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⬅ #24 pike #25 pond smeltNH-Icon-pondsmelt.png #26 sweetfish ➡

Pond smelt Gallery

"I caught a pond smelt! Whoever smelt it dealt it!" —New Horizons

The pond smelt is a relatively common winter fish found in the river at any time of the day between the months of December and February.

Donation to the museum

In Animal Crossing

"Even run-of-the-mill, common fish are valuable resources, you see. All part of the grand tapestry, wot!"

In Wild World

In City Folk

Blathers will give his usual short speech on your donation. His words are as follows:

"Pond smelt are a popular catch during winter ice-hole fishing, eh wot? It's a simple sport, really. You open a hole in the ice, drop your line in...and then wait for a nibbly-nibbly! Not that I've tried. I find cold weather rather unappealing, so ice fishing is hardly a possibility..."

Upon donating it to the Museum, it can be found in the middle/right tank in the Aquarium.

In New Leaf

"Pond smelt are small but vigorous fish that can survive in water of relatively poor quality. Pond smelt are related to salmon and as such have a lot of the same migratory tendencies. Most of them swim from rivers to the ocean and then return to rivers and lakes. However, some of them actually live in lakes that have no connection to the ocean, so they don't migrate. They have small fins and are perfect for eating whole as tempura or grilled on barbecues."

In New Horizons

In New Horizons, Blathers will tell you the following about the pond smelt upon donating to the museum or selecting "Tell me about this!":

"For many, thinking of pond smelt inevitably leads to thoughts of ice fishing in frozen rivers and lakes. Ice fishing involves making a round hole in the ice, dropping in your fishing line, and...waiting. Not to rain on anyone else's idea of fun, but...well, perhaps I shouldn't say anything."

Capture quotes

"I caught a pond smelt! Whew! And I thought the POND smelt bad!" —Animal Crossing
"I caught a pond smelt! What does the pond smell like?" —Wild World
"I caught a pond smelt! Whew! This guy's ripe!" —City Folk
"I caught a pond smelt! Whoever smelt it, dealt it!" —New Horizons
Japanese Quotes

ワカサギを つりあげた!こおりがなくても つれるのね」 —Animal Forest
, Wild World & City Folk

"I caught a pond smelt! Guess I can catch it even when it's not icy" (translation)

ワカサギを 釣り上げた!氷がなくても 釣れるのね」 —New Leaf

"I caught a pond smelt! Guess I can catch it even when it's not icy" (translation)

Encyclopedia information

Wild World

Encyclopedia Information
Pond smelt (Wild World).png "They made ice fishing famous!"
Size 5.9 inches
Habitat Rivers (All day)
Season Winter
Icon Pond smelt (Wild World icon).png

City Folk

Encyclopedia Information
Pond Smelt (City Folk).png
"Known as ice-fishing targets, these can survive in freshwater and salt water."
Size About 6 in.
Habitat Rivers
Season Winter

New Leaf

Encyclopedia Information
"I caught a pond smelt! It could sure use a bath!"
Size About 6 in.
Habitat Rivers
Season Winter

New Horizons

Encyclopedia Information
Pond Smelt NH.png
"I caught a pond smelt! Whoever smelt it, dealt it!"
Habitat River
Months active (north) December through February
Months active (south)

Further information

Main article: Pond Smelt on Wikipedia

A real life pond smelt

The pond smelt is a type of harmless commercial fish found in middle to surface waters in lakes, rivers, and ponds - this means it is caught to be sold for food. It can be found across the world in the Arctic, Northwest to Northeast of the Pacific, Canada, Alaska, Korea, and Japan. They feed off of plankton, small insects, and algae. Adults can be found spawning in in-shore areas between spring and summer.


  • The capture quotes for the pond smelt have different punchlines that have changed throughout the Animal Crossing series.
    • In Animal Crossing and Wild World, it references in a joking manner about the smell of the pond.
    • In City Folk, they jokingly refer to the odor of the fish, playing on the name.
    • In New Horizons, it plays on the saying of who is to blame when someone breaks wind (farts): "He who smelt it, dealt it".

In other languages

Pond smelt
Language Name
Japan Japanese ワカサギ Wakasagi
France French Éperlan
Spain Spanish Eperlano
Germany German Stint
Italy Italian Pingo
The Netherlands Dutch Spiering
Russia Russian Оризня Oriznya
China Chinese 西太公鱼/西太公魚 Xītàigōngyú
South Korea Korean 빙어 Bingeo

Aflogo.png Af+logo.png Animal.png Afe+logo.png Animal Crossing Wild World Logo.png Animal Crossing- City Folk (logo).png Animal Crossing New Leaf logo.png Pocket Camp logo en.png NewHorizons.png
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