From foraging, farming to fishing, Stardew Valley has all the options a player could hope from a relaxing game. While most of these activities a fairly simple to take care of, fishing has always been a notoriously difficult task due to its challenging mechanics. Particularly hard for those who are new to the game and who have yet to practice their fishing skills properly, it can get incredibly frustrating trying to catch even the easiest of fish or even dream of one day catching a legendary fish. Not to worry, though, because we're here to share with you ten tips to turn you from a newbie into a seasoned fisherman.
The biggest issue many players find themselves coming up against is a pure misunderstanding of how the fishing mini-game actually works. There are two ways to move the green bar to follow the fish icon that moves up and down: slow click and release, or continuous fast-paced clicking. The former will shoot up the bar high up quickly and allow you to catch up with the fast movement of the fish, and the second maintains the bar at a set level when the fish is not moving. When casting the bobber, using WASD keys will also direct it left and right. Once you master this, the mini-game will be a breeze.
When you first start the game and have no fishing skills, there are two spots where we recommend fishing: the river that runs through Pelican Town and the ocean.
These two locations will have the easiest to catch fish, including the Sardine, Anchovy, Smallmouth Bass, and Sunfish. All four are relatively easy to catch, with fairly predictable movement, which will allow you to grind those early fishing skill levels up quickly and also sell your catch for a decent price at Willy's shop.
This is an obvious one. To get better at fishing, you need to fish more and not get discouraged by the difficulty of the mini-game early on. Once you level up, the green bar in the mini-game will expand in size and make it easier for you to track fish. To level up fast, once you gain access to the Hidden Forest you also gain access to a small pond which is a great way to gain levels fast. Setting up crab pots when you feel truly frustrated is also a great way to get those levels without actually going through the effort of fishing.
Like all your other tools, the Bamboo Rod that you first get from Willy at the beginning of the game can be switched for a Fiberglass Rod and then eventually to an Iridium Rod, which is the best in the game. The Fiberglass Rod allows you to use Bait when fishing, which will increase the amount of fish attracted to you and the Iridium Rod allows on top of this the use of a tackle, which can attract specific types and kinds of fish. This is especially useful when you're looking to catch rare fish.
Every fish in Stardew Valley is unique and the way they behave is different from one another. Long before you even know which fish you're about to catch, you can make a pretty educated guess simply by observing how the fish moves on the mini-game bar.
Some fish will dart up and down fast, while others will move slowly and then maintain a set position. Others will have a mixture of these two and make it even more of a headache for you to catch them. However, learning the swimming patterns of each fish and learning to recognize them will help you a lot in the long run.
Let's say you want to catch a squid. How do you find one? It's important to understand some fish only appear during certain seasons and even during certain times of the day. The elusive squid is only available during winter months at night time. Similarly, the octopus is only available at night time, but during summer months only. Weather conditions can also affect whether fish are available. Catfish and Shad will generally prefer rainy days, while Sunfish and Rainbow Trout prefer to appear during sunny days. Knowing when the fish you want to catch is available is absolutely crucial.
Not only is timing essential, but location is, too. You won't find the same fish swimming in the ocean as you do in the river or in the lake. Keep in mind that the river that starts in the mountains is known as the mountain lake, and will contain very different fish from those caught in the town river or forest river. Once you go further down into the mines, you'll also come across underground ponds which will have rarer catch, and after unlocking the desert, you'll have access to two more types of exotic fish.
Every once in a while you might spot a set of bubbles and ripples in a body of water. This indicates that the spot is rich with fish. Try to cast your bobber straight into that spot and you'll notice more fish will be rushing to that area.
Another good trick is to try and cast your bobber into areas in the water that are darker in color and therefore deeper than the rest. These spots are more plentiful with fish than the rest.
Speaking of tackles, there's a few options available in the game and all of them are useful depending on what kind of fish you want to catch. However, there's one item above every other, which we truly recommend getting: the Trap Bobber. Once equipped, the progress bar during the mini-game will deplete 66% slower, making fishing so much more forgiving for players who might struggle catching those pesky, elusive legendary fish. Keep in mind that you must have an Iridium Rod to equip one.
The final thing you can do to make the job easier for yourself, especially at lower levels of fishing, is to consume foods that will momentarily bump up your fishing skills. You can buy Trout Soup from Willy's shop which will boost your fishing by +1 and eventually as you progress through the game you will find gain the recipe for Dish o' the Sea, which will boost your fishing by +3. If you become friends with Willy and gain three hearts, he'll send you a recipe to Clam Chowder, which is relatively easy to make and will boost your fishing by +1.