- For a list of fish and their locations, see the Fish page.
- For an index to the completed fish collection, see Collections.
- For the guide to catch all fish, see Fishing Strategy.
- See also: Tackle, Bait
Overview & Controls
To cast a fishing rod into a body of water, hold down the Use Tool button (i.e., the left mouse button on PC or the X button on Xbox). A meter appears, indicating how far the line will go. Release to cast. It is also possible to slightly alter the line's placement mid-cast with the movement keys, allowing you better control over aiming the cast.
When a fish bites, the bobble wiggles and an exclamation point appears above the player's head. Click the left mouse button (or the X button on Xbox) to start the mini-game.
The mini-game display contains a movable green rectangle that indicates the area of effect for your fishing line. The goal of the fishing mini-game is to keep the small fish icon within the green rectangle until the progress bar to the right is completely filled. If the fish's icon moves above or below the green rectangle, the progress bar decreases, and the fish escapes if the progress bar reaches the bottom.
You can raise the green rectangle by pressing the Use Tool button. Slower clicking holds the green in place when it is not on the bottom. Hold the left mouse button to raise it at increasing speed. Be careful moving it, though, for it gathers momentum quickly and takes time to reverse, making it easy to overshoot the fish and drain the progress bar.
Upon catching a catch, the name of the fish and its size is displayed. Players can keep track of how many fish they have caught and their record lengths in their Collections menu.
Types of Fish
The types of fish that you can find are determined by:
- the season
- the weather (i.e., sunny or rainy)
- the body of water where you are fishing
- the time of day
For example, the forest lake, the forest river, and the town river each contain their own types of fish, though there are some overlaps. You can see the full list on the Fishing Strategy page.
Also note that to catch the legendary fish, you have to fish on specific water tiles, but in general, the specific water tile does not matter.
The green rectangle increases in size with higher fishing skill level.
The upgraded fishing rods (i.e., Fiberglass Rod and Iridium Rod) do not affect the bar size. However, using the Training Rod does affect the bar size; it always gives you a bar size equivalent to level 5 fishing, even after passing level 5.
The player's skill level determines the maximum possible casting distance, with increases happening at levels 1, 4, and 8. The actual casting distance will be a fraction of the maximum distance, based on the fullness of the mini-game casting meter. Any cast that is more than 99% of the maximum distance is highlighted by the text "Max". "Max" casts do not receive any special benefit.
Casts that land as far away from land (in every direction) as possible provide several benefits:
- The chances of catching trash decrease
- The quality of the fish is likely to be better
- The chances of hooking a difficult-to-catch fish is slightly larger
- Some high-quality treasure is only possible far from land
The actual length of the cast is less important than where the bobber lands. Standing as close to the water's edge allows casts to go further from land, as does avoiding locations with other nearby shores (e.g., try to fish where a river is as wide and straight as possible). The game considers any walkable surface, including bridges and piers, to be "land".
The factors that influence fish quality are:
- Casts further from land produce better quality fish.
- Fishing skill (including any buffs from eating food) slightly improves fish quality.
- Randomness adds some variablity to the possible quality.
- Perfect catches improve the quality by one grade, as long as the fish was at least silver quality initially.
Sometimes, a pool of bubbles appears in the water. If you cast into them, blue sparkles appear to indicate that you have successfully landed in them. Bubbles grant two benefits:
- Fish bite much more quickly.
- The likelihood of catching rarer types of fish increases over water without bubbles.
Bubbles do not influence fish quality.
The game displays a "Perfect!" catch if the fish never leaves the green rectangle. Perfect catches grant two benefits:
- If it is a silver or gold quality fish, the quality of the fish is increased by one. (i.e., a silver fish becomes a gold fish, a gold fish becomes an iridium fish)
- The amount of experience awarded for catching the fish is multiplied by 2.4.
Making a perfect catch is the only way to get an iridium quality fish.
At fishing skill level 0, casting a fishing pole consumes 8 energy. Each subsequent fishing level decreases the amount of energy used by 0.1. (While the game shows whole numbers, internally it does not round numbers.) Thus, on the 10th cast at level 1 fishing, the game shows an energy cost of only 7 instead of 8. At level 10 fishing, all casts take (and show) costs of 7 energy.
It is possible to slightly alter the line's placement mid-cast with the movement keys, allowing you better control over aiming the cast. Angling the cast is useful in two scenarios:
- In some non-standard fishing spots, it is necessary to angle the cast in order to get further from land.
- When bubbles spawn in an awkward location, it is sometimes necessary to angle the cast in order to get the bobble to land in them.
