Disgruntled Fisherman Hooks a Drone While The Love-Hate Debate Over Drone Use Rages On

While capturing footage of a San Diego pier, photographer Tice Ledbetter drew the attention of a seemingly annoyed fisherman who then cast his line into the drone's prop. Not knowing what had occurred, Ledbetter flew the drone for half a mile before landing and didn't know how the fishing line got entangled until after he watched the footage.

Like many drone videos, that feature drone-human interaction, this one didn't fail to stir up a debate with strong, polarized opinions on the subject. If you look at Ledbetters's YouTube comment section you will see a clear divide between those who approve of the fisherman's actions and those who condemn them. But whether you love or hate drones, one thing is undeniable: they catch some cool shit. Thanks for sharing, Tice.


I flew half a mile with this

Posted by Tice Ledbetter on Thursday, August 6, 2015


Tice Cinematic Media footage:

[via LaughingSquid]

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Anonymous's picture

What a douche. I would've called the police if he knocked my drone down.

michael andrew's picture

What would the police do? Its like going flying at a golf range, if you get hit by a golf ball would you call the police?

Anonymous's picture

Fortunately we live in a world where you can't damage someones property because you disagree with what they're doing. I can't key your car or tip your motorcycle over. The drone is property and if you intentionally damage it you're liable.

...and if that didn't work I'd lie and say he was trying to hook ME not my drone.

And what would you have told the police?

Anonymous's picture

The truth. Someone intentionally damaged my property? You can't throw things at peoples belongings because you dislike them.

Someone with a drone stalked my son and I around a state park while we were hiking on vacation. As in, actually followed us around for quite some time, no operator in sight (which is what made it creepy). We threw rocks at it until it left, which was a kindness on my part since I don't hike unarmed. If the operator wanted to call the police, I would have welcomed it.

Anonymous's picture

You're filmed in public all the time, stay home if you want to avoid it. Starting a fight with someone in a remote area when you have a child with you is asking for trouble.

It has nothing to do with being filmed as much as it had to do with being stalked. Someone can't just follow another person around and harass them, even in public. At first it was amusing. We stopped to eat a snack and let it get ahead of us, but it only hovered. Had the operator been anywhere in sight, I would have asked them to stop or at least asked WTF they were doing. Given that the person was nowhere to be found, I couldn't ask what they were doing and only assume their motives. Had a person been following us around, they probably would have been sprayed with bear spray. That isn't asking for trouble, that is protecting my child. We are not a helpless pair.

Anonymous's picture

Personally, I'd avoid escalating a situation if I had a child with me. Bear spray might protect you from four legged predators but the two legged variety can be a lot nastier.

Had someone been following me on foot, I would have been able to have an actual conversation with them. My options were to chase off said drone or call the police which would have probably imposed a very nasty fine for illegally operating the drone in the park. You may not agree with throwing rocks at it, I don't agree with being followed by a drone.

I'm not worried about the two legged variety of predators. I carry bear spray, a gun, and my son and I are both well trained in martial arts.

What is scary is that guy is casting right into where people are swimming.

michael andrew's picture

You are not supposed to surf or swim within 75 feet of the piers. People do and its never an issue. Also the waves generally never break at the end of the pier, where people fish.

Either way, he seems to be able to cast with quite a bit of accuracy.

michael andrew's picture

I am not surprised.

We don't need regulations to know deep down that this is super inconsiderate and potentially dangerous:


Michael Kormos's picture

We do need regulation, michael, due to increasingly large number of reports such as these: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/faa-drone-spotted-newark-liberty-inte...

While professional drone operators are few and far between, most of them are 20 year-old geeks, "practicing" over public areas, and oftentimes near busy international airports.

Kenn Tam's picture

I don’t have any real interest in taking a side in this story but (for the interest of conversation) the fact of the matter is, it’s legal to fly drones and capture footage. That being said, IF it could be established that someone INTENTIONALLY took down and destroyed one (willful damage or malicious destruction), charges could range from a class 1 misdemeanor offense to a class 4 felony. The latter carrying some pretty heavy fines and possible jail time (in some States as high as 10 years). This of course depends on your State and the cost of the damages.

To play devil’s advocate and to stoke the fires of debate: how would you react if someone walked up, took your camera out of your hands and destroyed it? Would you then call the police? What about taking a baseball bat to your car? Or bulldozer to your home?

michael andrew's picture

If someone took my camera out of my hands, a baseball bat to my car or a bull dozer to my home I would hope to have good insurance in all cases. I live in America, where insurance is actually pretty cheap, and there exists a lot of crazy individuals. I don't expect, hope or care to explain the will or intentions of any of those individuals as thankfully for a few hundred dollars a month their actions can be absolved.

Kenn Tam's picture

Lol bullshit! Good luck getting any of those claims filed without a police report. I think you maybe confusing the difference between criminal action and acts of nature.

I hate drones. Correction, I hate assholes who fly drones. There are plenty of responsible drone operators, but more irresponsible ones and certainly a huge number of people who don't see the issue with their activity causing disruption simply because they aren't being obvious assholes. I don't even enjoy footage because most of the lenses are so wide and the image is distorted so it makes me feel a bit sea sick.

The guy shouldn't have hooked it though. But I can certainly see the temptation. The general public doesn't like them.

Eric Mazzone's picture

The general public is getting to the point where they don't like photographers either and are disrupting shoots because they want to stop the pedo-creepers. Regardless of what's going on of not. All they see is a photographer and they get loud, obnoxious, and antagonistic. I've had paid shoots interrupted by busybody fools who make accusations even though the mother of my subject is right there. Idiots really get pissed when I record the dispute and call the police on them and tell the police I will be pressing harassment charges. All acting like you can't record me, I'm a private citizen, I'm calling the police. Please Felicia, I am the one calling them, have fun in jail.

People don't like photographers because so many photographers have zero manners. I'm not even referring to actual professional photographers. I've seen people get in kids faces at the playground, and the kid isn't their own kid. At the same time I've been asked by crazy moms to put my camera away while taking pictures of my own kid because someone else's kid might be in the frame. As a mom, I understand the concern. You don't want pictures of your child all over the internet and social media. But both sides need to be reasonable. The public needs to understand they don't have privacy in public. And more people with cameras need to have manners that go beyond what law dictates.

ETA: And to be fair, people in general don't have basic manners. Photo shoots are interrupted because there are people who are just assholes. It doesn't help that photobombing has become a thing.

Michael Kormos's picture

That is BOSS. To hook a drone from that distance takes skill (or very large amounts of luck). Can't say I blame the guy either. These things sound like large mosquitoes. Glad to have them out of national parks (and public beaches, as in this case).

I don't feel like getting into a debate about drones or damaging personal property, so I'll leave it at this...
That was a great cast!