Stardew Valley Walkthrough / Guide: Fishing

Fish location lists still underway. Like real fishing, it takes a long time to check everywhere in this game.

There are many ways to make money in Stardew Valley, and one of the first you can access is good ‘ol fishing. The Valley is lined with long, plentiful sources of water, and the fish contained within are a great source of food, money, and gifts - though fishing is a tricksy enough business that you’ll want a bit of help getting the job done.

Fishing Basics

All you need to fish is a fishing pole - you’ll get a Bamboo Pole from Willy if you visit him at the beach from the second day onward - and some Energy. Set the Rod as your active item, position yourself beside a water source, and cast. This will bring up a meter, and if you click a second time your little avatar will fling his or her line out into the water. The closer the meter gets to the right side of the bar, the further your line will go, and the more likely you’ll get a good fish.

Once your line is cast you need to wait. How long you need to wait is random, though you need to pay attention, because the game will chime, and a little exclamation mark will appear over your character’s head. Click again and you’ll either receive a junk item - trash is pretty common - or a fish. If you snag a fish you’ll enter the second phase of the mini game.

Actually fishing is a bit of challenge. A long, vertical meter will appear, and on it a picture of a fish and a green bar. The fish is, obviously, the fish; the green bar is your control over the fish. Your job is to position the green bar over the fish, and keep it there until a second bar, to the right of the fishing game, fills up. Click or hold down to reel and keep the green bar on the fish until it’s caught.

Sounds easy? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. This depends on your Fishing Skill level, as well as the difficulty of the fish. Most of the time you’ll get fish that barely nudge above the water floor, but other times you’ll find one that’s all over the place, forcing you to constantly adjust your Rod’s level to catch the thing. You won’t know how difficult it can get until you’re trying to land a fidgety fish and it won’t stay still.


Your fisherman is only as good as his or her Rod, and you’ll improve your game by occasionally upgrading your Rod. There are three levels of Rods:
  • Bamboo Pole. You receive this from Willy on the second day of Spring. The Bamboo Pole will allow you to catch weak starter fish.
  • Fiberglass Rod. You can purchase this Rod from Willy upon reaching level two in Fishing. The Fiberglass Rod allows you to attach Bait, increasing your rate of encountering fish.
  • Iridium Rod. You can purchase this Rod from Willy upon reaching level six in Fishing. The Iridium Rod allows you to attach both Bait and various forms of Tackles.
Bait and Tackles

Having a Rod on its own will only get you so far. Eventually you’ll want to increase your chances of snagging rarer, more valuable fish, and that’s where Bait and Tackle come in.

Bait is something creepy-crawly. You can find, Craft, and purchase Bait for your Rod with relative ease. Once you have Bait and at least the Fiberglass Rod, select the Bait from the menu and right-click on your Rod. This will equip the Bait and increase your chances of quickly snagging a fish. Bait will get used up, so keep an eye on your Rod.

Tackles are extra attachments that you can affix to an Iridium Rod, providing a variety of bonuses. They may slow fish down, increase your catch rate, increase the number of treasures you find, and so on. Tackle is always handy, but these items will wear down over time, forcing repeat purchases. Still, once you have lots of money rolling in, you’ll pretty much always want to equip Tackle.


Periodically while fishing a treasure chest will appear on the fishing meter. This is a sign that you can get an extra prize out of your catch - though you need to not only land the fish, but spend enough time on the treasure icon that it registers as ‘caught’. The safest way to do this, short of lucking out and aligning fish and chest in the same area, is to almost catch the fish, then zoom up or down to get the chest. Once it’s caught, return to fishing as normal.

Treasure chests may contain any number of items, from Artifacts to precious gems to simple Bait. All are worth getting if you have a chance, however.

Bubbles and Waves

Occasionally when you wander along the water’s edge you’ll see disturbances in the water, consisting of little waves that look as though it’s raining. It’s best to aim for these spots, as they greatly increase the chance of landing a fish - and they also seem more likely to yield up rarer catches. These little patches won’t last for long, so take advantage of ‘em as you see ‘em.


Let’s face it, most people came here for lists of fish. Stardew Valley has a spectacular number of catchable fish, and they appear in a large number of different areas spread across the world map. They also appear at different times of the day and during different seasons, so what you catch at one time will change if you come back a few hours or days later. Be prepared to fish a lot to catch one of every fish.

