Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fishing Guide

Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 08:35 | By: Robert Grosso
Developer
Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Release Date
March 20, 2020
Multiplayer modes
Local, Online
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Monetization
One Time Purchase
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
Amazon Nintendo eShop
Cast a line to catch some fish

There are a ton of activities to do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but one of the classic activities that makes a return is fishing. Fishing is one of the more relaxing and easier pastimes found in Animal Crossing, and with 80 different types of fish to collect in the game, it is a pastime that can lead to new discoveries year around. Fortunately, fishing is also a pretty lucrative endeavor, with several types of fish selling for a decent number of bells. This could make sculpting your island easier to afford, especially if you can’t wait each week for the stalk market.

So, this guide will go over a ton of information regarding fishing, including what and where you can catch each fish across your island, how much they sell for, and more in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

 
 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Fishing Basics

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Casual
Another sunny day to catch some fish. 

The first thing you need is, of course, a fishing rod. In New Horizons, there are three basic choices for a fishing rod in the game: the flimsy rod, the normal fishing rod, and the golden fishing rod. All three of these items also have a durability score attached to them, meaning all these rods will break after a certain number of uses, in this case, every time you catch a fish. Their durability is as follows:

Flimsy Rod: 10 uses

Fishing Rod: 30 uses

Golden Fishing Rod: 200 uses

The first two rods are easily crafted. It takes only 5 sticks to make a flimsy rod, and a flimsy rod and 1 iron nugget for a regular fishing rod. To obtain the recipe for the golden fishing rod, you need to fill up your Critterpedia with every fish in the game. Once you do so, you will get a recipe for the golden fishing rod in the mail, which only takes a fishing rod and a gold nugget to craft.

Animal Crossing NH Fish Shadow Sizes
All six shadow sizes for reference. 

You may also want to craft some bait, which can be a useful tool to drag out certain types of fish. To collect fish bait, you need to look along the shorelines of your island for ‘squirting holes’ across the sand. Using a shovel, you can dig up these holes, which will almost always contain a manila clam. Manila clams can sell for 100 bells but are much more useful to craft fish bait once you receive the recipe. Keep in mind manila clams do not stack in your inventory, but fish bait does. So, keeping a workbench handy nearby will make crafting much easier.

One more thing to consider is shadow size. Each fish has a specific size assigned to them, ranging from 1-6. The size of each shadow is a fair indicator of what type of fish you may be able to catch, especially when you consider other factors such as weather, location, and time of day. There are also two fish that are given a special ‘narrow’ shadow, both different types of eels, and every shark found in the game can be indicated by its fin protruding from the water. For a general rule of thumb, size six fish are the rarest but typically one of the most valuable fish to catch, though there are some exceptions.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Critterpedia Anatomy

Animal Crossing NH Critterpedia Fish
The Critterpedia is a very welcome tool to track your progress.

The Critterpedia is an invaluable tool that offers almost all the information you need to know when catching fish. It only fills when you first catch a fish, however, but it serves as a great reminder of where and when you can catch fish across your island.

 

The anatomy of the Critterpedia is straightforward. First is the fish itself and its name taking up the top of the screen. The bottom left showcases what months the fish can be caught across your island (colored in green) and the right showcases the time of day you can catch that fish (colored in green).The red line for time of day indicates what time it is currently for the player. The bottom two grids either indicate whether the fish was donated to the Museum, and the location where the fish can be found.

Across all 80 fish, there are four general locations they can be found: The Sea, the River, Ponds, and the Pier. Fish that are only catchable at the pier includes the airport pier, and the singular pier found on every player island in New Horizons. Ponds are bodies of water found inland that are not connected to any river.

There are also many fish that have special conditions attached to their location. Some, for example, can only be caught along a riverbank or pond on the clifftop, meaning at a higher elevation. So, before you remove every single cliff on your island, be sure to fish the ponds and riverways as much as possible. Other special conditions can be at the mouth of the river, where the river meets the sea, or while it is raining outside, which is the only way to capture the rarest fish in the game, the Coelacanth.

How to Catch Every Fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - The Fish Guide

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Rain
Well, time to get fishing. 

So here is a list of all 80 fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in alphabetical order, with their size, location, prices (for Nooks and C.J) and months available.

 

Anchovy
Location: Sea
Price: 200 (Nooks) 300 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 4 AM – 9 PM
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Angelfish
Location: River
Price: 3000 (Nooks) 4500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: May – October (Northern), December – March (Southern) 

Arapaima
Location: River
Price: 10,000 (Nooks), 15,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Arowana
Location: River
Price: 10,000 (Nooks), 15,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Barred Knifejaw
Location: Sea
Price: 5,000 (Nooks), 7,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: March – November (Northern), September – May (Southern) 

Barreleye
Location: Sea
Price: 15,000 (Nooks), 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 9 PM – 4 AM
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Betta
Location: River
Price: 2,500 (Nooks), 3,750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: May – October (Northern), November – April (Southern)

Bitterling
Location: River
Price: 900 (Nooks), 1,350 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: November – March (Northern), May – September (Southern)

Black Bass
Location: River
Price: 400 (Nooks), 600 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: All Day
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres) 

Blowfish
Location: Sea
Price: 5,000 (Nooks), 7,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: 9 PM – 4 AM
Months: November – February (Northern), May – August (Southern)

Blue Marlin
Location: Pier
Price: 10,000 (Nooks), 15,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: July – September & November – April (Northern), January – March & May – November (Southern)

 

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Crawfish
Crawfish are delicious by the way.

