‘Stardew Valley’ Fishing Guide: How To Catch Every Fish, Eel And Cephalopod In Pelican Town

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Stardew Valley - Fishing
Fishing in Stardew Valley is just about as fun as any other activity available in the open-ended country life sim. Get tips for improving your farmer's fishing abilities and find out where to catch every fish available in Stardew Valley. Photo: International Digital Times

We’re still absolutely hooked to Stardew Valley. With our first year behind us, and a steadily growing stash of gold, few things sound more appealing than turning our attention to the shockingly addictive fishing mechanics included in the open-ended country life sim.

We’ve compiled a list of all the fish we’ve encountered thus far, along with information on where and when you can find each species. Obviously, catching each one will require a certain amount of luck, particularly when hunting for some of the rarest fish in Stardew Valley. But this guide should put you on track to max out your farmer’s fishing skill and claiming the handful of fishing achievements featured in Stardew Valley. Keeping a small supply of fish in your refrigerator will also make it much easier to complete seafood-based quests from the residents of Pelican Town. We’ve also included a list of the items, recipes and professions that will be unlocked as your farmer’s fishing skills continue to grow.

Unlocks

  • Level 1: N/A
  • Level 2: Bait
  • Level 3: Crab Pot, Dish O’ The Sea
  • Level 4: Recycling Machine
  • Level 5: Choose a Profession – Fisher or Trapper
  • Level 6: Spinner, Trap Bobber
  • Level 7: Cork Bobber, Treasure Hunter
  • Level 8: Barbed Hook, Dressed Spinner, Worm Bin
  • Level 9: Magnet
  • Level 10: Choose a Profession – Angler, Luremaster, Mariner or Pirate

A common question, when it comes to fishing in Stardew Valley, is whether or not it’s best to use bait when fishing. We’re of the opinion that baiting your line is a waste of good bait, since it only speeds up to the time to bite. There's no impact on the quality of fish you're catching and we've never failed to fill our inventory when we spend the day fishing. In fact, we generally have to stop and sell our haul to Willy to make room for more. You’re better off saving the bait for the crab pots you’ve spread around your farm and/or Pelican Town. Instead, rely on tackle to elevate your fishing abilities. Bait may decrease your time between bites but spinners and bobbers will improve every cast.

Stardew Valley - Fishing
Fishing in Stardew Valley is just about as fun as any other activity available in the open-ended country life sim. Get tips for improving your farmer's fishing abilities and find out where to catch every fish available in Stardew Valley. Photo: Photo: International Digital Times

And here’s what you can expect to catch in Stardew Valley:

Beach

Spring

  • Anchovies – 24/7
  • Eel Early Afternoon or Night, when raining
  • Halibut – 24/7
  • Herring 24/7

Summer

  • Crimsonfish (Legendary) - 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Halibut – 24/7
  • Octopus Morning
  • Pufferfish – Early Afternoon, when sunny
  • Red Mullet – 24/7
  • Red Snapper – All Day, when raining
  • Super Cucumber – Night
  • Tilapia – All Day
  • Tuna – 24/7

Fall

  • Albacore – Morning or Night
  • Anchovies – 24/7
  • Red Snapper – All Day, when snowing
  • Sea Cucumber – 24/7
  • Super Cucumber - Night

Winter

  • Albacore – Morning or Night
  • Halibut – 24/7
  • Herring 24/7
  • Red Mullet – All Day
  • Sea Cucumber – 24/7
  • Squid - Night
  • Tuna – All Day

All Year

  • Green Algae – 24/7
  • Sardines – All Day
  • Seaweed – 24/7
  • Trash – 24/7

Ponds

Spring

  • Catfish – 24/7, when raining
  • Legend - 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., in the lake near Marnie's Ranch

Summer

  • Pike – 24/7

Fall

  • Catfish – 24/7, when raining
  • Angler (Legendary) - 24/7, in pond north of Joja Mart

Winter

  • Catfish – 24/7, when snowing
  • Perch – 24/7
  • Pike – 24/7

All Year

  • Carp – 24/7
  • Chub – 24/7
  • Periwinkle – 24/7 (Crab Pot)
  • Snail – 24/7 (Crab Pot)

