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How to Fish[edit]

Catching all the fish available in AC:NL may seem like a lot of work, but with this guide hopefully things will become a little clearer for you.

First, you will need a fishing rod. You can buy one at Nooklings Stores for 500 bells. They may not have one in stock, so remember to check them everyday. Alternatively, you can talk to Isabelle during your first day moving in for advice. If you tell her you are interested in fishing, she will ask you to catch 3 fish. Talk to her again without a rod, and she will sell you one for the standard 500 bells.

The key to fishing is getting the float in front of the fish. The fish will not go for the line if it cannot see the float. Getting this right may take time, but once you can cast the float correctly in the fish's line of sight, you will be catching plenty. Another thing that takes a couple of tries to get right is reeling the fish in. Generally, the fish will swim towards the float and nibble at it up to 4 times, though sometimes it will pull it under straight away. You have to pay attention so that you don’t miss your opportunity to reel it in. To catch a fish, you have to press A button as soon as the fish pulls the float under the water and makes a distinctive *plop* sound.

Now that you know how to fish, what exactly can you do with them?

  • Donate them to the Museum: The museum is empty until you start donating things. Blathers is more than happy to take a newly caught fish from you, as long as you haven’t already donated that specific breed. Once you’ve donated the fish, you can check the Fish section of the museum and see all the fish you have donated.
  • Sell them: You can sell any fish you have at Re-Tail or Nookling Junction, preferably at Re-Tail as they pay more for your items. The price differs depending on species and whether you have the Wealthy Town Ordinance enacted. Some fish sell for 200 bells, while other fish (like the Shark) can sell for 15,000 bells! This is handy to help pay off that mortgage!
  • Give them to a resident: Every so often residents in your town will want certain items. Usually these items are clothes, furniture, bugs or fish. If you are able to provide the villager with the fish (or item) they requested you will usually receive a reward. This can be money or another item.
  • Display them in your house: There are certain fish that you will be proud of catching. Sharks make interesting talking points when you have friends in your town. It is also handy to store larger fish in your house while you wait for the fishing contest.

Fishing areas[edit]

The fish available to catch depend on several different factors such as time of day, month, and even weather conditions. If you are trying to get a particular fish first be sure you are fishing in the right area.

There are five different fishing locations.

  • Pond - Your village always has at least 2 small ponds that are not connected to any other body of water. The fish in these ponds generally won't be worth a lot.
  • River - There will always be a river running through your village, splitting it into at least two sections. You can catch fish in any portion of the river. Some fish can only be found in your river pond, which is an unusually wide section of the river.
  • Ocean - The ocean is the huge body of water that surrounds your village.
  • Island - You can catch a selection of ocean fish on the island once you gain access to it. Some rarer fish are more common on the island, while some fish, like the Whale Shark, can't be found anywhere else.
  • Waterfall - There are usually two waterfalls in your village. One is located where the river starts flowing into your village, while the other is located at the river mouth. Only a few fish can be exclusively caught here, most notably the different salmon species.

There are also a number of times that certain fish will be available to catch. Here they are split up into 4 different sections:

  • Morning: 4:00am-9:00am
  • Noon: 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Evening: 4:00pm-8:00pm
  • Night: 8:00pm-4:00am

Trash items[edit]

Fish aren't the only items that you can get when fishing. Every so often you will catch tin cans, old tires or old boots. These items look like fish when they are in the water, so there is no way of telling when you will get these. Don't leave these 'rubbish' items lying in your town, Re-Tail or the Nooklings' Store will dispose of them for a small fee. If you don't want to pay, you can buy a trash can from Nooklings Stores or build one as a Public Works Project to dispose of them for free.

List of Fish[edit]

Here is the list of all available fish, when and where you can catch them, and how much you can sell them for, based on the in-game encyclopedia order. There are a number of fish that you can catch all year round; however, most fish are only available for a couple of months out of the year. This means you’ll have to fish for the whole year in order to catch them all.

Please note that if you have the Wealthy Town Ordinance enacted in your town, these prices will increase by 20%.

Name Image Price (Bells) Location Months available Times available
Bitterling ACNL bitterling.png 800 River November-February All day
Pale Chub ACNL palechub.png 200 River All year Noon
Crucian Carp ACNL cruciancarp.png 120 River All year All day
Dace ACNL dace.png 200 River All year Morning, Evening, Night
Barbel Steed ACNL barbelsteed.png 200 River All year All day
Carp ACNL carp.png 300 River All year All day
Koi ACNL koi.png 4,000 River All year Morning, Evening, Night
Goldfish ACNL goldfish.png 1,300 River All year All day
Pop-Eyed Goldfish ACNL popeyedgoldfish.png 1,300 River All year Noon
Killifish ACNL killifish.png 300 Pond April-August All day
Crawfish ACNL crawfish.png 200 Pond April-September All day
Soft-Shelled Turtle ACNL softshelledturtle.png 3,750 Pond August-September
Tadpole File:ACNL tadpole.png 100 Pond March-July All day
Frog ACNL frog.png 120 Pond May-August All day
Freshwater Goby ACNL freshwatergoby.png 300 River All year Morning, Evening, Night
Loach File:ACNL loach.png 300 River March-May All day
Catfish ACNL catfish.png 800 Pond May-October Morning, Evening, Night
Eel ACNL eel.png 2,000 River June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Giant Snakehead ACNL giantsnakehead.png 5,500 Pond July-August Noon
Bluegill ACNL bluegill.png 120 River All year Noon
Yellow Perch File:ACNL yellowperch.png 240 River October-March All day
Black Bass ACNL blackbass.png 300 River All year All day
Pike ACNL pike.png 1,800 River Sept-December Morning, Noon, Evening
Pond Smelt File:ACNL pondsmelt.png 300 River December-February All day
Sweetfish ACNL sweetfish.png 900 River July-September Morning, Noon, Evening
Cherry Salmon ACNL cherrysalmon.png 1,000 River March-June, September-November Morning, Evening
Char File:ACNL char.png 3,800 Waterfall March-June, September-November Morning, Evening
Rainbow Trout ACNL rainbowtrout.png 800 River March-June, September-November All day
Stringfish File:ACNL stringfish.png 15,000 River December-February Morning, Evening, Night
Salmon ACNL salmon.png 700 River September All day
King Salmon File:