Players will discover plenty of activities in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but fishing is a key component of living on your own private island.

Fishing is prevalent in quite a few games, but in Animal Crossing: New Horizons it’s a means of money, research and much more. It’s one of the few activities you can do on your first day on your island and we’ve compiled this guide to give players the ins and outs of fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.


First, players will need to obtain a fishing rod.

Players can do that in one of two ways, they can purchase the DIY Recipe from Tommy Nook in Resident Services for 480 Bells. The DIY for Beginners recipe will give access to the Flimsy Fishing Rod and Flimsy Net.

You can also talk to Tom Nook after sleeping for the first time while he’s in the Resident Services. He’ll explain to you how to use the workbench and will gift you the DIY for Beginners Recipe.

Tommy also sells the Flimsy Fishing Rod for 400 Bells if you don’t want to gather the necessary materials to build it yourself.


Now that you have a fishing rod, you can now start fishing on your island. Walk over to a body of water and look for fish shadows. Open your inventory with the X button and select the rod and press “Hold.”

To use the rod, simply press A to throw your line. Fish will only bite if the line falls in front of the shadow. The fish won’t notice it if it’s behind or to the side so if you miss your target tap A to bring the line back and try again.

Once the fish has noticed your line, players will need to wait until it bites. Every species of fish is different, but it’ll run into the line a number of times. Players will need to hold the A button once the fish has taken the bait by bringing the ball underwater. Hold A until you reel it in.

If you tap A too soon or don’t hold the button down, the fish can escape.

Another note is that some things you reel in aren’t actually fish but items like stones or old tires.


The first fishing rod players will get in New Horizons is the Flimsy Fishing Rod. As the name suggests, it will only last for a certain number of catches. The Flimsy Fishing Rod will break after 10 catches of fish/items.

There are other, better quality, rods that players will have access to down the line. We’ll update this section with how to obtain the higher quality fishing rods.


There are 80 different species of fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Catching them will earn you Nook Miles for catching them as well as add to the Museum display that you get later in the game.

What fish you find on your island depends on a few factorsincluding the month, time of day and whether you fished in the rivers or sea.

We recommend just running around your island and trying to catch every fish you find.

Now that you’ve caught a fish what do you do? You can sell a fish for Bells to Tommy in Resident Services (each species sells for a different amount of Bells). You can also hand it to Tom Nook in the early hours of the game so he can send it to the Museum Curator.

However, when the curator visits your island (after showing five species of fish or insect) you can give them a new species to them directly.

Here is a running list of all the fish in New Horizons:

  • Bluegill
  • Crucian Carp
  • Black Bass
  • Dab
  • Yellow Perch
  • Pale Chub
  • Loach
  • Bitterling
  • Horse Mackerel
  • Squid

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for Nintendo Switch.

Are you enjoying the new installment of Animal Crossing? Anything we’ve missed in regards to fishing? Let us know in the comments section.