GamesThe Ultimate Stardew Valley Fishing Guide

The Ultimate Stardew Valley Fishing Guide

Welcome to the most comprehensive Stardew Valley fishing guide you’ll ever need. Fishing is not just a way to pass the time in the cozy world of Stardew Valley; it’s also a crucial skill that can help you earn money, complete quests, and even find a few surprises along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a complete novice, this guide will cover everything you need to know about fishing in Stardew Valley.

The Basics of Fishing

Fishing Bar Mechanics

When you cast your line into the water, a fishing bar will appear on the screen. This bar indicates the fish’s position and your reel’s position. Your goal is to keep the green bar behind the fish icon until the catch meter fills up.

Energy Consumption

Fishing consumes energy, so make sure you have enough before you start. The amount of energy consumed depends on the fishing rod you’re using and any tackle or bait attached.

Time of Day and Fishing

Different fish are active at different times of the day. Some are more likely to bite in the morning, while others prefer the evening. Keep this in mind when planning your fishing trips.

See Also: 11 Games Like Animal Crossing


Fishing Rods and Equipment

Different Types of Fishing Rods

There are three main types of fishing rods in Stardew Valley:

  • Bamboo Pole: The basic rod available from the start. You’ll receive a Bamboo Pole from Willy, the local fisherman, on the second day of Spring. He’ll invite you to the Beach, where he’ll give you the rod for free.
  • Fiberglass Rod: Upgrade to a Fiberglass Rod as soon as you can. This rod allows you to use bait and can be purchased from Willy’s Fish Shop for 1,800g.
  • Iridium Rod: The Iridium Rod is the best rod in the game, allowing you to use both bait and tackle. It costs 7,500g and becomes available at Fishing Level 6.

Where to Buy or Upgrade Rods

You can buy and upgrade fishing rods at Willy’s Fish Shop, located at the Beach.

Importance of Fishing Equipment

Upgrading your fishing rod and using the right equipment can significantly improve your fishing experience. Better rods make it easier to catch fish and offer the option to use bait and tackle.

How to Fish: Step-by-Step Guide

Fishing in Stardew Valley is a rewarding but challenging experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this guide will walk you through the entire process of fishing, from casting your line to reeling in your catch.

Step 1: Acquire a Fishing Rod

  1. For Beginners: You’ll receive the Bamboo Pole from Willy.
  2. For Intermediate Players: Upgrade to a Fiberglass Rod
  3. For Advanced Players: The Iridium Rod

Step 2: Choose Your Fishing Spot

  1. Freshwater: Rivers, lakes, and ponds are great for freshwater fish.
  2. Saltwater: The Beach is the place to go for ocean fish.
  3. Special Locations: Some fish can only be caught in unique locations like the Desert, the Mines, or the Sewers.

Step 3: Check the Time and Weather

  1. Time: Some fish are only available at certain times of the day.
  2. Weather: Weather conditions like rain can affect the types of fish you can catch.

Step 4: Prepare Your Equipment

  1. Bait: Attach bait to your rod to increase the bite rate. Open your inventory, right-click on the bait, then right-click on the rod.
  2. Tackle: If you have an Iridium Rod, you can also attach tackle for various benefits. The process is the same as attaching bait.

Step 5: Cast Your Line

  1. Positioning: Stand close to the water’s edge.
  2. Casting: Press and hold the action button to build up power, then release to cast. The further you cast, the deeper the water and the better the fish you can catch.

stardew valley fishing tips

Step 6: Wait for a Bite

  1. Patience: After casting, wait for a fish to bite. You’ll see small “…” bubbles and hear a sound when a fish is interested.
  2. Hooking: As soon as you see an exclamation mark (“!”) above your character’s head, click the action button to hook the fish.

Step 7: The Fishing Mini-Game

  1. Objective: Keep the green bar behind the fish icon until the catch meter fills up.
  2. Controls: Use the action button to raise the green bar and release it to lower the bar.
  3. Tactics: Pay close attention to the fish’s movement and adjust your bar’s position accordingly.

Step 8: Reel in Your Catch

  1. Success: If you successfully fill the catch meter, you’ll reel in the fish.
  2. Failure: If the fish escapes from the green bar too many times, it will escape, and you’ll lose the catch.

Step 9: Collect Your Reward

  1. Fish: You’ll receive the fish as an item in your inventory.
  2. Treasure: Sometimes, you’ll also find treasure chests during the mini-game. To collect them, position the green bar over the chest icon while also keeping the fish hooked.