- In single-player:
- Time is paused while the mini-game is active.
- Time is not paused during the animation when the casting bar is increasing.
- Time is not paused during the animation when the line is going out.
- Time is not paused during the animation when the fish is flying back towards you.
- Time is not paused during the popup that shows you what type of fish that you have caught.
- If you caught a treasure chest, time is paused while you look through the chest's inventory.
- In multiplayer, time is never paused.
- If you are attacked (for example, by a slime while fishing in the Secret Woods), the slime will continue to attack and damage you during the mini-game, even though the clock is paused.
- During the ice-fishing contest in the Festival of Ice, the contest timer is never paused even during the mini-game.
|Training Rod||25g||Easier to use (only catches common Fish).||Buy from Willy's Fish Shop|
|Bamboo Pole||500g||Given to you by Willy
Buy from Willy's Fish Shop
|Fiberglass Rod||1,800g||Able to use bait.||Buy from Willy's Fish Shop|| Fishing Level 2|
(You receive a letter the day after it becomes available)
|Iridium Rod||7,500g||Able to use bait & tackle.||Buy from Willy's Fish Shop|| Fishing Level 6|
(You receive a letter the day after it becomes available)
Each level grants +1 Fishing Rod Proficiency, increases the minimum fish size (in/cm) and bobber bar height, and decreases the max amount of time before fish bite.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|Crafting Recipes:||Crafting Recipes:||Crafting / Cooking Recipes:||Crafting Recipes:||Choose a Profession:|
|Casting distance increased by one tile||Bait||Crab Pot Dish o' The Sea|| Recycling Machine
|Level 6||Level 7||Level 8||Level 9||Level 10|
|Crafting Recipes:||Crafting Recipes:||Crafting Recipes:||Crafting / Cooking Recipes:||Fisher:||Trapper:|
|Spinner Trap Bobber||Cork Bobber Treasure Hunter||Worm Bin Barbed Hook Dressed Spinner||Seafoam Pudding Magnet|| Angler
The amount of experience earned for each caught fish is as follows: 
XP = (Fish Quality + 1) * 3 + (Fish Difficulty / 3)
- Fish Quality = 0 for normal, 1 for silver, 2 for gold, or 4 for iridium
- Fish Difficulty is a number from 5-110, listed in the data file Fish.xnb.
For example, a regular quality sardine (difficulty 30) would net you (0 + 1) * 3 + (30 / 3) = 13XP.
XP is multiplied by 2.2 if you also catch a treasure chest, by 2.4 if the catch was "perfect" and by 5 if the catch was a Legendary fish. These multiplications stack, and are performed in order (first treasure chest, then perfect, then Legendary).
For example, catching a perfect Sardine with a treasure chest would earn you 13 * 2.2 = 28.6 (truncated to 28) XP, then 28 * 2.4 = 67.2 (truncated to 67) XP.
Catching a perfect gold quality Crimsonfish (difficulty 95) with a treasure chest would net you (2+1) * 3 + (95 / 3) = 40.67 (truncated to 40) base XP; 40 * 2.2 = 88XP; 88 * 2.4 = 211.2 (truncated to 211) XP; 211 * 5 = 1055 XP.
Crab pots earn you 5XP each time you collect from them, no matter what is collected.
Trash, algae and seaweed caught with the fishing pole earn 3 XP each.
Experience level is increased immediately upon harvesting a Crab Pot or catching an item with a fishing pole, but the "level up" window doesn't appear until after going to sleep.
The XP required for leveling up is the same as for all skills:
| Total Sardines
| Total Gold Star Legend Fish
|Total Crab Pot|
*Note: The first level of fishing cannot normally be completed with Crab Pots, because the player does not have access to bait until level 2. If, however, the player befriends Linus, his four heart cutscene will give the recipe for Wild Bait, which can be used to bait crab pots at any Fishing Skill level.
In addition, three crab pots can be earned at any Fishing Level by completing the Crab Pot Bundle in the Fish Tank. Completing the bundle without playing the fishing mini-game (or using crab pots) requires 4 fish foraged from the beach and 1 crab obtained by killing crabs in the mines.
Note that an alternative method of gaining Fishing XP is by using Fish Ponds.
