Remote Control Boat Fishing and Remote Control Fishing Boats
RC fishing is one of the newer fishing techniques and it is not clearly defined by laws in many countries. Anyway, RC boat fishing comes in various forms - often it is limited only by the imagination of fishermen trying to get fish hooked. And we all know how imaginative fishermen can be, right? :o)
If you think that they are complicated for use - they are not. In fact, they are often very easy to use, just like any modern gadget. Anyway, if you have any problem operating RC boats, show them to kids - I am sure kids nowadays know these things from their birth :o)
Remote Control Boat Fishing
RC boats can be used for various purposes:
- searching and locating game fish during fishing from the shore and anchored boats. Although relatively small, RC fishing boats have enough space and power to carry an onboard fish finder that send data to receiving station. This can be expensive, especially if longer ranges are required.
- trolling from the shore or anchored boats - be careful about the size of used RC boat since there are always surprises regarding size of hooked fish.
- long casting of dead or more often live bait, especially when using rods for trolling from shore or anchored boats. This is especially important when trolling over shallows with live bait - using RC boat 'cast' bait (small mullet, prawn etc) far away and after releasing bait from the RC boat, RC boat can be quickly returned to the shore or to the boat allowing you to slowly guide your bait over shallow water, where it would be hard to cast a live bait or it would be tricky and dangerous to approach with boat.
And in such areas one can find pretty exciting game fish - ready to grab the bait and put on a nice fight :o)
Remote Control Fishing Boats
Good trolling RC boat has electric propulsion, often separate batteries for RC electronics and servos and main electric motor(s) and can be submerged for 5-10 seconds even up to 2-3 meters deep, without any damage to electronics. Such boats are often custom built and can be rather pricey.
RC boats can be purpose built with various built-in features or can be improvised - anyway, they should be quiet, sturdy, durable and reliable.
Most of them use electric motors powered with NiMh or Lithium batteries, can be recharged from AC 110 or 220V outlets or from 12 or 24V batteries, car lighter adapters etc.
Gas powered RC fishing boats are rare - although they offer greater endurance and higher speeds, they are noisier and require plenty of maintenance, when compared with electric RC fishing boats. Also, when on idle, electric motors are simply turned off, while gas motors must work and thus create additional noise and spend fuel. If you have hooked larger fish, there is always a danger of fish pulling boat under the water - gas operated boats don't 'like' that at all. Due to modern lithium batteries, electric RC boats are very close to performances to gas powered RC boats. And changing fully charged and discharged batteries is often faster and much cleaner job, than refueling gas RC boat.
Maximum speed is not very important for RC fishing boats, since actual fishing is done at rather low speeds - 1-3 knots, or even slower - live bait will do its job of luring predator fish and RC boat will 'slowly' cover large area around your location.
There are numerous sites promoting 25+ knots remote controlled boats as 'ideal' RC fishing boats - I don't understand how such boat can be used for RC fishing (call me stupid, but ...). 20-30 knots is 10 to 15 m/s (meters per second) - imagine pulling trolling line with small mullet hooked on one side and line from the reel on the other side at this speed.
OK, line from the reel can easily go at this speeds, but what will happen with live mullet or live prawn? Now, it is nice to have a pair of 1800 Kv Dynamite marine brushless water-cooled motors 'under the hood', but are they really needed? Such motors make great RC speed boat, but they are simply overkill for RC fishing boat.
If you do have such boat and want to try it for RC fishing, feel free - it will be great, just be very careful with remote, since such boats accelerate at lightning speeds.
Modern electric motors, especially brushless electric motors, powered with various PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) controllers are very efficient during both low and high RPMs and their power output is sometimes limited only with power of their batteries - don't forget that high end lithium batteries, when pushed to the limit, can provide 150-200 Wh/kg and can be drained with 50C currents - in plain English, 500g (1.1 pounds) good lithium battery can provide 5-6 kW (almost 8 HPs!) for a minute. 5 kg RC boat powered with such battery can have power to weight ratio higher than piston fighters of Second World War era!
Note: lithium batteries can provide insane levels of power, but should be charged only on charges designed for this types of batteries. Never, but really never short-circuit them, never throw them in the fire, never charge them in parallel etc. After all, read the manuals :)
Fishing RC boats are usually powered with two motors, have two protected propellers and are often without rudder. Propellers should be positioned in some sort of housing designed to prevent weeds, debris and fishing lines clogging them. In some cases, RC fishing boat propulsion looks more like jet motors or jet pumps.
RC fishing boats can be fitted with position lights to make them more visible during night. In order to draw the fish attention (especially squids and small prey fish like sardines and similar) lights can be positioned under water- these lights are powerful LEDs that are very efficient during operation, unlike ordinary light bulbs.
When fishing with RC boat, fish can be pulled to the shore or to the boat with RC boat itself, or using rod and reel (recommended). In the case of rod and reel, RC boat must be equipped with some kind of automatic line release system that frees line from the RC boat when fish strikes the bait. This sounds complicated, but ordinary clothespin usually works fine! :o)
If you are going to use RC boat for distance casting and bottom fishing, RC boat must have a 'platform' where fishing weight and baited hook(s) are positioned while being carried out to desired location. When on location, rig is dropped into the sea and RC boat is returned.
RC fishing boat hull is usually made out of plastic - it is easy to maintain, it is strong and lightweight and it is often repaired easily. In order to increase stability, hulls are relatively wide - V-shaped bow with almost flat stern make reaching planing speeds easy and help boat handling on waves.
Mono-hull vs. Catamaran RC Fishing Boat
Catamarans are more stable than mono hull boats, due to their width and hull design (two thin hulls, spaced some distance apart).
To lower center of gravity, most of the RC boats have motors and batteries positioned low in the hull - most mono-hull models, even when turned up-side-down, will easily rotate the hull in proper position, without leaks into the hull. With catamarans, when something happens, one never knows will it land on the right side or not. And if it turns up-side-down, it will not roll back into normal position - some swimming/paddling/etc is required in order to retrieve rolled over catamaran RC boat. I vote for mono-hulls! :)
Maximum range of RC boats is often limited with transmitting strength of their RC controllers, size of the boats and visibility conditions.
RC boats come with manuals, so be sure to read them.
It takes some time to master using RC boats for fishing, but that is the same for any fishing technique. Don't hesitate to let your kids show you how they operate and how to use them - seriously :)
Again, rules and laws regarding RC boat fishing (what is allowed and what is prohibited) are not always very clear - inform yourself, just to be sure ...