2208: Drone Fishing

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Drone Fishing
Today's consumers who order their drones off the internet don't know the joy of going out in nature and returning with a drone that you caught yourself, whose angry owners you fought off with your own two hands.
Title text: Today's consumers who order their drones off the internet don't know the joy of going out in nature and returning with a drone that you caught yourself, whose angry owners you fought off with your own two hands.

Explanation[edit]

Another comic in the My Hobby series.

This comic is a parody of the traditional activity of fishing for fish. Typically, a person who is fishing will sit as Cueball does in this comic, by some body of water and wait for a fish to bite their cast line. However, some fisherman will use a kite to allow them to cast their line further in the water, and this is called "Kite fishing". But it is also possible to use drones for this, as in "drone fishing."

Randall, however, is interpreting "Drone fishing" not as fishing with drones but as fishing for drones ("drone fishing" as in "lobster fishing"). In fact, what Cueball (or Randall) is doing, is kite fishing for drones, by flying a kite with fishhooks attached over some drone enthusiasts in hopes of snagging their drones. This is quite likely illegal, especially if Cueball were to "reel" the caught drone in. It seems like he has already caught two that lay in front of his feet. All the drones are of the quadcopter type, as they are called in 1630: Quadcopter.

The title text parodies a common line about fishing, about the "joy of going out in nature", catching fish, and the struggle of reeling in large fish. However, instead of being about fishing, Randall has replaced the line to be about catching drones, and fighting off their owners. Considering that the two drone owners beneath his kite are children, Science Girl and a Cueball like kid, clearly smaller than Cueball/Randall in the chair, this should not be so tough in the pictured case.

Real life methods for capturing drones involve French Army falconry training of golden eagles (a technique abandoned by Dutch police) and firing nets from other drones, which has been proposed for orbital debris removal, or the use of nets hanging on counter-drones.

A similar setup for catching bats with hooks on a kite string have been used although its illegal. It seems unlikely that Randall has had this in mind when he made this comic though.

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball is seated in a leaning chair, with a tackle box behind it and two drones lying on the ground in front of him. He is holding a fishing rod from which he is flying a kite on a long string. The kite is high up in the air and far away from Cueball. On the long string there are three smaller lines dangling below the string closer to the kite that to Cueball. Each line has six hooks evenly spread out, from a bit beneath the string to the end of the lines. Three quadcopter type drones are in the air nearby, with Science Girl and a Cueball-like kid standing right beneath the kite holding remote-controls for their respective drones. They are facing each other, the Cueball-like kid looking up, whereas Science Girl seems to be looking at the drone right in front of her, between and just above the kids. It has just begun to rise up as shown by lines beneath it. The two other drones are on either side of the kite line, both flying towards the hooks. Whoever controls the third drone must be off panel, and it is not clear which of those two the kid is controlling. The only text is a caption below the panel:]
My Hobby: Drone Fishing

Trivia[edit]

  • Recently drones have taken over from kites in xkcd, as this is the 10th drone related comics since the last one with a kite.
    • At the time of the last kite comic, 1756: I'm With Her there where 10 kites comics vs. 6 drone comics.
      • Now it is 11 kite vs. 16 drone comics. Times are changing.
    • This is only the second time the two are in the same comic, but in 1608: Hoverboard the kite and the drones were not in the same part of the huge image.


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Discussion

So kite fishing is a thing for recreational deep sea fishing. I think some people are experimenting with using drones instead of kites. I think I've also read about using a drone to allow long "casts" when shore fishing. This seems to be Randall just mixing all that up in a fun (?) way. 172.69.63.105 16:04, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

What kind of bait do you use to attract a drone, anyway? Or would you use some kind of electronic lure? Barmar (talk) 20:01, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps no bait is required and you either wait for the drone to fly into the streaming lines and foul itself; or fly the kite in such a manner as to 'snag' the drone similar to the way one snags salmon during the mating runs. RAGBRAIvet (talk) 17:43, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

Isn't this comic a reference to How To? There was a comic in that book about fishing while suspended from drones. 172.69.63.73 21:47, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Could this comic possibly be a reference to 2148: Cubesat Launch?--XRENEGADEx (talk) 23:11, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

And/or the space junk removal experiments? 172.68.143.18 03:23, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
Those experiments are awesome. And Randall actually predicted one (kinda) by making a line go from solid to dotted at the right time, see trivia of 1402: Harpoons --Lupo (talk) 07:21, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Nobody notices drone fishing is an actual thing? 172.69.55.22 01:44, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

It isn't clear to me that this would be illegal, at least the "fishing" part, although caught drones would have to be returned. Unless the airspace has been reserved, kites and drones have equal access to the airspace. Perhaps the extra dangling strings could be seen as a deliberate attempt to trap drones, but any justification ("testing kite tail designs", "testing ion content in the air" etc.) could be sufficient to make these OK. Likewise, the kite owner could complain about the drones being "armed" with unjustifiably sharp propellers and such "designed" to damage the kite. Umm, are drone fights a thing (yet)?108.162.241.154 12:16, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Mini-drone racing has been a thing for years, but IRL fights are considered gauche in the extreme. 172.69.22.134 16:51, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
Battle Drones are a real thing. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 04:13, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
What could possibly go wrong? Thank goodness income inequality is stabilizing globally. 172.68.189.211 20:54, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

Alright ladies and gentlemen, I've come to train eagles and write content, and I'm all out of eagles. 172.69.22.248 06:46, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

I believe 1523: Microdrones should be mentioned, as it also mentions stealing drones. Magic9mushroom (talk) 08:09, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

When I was much younger I remember seeing a documantary film where people use kites and hooks to "fish" for bats or megabats or fruit bats. However I don't remember where that scene has taken place. 172.68.51.124 10:08, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Apperantly it is a interesting, but illegal (partly because fruit bats are endangered already), activity done in the philippines. See this source I found on Google. --Lupo (talk) 11:42, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

I feel like it would be much faster and easier to get a friend and string up some thin rope in-between the lines similar to barrage balloons. 162.158.214.82 15:29, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

For fans of "Father Ted": are the characters on the right side small, or are they farther away? (I suppose either way makes for good fishing) [email protected] 141.101.98.76 09:34, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

They are kids. Science Girls and her friend. Not unusual for Randall to use kids in his comics, and then the small Cueball-like kid is of course not Cueball. This has been mentioned in the explanation and the transcript. --Kynde (talk) 12:03, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Is it just me who, on reading the title "Drone fishing" started singing the Bing Crosby song "Gone Fishin'" - allusion to the popular phrase perhaps? --OliReading (talk) 12:35, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

I still feel like we should reference What If? 149: Pizza Bird which includes a discussion of what drones can do in the context of birds delivering pizza. But on reflection that does seem too tangental. Somehow, maybe as a short parenthetical? 162.158.255.130 17:07, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

I "ctrl+f"ed the page and did find neither mention of "drone", nor "kite", nor "fish", so I think it is way to tangental to be mentioned (it is now mentioned here in the comments :) ). However I like linking comics (and when appropriate What-Ifs) to each other in Trivia sections, so people can explore more on their favorite topics, jokes, etc. I just think here it is not fitting enough. --Lupo (talk) 06:34, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
You're right. How do you feel about [1]? 172.68.143.18 19:06, 3 October 2019 (UTC)