Step 10: Review and Sell

  1. Quality: Fish come in different qualities—Normal, Silver, Gold, and Iridium—which affect their selling price.
  2. Selling: You can sell fish directly to Willy, place them in the shipping box, or use them in recipes.

Types of Fish and Locations

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Fish

Stardew Valley offers a variety of fishing locations, each with its unique fish species. Freshwater fish are typically found in rivers and lakes, while saltwater fish are found in the ocean.

seasonal fish stardew valley

Fish Found in Different Seasons and Weather Conditions

Some fish are season-specific, and others only appear during certain weather conditions. For example, the Catfish is more likely to be found when it’s raining.

Rare Fish

There are also legendary fish in Stardew Valley, which are extremely hard to catch but offer significant rewards.

How to Catch the Walleye

Best Time and Season to Catch Walleye

The Walleye is a fish that can be caught in the Fall, specifically when it’s raining. It’s most active between 12:00 PM and 2:00 AM.

Recommended Equipment

Using an Iridium Rod with bait and tackle is highly recommended to increase your chances of catching a Walleye.

Tips for Catching Walleye

  • Fish in the river, especially near the bridge in the town or forest.
  • Use Wild Bait for an increased chance of catching Walleye.
  • The Dish O’ The Sea food buff can help by adding +3 to your fishing skill. In Stardew Valley, the Dish O’ The Sea is a cooked dish that provides a temporary boost to your fishing skill, making it easier to catch fish and thus earn more experience points. Cooking this dish can be a great way to level up your fishing skill more quickly.

How to Make Dish O’ The Sea


  • 2 Sardines
  • 1 Hash Browns


  1. Unlock the Recipe: First, you’ll need to unlock the recipe for Dish O’ The Sea. You can obtain it from Willy at 3-heart friendship level. Alternatively, you can sometimes find the recipe on the Queen of Sauce television program.
  2. Gather Ingredients:
    • Sardines: These can be caught at the ocean during different seasons. You’ll need two for each dish.
    • Hash Browns: This is another cooked dish that requires a Potato and Oil to make. You can grow potatoes on your farm or buy them from Pierre’s General Store. Oil can also be purchased from Pierre’s.
  3. Cooking Equipment: Make sure you have a kitchen in your farmhouse. If you don’t have one yet, you can upgrade your house at Robin’s Carpenter Shop.
  4. Cook the Dish: Once you have all the ingredients and a kitchen, open the cooking interface by interacting with the stove in your kitchen. Select the Dish O’ The Sea recipe and cook it.
  5. Consume for Buff: Once cooked, you can consume the Dish O’ The Sea from your inventory to get a +3 fishing skill boost for a limited time.

Seasonal Fish

stardew valley squid

Fish Available in Different Seasons

  • Spring: Catfish, Shad, Sunfish
  • Summer: Tilapia, Red Snapper, Tuna
  • Fall: Walleye, Salmon, Tiger Trout
  • Winter: Perch, Squid, Lingcod

Special Conditions for Catching Seasonal Fish

Some seasonal fish require specific weather conditions or times of day. Always check the season, weather, and time when planning your fishing trips.

Catching the Red Snapper in Stardew Valley

Catching a Red Snapper in Stardew Valley requires a bit of planning, as this fish has specific conditions under which it can be caught. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you catch this elusive fish:

  1. Season and Weather: The Red Snapper is available in the Summer and Fall seasons. Additionally, it can only be caught when it’s raining.
  2. Location: Head to the Ocean, which is located on the far east side of the map, past the town square and across the bridge.
  3. Time: The Red Snapper can be caught between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
  4. Fishing Rod: Make sure you have at least a basic fishing rod. However, using a better rod equipped with bait or tackle will increase your chances.
  5. Fishing Technique: Cast your line into the water and wait for a fish to bite. Once it does, a mini-game will start where you have to keep the fish icon within the green bar until the catch meter fills up.
  6. Inventory: Make sure you have space in your inventory to store the Red Snapper once you catch it.
  7. Sell or Use: Once caught, you can either sell the Red Snapper for gold or use it in various cooking recipes.

By following these steps and conditions, you’ll maximize your chances of catching a Red Snapper in Stardew Valley. Happy fishing!

