The amount of money a rabid angler can spend on their sport is virtually unlimited.

Products like trolling motors and electronic fish finders, which were once considered luxuries, are now necessities. If a $200 fish finder is good, angler logic says a unit that costs 10 times more must be 10 times better.

Why settle for a Lund Alaskan deep-vee when you can fish out of a 690 Ranger by ponying up a mere 50K more? Throwing a $25 anchor over the side of a Ranger to hold the boat in place might damage the gel-coat. It’s better to “talon down” with a remote controlled sand spike for another $1,500.

In the interest of full disclosure, my Lund Alaskan has an Ulterra trolling motor that self-deploys and “spot lock” that uses GPS coordinates to hold the boat in place. Spot lock has been around for a few years now. I can’t imagine going fishing without it.

The self-deploy feature of the Ulterra is a back saver. Worth every penny when it works. This is why a spare Ulterra is in the pole barn shed.

Just about any sporting goods purchase can be justified when you fish for a living.

Why use a $100 fishing rod when a $300 rod is more sensitive? The fact that your line is going out to a slip-bobber that will indicate a bite has nothing to do with rod-buying logic.

Regardless of how far you can cast with a fishing rod, we have a tendency to believe fish are waiting just another 10 feet away from the boat or shoreline. Gannet company that realizes this subliminal need and is about to launch a product that will surely scratch this unrealized itch for a mere $1,000: a waterproof drone!

Gannet’s aptly named Brett Eagle emailed a slick video of the Gannet pro drone the other day. It forced an internal metaphysical debate between wants and needs.

The pro drone can carry a payload up to three kilograms, dropping it precisely where you want it to go.

Think of the possibilities when shore fishing on Lake Michigan or the Gulf of Mexico! No need to trailer a boat, pay a launch fee and navigate choppy waters to put your bait in front of fish.

Plus, you can be the proud owner of a Gannet pro drone for $74,000 less than the price of the average tricked-out Ranger boat.

The pro drone video ( is a real jaw-dropper.

One segment shows the drone taking off from the water, hovering around, then landing in the operator’s outstretched hand like a robotic falcon that won’t bite or claw you or poop all over the place.

A couple of video segments show the drone working at its other intended purpose: water rescue. A rescuer standing safely on shore attaches a flotation device to the drone and flies it out across the water several hundred yards to save a swimmer in distress. With winter knocking at the door, imagine the potential for ice rescue!

Pipe dreams of making a hero rescue or dropping an alewife 200 yards offshore to tempt a big salmon were erased by the mental image of sending a $1,000 fishing “tool” offshore and watching helplessly when control is lost and the drone splashes down forever out of reach.

Gannet spokesman Brett Eagle said this can’t happen. The drone employs GPS technology that automatically brings the unit back to its launch point if it goes beyond control or is running out of power.

Images of the control unit appear a lot more user-friendly than the average smart phone—another plus for a guy who still carries a rotary dial flip phone.

When I asked my pragmatic wife to watch the drone video, hoping she would realize subliminal Christmas-gift potential, she said I was “bananas.”

This comment triggered scenarios which moved the needle on metaphysical debate from “want” to “must have.”

Bananas! The ultimate fruity Jonah!

Any clueless angler that brings a banana into the boat in a lunch sack deserves to be keelhauled or immediately dropped overboard for the truly bad mojo this yellow-peeled curse is known for.

Imagine stopping by the Kwik Trip and negotiating a good price for a bunch of over-ripe bananas, tossing them in the boat’s empty rod box and heading out for a joyride with your robotic falcon to search for buddies who are out there working hard at fishin’.

Fire up the drone, attach a couple “nanners” which are well on their way to turning brown and deploy your pet vigilante on a malevolent lunch delivery mission!

Better to give than receive. Bombs Away!

Ted Peck, a certified Merchant Marine captain, is an outdoors columnist for The Gazette. Email him at