western Australia and Tasmania, have banned drone fishing, others have more relaxed regulations.

Victoria, for instance, allows drone fishing, but with several limitations, including the requirement for anglers to stay within sight of their drones and avoid using them in prohibited areas. Similarly, New South Wales permits drone fishing but prohibits the use of drones for any activities that could endanger other people or wildlife.

If you’re planning on using a drone for fishing in Australia, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your state or territory to avoid any legal issues. In the following sections, we’ll provide you with expert tips on safe and legal drone fishing and discuss the pros and cons of using drones for fishing.

The Rise of Drone Fishing in Australia

Drone fishing has taken the fishing industry by storm, and Australia is no exception. With the help of technology, fishermen can now drop their bait further and more accurately than ever before. Drones have been used for fishing in Australia since 2015 and have gained popularity in recent years.

Drone fishing has a lot of advantages. Not only does it allow anglers to fish in previously unreachable spots, but it also provides a better view of the water, which makes it easier to locate schools of fish. The rise of drone fishing in Australia has not gone unnoticed, and there have been questions about its legality.

Regulations on Drone Fishing in Australia

Drone fishing regulations vary depending on the state or territory you are in. For example, in Victoria, the use of drones for fishing is prohibited. However, in Queensland, you are allowed to use a drone for fishing as long as you are not dropping the bait from the drone. In New South Wales, you are permitted to use a drone for fishing, but there are certain restrictions you need to adhere to, such as not fishing in prohibited areas and not fishing for protected species.

Benefits of Drone Fishing

  • Increased Accuracy: Drones can be used to drop bait in a specific location, making it easier to catch fish.
  • Cost-Effective: Drone fishing can save you money in the long run as you won’t need to hire a boat or a guide to take you to remote fishing spots.
  • Time-Saving: With the help of drones, fishermen can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time, increasing their chances of catching fish.

Challenges of Drone Fishing

Although drone fishing has many benefits, it also has some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is that it can be difficult to determine the size of the fish from above the water. Additionally, there is a risk of the drone crashing into the water, which can be dangerous for marine life.

Drone fishing is a controversial topic, but one thing is for sure – it has revolutionized the way we fish. Whether you are an experienced angler or a novice, drone fishing is worth considering if you want to take your fishing game to the next level.

The Current State of Drone Fishing Regulations in Australia

Drone fishing has become an increasingly popular way of fishing in Australia. However, the legality of drone fishing is still a topic of debate. While some believe that drone fishing should be allowed, others are concerned about the potential dangers and risks associated with it.

Currently, the regulations surrounding drone fishing in Australia are quite strict. In order to legally operate a drone for fishing purposes, you must obtain a Remote Pilot License (RePL) from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Additionally, you must follow all the regulations set by CASA and comply with state-specific laws.

What are the current regulations for drone fishing in Australia?

  • RePL Requirement: In Australia, drone fishing is considered a commercial activity, and therefore, a Remote Pilot License (RePL) is required to operate a drone for fishing purposes.
  • CASA Regulations: The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has strict regulations for drone operations, and drone fishing is no exception. Some of the regulations include maintaining line of sight, flying within visual line of sight, and complying with airspace requirements.

What are the concerns surrounding drone fishing regulations in Australia?

Despite the strict regulations, concerns surrounding drone fishing still persist. One of the major concerns is the potential danger posed by drones to other aircraft or individuals. Additionally, some are concerned about the impact of drones on marine life and the environment.

What is the future of drone fishing regulations in Australia?

  • Evolution of Technology: As technology continues to advance, it is possible that drone fishing regulations will evolve to accommodate the new changes. For instance, drones equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning may become better at identifying marine life and avoiding potential risks.
  • Collaboration and Education: Collaboration between the drone industry and regulatory authorities, as well as education for drone operators, can help ensure safe and responsible drone fishing practices.

As drone fishing continues to gain popularity in Australia, it is important to stay up to date with the current regulations and follow safe and responsible practices. Ultimately, the future of drone fishing regulations in Australia will depend on the balance between safety, innovation, and environmental impact.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drones for Fishing

Fishing is one of the oldest and most beloved pastimes in Australia, but modern technology is changing the game. One of the newest innovations is using drones to assist with fishing. While there are certainly some benefits to using drones for fishing, there are also drawbacks to consider.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using drones for fishing.


  • Improved accuracy: One of the biggest benefits of using drones for fishing is improved accuracy. With a drone, you can easily spot fish from high above, giving you a much better chance of landing a big catch.
  • Increased convenience: Drones can cover a lot of ground quickly and easily, which means you can fish in areas that would be difficult or impossible to reach otherwise. This can save you time and hassle, making fishing more enjoyable overall.
  • More efficient: Drones can help you catch more fish in less time. With the ability to locate schools of fish quickly and accurately, you can spend less time searching and more time reeling in your catch.


  • Cost: Drones can be expensive, and investing in one solely for fishing purposes may not be worth it for everyone. Additionally, the cost of repairs or replacement parts can add up over time.
  • Regulations: The use of drones for fishing is still a relatively new concept, and regulations around their use can vary. It’s important to research and understand the rules and regulations in your area before using a drone for fishing.
  • Environmental impact: Some people argue that using drones for fishing can have a negative impact on the environment. Drones can disturb wildlife and disrupt natural habitats, potentially harming the very fish you’re trying to catch.

