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The ultimate Stardew Valley fishing guide: From novice to master angler

Get better at Stardew Valley's popular mini-game!
By
March 26, 2022

Stardew Valley is a wholesome and relaxing game, but if there is one activity that is sure to get your blood boiling and make your palms sweat, it’s fishing. Although it’s a bit easier on a touchscreen, fishing in Stardew Valley is an art that takes time and patience to master. This is why we are here to help! This is our ultimate guide on fishing in Stardew Valley.

More: Stardew Valley review — Breath of fresh air for Android farming games


1. How to get better at fishing in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley fishing reel

If you’ve tried fishing and failed, you might be asking yourself why should I waste time fishing? Isn’t this a farming game? The answer is that fishing is an essential part of the game. It’s a great way to supplement your income, unlock achievements, and often, the only way to get the perfect gift for that villager you’ve been eyeing.

So, how do you improve? The simplest but most effective advice is to tap gently when aligning the green bar with the fish. Vigorous tapping or continuous pressing on the screen will send the bar flying up and down, allowing your catch to escape. Like every other skill in-game or in real-life practice makes perfect.

That said, some key things will improve your chances of catching high-quality fish. For example, you really shouldn’t waste your time trying to fish in the small ponds around your farm, especially if you are using the Standard farm layout. Why? Because most of the time, you will reel in a soggy newspaper or other trash. Head to the ocean or the town rivers and lakes instead.

General fishing tips:

  • Upgrade your rod as quickly as possible the Training rod can only catch common fish.
  • Cast your line as far away from the shore as possible, aiming for deeper, darker water. This decreases your chance of snagging garbage and increases the quality of any fish you catch.
  • If bubbles appear on the water, cast your line there. Fish usually spawn in this location and will bite much quicker than usual. The likelihood of finding a rare or legendary fish is also higher.
  • Use food to increase your fishing level temporarily. The best dishes for the job are Dish O’ The Sea, Fish Stew, Lobster Bisque, and Seafoam Pudding.
  • Don’t get too tempted by treasures unless you specifically hunt for artifacts. Their loot is not amazing at lower levels, and catching that community bundle fish is more important.

Even with these tips in mind, you should know that some fish are tough to catch. You won’t get all of them in your first year, and there is no shame in that. Things get much easier with practice (and an Iridium rod).

More: Stardew valley tips and tricks 


2. The best Stardew Valley fishing spots

The best-kept secret of many a Stardew Valley fisherman is the prime Pelican Town fishing locations. There are several spots on the map that have great spawn rates and convenient access to the deep dark depths of the water. Head here for the best catch in town:

Western Pier rock

Stardew Valley fishing Western Pier rock

Located on the same pier as Willy’s Fish Shop, casting your line near this rock is guaranteed to net you a good catch.

Edge of Eastern Pier

Stardew Valley fishing Eastern Pier edge

Once you rebuild the wooden bridge to the tidal pools, you will access the Eastern Pier. Its edge is one of the best fishing locations in the game.

Mountain lake near the mines

Stardew Valley fishing Mountain lake

Catch some fish before entering the mines in this location for maximum efficiency!

Near Leah’s cabin

Stardew Valley fishing Leahs cabin

There’s a reason Willy often fishes here when he’s not in front of his shop.

Also: Other fishing games you should consider playing


3. Leveling up your Stardew Valley fishing skill

Stardew Valley game stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

So how do you get your hands on better equipment? With more fishing, of course. The skill has ten levels, all of which unlock new crafting recipes. As you level up, your fishing proficiency increases too. This means you use less energy, allowing you to spend even more of your day fishing. Don’t be disheartened if you’re still learning, though even reeling in seaweed, algae, or trash helps you work towards the next level.

Level two is one of the first important milestones. It unlocks the fiberglass rod, which can be purchased from Willy’s shop for 1,800 gold. It also gives you access to the bait crafting recipe. You can make five bait using one bug meat or buy bait from Willy for 5g each. Once you have it, attach it to your fiberglass rod before heading out to sea. It will cause fish to bite faster, making fishing more efficient.

Stardew Valley crab pot fishing

At level three, the crab pot recipe will be unlocked. Crab pots are made with 40 wood and three iron bars. Plop them anywhere in the water to passively catch fish. However, an important thing to know is that they need to be baited to get you anything of value. Crab pots also have their own fish pool you will catch only Lobster, Clams, Crayfish, Crabs, Cockles, Mussels, Shrimp, Snails, Periwinkles, and Oysters. Just like regular Stardew Valley fishing, however, there is a chance you will find driftwood and other trash items instead.

Once you reach fishing level five, you have to make the first important decision: choosing your profession. The choices are Fisher and Trapper. The former makes fish worth 25% more, while the latter reduces the resources required for crafting crab pots. While the Trapper profession might be tempting for the lazy angler, we recommend going with Fisher. The value it provides is just too good to pass up.

The Iridium Rod is essential for optimal fishing!

From there, reaching level six should be easy. Once you do, you will finally have access to the best fishing rod in Stardew Valley the Iridium rod. It will cost you an arm and a leg at 7500g, but it can use bait and tackle. As you continue leveling up, you will also unlock plenty of tackle recipes. They all can be helpful in different circumstances.

