When players get started in Stardew Valley, they have a lot of different things they’re able to do. For many players, fishing ends up being a favorite activity. But there’s a lot to learn about it.
Getting started can be difficult and there’s little that’s explained in a way that will make it easy to progress forward. Even towards the end, the goals and rewards around fishing aren’t made especially clear.
We have the answers to some of the most common questions in Stardew Valley fishing, and the best solutions to some of the game’s biggest fishing problems.
Fishing in Stardew Valley is a generally simple process that can be started early on in the game. Though catching some of the rarer and more valuable fish can be difficult, it’s not hard to start fishing.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to fishing in Stardew Valley:
Players can start fishing in Stardew Valley after obtaining their first fishing rod from Willy.
On the second day of a new playthrough, WIlly will send a letter to the player inviting them to the beach. Once they arrive, they’ll receive a fishing rod for free. Fishing rods do not require any bait or other equipment, so the player can simply walk to a body of water and use the item by pressing the “use tool” button.
Wait for the sound cue and hit the same button again to cast the line. This will either reel in a garbage item or start the fishing mini-game. The fishing mini-game has players press the use tool button to keep a moving “fishing box” centered around a fish. If the player can do this for a certain length of time, they’ll catch the fish.
The trick to fishing in Stardew Valley is to level up your fishing skill. Not only will the practice help with figuring out the timing and behaviors of the fish, but leveling up the skill expands the fishing bar to make fishing significantly easier.
On top of that, players can look to get tackle to help with reeling in harder fish. The Cork Bobber expands the fishing bar further while the Trap Bobber gives players more time to adjust to particularly fidgety fish. Both are a big help when it comes to catching some of the rarer fish in the game.
Players can equip bait to their fishing pole in the item menu. They select either the bait or special hook, hover it over their fishing pole, and either right-click or hit the “use tool button.”
Once the bait is equipped, it is automatically used with each cast. Normal bait will reduce the amount of time it takes for a nibble, and can be easily crafted by using Bug Meat. The other most common form of bait is Wild Bait, which can be crafted with a recipe obtained from Linus after reaching four hearts with him. Wild Bait gives players a chance of getting two fish with one cast, but has a much higher crafting cost.
The absolute worst thing in Stardew Valley is hitting Fall 1, checking what’s left to collect in bundles, and seeing a summer-exclusive fish. While this can be remedied for PC players with Stardew Valley mods, console players are left in a much worse position of just needing to trudge forward through three more seasons.
Because of that, here’s a guide for all seasonal fish that are required in bundles. While most fish aren’t locked to specific seasons, these ones are. Do note that some require specific conditions in order to be caught including fishing at specific times or in certain weather. Some fish can be found in other areas during certain parts of the year, but catching these fish during the right season is the best way to go about it in order to complete bundles as quickly as possible.
The most profitable Stardew Valley fish are the Legend and Legend II legendary fish, which both sell for between 5,000 and 15,000g depending on quality and professions. The Legend fish are far more expensive than second-place Crimsonfish, which runs for between 1,500 and 4,500g.
Non-legendary fish that are profitable include the Lava Eel, Ice Pip, and Blobfish. The Lava Eel and Ice Pip can be found on levels 100 and 60 of the mines, respectively. They’re difficult to catch, but can be thrown into the Fish Pond to breed for selling or to farm roe.
The most profitable Stardew Valley fish to place in fish ponds both for producing roe and for selling outright is the Lava Eel. Lava Eels can be sold for between 700g and 1,400 before the Fisher and Angler perks. Lava Eel Roe can be sold for 380, with Aged Lava Eel Roe going for 760 or 1,064 with the artisan goods sell price perk.
Unfortunately, while Lava Eels are the most profitable fish in Stardew Valley, there are a few caveats. Lava Eels can be caught on level 100 of the mines during any season and at any time of day, but they are still a rare find while fishing and are very difficult to catch. Players will likely need to go on a lucky day with perfect tackle to even have a chance of catching it.
Not only that, but Lava Eels have some big demands when it comes to increasing their pond population. Laval Eels may call for a Dwarf Scroll III in order to increase capacity just from three to five, and getting it from seven to 10 will require an Iridium Bar.
An easier alternative to the Lava Eel is the Ice Pip, which are found on level 60 of the mines. They’re a good bit less profitable with Aged Ice Pip Roe maxing out at 784g, but they are easier to catch and have easily fulfilled quests that ask for items like Iron Ore and Refined Quartz. Sturgeons are also a decent option, as aging sturgeon roe yields Caviar, which is part of a bundle.
The biggest possible fish that can be caught in Stardew Valley is an 81-inch Eel. Eels range in size from 12 to 81 inches, significantly larger than Lava Eels, which range from 31 to 33 inches. The next-largest fish is the Catfish, which ranges from 12 to 73 inches.
Eels are also the largest Stardew Valley fish on average, followed by the Salmon and Void Salmon. Eels average in at 46.5 inches, while Salmon and Void Salmon measure at 45 inches on average. These are followed by the Lingcod at 40.5 inches.
Legendary fish in Stardew Valley don’t actually serve any unique purpose. They can be eaten or used in a recipe like any other fish, but this is an unceremonious end for an item that can only be obtained once per save file. They can also be sold, but they don’t actually yield much money as most are worth less than 5,000g each.
Most players simply stick the legendary fish in a chest. Probably the best way to use legendary Stardew Valley fish is to purchase a fish tank from Willy and put the legendary fish on display.