Photo / Doug Sherring, via NZ Herald

Photo / Doug Sherring, via NZ Herald

A Kiwi invention that uses a drone to take much of the hassle out of fishing is gaining global attention.

From his garage in Auckland, electrical engineer and project manager Kyle Parshotam has been designing and building high-tech “fishing drones” that can haul line hundreds of metres out to sea and drop the bait right in front of fish – upping the odds of landing a big one.

The carbon-fibre aircraft – dubbed the AeroKontiki – can hover for up to 12 minutes and has been built to fly up to 500m with the maximum height locked at 60m.

It also has two GPS systems that allow it to return to shore on autopilot.

“It’s fast – you can deploy the line very quickly with the whole mission just taking a few minutes,” Parshotam said.

“And you can also use it in some pretty harsh environments where you’ve got rocks and big surf which traditional kontikis can’t go through. You can be quite precise with where you drop your bait.”

I guess it’s the next step in the progression using tech, but I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy the idea of a bunch of those buzzing away in popular fishing spots.   

The drone costs close to $4000 so ensuring it would not be lost in the breakers was a priority. Parshotam developed a telemetry system that relays information to the remote control about the aircraft’s height, distance and how much battery life it has left.

“And if anyone gets panicked while it’s out there, a click of a button and it will return back to shore on autopilot.”

One of the most difficult aspects of designing a suitable aircraft was the variable weight it would have to carry, which started at just a few hundred grams but increased to several kilograms once more line was taken out.

The rapid rise in drone use has seen the Civil Aviation Authority work on new regulations for their operation.

I suspect there will be a growing love/hate relationship with the public about drones as irresponsible use taints those that do things properly.  I’d imagine licensing is going to be inevitable at some stage.

People are doing some cool things with drones too – like dropping life saving equipment out to people in trouble in the surf – much faster than swimming out or getting the inflatable in the water.


– Matthew Teunissen, Herald on Sunday


Despite the possible  negatives, this is a winner as a gift for a man because…

1) It legitimises the desire to play with a remote controlled toy. (How many times have you seen a child unwrap a remote controlled toy only for Dad to monopolise it while ‘ teaching ‘ the child how to use it?)

2) It has a manly purpose, fishing, which appeals to the inner hunter.

3) It is shiny, new and expensive and the latest thing which will make your mates jealous

I have only one more thing to say. This post was not funded by AeroKontiki and they have not sent me one to try out even though we live right beside the sea and my son and I enjoy fishing. They have not had textual relations with me either.

If however, Marketing director Zaid Ismail should happen to read this, do feel free to contact Whaleoil for a no obligation free trial and review.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.