Certain cooked dishes will temporarily increase fishing level.
|Image||Name||Description||Ingredients||Restores||Buff(s)||Buff Duration||Recipe Source(s)||Sell Price|
|Chowder||A perfect way to warm yourself after a cold night at sea.||Clam (1) Milk (1)|| 225
|Fishing (+1)||16m 47s||
Willy (Mail - 3+ )
|Dish O' The Sea||This'll keep you warm in the cold sea air.||Sardine (2) Hashbrowns (1)|| 125
|Fishing (+3)||5m 35s||Fishing Level 3||220g|
|Escargot||Butter-soaked snails cooked to perfection.||Snail (1) Garlic (1)|| 225
|Fishing (+2)||16m 47s||
Willy (Mail - 5+ )
|Fish Stew||It smells a lot like the sea. Tastes better, though.||Crayfish (1) Mussel (1) Periwinkle (1) Tomato (1)|| 225
|Fishing (+3)||16m 47s||
Willy (Mail - 7+ )
|Fish Taco||It smells delicious.||Tuna (1) Tortilla (1) Red Cabbage (1) Mayonnaise (1)|| 165
Linus (Mail - 7+ )
|Lobster Bisque||This delicate soup is a secret family recipe of Willy's.||Lobster (1) Milk (1)|| 225
|Fishing (+3) Max Energy (+50)||16m 47s||
Willy (Mail - 9+ )
|Maple Bar||It's a sweet doughnut topped with a rich maple glaze.||Maple Syrup (1) Sugar (1) Wheat Flour (1)|| 225
|Farming (+1) Fishing (+1) Mining (+1)||16m 47s||
|Seafoam Pudding||This briny pudding will really get you into the maritime mindset!||Flounder (1) Midnight Carp (1) Squid Ink (1)|| 175
|Fishing (+4)||3m 30s||Fishing (Level 9)||300g|
|Shrimp Cocktail||A sumptuous appetizer made with freshly-caught shrimp.||Tomato (1) Shrimp (1) Wild Horseradish (1)|| 225
|Fishing (+1) Luck (+1)||10m 2s||
|Trout Soup||Pretty salty.||Rainbow Trout (1) Green Algae (1)|| 100
|Fishing (+1)||4m 39s||
During the fishing mini-game, a treasure chest will occasionally appear inside the vertical bar. Treasure chests have their own progression bar, fillable by keeping the green bobber bar behind the treasure chest icon . If obtained, the player is awarded a random bonus loot after catching the fish. Losing the fish also loses the treasure chest.
The base chance of finding a chest is 15%. The probability can be increased with the Magnet (+15%), the Treasure Hunter (+5%) and the Pirate profession (+15%) for a total of 50% chance. It is further increased by daily Luck (+Luck/2).
Note that multiple/different items can be found in the same treasure chest (e.g., 1 lost book and 2 emeralds).
The following is a list of all items that can be found inside Treasure Chests.
|Item||Number in Chest||Fishing Level Required||Other Requirements|
|Iridium Ore||1-2||Must cast far from land|
|Gold Ore||1-24||Must cast far from land|
|Dressed Spinner||1||6+||Must cast far from land|
|Wild Bait||2-10||Must know the recipe for Wild Bait|
|Lost Book||1||Only if you've already found 1+ Lost Books, and the Museum's Library collection is not complete|
|Skeletal Tail||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Nautilus Fossil||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Amphibian Fossil||1-2||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Ancient Doll||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Elvish Jewelry||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Chewing Stick||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Ornamental Fan||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Dinosaur Egg||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Rare Disc||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Ancient Sword||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Rusty Spoon||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Rusty Spur||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Rusty Cog||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Chicken Statue||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Ancient Seed||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Prehistoric Tool||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Dried Starfish||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Anchor||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Glass Shards||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Bone Flute||1||2+||Only if you've already found 1+ artifacts|
|Magma Geode||1-6||Must cast far from land|
|Fire Quartz||1-4||2+||Must cast far from land|
|Ruby||1-4||2+||Must cast far from land|
|Emerald||1-4||2+||Must cast far from land|
|Rice Shoot||2-10||Spring only, not at The Beach|
|Small Glow Ring||1||2+|
|Small Magnet Ring||1||2+|
|Rubber Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Leather Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Work Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Combat Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Tundra Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Thermal Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Dark Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Firewalker Boots||1 pair||2+|
|Genie Shoes||1 pair||2+|
- Fisherman (Catch 10 different fish)
- Ol' Mariner (Catch 24 different fish)
- Master Angler (Catch every fish)
- Mother Catch (Catch 100 fish)
- See Tools/FishingRod::doPullFishFromWater in the game code.
- 1.4: Introduced Training Rod. Removed exploit where clicking the journal icon would pause time but still allow fish to bite.
|Skills & Stats|
|Skills||Farming • Mining • Foraging • Fishing • Combat|
|Stats||Attack • Crit. Power • Defense • Immunity • Luck • Magnetism • Speed • Weight|