River

Spring

  • Catfish – 24/7, when raining
  • Shad– All Day, when raining
  • Smallmouth Bass – 24/7
  • Sunfish – All Day, when sunny

Summer

  • Dorado – All Day
  • Rainbow Trout – All Day, when sunny
  • Shad – All Day, when raining
  • Sunfish – All Day, when sunny

Fall

  • Catfish – 24/7, when raining
  • Lingcod – 24/7
  • Salmon – All Day
  • Shad – All Day, when raining
  • Smallmouth Bass – 24/7
  • Tiger Trout – Early Morning or Early Afternoon
  • Walleye – Afternoon or Night, when raining

Winter

  • Catfish – 24/7, when snowing
  • Chub - Day
  • Lingcod – 24/7
  • Perch – Day or Night
  • Pike – Day or Night
  • Tiger Trout – Early Morning or Early Afternoon
  • Walleye – Afternoon or Night, when snowing

All Year

  • Bream – Night

Other Spots

Arrowhead Island

  • Glacierfish (Legendary) - 6:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m., only during Winter

Desert

  • Sandfish - Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m; year-round
  • Scorpion Carp - Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m; year-round

Forest Pond

  • Carp - 24/7, year-round
  • Catfish - Mornings during Spring and Fall
  • Walleye - Afternoon and Night during Fall
  • Woodskip - 24/7, year-round

The Mines

  • Ghostfish – Floors 20, 60 and 100; 24/7, year-round
  • Ice Pip – Floor 60; 24/7, year-round
  • Lava Eel – Floor 100; 24/7, year-round
  • Stone Fish – Floor 20; 24/7, year-round
  • Sturgeon – Mine Lake; All Day, Summer and Winter only

Sewers

  • Mutant Carp (Legendary) - 24/7, year-round

Additional Tips

Sea Cucumbers Don’t Improve Fishing Level

For whatever reason, retrieving and selling sea cucumbers doesn’t seem to have any impact on the player’s fishing skill. We’re not sure why, since retrieving the cucumbers requires as much precision as any other species of fish in the game, but that tidbit should come in handy if you find yourself with a full inventory and a tough decision about what to throw out to make room for a more-valuable catch.

Look For High Activity Spots

You can catch fish pretty much anywhere that you find standing water in Stardew Valley. But you’re going to have a much bigger haul to sell at the end of the day if you keep an eye out for any high activity spots in the water. You’ll know you’ve found one when you find a spot in the lake/ocean/river that looks like it’s boiling. Just make sure you choose the right amount of casting power to ensure your lure will land in (or close to) the bubbling water and enjoy the steady stream of fish headed your way. Alternately, if you're having trouble finding high traffic spots, you can always stop by one of these locations that seem to generate more gold-star fish than average.

Don’t Waste Time/Energy On Tricky Catches

You’re going to hook a fish that is literally impossible to catch. It will happen more than once. We’re not sure why ConcernedApe felt the need to include such events in the game, seeing as they do little more than waste the player’s time, but try not to get too caught up in the moment. From what we’ve seen, there’s not a single fishing pole or bait upgrade that will prevent such occasions. Just watch the fish bob up and down the meter erratically for a few seconds and then go about your day.

Update: Several users in the comments have pointed out that fast-moving meters are typically indicative of Legendary fish. We stand by the assertion that many users will find these fish impossible to catch during their first few hours with the game, items like the trap bobber -- which reduces the escape speed of fish on your line -- will eventually make them a bit less difficult to reel in. That said, we stand by our advice of largely ignoring such catches until you get a bit more experience under your belt and the fish icon is moving at a speed you can actually keep pace with.

Save A Few Fish For Fertilizer

Like the crops you grow on your farm, and/or artisanal goods produced on your property, the fish in Stardew Valley are organized into three different quality levels. Silver- and gold-star fish should always be sold, unless you need a gift for a villager, but we recommend saving some regular fish to make better fertilizer for your crops. Anchovies, carp and sardines all make great choices,since they're the least valuable fish in Stardew Valley. 

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Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for additional Stardew Valley coverage throughout 2016 and for as long as ConcernedApe supports Stardew Valley in the months following launch.

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