Fish can be found in the ocean, lakes, rivers, and in certain levels of the mines. Most fish can be caught with a fishing pole (see fishing) but some require crab pots to catch them. Some fish only spawn at certain times of the day while others only appear when it rains. Upon catching them, the name of the fish and its length are displayed. Players can keep track of how many fish they've caught and their record lengths in their Collections menu. Fish can be used as ingredients in cooking and are required to restore the Fish Tank in the Community Center.
While players can fish near any body of water, some places have lower rates of success. These areas are more likely to produce junk, which can be sold for a small profit or saved and turned into useful items using the recycling machine (which unlocks with level 4 fishing.)
Whenever a fish is hooked, a minigame which allows the player to catch it will be triggered. In this minigame, a fish-like icon will move up and down inside a vertical space. The player controls a green bar, which will ascend while the left mouse button is pressed and will drop while it's not. The green bar will bounce against the boundaries of the minigame unless a Lead Bobber is equipped.
A catch meter will increase while the fish is kept inside the green area, and will decrease while it's not. Once the catch meter is fulfilled, the fish will be caught. It escapes if the meter drops empty.
If the player catches a fish without letting it slip out the green area once, they will accomplish a "perfect" catch (the word "perfect" will be displayed above the minigame when the fish is caught). This increases the fish quality: silver quality fish become gold quality, and gold quality become iridium quality. This is the only way to catch an iridium quality fish. However, regular quality fish remain unaffected.
It is only possible to know what fish was hooked after it is caught, as the minigame will show no information about the specimen. The player can, however, deduce this by observing its behavior and by being aware of the circumstances the fish was hooked under, such as season, time, weather, and location.
Legendary fish can be seen wearing an orange crown in the fishing minigame.
There are 5 types of fish in the mini-game:
Mixed: These fish use the basic movement pattern.
Smooth: These fish have a more steady movement pattern.
Sinker: These fish have a faster downwards acceleration.
Floater: These fish have a faster upwards acceleration.
Dart: These fish move more random with a [2 x difficulty]% higher possible amplitude in both directions, moving erratically up and down the fishing bar.
These fish can only be caught in the submarine ride at the Night Market during Winter 15-17, or by using Magic Bait in the South-western corner of the beach. They can be caught during any weather, and at any time while the market is open (5pm – 2am).
There are five fish in the game classified as 'legendary'. These fish are caught in specific places and have a high difficulty. When reeling them in, these fish are shown wearing a crown. Legendary fish will not appear again on a save file after being caught once. In Multiplayer, each fish can be caught once per person. Legendary fish can be caught at any time of day.
The high difficulty of these fish makes catching them challenging. Higher fishing skills than required just to hook the fish may be necessary, especially from food bonuses (e.g., from Seafoam Pudding). Having the Iridium Rod and using a Tackle such as the Trap Bobber or Cork Bobber can also help. Ultimately, catching these fish can depend more on luck than on good reactions. You simply have to try again and again until the fish doesn't move too fiercely.
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Legendary Fish II
There are five legendary fish II that can be caught during the Extended Family Qi's Challenge. They can be caught in the same locations as the older generation of fish but the fishing bar is not distinctly marked as it is with the original legendary fish. It is impossible to catch them when the quest is not active. Catching them does not contribute to the Master Angler achievement.
All crab pot fish can be used in Cooking. Some recipes require a specific fish while others can use "any fish." It is more profitable to cook all normal quality catches (other than Crab, Lobster, and Crayfish) into Sashimi than to sell them uncooked. (This changes with the Fisher and Angler Professions.)
Note that any fish dropped by monsters or foraged from the beach do not count towards the fish collection. They must be caught with a pole or in a crab pot.
Foraged fish can be of normal, silver, gold, or iridium quality. Fish caught in crab pots are always normal quality.
All Crab Pot fish are worth 5 XP.
Constantly filters water to find food. In the process, it removes dangerous toxins from the environment.
There are some non-junk items players can reel in while fishing. They do not trigger the fishing mini-game, but are instead immediately picked up. Each gives 3 Fishing XP when caught and is always standard quality.
Below is a quick reference table showing when it is profitable to turn fish into Sashimi based on the quality of the fish. Fish that never make a profit when turned into Sashimi are not listed (Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Legendary Fish, etc.). Fish whose sell price is 75g, the same as Sashimi, are not listed.
↑ 1.01.11.2For all submarine-specific fish, the input data in Fish.xnb specifies upper/lower size values of 8 and 25. However, these fish can only be caught in the Submarine, where the maximum possible Fishing Zone is 2. As a result, even with a Fishing skill of 14 and a perfect catch, the largest possible fish size is 20 inches (which happens to be just barely large enough to be iridium quality).
↑Crab pot contents are determined by CrabPot::DayUpdate. For mariners, there is no chance of junk, and all creatures are equally likely. For non-mariners, there is a 20% chance of junk, then each creature is checked sequentially using the chances specified in Fish.xnb. One result of this algorithm is that the actual chance of finding a given creature is smaller than the value in the input file, because it can only be found if junk items and all previous creatures failed their tests.
↑Clams are not categorized as Fish by the game. Therefore they cannot be used in Fish recipes, do not benefit from Fishing price bonuses, do not show up in the Fish section of the collection tab, and do not count towards the four fishing Achievements.
↑In the game data (ObjectInformation.xnb) the type assigned to Seaweed and Algae is "Fish", but it is not assigned the Fish category (-4). The label displayed in-game and most uses are controlled by the category.
1.4: Added the ability to catch iridium quality fish with perfect catches. Added Flounder and Midnight Carp. The Legend can now only be caught once per save file. Snails are now a loved gift for Vincent.
1.5: Added Lionfish, Stingray, Blue Discus, and all Legendary Fish II.