Bluegill
Location: River
Price: 180 (Nooks), 270 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Butterfly Fish
Location: Sea
Price: 1,000 (Nooks), 1,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: April – September (Northern), October – March (Southern)

Carp
Location: Pond
Price: 300 (Nooks), 450 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: All Day
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Catfish
Location: Pond
Price: 800 (Nooks), 1,200 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: May – October (Northern), November – April (Southern)

Char
Location: River (Clifftop)
Price: 3,800 (Nooks), 5,700 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: March – June & September – November (Northern), March – May & September – December (Southern) 

Cherry Salmon
Location: River (Clifftop)
Price: 1,000 (Nooks), 1,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: March – June & September – November (Northern), March – May & September – December (Southern)

Clown Fish
Location: Sea
Price: 650 (Nooks), 975 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: April – September (Northern), October – March (Southern)

Coelacanth
Location: Sea (Rainy Days Only)
Price: 15,000 (Nooks), 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Crawfish
Location: Pond
Price: 200 (Nooks), 300 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: April – September (Northern), October – March (Southern) 

Crucian Carp
Location: River
Price: 160 (Nooks), 240 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Dab
Location: Sea
Price: 300 (Nooks), 450 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: October – April (Northern), April – October (Southern)

 

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Dace
I never knew what a Dace was until Blathers told us about it. 

Dace
Location: Race
Price: 240 (Nooks), 360 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Dorado
Location: River
Price: 15,000 (Nooks), 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: 4 AM – 9 PM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Football Fish
Location: Sea
Price:  2,500 (Nooks), 3,750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: November – March (Northern), May – September (Southern) 

Freshwater Goby
Location: River
Price: 400 (Nooks), 600 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Frog
Location: Pond
Price: 120 (Nooks), 180 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: May – August (Northern), November – February (Southern)

Gar
Location: Pond
Price: 6,000 (Nooks), 9,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: 4 PM- 9 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Giant Snakehead
Location: Pond
Price: 5,500 (Nooks), 8,250 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 9 AM- 4 PM
Months: June – August (Northern), December – February (Southern)

Giant Trevally
Location: Pier
Price: 4,500 (Nooks), 6,750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: All Day
Months: May – October (Northern), November – April (Southern)

Golden Trout
Location: River (Clifftop)
Price: 15,000 (Nooks), 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: March – June & September – November (Northern), March – May & September – December (Southern)

Goldfish
Location: Pond
Price: 1,300 (Nooks), 1,950 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Great White Shark
Location: Sea
Price: 15,000 (Nooks), 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6 (Fin)
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Guppy
Location: River
Price: 1,300 (Nooks), 1,950 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: April – November (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Olive Flounder
That is just one ugly fish.

Hammerhead Shark
Location: Sea
Price: 8,000 (Nooks), 12,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6 (Fin)
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Horse Mackerel
Location: Sea
Price: 150 (Nooks), 225 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time:  All Day
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Killifish
Location: Pond
Price: 300 (Nooks), 450 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: April – August (Northern), October – February (Southern)

King Salmon
Location: River (Mouth)
Price: 1,800 (Nooks), 2,700 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: September (Northern), March (Southern)

Koi
Location: Pond
Price: 4,000 (Nooks), 6,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Loach
Location: River
Price: 400 (Nooks), 600 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: March – May (Northern), September – November (Southern)

Mahi-Mahi
Location: Sea
Price: 6,000 (Nooks), 9,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: All Day
Months: May – October (Northern), November – April (Southern)

Mitten Crab
Location: River
Price: 2,000 (Nooks), 3,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: September – November (Northern), March – May (Southern)

Moray Eel
Location: Sea
Price: 2,000 (Nooks), 3,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: Narrow
Time: All Day
Months: August – October (Northern), February – April (Southern)

Napoleonfish
Location: Sea
Price: 10,000 (Nooks), 15,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: 4 AM – 9 PM
Months: July – August (Northern), January – February (Southern)

Neon Tetra
Location: River
Price: 500 (Nooks), 750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: April – November (Northern), October – May (Southern)

Nibble Fish
Location: River
Price: 1,500 (Nooks), 2,250 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: May – September (Northern), November – March (Southern)

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Oarfish
It's like Pokemon almost, you got to catch them all. 