How to Attach Bait

Types of Bait

  • Basic Bait: Increases bite rate.
  • Wild Bait: Increases the chance of catching multiple fish.
  • Magic Bait: Allows you to catch any fish from any season, weather, time, or location.

Step-by-Step Guide on Attaching Bait to Your Fishing Rod

  1. Open your inventory.
  2. Right-click on the bait to pick it up.
  3. Hover over the fishing rod and right-click to attach the bait.

Benefits of Using Bait

Using bait can significantly increase your chances of catching fish and reduce the time it takes for fish to bite.

Fishing Tackle and Its Uses

Different Types of Fishing Tackle

  • Spinner: Increases the bite-rate of fish.
  • Trap Bobber: Causes fish to escape slower when you aren’t reeling them in.
  • Cork Bobber: Increases the size of your fishing bar.

How to Attach Fishing Tackle

  1. Open your inventory.
  2. Right-click on the tackle to pick it up.
  3. Hover over the fishing rod and right-click to attach the tackle.

When to Use Specific Types of Tackle

  • Use the Spinner when you’re looking to catch a lot of fish in a short amount of time.
  • The Trap Bobber is useful for difficult-to-catch fish.
  • The Cork Bobber is great for beginners who are still getting used to the fishing mini-game.

Fishing Skills and Professions

Leveling Up Your Fishing Skill

Fishing skills can be leveled up by catching fish, crab pots, and completing fishing quests. Each level grants you access to new crafting recipes and improves your fishing capabilities.

Choosing a Fishing Profession

Fishing professions in Stardew Valley offer players the opportunity to specialize their fishing skills, providing unique benefits that can significantly enhance their fishing experience. These professions become available as you level up your fishing skill, allowing you to tailor your abilities to suit your gameplay style. The first critical choice comes at level 5, where you can opt to become either a Fisher or a Trapper.

Choosing the Fisher profession increases the selling price of all fish by 25%. This is an excellent choice for players who plan to make fishing a significant source of income.

level 10 fishing options

The Fisher path further branches into two specializations at level 10: Angler and Pirate. The Angler profession increases the value of fish by an additional 50%, making it a lucrative option for those focused on maximizing profits. On the other hand, the Pirate profession doubles the chance of finding treasure while fishing, which can yield valuable items and artifacts.

On the flip side, the Trapper profession reduces the resources required to craft crab pots, which are used to catch crustaceans and some fish automatically. This is a more passive approach to fishing and is ideal for players who prefer to set traps and collect their bounty later. At level 10, Trappers can choose between becoming a Mariner or a Luremaster. Mariners will find that crab pots no longer produce junk items, ensuring that every catch is valuable. Luremasters can collect from crab pots without using bait, making the process even more effortless and cost-effective.

Each fishing profession in Stardew Valley has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice ultimately depends on how you wish to engage with the game’s fishing mechanics. Whether you’re looking to maximize profits, find rare treasures, or take a more laid-back approach with crab pots, the fishing professions offer something for everyone. By carefully selecting your profession, you can optimize your fishing experience and make the most out of this rewarding in-game activity.

Community Center Bundles

Fish Needed for Community Center Bundles

Completing the fishing bundles in the Community Center will help you unlock various rewards and upgrades for the entire community.

Rewards for Completing Fishing Bundles

Rewards include items like bait, tackle, and even a new fishing rod. Completing all the fishing bundles will also contribute to restoring the Community Center.

Fishing Events and Quests

ice fishing contest stardew

Special Fishing Events

  • The Stardew Valley Fair: Participate in the fishing mini-game to win Star Tokens.
  • Ice Fishing Competition: A winter event where you compete against other villagers.

NPC Quests Related to Fishing

Various NPCs will occasionally request specific types of fish. Completing these quests can earn you gold, items, and friendship points.

Tips and Tricks

Advanced Techniques for Better Fishing

  • Perfect Catches: Reeling in a fish without letting it escape from the bar grants a “perfect catch,” which increases the quality of the fish.
  • Double Bait Technique: Using both Wild Bait and a Spinner can drastically increase your fishing efficiency.

How to Maximize Profits from Fishing

  • Focus on high-value fish.
  • Use the Fisher profession to increase the selling price of fish.
  • Preserve fish using preserves jars or turn them into Sashimi for higher profits.

