The Definitive Fishing Guide
Stardew Valley fishing has never been easier. There’s a lot of information you need to know in order to catch that special fish you’re looking for. We have all the information you need to know to be a successful fisher, all in this single Stardew Valley fishing guide.
We’re here to go over every detail from start to finish. Whether you’ve never fished before or are just looking for info on that elusive legendary fish, this is the guide for you. Note the navigation menu to the right, use this to jump to whichever section you need the most. Grab your pole and head to the nearest body of water, let’s get started!
Fishing Map & Locations
Before we delve into catching fish, we should first go over where we’ll be catching these fish. While you can fish in any available body of water, certain types of fish may only be caught in certain locations. It’s also important to note, the farther you cast out your line, the higher quality fish you will catch. Generally, the darker shade of blue the water is, the higher the quality.
See the map below to find the locations mentioned throughout this guide. There is no map for the Mines, Secret Forest, or Desert, however the entrances to all of these are listed below. Any location marked with a spinner/hook indicates a spot with a much higher chance of yielding gold quality fish.
Fishing on Stardew Valley is an art. Some people excel at it very easily, others… not so much. Fortunately for all in the latter category, we’re here to help! First off, we need to find a location to fish. If you’re not looking to catch anything specific, you can go to any body of water and have at it. If you’re looking for a certain type of fish, consult the above map and specific fish type below to find the proper location.
Once you’re set, cast out your rod into the water. For the most part, the farther you cast, the better chance you have for higher quality fish. These will sell for much more money, especially with perks from your Fishing skill. When you get a bite, you’ll see the bobber go under and receive a small (!) mark above your head. As soon as you see this, click immediately!
Now you’ll see the fishing minigame appear on your screen. The goal here is to keep the green bar lined up with the fish icon that is constantly moving up and down. This can be tricky to pull off, especially when attempting to catch more lucrative fish. It’s best to try a few different strategies here. I personally find that clicking and holding the button moves the bar too fast, and prefer to tap the mouse button rapidly instead.
There are a few different behaviors that fish can have attributed to them. This remains constant for each type of fish. Behavior is critical to understanding how to catch certain fish, because you know how they will act within the minigame. You’ll be able to prepare yourself for sudden jumps or movements that the specific fish is known for.
- Smooth – Steady movement pattern, easiest to catch for the most part due to less sudden movements.
- Sinker – Accelerates downwards very rapidly. Be prepared to quickly move your bar downwards when catching fish with this behavior.
- Floater – Opposite of the Sinker, these fish will accelerate upwards extremely fast. Recommended to hold your mouse button down to catch up to them quickly.
- Dart – A mix of both Sinker and Floater, this behavior type moves erratically in all directions. The hardest type to catch.
- Mixed – Basic movement pattern, these fish use a mix of all other behaviors throughout your catch.
Bait & Tackle
You’ll need to have some experience with fishing before you can start using bait & tackle. Bait requires at minimum a Fiberglass Rod or Crab Pot. Tackle will require the Iridium Rod. Each item has different effects on fishing such as bite time and treasure chances. To equip these items, left click the desired tackle or bait, then right click on your rod.
One bait is used per cast, while tackle will last for 20 uses each before breaking. All purchasable tackle and bait may be bought from Willy’s Fish Shop near the beach. Tackle and bait may be used simultaneously to stack their effects. Let’s take a closer look at how we can get each of these, and what they do.
View the chart below to find the fish you’d like to catch. To the right, you’ll see any other requirements for the catch, such as location and time of day. We’ll also note the difficulty of each fish, along with its corresponding behavior type. Check the Catching Fish section to learn more about these.
Crab Pot Fish
Fishing with Crab Pots in Stardew Valley is much different than average fishing. Set up the pots along the shore of any body of water, add some bait, then come back the next day to claim your catches. You will generally only catch lower-tier fish that aren’t worth as much as standard fishing, but the effort is minimal in comparison. Overall, it’s a decent way to net some more money each day. There is a chance to receive trash items from any location, these can be recycled into more useful items using a Recycling Machine.
