FISHBOT Reels Them In So You Don’t Have To

Fishing is generally thought of as a relaxing and laid-back activity, but it still requires a certain amount of physical strength and dexterity. This can be a problem for older anglers or those with physical disabilities. To bring back the simple joy of fishing to those who may no longer be able to hold a rod on their own, [Ozz] has been working on the FISHBOT.

The FISHBOT looks like a miniature crane, complete with an electric motor and winch to pull in the line. But there’s a bit more going on here than meets the eye. Anyone who’s tried to land a large fish knows you have to be cautious of snapping the line, so [Ozz] has added a load cell to the system that can tell when its being pulled too tightly. In the future he hopes to make this feature a bit smarter by taking into account additional variables, but for now it should at least keep the more energetic of your quarry from getting away.

[Ozz] is controlling the beefy 400 watt motor with an IBT-2 H-bridge module connected to an Arduino Mega. The electronics can communicate with the user’s smartphone over a HM-10 Bluetooth module, which allows for more advanced features such as gesture controls that utilize the accelerometer in the phone. Long term, it sounds like he hopes to use the microcontroller in conjunction with the load cell to pull off more advanced tricks like weighing the fish and sending the data off to the user’s fishing buddies to show off.

In the past we’ve seen a drone used to get a lure out where the fish are, but catching one and reeling it back in is a very different challenge. It looks like [Ozz] still has some work to do on this project, but so far it seems things are going well. Being able to return a simple pleasure like this to those who thought their fishing days were behind them will surely prove worthy of the effort.

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Untethered: Fishing Without Lines

There’s a laundry list of ways that humans are polluting the earth, and even though it might not look like it from the surface, the oceans seem to bear the brunt of our waste. Some research suggests that plastic doesn’t fully degrade as it ages, but instead breaks down into smaller and smaller bits that will be somewhere the in environment for such a long time it could be characterized in layman’s terms as forever.

Not only does waste of all kinds make its way to the oceans by rivers or simply by outright dumping, but commercial fishing gear is estimated to comprise around 10% of the waste in the great blue seas, and one of the four nonprofits help guide this year’s Hackaday Prize is looking to eliminate some of that waste and ensure it doesn’t cause other problems for marine life. This was the challenge for the Conservation X Labs dream team, three people who were each awarded a $6,000 micro-grant to work full time for two months on the problem.

It isn’t about simply collecting waste in the ocean, but rather about limiting the time that potentially harmful but necessary fishing equipment is in the water in the first place. For this two-month challenge, this team focused on long lines used by professional fishing operations to attach buoys to gear like lobster pots or crab traps. These ropes are a danger to large ocean animals such as whales when they get tangled in them and, if the lines detach from the traps, the traps themselves continue to trap and kill marine life for as long as they are lost underwater. This “ghost gear” is harmful in many different ways, and reducing its time in the water or “soak time” was the goal for the project.

Let’s take a closer look at their work after the break, and we can also see the video report they filed as the project wrapped up.

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Illegal Blast Fishing Detector Is All Ears

Blast fishing — the act of using explosives underwater to kill entire schools of fish with shock waves — has been a widespread problem in the Philippines for decades. Although a few fishermen get rich from the first blast at a fresh site, it isn’t good for anyone in the long term, especially the coral and other sea life. Many blast fisherman use homemade explosives, often at the risk of losing fingers and limbs.

The local authorities have tried many tactics to deter the activity. Where education about the diminishing returns of blast fishing has failed, appeals to religion with strategically placed statuary of the Virgin Mary have been somewhat successful. [Ifthekar ahammad] has another idea, and it involves detecting the explosion, triangulating the position of the blast, and reporting it to the authorities as soon as possible.

The CBobby system works by analyzing the audio spectrum. It looks for transient changes from the ambient background noise levels, and analyzes duration and the frequencies it heard to decide whether there was an explosion or not. Plans to field test this in the Philippines have been dashed by the pandemic, but [ifthekar] has been hard at work testing in Germany with underwater speakers blasting out explosion noises. Already, the system can differentiate the blasts from various environmental sounds like ships, the bellows of large sea creatures, earthquakes, rain, and thunder.

Although the test rig is encased in neon orange acrylic, the actual blast fishing tattler will be disguised as a venomous stonefish, making it as appealing to mess with as fire ants or wasps.

