App Turns This Drone Into a Dedicated Fish Finder

Filed under: Apps  Gadgets  Hunt / Fish  Technology 

Find fish before you get there, scout great casting spots from the air, and record all the action of landing that prize lunker — the Axiom UAV app makes Mavic drones the ideal fishing partner.

Drones are useful on fishing and charter boats. And now, onboard control of the popular DJI Mavic Pro drone is a reality with the Raymarine Axiom GPS/fish finder UAV app. Combining advanced UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) imaging with the navigation system, it simplifies the operation of both technologies.

The app includes a suite of powerful tools to control the drone. Common tasks such as launching, airborne imaging, in-flight navigation, and return to boat are easily accessed from Axiom, Axiom Pro, and Axiom XL multifunction displays.

While utilizing drones for fishing has been called out as unethical by some crowds., the tool is becoming popular with others. And a UAV’s utility extends beyond just an “aerial fish finder.” Let’s explore what it can do.

Fish-Finding Drone: Scouting Mission

Using GPS navigation, the Mavic Pro will fly to precise locations and hover — a useful tool for gathering intel. Fly the UAV to waypoints or points of interest, or chart locations by simply selecting a point on the map and pressing the UAV Goto command within the app. Or send the drone on advanced reconnaissance missions by creating custom waypoints or routes. Then, view imagery live on the Axiom screen.

From its high vantage point, the Axiom UAV acts as a virtual tuna tower. The Mavic Pro’s camera system lets you scout for fish ahead of the boat. Adding an optional polarized lens, the Mavic Pro’s 4K UHD “looks” into the water to see gamefish, baitfish, weedlines, sandbars, reefs, and other underwater features.

Fish On!

The app makes it easy to capture all the fast-paced action of landing fish. Activate this mode via the “Fish On” command. The app instantly launches the UAV, starts recording video, and automatically flies the camera around the boat.

Operators can quickly set initial drone height and distance from their boats. Or, they can fine-tune the UAV’s altitude, orbit radius, orbit speed, and camera angle right from the Axiom display.

Big-Screen Viewing

Users can watch the action in real-time, capturing video and still photos from the viewing comfort of the large Axiom display. The images are saved to Mavic’s onboard memory card.

Displays range in size from 7 inches on the smallest Axiom to 24 inches on the largest. (Click here for a full list of Axiom MFD screen sizes.) And resolution varies by model: Axiom 7, Axiom 9, Axiom 12Axiom Pro 9, Axiom Pro 12, Axiom Pro 16Axiom XL.

All models in the Axiom MFD family use LCD screens. The Axiom Pro and Axiom XL use upgraded IPS display for better viewing in bright light conditions, even with polarized sunglasses.

MFD brightness is rated at a whopping 1,200 nits! That’s up to four times brighter than a standard laptop monitor or LCD television. This is a key feature, as bright displays are important for seeing on-screen details in direct sunlight.  

Flight Control

The Axiom UAV app offers automated or manual controls to pilot the Mavic Pro. Return the UAV to the boat with a single command. Back at the boat, the UAV hovers at its set safe altitude and distance. The pilot manually lands the UAV using a joystick (standard or virtual).

In addition to the automatic flight modes, Axiom UAV app offers virtual onscreen joysticks, with the same functionality as a DJI joystick, for manual flight. Or, take control of the UAV at any time with the DJI joystick controller. 

Real-Time UAV Telemetry

Vital flight information displays on the bottom of the screen for monitoring. On a split screen, the Axiom UAV app provides real-time telemetry and status for the Mavic Pro drone. Altitude, distance, speed, battery level, remaining flight time, signal level, and airspace advisories display on one side of the screen while live images display on the other.

Fish-Finding Drone: Bird’s-Eye View

The LightHouse 3.6 update is available now for Axiom owners as a free download either directly to Wi-Fi-enabled MFDs or from Raymarine.com. It’s needed to gain the full advantage of DJI Mavic Pro Drones in concert with an onboard Axiom display.

UAV technology continues to advance, opening a world of possibilities. Some functions — like recording a fishing adventure — add richness to an outdoor experience. Because of the drone’s ability to collect bird’s-eye-view imagery, some people wonder if it’s “fair chase.” But how different is it than fish finding technologies? We’ve used fish finders for decades without scrutiny.

It’s a personal choice to use a UAV on your boat. If you do, blending the technology with other navigation functions makes good sense. And the Axiom UAV App does that: It takes a drone from being an expensive toy to a powerful tool. How you choose to use these high-tech devices is up to you. 


Lowell Strauss is an award-winning writer and photographer from Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan. He’s a full-time freelancer, father of two, scouter, and shooting coach. Living a stone’s throw from the middle of nowhere, he spends his time in wild places chasing his dreams — hunting, fishing, and shooting.

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