Night Market Submarine
These fish may only be caught on the Submarine during the Night Market event. This event takes place between the 15th-17th of Winter on the docks by the beach. The submarine portion of the event is only open between 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM, so your time to access these fish is very limited.
To start, enter the submarine and speak to the Captain. He will offer to take you on a ride for 1,000g. Once the ride begins, a trapdoor in the bottom will open which allows you to start fishing. You have a chance to receive some normal fish including Octopus and both Sea Cucumbers, along with these special fish. There is also a rare (1%) chance to receive a Pearl here.
Onto the big boys. Legendary fish are going to be tough to catch. You’re likely not going to get them on your first attempt, but don’t give up! We’re here to give you some useful advice on catching these elusive critters. Before we begin, each legendary has its own set of requirements and special location in which it must be caught. You are only able to catch one of each legendary fish per save file! Make sure you don’t lose them, you won’t be able to get another without cheating.
Mutant Carp – Any Season
The Mutant Carp is found within the Sewers. It has a difficulty of 80, and has the Dart behavior type. There are no level requirements to catch this fish, but you will need to have donated at least 60 items to the Museum to unlock the Rusty Key for access to the Sewers.
Angler – Fall
The Angler is found in the River on the plank bridge north of JojaMart. You may cast out to the north or south, but you must be in the center of the bridge. It has a difficulty of 85, and has the Smooth behavior type. You must have a fishing level of at least 3.
Crimsonfish – Summer
The Crimsonfish is found on the east pier of the Beach, near Elliott’s shack. You must perform a max cast in order to land in the deep water. It has a difficulty of 95, and has the Mixed behavior type. You must have a fishing level of at least 5.
Glacierfish – Winter
The Glacierfish is found in the Lake in the moutains. You must perform a max cast to reach deep water, this is easily done at the southern-most point of the last island. It has a difficulty of 100, and has the Mixed behavior type. You must have a fishing level of at least 6.
Legend – Spring & Rainy Weather
The Legend is found in the Lake in the mountains, similar to the Glacierfish. You must perform a max cast in order to land in the deep water. It has a difficulty of 110, and has the Mixed behavior type. You must have the maximum fishing level of 10. Rather than waiting for rain, you can use a Rain Totem to create this weather type.
Fishing Skill & Perks
Your fishing skill is increased by, you guessed it, catching fish! This includes any trash items you may reel in as well. While they yield no value, they do give you fishing experience. As you level up, you’ll increase your Fishing Rod Proficiency, the maximum size of your catches & height of your bobber bar. Time between casting and fish bites is also decreased as you gain levels.
Apart from those base stats rising naturally through progression, you also have a choice of perks, and other unlocks as you go. Let’s take a look at the skill tree for the fishing skill. While small, your choices will have a big impact on your preferred style of fishing.
Along with choosing perks at levels 5 and 10, you’ll get some permanent unlocks along the way. These range from new fishing gear to recipes and useful machines. All of these will in some way relate back to your fishing skill, and provide different uses depending on your fishing style.
- Level 2
- Bait crafting recipe & in stock
- Fiberglass Rod in stock at Willy’s Fishing Shop
- Level 3
- Crab Pot crafting recipe & in stock
- Dish o’ the Sea cooking recipe
- Level 4
- Recycling Machine crafting recipe
- Permanent casting distance increase
- Level 6
- Spinner crafting recipe & in stock
- Trap Bobber crafting recipe & in stock
- Iridium Rod and Lead Bobber in stock at Willy’s Fishing Shop
- Level 7
- Cork Bobber crafting recipe & in stock
- Treasure Hunter crafting recipe & in stock
- Level 8
- Worm Bin crafting recipe
- Barbed Hook crafting recipe & in stock
- Dressed Spinner crafting recipe & in stock
- Permanent casting distance increase
- Level 9
- Magnet crafting recipe & in stock