Fishing guide

Stardew Valley Fishing Guide: Bait, Best Fish, and How to Make a Stardew Valley Fishing Rod


Of all the relaxing activities in Stardew Valley, fishing is the most delicate. Getting to grips with the mini-game can be more stressful than entering a cave overrun by monsters with only a rusty sword and a fist full of even cave carrots. It takes time, patience, and a steady hand to become a master of fishing, and it can earn you some of the best rewards in the game.

Fish are a valuable type of collection and are essential ingredients for recipes. You’ll want them to complement the Community Center as well, and on top of that, selling them is one of the best ways to make money in the game.

In this Stardew Valley Fishing Guide, I’ve put together everything you need to know about fishing including the different types of rods, the variety of gear and bait you can use, earn XP for skill levels, finding treasures and tips on how you can improve your fishing form.

How to get every Stardew Valley fishing rod

First you will need the right tool, your trusty fishing rod. There are four types in Stardew Valley and they get better and better as you improve your fishing skills. The four types are bamboo cane, training cane, fiberglass cane, and iridium cane. Here are their contact details and how to get them:

Bamboo pole: 500G
On your second day in the game, you can get a bamboo pole by accepting the invitation from Willy the fisherman. You cannot use bait or material on the bamboo pole.

Training rod: 25G
The training rod is what you should use if you have a hard time fishing. It sets the player’s fishing level to 5, so the green block is considerably bigger. This makes it easier to catch the fish, but you can only catch basic fish with it. Practice with it to master the basics and move on. You can buy it at Willy’s fishmonger on the pier.

Fiberglass rod: 1800G
The fiberglass rod can be purchased from Willy’s fish shop for 1800G after reaching level three in fishing. You can use bait on the fiberglass rod to help you catch fish, but not fishing gear.

Iridium rod: 7500G
The Iridium Rod can be purchased from Willy’s Shop for 7500G after reaching level 6 in Fishing. This rod allows you to use both bait and tackle, which makes fishing much easier.

How to fish in the Stardew Valley

Start fishing by standing next to a body of water, such as a lake, pond or ocean, select your fishing rod from the toolbar. Press and hold the left mouse button to determine how far you want to throw your bobber and release when the icon is in the perfect spot on the progress bar that appears.

Once your line is cast, you will have to wait for a fish to bite. When it does, an exclamation mark will appear next to your character, which means you’ve hooked a fish. Clicking the mouse button will launch you into the mini-game. A vertical meter will appear with a fish icon and a green block, the goal is to line up the green block with the fish.

When you hold down the mouse button, the block moves up and down on the counter; The longer you hold it, the more it rises to the top of the bar. When you bring the fish inside the green block, a catch meter will start to fill up. When it’s full, you’ve caught the fish.

Stardew Valley baits and tackle: Articles to make fishing easier

Still having trouble fishing? Using bait and fishing gear makes things a lot easier. The bait decreases the time before a fish bites and can increase the chances of finding treasure. Then it’s worth learning how to tackle. The material can only be attached to the iridium rod and can be purchased at Willy’s fish shop. Here is the bait and gear you can get with cash and / or crafting materials:

Bait: 5G / insect meat (1)
Makes the fish bite faster and reduces bite delay by 50 percent. The recipe for crafting the default bait is unlocked after Fishing Level 2.

Magnetic bait: 1000G / iron bar (1)
This recipe increases the chances of finding Sunken Treasure. It is unlocked at fishing level 9.

Wild bait: Fiber (10), Slime (5), Insect Meat (5)
This recipe is learned from Linus after you gain four Friendship Hearts with him. This gives you the chance to catch two fish at the same time.

Spinner: 500G / iron bar (2)
Slightly increases bite rate and reduces maximum bite delay by 3.7 seconds.

Dressed Spinner: 1000G / iron bar (2), cloth (1)
Increases bite rate and reduces maximum bite delay by 7.5 seconds.

Bobber trap: 500G / Copper Bar (1), Sap (10)
This material allows the fish to escape more slowly when you haven’t reeled them in. Your fishing bar decreases 66% slower.

Cork bobber: 750G / Wood (10), Hardwood (5), Slime (10)
Expensive in terms of crafting resources, but slightly increases your fishing bar size.

Chief Bobber: 200G
This material adds weight to your fishing bar.

Treasure hunter: 750G / Gold bar (2)
Increases the chance of finding treasure by 33% and makes sure fish don’t escape while you collect your prize.

Barbed hook: 1000G / Cooper Bar (1), Iron Bar (1), Gold Bar (1)
Makes your fishing bar “glued” to the fish, automatically following the fish up and down.

Stardew Valley Fishing Skill Levels

Fishing experience is acquired through fishing. Progressing through levels increases your green fishing bar, for example. However, your type of fishing rod is not counted towards your skills, as you gain experience points for any form of fishing, including crab traps. Here are the ten fishing levels you can choose from:

  • 1: Fishing Rod Skill +1
  • 2: Fishing rod skill +1, acquire the ability to craft bait
  • 3: +1 Fishing Rod Mastery, craft a Crab Trap and earn Dish o ‘The Sea recipe
  • 4: Fishing rod skill +1, craft recycling machine
  • 5: Fishing rod skill +1, specialize as a fisherman (fish are worth 50 percent more) or trapper (resources needed to craft crab traps are reduced)
  • 10 Fisherman: Fishing rod skill +1, specialize as a fisherman (fish are worth 50 percent more) or Prate (chances of finding treasure are doubled)
  • 10 trapper: Fishing rod skill +1, specialize as a Mariner (crab pots never catch waste) or Luremaster (crab pots no longer need bait)

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

How to get treasure in Stardew Valley

Playing Animal Crossing helped me see what I love about Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

While the two sims share a similar core of cute community living surrounded by a multitude of charming characters, Rachel takes a look at how these two similar games have very different daily rhythms.

While fishing, a red chest icon may appear in the fishing bar. This indicates that you have the option to collect a Treasure Chest filled with valuable Sunken Loot. If you move the green fishing bar over the icon, a smaller bar will appear indicating your progress towards the achievement. When the smaller bar reaches its capacity, it means that you have managed to get the treasure, but only if you manage to catch the fish in the bar as well.

Stardew Valley Fishing Tips

Earn XP

Fishing takes some getting used to, but there are little things you can do to give yourself the edge. Earning XP is the best way to make fishing easier, as it unlocks better skills and gear.

Know when to click

The key here is knowing when to click and when to hold the left mouse button. The green block tends to bounce a lot, so instead of holding down the mouse button, try lots of short clicks. A faster click holds the block up, and slower, longer, sticks it down.

Train with the training rod

Starting with the training rod, your green bar is considerably larger (equivalent to level 5), which makes fishing much more manageable. You can only catch basic fish with this rod, but you get the same XP as with any other rod. Use it to farm XP, then unlock bait crafting at level 2.

Eat the right food

There are certain foods that you can buy or cook at home that will give you a fishing boost. Here are some useful tips and the boosts they provide:

  • Clam chowder: +1
  • O ‘La Mer dish: +3
  • Snails: +2
  • Fish Stew: +3
  • Fish tacos: +2
  • Lobster bisque: +3 and +50 max energy
  • Trout soup: +1

Start in beginner spots

Some fish are easier to catch than others and the two best places for beginners are the ocean at the bottom of the map, where you can find easy fish like sardines, and the secret lake of the woods where you can catch carp. You can also earn XP from unlocked crab traps at level 3: These give you the experience of actually having to fish.