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Is Drone Fishing Legal Under IGFA Guidelines?

IGFA finally delivered an answer on how drone fishing relates to their rules and regulations.

Ever wonder if drone fishing is supported by the IGFA? Well, you are not the only one.

One curious person recently wrote the IGFA in hopes to see what their opinion may be on the topic. Well, looks like the IGFA has spoken out and delivered their response to how they will judge fish caught via drone.

Here's the question that was asked to IGFA officials:

"I saw a video on social media where shore-bound anglers were utilizing a remote controlled drone to deliver their bait to schooling fish several hundred yards offshore, beyond the surf line and well out of casting distance. The angler's mainline was attached to the drone through a release clip (similar to one found on outriggers and downriggers), so when the fish eat the bait, the line releases from the drone and the angler is connected only to the fish. Would this be legal by IGFA rules?"

Here is the video that was in question.

The current IGFA international angling rules say that, "Outriggers, downriggers, spreader bars and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of a connecting device."

So their conclusion was that even though the rules do not "specifically mention" drones, the same intent of the rule applies. This means that as long as the mainline is "attached to a release clip that allows it to separate away from the apparatus once the fish strikes," then the catch is IGFA legal!

The IGFA's final ruling is ultimately in favor of drone fishing since the method does not appear to "give the angler an unfair advantage with fighting the fish.

Wow! While the answer is not what I would have expected to hear from the IGFA, I understand where they are coming from.

This just goes to show you that the folks at the IGFA are up do date on modern fishing techniques, and are willing to examine the rules to determine the official outcome of any catch.

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Is Drone Fishing Legal Under IGFA Guidelines?