Stardew valley how to fish & attach bait
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Stardew Valley: How to Fish and Attach Bait

Something smells fishy.

One of the many tasks that you can work to complete throughout the day in Stardew Valley is fishing, which can help you pass the time and earn some extra money.

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On top of that, you’ll need plenty of fish for completing the Community Center, so here’s how to fish in Stardew Valley.

How to Get the Fishing Rod in Stardew Valley

stardew valley willy fish shop fishing rod
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On day two of Stardew Valley, you’ll notice that you’ve received a letter. If you head over to your mailbox and interact with 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 where Willy will give you a fishing rod so that you can continue to keep the art of fishing alive. This bamboo rod in your toolbar is your first step to getting all the smelly fish you can dream of, but it’s not the endgame for your fishing experiences.

You’ll be able to choose from the Training Rod, Bamboo Pole, Fiberglass Rod and Iridium Rod, and each will have its own benefits. The training rod and bamboo pole are affordable options, but you’re not able to use bait or tackle on them, and they’ll limit your ability to catch higher quality fish. It’ll be worth it to save up for some higher quality equipment.

How to Fish in Stardew Valley

stardew valley how to fish river fishing bar casting
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To use the fishing rod, simply equip it as you would any other tool by clicking on it, pressing the corresponding number, or scrolling through your hotbar. Stand next to any body of water such as the River, the Ocean or the Lake and hold down your action button (Left click, Switch A Button). The longer you hold down the button, the farther you’ll cast the line.

Once the bob is in the water, you need to wait until you get a buzz and an audio cue, and your character has an exclamation point above their head. Press the action button again to try and catch whatever is on your line, and it’ll give you a “Hit” alert if you have a fish on. If you caught trash instead of a fish, it’ll just give it to you but if you’ve got a fish, you’ll begin the fishing minigame.

This is a simple game that can gets more difficult depending on the fish that you’re catching. You’ll see a fish icon that bounces up and down on the bar with your fishing bar, which you control with your action button as well. Keep the fish in the green bar by holding and releasing the button until the bar to the right fills up. You want the fish to always be within that green area because if it’s not, you’ll slowly lose progress on the catch.

The ocean next to the beach area provides the greater chance of getting a fish to bite, while everywhere else has an increased chance of trash. Different fish will appear in different bodies of water, so make sure you’re in the right place for what you’re trying to catch. Different bait and tackle as well as rod upgrades will also help with your fishing endeavor.

Stardew Valley Bait and Tackle

stardew valley fishing how to attach bait fishing rod
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There are many kinds of bait and tackle in Stardew Valley that affect your experience in different ways. Bait can be bought at the Fish Shop from Willy for 5g each or made in a Worm Bin once you’ve reached fishing level eight. 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 after fishing level six. Tackle can only be used on the Iridium Pole.

To use bait, select the bait and then right click on the rod you want to apply it to. On Switch, select the bait with A, then hover over your rod and press Y to equip it. Once it’s equipped, your rod will consume one piece of bait per successful cast.

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.

It’s worthwhile to take the time and figure out which tackle will be the most helpful for your fishing style. There are certain, more difficult fish that you’ll want to use certain tackle to help you…well, tackle, so do some experimenting and you’ll be set to be the best fisherman in the valley.

That’s all there is to fishing and using bait and tackle in Stardew Valley. Check out our Stardew Valley wiki guide for more help with the game, or if you’re looking for more specific guides like how to solve the A Winter Mystery quest, be sure to stick around Twinfinite.

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Yamilia Avendano
Yami was the founder of Twinfinite having written for the site since its inception in 2012 through until she sold it to the GAMURS Network in March 2022. Yami has been playing games since 1991, with a penchant for anything in the simulation and action genres. The Sims 4 has consumed thousands of hours of Yami's life, and she's totally ok with it.
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Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 studying Digital Media and started as a Freelance Writer with Twinfinite in early 2023. Nick plays anything from Halo to Stardew Valley to Peggle, but is a sucker for a magnetic story.