Where to Find High-Value Fish in Stardew Valley

Fishing is worth it and can be a lucrative venture in Stardew Valley if you know where to cast your line. While you can catch fish in various locations, some spots are particularly known for their high-value fish. Here’s a guide to help you find these profitable catches:

Legend Fish

stardew legend

Location: Mountain Lake
Season: Spring
Time: Any
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 10 and an Iridium Rod with a Trap Bobber.



Location: South of Arrowhead Island in Cindersap Forest
Season: Winter
Time: 6 AM – 7 PM
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 6 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.



Location: East Pier on The Beach
Season: Summer
Time: 6 AM – 7 PM
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 5 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.



Location: River north of JojaMart
Season: Fall
Time: 6 AM – 7 PM
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 3 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.

Mutant Carp

mutant carp

Location: The Sewers
Season: Any
Time: Any
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 10 and an Iridium Rod with a Trap Bobber.

Lava Eel

lava eel

Location: Mines (Floor 100)
Season: Any
Time: Any
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 7 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.


blobfish stardew

Location: The Midnight Market’s submarine ride
Season: Winter
Time: 5 PM – 2 AM
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 8 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.

Spook Fish

Location: The Midnight Market’s submarine ride
Season: Winter
Time: 5 PM – 2 AM
Weather: Any
Note: Requires Fishing Level 8 and is easier to catch with a Trap Bobber.

By focusing on these high-value fish, you can more quickly maximize your profits and make the most out of your fishing trips in Stardew Valley.

Common Questions About Fishing in Stardew Valley

How do I unlock the fishing rod?

The Bamboo Pole, your first fishing rod, is given to you by Willy, the local fisherman, on the second day of Spring. He’ll invite you to the Beach south of Pelican Town, where he’ll hand it over for free.

What is the best bait to use?

The “best” bait can vary depending on your goals. Basic Bait is good for everyday fishing and is easy to make. Wild Bait is excellent for increasing the chance of catching multiple fish. Magic Bait allows you to catch any fish regardless of season, weather, or time, but it’s harder to acquire.

How do I catch legendary fish?

Legendary fish require a high fishing level (usually level 10), the best fishing rod (Iridium Rod), and specific tackle (usually Trap Bobber). Each legendary fish also has a specific location and season where it can be caught. It’s a good idea to consume food that boosts your fishing skill, like Dish O’ The Sea, before attempting to catch them.

Why is Stardew Valley Fishing So Hard?

Fishing in Stardew Valley is often cited as one of the more challenging aspects of the game, especially for newcomers. The difficulty arises from several factors that make it distinct from other in-game activities.

Skill-Based Mini-Game

Unlike other tasks like farming or mining, fishing involves a skill-based mini-game that requires precise timing and control. Players must keep a fluctuating fish icon within a green bar to successfully reel it in. The bar’s movement is often erratic, especially for rarer fish, making it difficult to maintain the necessary alignment for an extended period.

Varied Fish Behavior

Different fish have different behaviors, some darting around quickly and others remaining relatively still. This variability means that each fishing experience can be unpredictable, requiring players to adapt quickly. Rarer fish tend to be more erratic, making them especially challenging to catch.

Equipment Limitations

Early-game fishing rods are basic and offer little assistance in catching fish. Upgrades are essential for more efficient fishing but require significant investment in both money and resources. Additionally, bait and tackles, which make the process easier, are not available with the basic rod.

Stamina Constraints

Fishing consumes stamina, a limited resource that players must manage alongside other daily activities. Running out of stamina can cut a fishing trip short, making it challenging to practice and improve.

Learning Curve

The fishing mechanics have a steep learning curve. While other skills like farming are straightforward, fishing requires practice and finesse. The initial difficulty often discourages players, making it a skill that is frequently overlooked or avoided.

The complexity of the fishing mini-game, the nuanced behavior of different fish, equipment limitations, stamina constraints, and a steep learning curve all contribute to making fishing in Stardew Valley challenging. But stick with it – use this ultimate fishing guide to make things easier for you.

Want more cozy game fun? Check out our thoughts on Palia.

Join our mailing list

Bobby Bernstein
Bobby is the Co-Owner of Nerd Much?. He's the former Games Editor and current Shopping Editor at, former Editor in Chief of Den of Geek, and former bylines at HiConsumption, Slickdeals,, and more! He is also on Opencritic. He has been writing about nerdy stuff on the web for over 10 years. The best way to reach him is on Twitter.

Trending Now

Related Stories