Oarfish
Location: Sea
Price: 9,000 (Nooks), 13,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: December – May (Northern), June – November (Southern)

Ocean Sunfish
Location: Sea
Price: 4,000 (Nooks), 6,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6 (Fin)
Time: 4 AM – 9 PM
Months: July – September (Northern), January – March (Southern)

Olive Flounder
Location: Sea
Price: 800 (Nooks), 1,200 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: All Day
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Pale Chub
Location: River
Price: 160 (Nooks), 240 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: Year-round (both hemispheres)

Pike
Location: River
Price: 1,800 (Nooks), 2,700 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time:  All Day
Months: September – December (Northern), March – June (Southern)

Piranha
Location: River
Price: 2,500 (Nooks), 3,750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM & 9 PM – 4 AM
Months: June-September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Pond Smelt
Location: River
Price: 500 (Nooks), 750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: December – February (Northern), June – August (Southern)

Pop-eyed Goldfish
Location: Pond
Price: 1,300 (Nooks), 1,950 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Puffer Fish
Location: Sea
Price: 250 (Nooks), 375 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: July – September (Northern), January – March (Southern)

Rainbowfish
Location: River
Price: 800 (Nooks), 1,200 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Months: May – October (Northern), November – April (Southern)

Ranchu Goldfish
Location: Pond
Price: 4,500 (Nooks), 6,750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: 9 AM - 4 PM
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Ray
Location: Sea
Price: 3,000 (Nooks), 4,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: 4 AM – 9 PM
Months: August – November (Northern), February – May (Southern)

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Clownfish
I found Nemo, now I need Dory!

Red Snapper
Location: Sea
Price: 3,000 (Nooks), 4,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: All Day
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres)

Ribbon Eel
Location: Sea
Price: 600 (Nooks), 900 (C.J)
Shadow Size: Narrow
Time: All Day
Months: June – October (Northern), December – April (Southern)

Saddled Bichir
Location: River
Price: 4,000 (Nooks), 6,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 9 PM – 4 AM
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Salmon
Location: River (Mouth)
Price: 700 (Nooks), 1,050 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: All Day
Months: September (Northern), March (Southern) 

Saw Shark
Location: Sea
Price: 12,000 (Nooks), 18,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6 (Fin)
Time: June – September (Northern)
Months: December – March (Southern)

Sea Bass
Location: Sea
Price: 400 (Nooks), 600 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: All Day
Months: Year-Round (both hemispheres) 

Sea Butterfly
Location: Sea
Price: 1,000 (Nooks), 1,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: December – March (Northern), June – September (Southern)

Sea Horse
Location: Sea
Price: 1,100 (Nooks), 1,650 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: April – November (Northern), October – May (Southern)

Snapping Turtle
Location: River
Price: 5,000 (Nooks), 7,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 9 PM – 4 AM
Months: April – October (Northern), October – April (Southern) 

Soft-shelled Turtle
Location: River
Price: 3,750 (Nooks), 5,625 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: August – September (Northern), February – March (Southern)

Squid
Location: Sea
Price: 500 (Nooks), 750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: December – August (Northern), June – February (Southern)

Stringfish
Location: River (Clifftop)
Price: 15,000 (Nooks) 22,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 5
Time: 4 PM – 9 AM
Months: December – March (Northern), June – September (Southern)

Animal Crossing NH Fishing Black Bass
I'm running out of fish pictures.

Sturgeon
Location: River (Mouth)
Price: 10,000 (Nooks), 15,000 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: April – September (Northern), October – March (Southern)

Suckerfish
Location: Sea
Price: 1,500 (Nooks), 2250 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 4 (Fin)
Time: All Day
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern) 

Surgeonfish
Location: Sea
Price: 1,000  (Nooks), 1,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 2
Time: All Day
Months: April – September (Northern), October – March (Southern)

Sweetfish
Location: River
Price: 900 (Nooks), 1,350 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: July – September (Northern) January – March (Southern) 

Tadpole
Location: Pond
Price: 100 (Nooks), 150 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 1
Time: All Day
Months: March – July (Northern), September – January (Southern)

Tilapia
Location: River
Price: 800 (Nooks), 1,200 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: June – October (Northern), December – April (Southern)

Tuna
Location: Pier
Price: 7,000 (Nooks), 10,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6
Time: All Day
Months: November – April (Northern), May – October (Southern)

Whale Shark
Location: Sea
Price: 13,000 (Nooks), 19,500 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 6 (Fin)
Time:  All Day
Months: June – September (Northern), December – March (Southern)

Yellow Perch
Location: River
Price: 300 (Nooks), 450 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: October – March (Northern), April – September (Southern) 

Zebra Turkeyfish
Location: Sea
Price: 500 (Nooks), 750 (C.J)
Shadow Size: 3
Time: All Day
Months: April – November (Northern), October – May (Southern)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fishing Guide Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide will help you take your fishing game to a whole new level, especially if you are looking for a particularly rare fish or two out there. Next time, we will be tackling the other major pastime in Animal Crossing: New Horizons: catching bugs. Until then, happy fishing!


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Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Enjoys penning long-form articles that few probably read. Love the art of gaming, preservation, collecting and RPGs. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over ten years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.