How to Catch Fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Gaming Nintendo Switch How to Catch Fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Fishing is one of the most important mechanics in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Fish will mostly be used for the Museum, whilst you can also eat them or sell them. A few challenges also consist of catching fish, where you can earn Nook Miles.

You can fish in Animal Crossing as long as you have a Fishing Rod. The first one you will receive is the ‘Flimsy Fishing Rod’, and can be crafted after taking part in the DIY Workshop provided by Tom Nook. The types of fish that you catch will vary on the day, season and time in-game.

This guide was created during the first week of Animal Crossing: New Horizons release on the Nintendo Switch. Depending on when you’re reading this guide, some thing may be different due to future updates. However we’ll always try to come back and update these guides! For more of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons Guides & Best-of lists, make sure to check out our dedicated area here!

How to Catch Fish

Fish can be found in all water sources, at all times. Although the spawning of them is random, and you might have to do a few laps of your island before you spot one. Fish can be seen as shadows in the water, as shown on the image below.

A fish underwater in Animal Crossing

They have a front and back, with the fatter side being the front where the head is. To start catching fish, equip your rod and press ‘A’ to cast it out. It’s important that you cast the rod so that the hook lands in-front of the head of the fish, so that the fish can see it. If you cast your rod and it lands behind or to the side of the fish, it will ignore it.

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Reeling the fish in

Slowly and cautiously, the fish will approach the bait. Don’t pull up the rod yet, on most occasions, the fish will take a few nibbles, letting off a slight sound and vibration through the Switch. However sometimes the fish will go straight for the bait.

You’ll know when a fish has taken the bait, as the sound will be significantly different and the float (which sits above water) will go under slightly. At this point, you should press A again on your console to reel the fish in.

Caught fish

You have a very small window of time to reel the fish in after it takes the bait, failing to do so means the fish will swim away and you’ll have to look elsewhere. Most times, you’ll catch a fish but there’s a small chance of getting other items such as stones.

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Phillip Anderson
Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!