It seems just overnight drones have come into play by many different groups. Some uses of drones can be beneficial, while others can cross the line.
According to BassFan.com, B.A.S.S. and FLW will prohibit the use of drones by anglers to gain an advantage. Rules regarding drones still are being revised by both groups. But, the use of un-manned aircraft to garner information during off-limit periods before tournaments will be prohibited.
One may ask how a drone could be used to gain information or an advantage over other competitors. Drones are un-manned, remote-controlled aircraft. Video cameras like a GoPro or Ion, can be mounted on the craft. Flights over lakes and tournaments waters could reveal information about bass or other anglers on the lake.
The flight range of some of the more sophisticated drones can be a few thousand yards or more. With some practice and skill level, drones can help in the search of bass. During the spring months low-level aerial photos from drones could locate spawning areas.
Much time could be saved by pro anglers searching back water coves and sloughs with a drone. Also, depending on water clarity, drones could locate schooling fish, cover and other anglers fishing locations. The possibilities could be endless.
On the B.A.S.S. Elite Tour and the FLW Tour, off-limit periods exist before the official practice days. Anglers are restricted from fishing or obtaining information about tournament waters unless available to the public. The restriction of the use of drones would ensure anglers don’t gain an unfair advantage over the other competitors.
Cameras mounted on drones will continue to be allowed by the media for video coverage. In February at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, small drones would hover over the anglers and the spectators during the pre-tournament festivities. The drones were small and had a limited range. The video shots were unique and somewhat impressive.
A couple of media boats used the small drones to capture video shots of anglers in action. The remote controlled aircraft were small enough to land and take-off from the rear deck of a bass boat. However, one of the drones ended up in the lake when missed the approach and rear deck landing.
Drones have become popular in recent months because of their affordability. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is revamping their regulations regarding unmanned aircraft. There are already certain rules and limitations for drones in certain airspaces.
Is it possible we could see more usage of these un-manned aircraft around the lake? I believe the answer is yeas. As the technology develops furthers, we will see larger and more affordable drones available. Of course someone will try to attach a piece of braided line and a lure to a drone at an attempt for troll to troll for bass.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com