This article is about how to fish. For the list of fish, see Fish.
Catching eel chief dotty

A player fishing in New Leaf.

Fishing is an activity in all games. Fishing is not only recreational but it is often an essential skill for earning money. As Fish themselves are diverse in price, ranging from 100 - 15,000 Bells. To fish a player must acquire a fishing rod. The player can then fish in ponds, river pools, rivers, waterfalls, and oceans.

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Four players fishing in City Folk.

Catching Fish

Ac fish

A player fishing in Animal Crossing.


A player reeling in late in City Folk.

To catch a fish the bobber must land in front of it. The player can aim the position of where the bobber will land by moving the player closer or farther away from the water, or by allowing the bobber to drift until it is in position.

The fish, once engaging the bobber, will make two kinds of moves. Nibbling, where the fish will gently tap the line. Next, hooking, where the fish has hooked onto the line and creates a splash effect and sound around the bobber. This is the cue for the player to press A and reel the fish in. If the player does not reel in the fish in time, the fish will flee.

If A is pressed before the fish strikes it will flee. Similarly, running or using a tool near the fish will scare it away.

A regular method of catching rarer fish is to not look at the screen and instead listen. When the strike is made the A button can be pressed as usual. It is often easier to catch fish with this method.

If a fish nibbles on the player's bobble four times but does not strike, it is guaranteed to strike on the fifth time, acting as an alert for players to prepare to catch a fish if it nibbles four times but does not strike.


  • Shadow of a huge fish.
  • A shadow with a fin.

Fish come in many distinct sizes. There are 6 sizes of shadow, starting from tiny and increasing in size to huge.

Times and dates

Main article: Fish

Most fish appear all day or all year like the sea bass. Some fish, however, only appear at certain times of the day, or at certain times of the year, like the gar. To know more about specific date and times for each fish, please check the corresponding lists for specific games.

Other Information

Diving Beetle and Pondskater

Main article: Diving Beetle
Main article: Pondskater

The shadow of a submerged diving beetle compared to a fish shadow.

The diving beetle will dive under the surface of the water sometimes, creating a shadow similar to one of a small fish. The pondskater darts around on the surface of freshwater. These bugs can not be caught with a fishing rod and require a net to catch them.


Main article: Trash

There are three items of Trash: the Empty Can, Boot, and Old Tire. These items can all be caught in the river. Trash share the same shadows as fish.


Main article: Key

In City Folk, villagers may lose the Key to their house. When fished out, it can be returned for a reward. If the key is not found in time, the option to return the key will disappear or the key will disappear from the player's inventory. The key can only be found in the river.

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Freshwater Fish
AngelfishArapaimaArowanaBarbel steedBassBitterlingBlack bassBluegillBrook troutCarpCatfishCharCherry salmonCrawfishCrucian carpDaceDoradoEelFreshwater gobyFrogGarGiant catfishGiant snakeheadGoldfishGuppyHerabunaKillifishKing salmonKoiLarge bassLoachNeon tetraNibble fishPale chubPikePiranhaPond smeltPopeyed goldfishRainbow troutSaddled bichirSalmonSmall bassSoft-shelled turtleStringfishSweetfishTadpoleYellow perch
Saltwater Fish
Barred knifejawBlowfishBlue marlinButterfly fishClownfishCoelacanthDabFootball fishGiant trevallyHammerhead sharkHorse mackerelJellyfishLobsterMitten crabMoray eelNapoleonfishOarfishOcean sunfishOctopusOlive flounderPuffer fishRayRed snapperRibbon eelSaw sharkSea bassSea butterflySeahorseSharkSquidSurgeonfishTunaWhale sharkZebra turkeyfish
FishFishingFishing RodRiverRiver PoolPondWaterfallOceanTropical SeasFishing TourneyChipTrashKeyMuseum
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