Animal Crossing New Horizons: Fishing Guide, How to Fish and Use Bait

A player ocean fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

A player ocean fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is here, and you're likely already well on your way with creating your perfect island. When it comes to interacting with wildlife, one of the more relaxing activities to engage in is fishing! Fishing is also an essential activity for filling your museum and earning plenty of bells.

In this guide, we've explained how to get a fishing rod, use fishing bait, and some tips for catching fish.

Read More: Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Catch a Shark

How To Fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Fishing is very simple in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In fact, it's quite a relaxing activity!

Early on in the game, you'll be able given the DIY Recipe to craft a 'Flimsy Fishing Rod'. After crafting this at a workbench, it will be stored in your inventory. Press the X button to open your inventory, navigate to the rod and select 'Hold' to equip it.

Once you've done this, head to a body of water — such as a river or the ocean — and press A to cast a line into the water. You'll want to aim at the shadows of fish as shown above and, specifically, cast your line in front of them to entice them in.

Fish will then nibble, often more than once, before properly engaging with the bait — denoted by the water moving around it and the bait moving. Once they take a bite, which results in your Joycons vibrating and the bait sinking, press A quickly to reel the fish in. You will then show off your fish, and be able to make the decision between donating it to the museum, putting it on display, or selling them at Nooks Cranny.

How to Craft or Buy A Fishing Rod

Here's how to get various types of Fishing Rod:

  • Flimsy Fishing Rod: Tom Nook will give you the recipe for this, and it will take 5 Tree Branches to craft.
  • Fishing Rod: Get the recipe for this rod by purchasing 'Everyday Tools A-Z' for 3,000 Nook Miles from the Nook Stop in the Town Hall. It requires 1 Flimsy Fishing Rod and 1 Iron Nugget to craft.
  • Golden Fishing Rod: The recipe for this rod will be mailed to you after catching every type of fish in New Horizons. It requires 1 Fishing Rod and 1 Gold Nugget to craft.
  • Colourful Fishing Rod: Can be purchased from the cabinet at Nook's Cranny. 
  • Fish Fishing Rod: Can be purchased from the cabinet at Nook's Cranny.
  • Outdoorsy Fishing Rod: Can be purchased from the cabinet at Nook's Cranny. 

How to Get and Use Fish Bait

Fish Bait is an item that can be used to lure fish to a specific location. This is really useful for the Fishing Tourney, or if you don't want to keep waiting for new fish to spawn.

To get the DIY Recipe for Fish Bait, you will need to dig up a Manila Clam from the beach. These are displayed as small spurts of water in the sand and need to be digged up using a shovel. Once you get and learn the recipe, you can use 1 Manila Clam at a workbench to craft 1 Fish Bait.

To then use the Fish Bait, approach a body of water and open your inventory. Select the Fish Bait and use it to scatter it in the water, then the shadow of a fish will spawn, and you can fish away!

Tips For Fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A player ocean fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
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  • If you're unable to reach the fish, use Fish Bait to lure it closer to your rod.
  • The bigger the size of the shadow, the bigger the fish will be. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's more valuable!
  • Fish at different times of the day, in different locations, and during different seasons to catch different fish.
  • If a shadow off a fish has a fin showing, it's likely going to be a shark!
  • Different types of fish can be caught from rivers and oceans.

That's all you need to know about going fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In order to work on your museum collection, you may want to check out our guides on how to unlock the museum! The museum also has an art section, which you can learn about unlocking here.

This article was updated on 2nd November 2021 by Kelsey Raynor.

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