How to Catch Fish Easily | Fishing Guide | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) - How to Catch Fish Easily
Catch all 80 fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) and complete your critterpedia and museum collection. Learn rare fish catching tips and tricks like how to use fish bait with our fishing guide below!

How to Catch Fish Easily

Steps Directions
1  Choose a location
2  Find a fish
3  Cast your line
4  Wait for a bite and reel in

1. Choose a Location

ACNH - Looking for Fishing Locations

There are three places you can catch fish from: the river, the beach, and the pond (as well as waterfall pools). The fish that you can catch in each location differ, so you'll need to choose a spot with the fish you want!

Fish Encyclopedia

2. Find a Fish

ACNH - A resident stands on the pier
After choosing the spot you want to fish at, walk around until you see a fish's shadow in the water. The shadow size ranges from very small to very large, and some will even have fins on them.

Bigger fish tend to sell for a higher price, although there are exceptions to this such as the common Black Bass and Sea Bass.

Walk, Don't Run!

When close to the water's edge, make sure you walk instead of running. If you run close to the water, the fish will flee and ruin your chances of catching them!

3. Cast Your Line

ACNH - A resident casts a line
Equip your fishing rod from your inventory. Alternatively, press the left or right D-Pad button to switch around your favorited tools. You can create a fishing pole using a DIY Workbench with the right materials or by buy them at Nook's Cranny.

Once you've found your fish, face it and press A to cast your lure.

Where Should I Cast the Line?

ACNH - A resident waits for the fish to nibble

Always aim in the direction that the fish is facing. When casting the line, aim so that your lure lands in front of the fish's head so that it notices your lure.

When fishing from a river, your lure will gradually move downstream, so you should generally cast upstream from the fish so that your lure will naturally move towards the fish's field of vision.

How Close Should I Be to the Water?

ACNH - A resident unsuccessfully tries to cast a line

You can't cast your fishing rod if you're too far away from the edge of the water. Make sure you're close enough to the edge, adjusting your location slightly so you can aim your lure in front of the fish.

4. Wait for a Bite and Reel In!

ACNH - A resident reels in fish

The fish will draw near your lure once it notices it, and will also start nibbling on the lure. Your lure will bob anywhere from one to give times.

If you hear a loud bite, it means the fish took the bait! Quickly press A after it takes the bite so you can reel it in.

Note: If you wait too long to reel in the fish once it bites, the fish will flee!

The Best timing for Reeling in the Fish

If you find it difficult determining if the fish has bitten, listen to the audio cue. The sound of a bite is different from the sound of the lure bobbing.

If the fish takes small bites at your lure four times without biting, it will always bite on the fifth time. This knowledge is crucial to becoming a fishing master!

Do I Need to Mash A repeatedly?

Pressing the A button just one time is enough to catch any fish, no matter how big it is. As long as your timing is good, it doesn't matter how many times you mash A after the first time!

What To Do With Fish You Catch

Donate to the Museum

ACNH - A resident marvels at the museum

When catching any fish for the first time, you should donate it to the museum. This will help your museum grow and become more lively when you and friends visit it later!

Sell Rare Fish for Bells

ACNH - A resident plans to sell fish to Timmy and Tommy

You can only donate a fish to the museum once. After that, you should either sell them at Resident Services or Nook's Cranny, or wait for C.J. to drop by and sell them for double the price!

Keep Fish as Pets

ACNH - A resident keeps a fish as pet inside their home

You can also keep the fish around as pets! Placing a fish outside or in your house lets you display them in a small tank or aquarium. These serve as decorations and lets you showcase your best catch to your friends!

Get a Rare Fish Model

If you have three kinds of the same fish, you can have C.J. make a model of it that you can use to display around your house or island!

How to Find Rare Fish

ACNH - Fishing for rare fish

Each Fish Appears Under Different Conditions

There's a huge amount of fish in the game, and they each appear in different seasons, times, locations, and weather. If you're looking for a certain fish, check each of these conditions first before hunting for it.

Once you've caught a fish, you can check the conditions under which it appears in the Critterpedia at any time.

List of Factors

  • Seasonality (opposite in Northern and Southern hemisphere)
  • Active Hours
  • Location
  • Weather
  • Size of Shadow

Fish Prices Guide

List of Fish Locations

SeaSea ACNH - RiverRiver
ACNH - EstuaryRiver (Mouth) ACNH - PondPond
ACNH - ClifftopClifftop ACNH - PierPier
ACNH - Below a WaterfallBelow the Waterfall

Fish locations are not divided by an individual area of the island, but instead by the type of environment. Keep each of these in mind when searching for a certain fish.

List of Fish Shadows

ACNH - Tiny shadow sizeTiny ACNH - Small shadow sizeSmall ACNH - Medium shadow sizeMedium
ACNH - Large shadow sizeLarge ACNH - Long-body shadow sizeLong-body ACNH - Dorsal-finned shadow sizeDorsal-finned

When you see a fish in the water, it will be visible by its shadow. Depending on the size of the shadow, one of a select group of fish with that shadow size will appear.

Also, for rare fish in particular, the controller vibration will be stronger than for other fish.

Some Fish are Found on Rainy Days

ACNH - Raining
Fish like the Coelacanth and the Frog are only encountered when it's raining. On rainy days, be sure to make searching for these rare fish a top priority.

Consider Fish Bait

ACNH - Fish Bait

Fish Bait is a one-use item which will immediately attract a single fish. Fish bait doesn't increase the odds of rare fish appearing but Fish bait can help you catch fish in a specific location easily.

This is very useful if you're looking for fish in spots where they rarely appear, such as near the pier or in river mouths. So, dig up those Manila Clams and make some bait!

Fish Bait Recipe

Related Guides

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Fish Encyclopedia

Fish by Month (Northern and Southern Hemisphere)
January February March April
May June July August
September October November December
Fishing Related Articles
How to Catch Fish Easily | Fishing Guide
Fish Prices List
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