Destructive blast fishing is all-around terrible, even though it’s done for survival. But what do we think of using drones to fish for sport?

Hack A Folding Bike To Help You Catch Some Pike

For many of us, this whole pandemic thing has produced some unexpected upsides. One of [George Turvey]’s was finding a nice new scenic route to work that goes by a lake with bike trails. [George] thought it might be nice to go fishing after work, and use a folding bike to cover a lot of ground while looking for good spots on the shore. There was just one problem — riding a bike while transporting tackle is awkward.

The bike comes with a front mount that’s meant to hold the special bags they make, so that became square one for designing a rod and tackle holder. Then [George] had to weigh the pros and cons of additive vs. subtractive methods for prototyping the holder, or at least the connection between it and the mount on the bike.

Milling won out, at least for the initial proof of concept, and result is a modular mock-up that combines a milled Kydex connector and tackle box holder with a double-barrel PVC rod holder. This way, [George] had a prototype in a fraction of the time it would have taken to design and print it. Cast your line past the break to see how fast [George] can switch gears into fishing mode.

3D printing definitely has a place in the fishing world. How else are you gonna design your own lures?

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3D Printing Fishing Lure Molds

Every fisherman has a secret. A secret spot, a secret technique, or a secret bait. Maybe that’s why tying flies is so popular. [Steve] certainly has is own special lures, although he’s not keeping it a secret. (Video, embedded below.) He designs lures in Simplify3D, 3D prints molds, and then casts them.

The 3D printing part is interesting, but it is also kind of neat to see the lures and the natural prey he uses for inspiration. If you want to catch fish, you have to use bait that looks like real food.

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Aussies Find The True Meaning Of Drone Flight

Ah, stereotypes. Once they’ve solidified it’s surprisingly hard to shake them. When non-Australians think of a generic Aussie then, the chances are that a Crocodile Dundee type of character will spring to mind — a ‘Strine-speaking outdoorsman with a beer in hand. This group of Aussies aren’t helping the case, with a video posted by Australian drone retailer UAVme and featured by ABC News where a large multirotor lifts a guy in a lawn chair, beer in hand, over a lake to do some fishing.

Antics aside, having enough capacity to lift a person is pretty impressive. The drone in question appears to be a large hexacopter frame with rotors both below and above the boom, achieving an unusual dodecacopter configuration.

Of course we’re entertained by the sight, who wouldn’t envy them a spin under a drone in the relative safety of an environment where an unscheduled landing merely means getting wet? It seems Austrailia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority isn’t quite so happy though, as ABC reports the usual chorus of condemnation. Entertainingly though it’s unclear whether or not our plucky adventurer — named as [Sam Foreman] — has in fact broken any laws given that he’s not flown in restricted airspace, over people or habitation, or above the legal altitude.

This isn’t the first such story we’ve brought you from Down Under, back in 2016 an Aussie landed in hot water for picking up a Bunnings sausage in a bun with his drone.

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3D-Printing Saves Collectible Lures From A Fishy Ending

Give a man a fishing lure, and he catches fish until he loses the lure. Give a fisherman a 3D-printer, and he can print all the fishing lures he wants, especially replicas of those that are too valuable to actually use.

It may seem strange that some people collect fishing lures rather than use them, but when you look at [Hunter]’s collection, it’s easy to see why. Lures can be very artistic, and the Heddon River Runts in his collection are things of beauty and highly prized. They’re also highly effective at convincing fish to commit suicide, so rather than risk the originals, he and his dad 3D-printed replicas.

After modeling the body of the lure in Blender, they modified it with air pockets for buoyancy and located holes for attaching the treble hooks and lip spoon, which was fabricated from a scrap of brass from a rifle casing. The finished lure lacks the painted details and some of the charm of the original River Runt, but it has something Mr. Heddon couldn’t dream of in 1933 when he introduced it — it glows in the dark, thanks to the phosphorescent PLA filament used. That seems to be irresistible to the bass, who hit the lure so often that they got sick of taking pictures. See it in action in the video below.

[Hunter] and his dad have been busy exploring what 3D printing can do, replicating all sorts of Heddon lures. They’ve even got plans to design and print their own lures. But maybe archery is more your sportsman thing than fishing, in which case this PVC pipe compound bow or a recurve bow from skis would be something to check out.

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