How to Catch Sea Creatures Easily | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) - Catching Sea Creatures

Catching sea creatures in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is not always easy. Find out how to catch rare and fast sea creatures, and get tips on swimming and diving to complete your Critterpedia.

Sea Creature Guides
Swimming and DivingSwimming and Diving Guide Sea CreaturesSea Creatures Catching TipsCatching Tips

How to Catch Sea Creatures

Easy Way to Get Sea Creatures

1 Swim around the Ocean to search for bubbles.
2 Dive when you get close to the bubbles
3 The Sea Creature shadow will appear, so swim towards it.
4 Swim up to it to catch it!

1. Swim Around the Ocean

ACNH - A player swims into the ocean
Sea creatures can only be found while swimming in the ocean. You need to wear a wet suit to swim, so go buy one from Nook's Cranny, Nook Shopping, or exchange Nook Miles!

You don't need a snorkel to dive, and it has no effect on the amount of time you can stay underwater.

How to Get and Use Wet Suits

2. Dive Close to Bubbles in the Ocean

ACNH - A player finds Bubbles while Swimming
While you swim around, you may spot bubbles coming up from the below.

This is where you can find a sea creature! Swim close to the bubbles and dive by pressing the Y button.

How to Swim and Dive

3. Swim Towards the Shadow

ACNH - A player sees a shadow after diving

When underwater, find the shadow of sea creature. Swim towards the shadow to catch it.

You can only stay underwater for roughly 10 seconds.

4. Swim into it to Catch!

ACNH - A player gets a scallop with Pascal in the background

You only have to get close enough to the shadow to catch it.

When you're close enough, your player automatcally swims up to the surface and reveals what they've caught!

List of Sea Creatures

Tips for Catching Fast Sea Creatures

Get as Close as Possible Before Diving

ACNH - A player searches for bubbles while swimming

The most important thing to get right is the timing when you dive. Because you can't stay underwater for long, it's better to get as close to the bubbles as posible before diving.

Some Sea Creatures Swim Away

While some sea creatures don't move even when you swim close, a lot of them try to get away from you. However, this also makes it easier to tell them apart!

For example, Scallops and Octopuses move while Sea Anemones do not.

If you're looking for a specifc sea creature, look out for how a shadow moves in the water. If it doesn't match the critter you're looking for, move on to the next one!

Drive the Fast Sea Creatures towards the Net

ACNH - A player drives the fast Sea Creatures towards the net to catch it

It helpsto steer fast sea creatures (like the Lobster or Spider Crab) towards the net surrounding your island and trap them against it. Remember to repeatedly tap the A button too, to swim faster!

Sea Creatures Have Different Shadow Sizes

Large Medium Small
ACNH - Sea Creatures Shadow Size - Large ACNH - Sea Creatures Shadow Size - Medium ACNH - Sea Creatures Shadow Size - Small

Just like fish, you can get an idea of what sea creatures you can find by the size of its shadow.

Pearls are the small shadow size

The pearls needed for the Mermaid Series recipes from Pascal can also be found by diving! They don't move, but their shadow is small and they can be a bit hard to find.

List of Mermaid Series Furniture & Item Recipes

Changes Depending on Season

Like bugs and fish, sea creatures have set months and times they appear. To get all of them you will either need a lot of time and friends in the opposite Hemisphere, or time travelling.

Time Traveling Guide

Pockets are disabled

ACNH - Pocket Disabled while Swimming
Access to your pocket is disabled (all contents grayed-out) while swimming, except when you catch a sea creature and your pockets are full.

Pocket full? Swap... ...with sea creatures only

When this happens, you will only be able to swap your newly-caught sea creature with another sea creature already in your pocket. If you don't have other sea creatures already in your pocket, you will be forced to release your newly-caught sea creature.

If you do not need to swap a new sea creature in, you will not be able to manually release sea creatures while swimming. You will have to swim back to shore and exit the water to release unwanted sea creatures from your pocket.

Keep Things Simple By Emptying Your Pocket

Before entering the ocean for sea creatures, we highly advise to clear your pocket. Since it will be disabled while swimming, there's no need to carry things with you.

Related Guides

Deep Sea Creatures Front Page Header

List of All Sea Creatures

Sea Creatures Guides

How to Catch Sea Creatures Easily

List of Sea Creatures

Abalone ImageAbalone Acorn Barnacle ImageAcorn Barnacle Chambered Nautilus ImageChambered Nautilus Dungeness Crab ImageDungeness Crab
Firefly Squid ImageFirefly Squid Flatworm ImageFlatworm Gazami Crab ImageGazami Crab Giant Isopod ImageGiant Isopod
Gigas Giant Clam ImageGigas Giant Clam Horseshoe Crab ImageHorseshoe Crab Lobster ImageLobster Mantis Shrimp ImageMantis Shrimp
Moon Jellyfish ImageMoon Jellyfish Mussel ImageMussel Octopus ImageOctopus Oyster ImageOyster
Pearl Oyster ImagePearl Oyster Red King Crab ImageRed King Crab Scallop ImageScallop Sea Anemone ImageSea Anemone
Sea Cucumber ImageSea Cucumber Sea Grapes ImageSea Grapes Sea Pig ImageSea Pig Sea Pineapple ImageSea Pineapple
Sea Slug ImageSea Slug Sea Star ImageSea Star Sea Urchin ImageSea Urchin Seaweed ImageSeaweed
Slate Pencil Urchin ImageSlate Pencil Urchin Snow Crab ImageSnow Crab Spider Crab ImageSpider Crab Spiny Lobster ImageSpiny Lobster
Spotted Garden Eel ImageSpotted Garden Eel Sweet Shrimp ImageSweet Shrimp Tiger Prawn ImageTiger Prawn Turban Shell ImageTurban Shell
Umbrella Octopus ImageUmbrella Octopus Vampire Squid ImageVampire Squid VenusVenus' Flower Basket Whelk ImageWhelk
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