Ultimately, whether or not using a drone for fishing is right for you will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. Consider the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

Drone Fishing Gear: What You Need to Get Started

If you’re interested in trying drone fishing, it’s important to have the right gear to get started. Here are some essential items you’ll need:

Drone: Of course, the most important piece of gear for drone fishing is the drone itself. Look for a drone with a high payload capacity and a stable camera to ensure your fishing line can be safely transported and accurately dropped.

Fishing Reel and Line

  • Fishing Reel: A good quality fishing reel is essential for drone fishing. Look for one with a high line capacity and smooth drag to ensure you can reel in big catches with ease.
  • Fishing Line: Choose a strong and durable fishing line with a high breaking strength, as the force of the drone can put a lot of stress on the line. Braided lines are often recommended for drone fishing as they have low stretch and high sensitivity.

Bait Release Mechanism

Bait Release Mechanism: This is a device that attaches to the drone and allows you to remotely release your bait once you’ve flown the drone to the desired location. There are a variety of different mechanisms available, from simple clips to more advanced systems that can be controlled with a smartphone app.

Optional Accessories

  • Fishing Rod Holder: A fishing rod holder can be useful for keeping your rod secure while you fly the drone.
  • Spare Batteries and Propellers: Having extra batteries and propellers on hand can help ensure that you can fly your drone for longer periods of time without interruption.

Now that you know what gear you need to get started with drone fishing, it’s time to hit the water and start reeling in those big catches!

Expert Tips for Safe and Legal Drone Fishing in Australia

If you’re planning to try drone fishing in Australia, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and legal experience. First, it’s important to know the laws and regulations around drone use and fishing in your area. Make sure to obtain any necessary permits and follow guidelines regarding drone altitude, distance from people and buildings, and time of day restrictions.

Second, always prioritize safety. Use caution when flying your drone near water and avoid attempting to reel in fish that are too heavy or strong for your equipment. Always keep a safe distance from other people and never fly your drone in areas with heavy boat traffic or in poor weather conditions.

Choose the Right Drone and Fishing Gear

  • Invest in a high-quality drone with a sturdy build and strong battery life to ensure it can handle the weight of your fishing gear and potential catch.
  • Choose a fishing line that is strong and durable, with a weight capacity that matches the size of fish you’re hoping to catch.
  • Consider using a drone release mechanism to safely and easily drop your bait and hook into the water.

Scout Out the Perfect Location

When searching for a good spot to fish with your drone, look for areas with clear water and minimal boat traffic. Consider the wind and tide conditions, as these factors can greatly impact your success. It’s also a good idea to do some research on local fish species and their preferred habitats.

Practice and Perfect Your Technique

  • Practice flying your drone and dropping your line in a safe, open area before attempting to fish.
  • Be patient and experiment with different baits and techniques to find what works best for you.
  • Always be respectful of other anglers and the natural environment.

By following these expert tips for safe and legal drone fishing in Australia, you can enjoy a thrilling and successful fishing experience with your drone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Drone Fishing Legal In Australia?

Yes, drone fishing is legal in Australia. However, there are certain regulations that must be followed to ensure safe and legal use of drones. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued guidelines for the operation of drones, which includes a requirement for the operator to hold a Remote Pilot License (RePL) and the drone to be registered with CASA.

What Are The Safety Regulations For Drone Fishing In Australia?

The safety regulations for drone fishing in Australia require operators to maintain a safe distance from people, buildings, and other structures. Operators must also maintain visual contact with the drone at all times and avoid flying the drone in restricted airspace. It is recommended to have a spotter to keep watch on the drone while the operator is fishing.

What Are The Benefits of Using A Drone For Fishing In Australia?

The benefits of using a drone for fishing in Australia include the ability to access remote locations that may not be reachable by foot or boat, a better view of the water and potential fish, and increased chances of catching fish due to the ability to drop bait in precise locations. Drones also offer a unique and exciting fishing experience that many anglers enjoy.

What Are The Risks Of Drone Fishing In Australia?

The risks of drone fishing in Australia include the potential for the drone to malfunction or crash, which could cause injury to people or damage to property. Operators must also ensure they are following all safety regulations and not endangering themselves or others while operating the drone. Additionally, the use of drones for fishing may be viewed as unethical by some traditional anglers.

Do I Need Special Equipment For Drone Fishing In Australia?

Yes, you will need specific equipment for drone fishing in Australia, including a drone equipped with a release mechanism for dropping bait and a fishing rod designed for drone fishing. You may also want to invest in additional safety equipment, such as a life jacket and a flotation device for the drone in case of an emergency.

Can I Use A Drone For Commercial Fishing In Australia?

Yes, drones can be used for commercial fishing in Australia, but operators must hold a Remote Pilot License (RePL) and follow all safety regulations set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Commercial operators must also obtain a Remote Operator Certificate (ReOC) from CASA to operate drones commercially.

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