Getting the Fishing Rod in Stardew Valley
Around day two or three of Stardew Valley, you’ll notice that you’ve received a letter. If you head over to your mailbox and right click it, you’ll be able to open a nice note from Willy, the town Fisherman. He’s back from “the salty seas” and has something for you. Sounds like it’s time to head over there, right? Open up your map and look at the bottom right-hand corner where the beach is; that’s where you need to go.
Once you reach the beach, a cutscene will trigger on the Fish Shop’s dock wherein Elliott gives you a hand-me-down rod since he managed to save up for a new one. This bamboo rod in your toolbar is your first step to getting all the smelly fish you can dream of.
How to Fish in Stardew Valley
To use the fishing rod, simply equip it as you would any other tool (clicking it, hitting the appropriate number, or scrolling with your mouse wheel) and stand next to a body of water. This can be a pond, river, or the ocean. So long as you’re next to it, you can use the rod. The longer you hold down the button this initial first time, the farther the line will be cast.
Once the bob is in the water, you need to wait until it rumbles, there’s a specific noise, and your character has an exclamation point above their head. If a fish is nabbed, you’ll begin the fishing mini-game of Stardew Valley. This is a simple game that can get a bit difficult if the fish is a higher level. You’ll notice a fish icon that rises and lowers on a bar with a green square (“fishing bar”) that you can move. To the right of this bar is another one that fills up; once it is filled all the way, the fish is yours. The key to filling it up is to keep the green square around the fish for as long as it takes. You want the fish to always be within that green area; if it’s not, your line will continuously break until you can get it back on there.
The ocean next to the beach area provides the greater chance of getting a fish to bite. Everywhere else has an increased chance of trash. Different bait and tackle as well as rod upgrades will help with your fishing endeavor.
Bait and Tackle
There are many kinds of bait and tackle in Stardew Valley. Bait can be bought at the Fish Shop from Willy for 5g each. Unfortunately, bait and tackle aren’t usable with the Bamboo Pole (the first fishing rod). You can only start using bait with the Fiberglass Rod (unlocked at Fishing Skill level two) or the Iridium Pole which is purchasable from the Fish Shop eventually. Tackle is only equippable on the Iridium Pole.
To use bait, select the bait and then right click on the rod you want to apply it to. This will consume one bait the next time you fish.
To use tackle, you equip it onto the pole the same way as you do bait and it can be used in conjunction with it, as well. Every tackle has different benefits to help you fish.
- Spinner – The shape makes it spin around in the water. Slightly increases the bite-rate when fishing.
- Dressed Spinner – The metal tab and colorful streamers create an enticing spectacle for fish. Increases the bite-rate when fishing.
- Magnet – Increases the chance of finding treasures when fishing. However, fish aren’t crazy about the taste.
- Trap Bobber – Causes fish to escape slower when you aren’t reeling them in.
- Cork Bobber – Slightly increases the size of your “fishing bar.”
- Lead Bobber – Adds weight to your “fishing bar,” preventing it from bouncing along the bottom.
- Treasure Hunter – Fish don’t escape while collecting treasures. Also slightly increases the chance to find treasures.
- Barbed Hook – Makes your catch more secure, causing the “fishing bar” to cling to your catch. Works best on slow, weak fish.