How it a began...
Just like so many good ideas, drone fishing was developed over some cold afternoon beers.
Relaxing with stubbies in hand, long-time friends Jaiden MacLean and Byron Leal could see the tuna breaching offshore from their balcony.
The keen fishermen, who met on a crayfish boat in remote north Queensland years before, began debating how to get a bait out to have a crack at on of these fish.
What if Jaiden could fly the rig out past the breakers using his drone?
His brother, Brody, told them they were crazy. He said “you’re gonna drown the drone for sure!” It would be putting equipment worth thousands of dollars at risk.
But Jaiden and Byron were inspired. After hours of testing, they wandered down to the beach with gear in hand ready to test out the basic device that hung from Jaiden’s drone.
The fish, slowly swimming south towards Fingal Headland, were in perfect position. Jaiden flew the bait out while Byron manned the rod and uncle Nick filmed.
A tuna took the bait on the second drop, but the powerful fish straightened the hook and swam off.
As disappointed as the boys were to lose the fish, it couldn’t damped their excitement – drone fishing actually worked! That night we checked the footage and we were totally blown away. This un seen new angle inspired us to land one!
Byron and Jaiden spent the next five days chasing tuna up and down the beach, trying different baits and testing different release methods until they pulled it off.
The first catch, a 22kg (49 pound) Northern Bluefin Tuna was a sweet victory after days trying.
The boys knew they were onto something special, but it wasn’t until they uploaded a video of the catch to YouTube that they understood the scope of their achievement.
For years, Jaiden has made videos of his adventures fishing, diving and surfing for his blog, Sea Ulcer. He put those skills to work to create the drone fishing video, and it quickly went viral.
Jaiden’s phone did not stop ringing for weeks afterwards. Even today – he regularly fields interest about the latest on drone fishing.
The incredible response inspired he and Byron to develop a product to make drone fishing safe and accessible for everyone, so the pair created the patented SKY RIGGER.
SKY RIGGER is a simple drone fishing release mechanism that has been designed to minimise the difficulty and maximise the fun of drone fishing. It allows anyone - even those who have been physically incapable of fishing before - to experience the excitement of this new sport.