Stardew Valley fishing tackles and what they do:

Image:Tackle name:Unlocked at:Effects:
Image:
Spinner
Tackle name:
Spinner
Unlocked at:
Level 6
Effects:
Slightly increases bite-rate.
Image:
Trap Bobber
Tackle name:
Trap Bobber
Unlocked at:
Level 6
Effects:
Causes fish to escape slower when not reeling.
Image:
Treasure Hunter
Tackle name:
Lead Bobber
Unlocked at:
Level 6
Effects:
Adds weight to your fishing bar. This prevents it from bouncing at the bottom.
Image:
Cork Bobber
Tackle name:
Cork Bobber
Unlocked at:
Level 7
Effects:
Increases the size of your fishing bar, making it easier to catch unruly fish.
Image:
Treasure Hunter
Tackle name:
Treasure Hunter
Unlocked at:
Level 7
Effects:
Prevents fish from escaping while you're reeling in treasures. Slightly increases chance to find treasure.
Image:
Barbed Hook
Tackle name:
Barbed Hook
Unlocked at:
Level 8
Effects:
Makes the fishing bar stick to your catch.
Image:
Dressed Spinner
Tackle name:
Dressed Spinner
Unlocked at:
Level 8
Effects:
Increases fish bite-rate.
Image:
Dressed Spinner
Tackle name:
Curiosity Lure
Unlocked at:
N/A

Find it breaking boxes and barrels at Quarry Mine, Skull Cavern, and Volcano Dungeon. You can also get it from mummies and monsters in Skull Cavern.
Effects:
Increases chances of catching rare fish.
Image:
Dressed Spinner
Tackle name:
Quality Bobber
Unlocked at:
N/A

Can be crafted using recipe opbtained from Willy after completing the Juicy Bugs Wanted! special order.
Effects:
Improves the quality of fish you catch.

If you want to upgrade your bait, too, you will have to befriend Linus. Once your friendship gets to four hearts, he will gift you one of the most useful fishing recipes in the game Wild Bait. This unique recipe is crafted from ten Fiber, five Slime, and five Bug Meat. It gives you a chance to catch two fish at once!

Finally, at level ten, depending on what profession you picked at level five, you will once again be able to choose what you want to specialize in. If you picked Fisher as recommended, you could now decide to become an Angler whose fish are worth 50% more or a Pirate whose chance to find treasure is doubled. If you went with Trapper, you could become a Mariner whose Crab Pots no longer produce trash or a Luremaster who never needs to use bait.

Also: The best hunting games available for Android


4. How seasons and weather affect fishing

Stardew Valley Elliott

There are over 80 fish in Stardew Valley. This includes the crab pot fish, legendary fish, and the fish you can catch on the submarine ride during the Night Market event. Stardew Valley is not Pokémon, so you don’t need to catch them all unless you are a completionist. However, if you are one, there are some things you need to know.

Many Stardew Valley fish are seasonal. Some fish only appear during one season of the year, while others will be available year-round. The time of day and weather conditions matter too. Discovery is part of the fun, so we haven’t listed how and when to catch every fish. But to help you, we’ve compiled a list of when and where to capture some of the most “pretentious” fish, which only appear under particular conditions.

Image:Name:Season:Time:Weather:Location:
Image:
Pufferfish
Name:
Pufferfish
Season:
Summer
Time:
12pm to 4pm
Weather:
Sunny
Location:
Ocean
Image:
Rainbow Trout
Name:
Rainbow Trout
Season:
Summer
Time:
6am to 7pm
Weather:
Sunny
Location:
River, Mountain Lake
Image:
Dorado
Name:
Dorado
Season:
Summer
Time:
6am to 7pm
Weather:
Any
Location:
River (forest only)
Image:
Octopus
Name:
Octopus
Season:
Summer
Time:
6am to 1pm
Weather:
Any
Location:
Ocean
Image:
Salmon
Name:
Salmon
Season:
Fall
Time:
6am to 7pm
Weather:
Any
Location:
River
Image:
Squid
Name:
Squid
Season:
Winter
Time:
6pm to 2am
Weather:
Any
Location:
Ocean
Image:
Lingcod
Name:
Lingcod
Season:
Winter
Time:
Any
Weather:
Any
Location:
River, Mountain Lake
Image:
Perch
Name:
Perch
Season:
Winter
Time:
Any
Weather:
Any
Location:
River, Mountain Lake, Forest Pond

5. Stardew Valley Legendary fish locations

Stardew Valley legendary fish

If you’ve already scoured the seas, lakes, and rivers of Pelican Town and discovered almost all they have to offer, you might be looking for a bigger challenge. Stardew Valley’s Legendary fish are precisely that: rare to find and prohibitively hard to catch. They will push your angling abilities to their limits. Legendary fish can only be caught once per save file, but they are the jewel in any fisherman’s crown.

So, how do you find and catch them? As you might have guessed, the higher your fishing level, the better your chances are to find them. Some legendary fish will not even appear until you reach a certain fishing skill level. We, therefore, recommend getting to level 10 before going on the legendary hunt. An iridium rod with bait and tackle is also a must, with the Cork bobber tackle giving you the highest chance of success. Adding a food fishing bonus on top of the max level fishing skill is possible too. Get your hands on some Seafoam pudding for the best results.

We should mention that catching the unruliest of these legendary fish is sometimes up to luck keep trying until you reel them in! Finally, you need to know where and when to find the Legendary fish. Here are their exact locations.

Note: All screenshots are taken in winter, but legendary fish are available in different seasons. Read the description above the images first.

Mutant Carp

Mutant carp location

This monstrous fish can be found in the sewers throughout all seasons and at any time of day or night.

Angler

Angler location

You can find this depth dweller in the river north of Joja Mart, in the fall.

Crimsonfish

Crimsonfish location

This fiery-red fish will visit the warm waters near the Eastern Pier in the summer.

Glacierfish

Glacierfish location

Unsurprisingly, you can find the Glacierfish in winter at the south end of the Cindersnap Forest waters.

Legend

Legend location

The most difficult of them all the Legend among legends, only appears during rainy Springs days and nights in the mountain lake.


Are you tired of farming and fishing? There are plenty of other games out there to pass the time. Take a look at our list of the best Android games available, as well as our favorite free Android games to keep things varied.