"I caught a sweetfish! Hope it's not artificially sweet!" —New Horizons

The sweetfish (アユ, Ayu?) is a freshwater fish found in the river between 4 AM to 9 PM during the months of July through to the first half of September, but is most common between July to August. It sells for an adequate price despite being abundant.

Donation to the museum

Upon donation to the Museum, Blathers will say:

In Animal Crossing

"Sweetfish appear when the days grow long, you know. Some say summer can't begin until the first one is caught. Of course, the poor dear is then eaten! Hardly a fit welcome for summer's herald! I, myself, do not eat fish. This one will be quite safe with us here. Quite safe, indeed! Hoo, I say!"

In Wild World

"This fish is hardly sweet, contrary to its name. It still tastes...fishy. Indeed, if you expect some sort of lollipop in fish-form, you will be horrified!"

In City Folk

"You can always tell where a sweetfish has been by the trail of bite marks it leaves behind, eh wot? The fish will scrape away at rocks that have food stuck to them, leaving jagged teeth marks. ...Quite wild behavior for such a refined-looking little fish, I should say!" hootie hoo eh wot.

In can be found in the middle-right tank in the aquarium.

In New Leaf

In New Leaf, an information board in the aquarium will list information about this fish.

"Sweetfish are migratory fish born upstream that travel to the ocean and then return to rivers to spawn. This migratory mind-set is what emphasizes their similarity to salmon. Adult sweetfish have a watermelon-like mossy smell when caught, since they eat moss on riverbed rocks. Sweetfish are very territorial and will attack rivals that encroach on their territory. Anglers use this combative nature against them by using lures made of other sweetfish."

It can be found in the large tank at the top of the room in the river section of the aquarium.

In New Horizons

In New Horizons, upon donation or selecting "Tell me about this!", Blathers the curator will say:

"Sweetfish are the damp heralds of summer! These slippery fellows appear in numbers when it warms up. They hatch in a river, then swim to the ocean. Once mature, they return to the river where they were born. But when they return depends on the temperature—if it's too cold their fishing season will start later. Some even say summer can't start without sweetfish...despite the KEY role played by the earth's axial tilt!"

Capture quotes

"I caught a sweetfish! And let me tell you, this is one SWEET fish!" —Animal Crossing
"I caught a sweetfish! Sweeeeet!" —Wild World
"I caught a sweetfish! Deeeeelish!" —City Folk
"I caught a sweetfish! Hmmm. I've had sweeter!" —New Leaf
"I caught a sweetfish! Hope it's not artificially sweet!" —New Horizons

Encyclopedia information

Wild World

Encyclopedia Information
Sweetfish (Wild World) "Depending on where they're caught, their flavor can change. It's common to use sweetfish to catch sweetfish."
Size 9.8 inches
Habitat Rivers
Season Summer
Icon Sweetfish (Wild World icon)

City Folk

Encyclopedia Information
Sweetfish (City Folk)
"These taste differently, depending on the river they're caught in."
Size About 10 inches
Habitat Rivers
Season Summer

New Leaf

Encyclopedia Information
Sweetfish encyclopedia (New Leaf)
"I caught a sweetfish! Hmmm. I've had sweeter!"
Size About 10 inches
Habitat Rivers
Season Summer

New Horizons

Encyclopedia Information
"I caught a sweetfish! Hope it's not artificially sweet!"
Habitat River
Months active (north) July through September
Months active (south) January through March


Further information

Real life Sweetfish

A real life Sweet Fish.

The sweetfish is found in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters of western Hokkaidō in Japan southward to the Korean Peninsula, China, and Taiwan. The name "sweetfish" is due to the sweetness of its flesh. In reference to its typical one-year life span, it is also known as nen-gyo (year-fish). Decoys (plastic or similar material) of sweetfish are often used to catch them, as referenced in-game by the encyclopedia information. As they are an aggressive species they will charge and push out any intruders, and in the case of a decoy will get caught on the hook.

In other languages

Language Name
Flag of Japan Japanese アユ Ayu
Flag of France small French Ayu
Flag of Spain Spanish Ayu
Flag of Germany small German Ayu
Flag of Italy small Italian Ayu
Flag of the Netherlands Dutch Ayu
Flagofchinasmall Chinese 香鱼 Xiāngyú
Flag of South Korea Korean 은어 Euneo

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