There are four different types of fishing spots where you can catch fish:
  • Lakes and ponds. These are contained fishing holes that appear in a single area. Lakes can be found near Marnie’s Ranch, in the Secret Forest, in Calico Desert, and by the entrance to the Mines, which is something of a special case since it feeds into a river.
  • Rivers. There’s a long, sinewy, meandering river that runs down from the lake outside the Mines, through Pelican Town, and off into the ocean. Fishing south of Marnie’s Ranch or in Pelican Town means fishing in a river.
  • The ocean. It’s pretty big. If you fish at the beach, you’re fishing in the ocean.
  • Underground. There are four underground fishing areas - on three levels in the Mines and in the Sewers - and they each yield their own complement of fish.
For the purposes of clarity, I’m going to split fish into their respective capture areas, then get more specific from there.

Lakes and Ponds
  • Largemouth Bass - All seasons - Daytime, Mines lake only
  • Smallmouth Bass - Spring and Fall - Always catchable
  • Walleye - Fall - Nighttime, only in rain
  • Perch - Winter - Always catchable
  • Carp - All seasons - Always catchable
  • Sandfish - All seasons - Always catchable, Calico Desert pond only
  • Scorpion Carp - All seasons - Always catchable, Calico Desert pond only
  • Sturgeon - Summer and Winter - Daytime, lake by the Mines only
  • Bullhead - All seasons - Always catchable
  • Chub - All seasons - Always catchable
  • Woodskip - All seasons - Always catchable, Secret Woods pond only
  • Bream - All seasons - Nighttime
  • Rainbow Trout - Summer - Daytime, only on nice days
  • Salmon - Fall - Daytime
  • Catfish - Spring and Fall - Only catchable in rain
  • Pike - Summer and Winter - Always catchable
  • Sunfish - Spring and Summer - Daytime, only on nice days
  • Tiger Trout - Fall and Winter - Daytime
  • Dorado - Summer - Daytime, only seems to appear near Marnie’s Ranch
  • Shad - Spring, Summer, Fall - Only catchable in rain
  • Lingcod - Winter - Always catchable
  • Pufferfish - Summer - 12 pm to 3 or 4 pm, only on nice days
  • Anchovy - Spring and Fall - Always catchable
  • Tuna - Summer and Winter - Daytime
  • Sardine - Spring, Fall, Winter - Daytime
  • Red Mullet - Summer and Winter - Daytime
  • Herring - Spring and Winter - Always catchable
  • Eel - Spring and Fall - Nighttime, only catchable in rain
  • Octopus - Summer - Morning (6 am - 12 am / 1 pm)
  • Red Snapper - Summer and Fall - Daytime, only catchable in rain
  • Squid - Winter - Nighttime
  • Sea Cucumber - Fall and Winter - Daytime
  • Super Cucumber - Summer, Fall, Winter - Nighttime
  • Tilapia - Sumer and Fall - Always catchable
  • Albacore - Fall and Winter - Morning and nighttime only
  • Halibut - Spring, Summer, Winter - Always catchable
  • Ghostfish - All seasons - Found on all levels of the Mines (20, 60, and 100)
  • Stonefish - All seasons - Found on level 20 of the Mines
  • Ice Pip - All seasons - Found on level 60 of the Mines
  • Lava Eel - All seasons - Found on level 100 of the Mines

Legendary Fish

In addition to the fist listed above there are five ‘legendary’ fish that you can catch in some very specific locations. Legendary fish are the hardest of the hard to catch, and when caught will never appear again. You can identify a legendary fish on your line when the fish icon on your meter has a small, red fin.
  • Crimsonfish - Summer - Found by fishing off of the eastern docks on the beach (must reconstruct a bridge with 300 Wood)
  • Angler - Fall - Found by fishing off of the wooden bridge to the north of JojaMart
  • Legend - Spring - Found by fishing in the lake outside of the Mines in rainy weather
  • Mutant Carp - All seasons - Found by fishing in the Sewer
  • Glacierfish - Winter - Found by fishing off of the arrow-shaped island southeast of Marnie’s Ranch, into the darkened water off the southern tip
Crab Pot Catches

In another addition to the lists of fish above, you can also catch sea creatures in Crab Pots. Place a Crab Pot in the water, put some Bait inside, and come back the next day. Something will be inside, though occasionally you’ll wind up with Trash. Crab Pot creatures are more broadly defined, and can be broken down into freshwater and salt water locations - basically, if you’re not down at the docks, you’re probably not going to get salt water catches.

It’s worth noting that the freshwater catches below can be found in the two ponds on your property, whereas other fish won’t make an appearance.

  • Crayfish
  • Snail
  • Periwinkle
Salt Water
  • Lobster
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Cockle
  • Mussel
  • Shrimp
  • Oyster


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  4. Hey, so I just started playing this game. (Love the guide, btw). Anyway, I think I accidentally threw out my bamboo pole when I got it (there was no space in the inventory). Do you think I'll need to restart my game?

  5. My 13-year-old-granddaughter pointed this site out to me and I couldn't be happier with it, it has helped me understand why I wasn't catching certin fish.

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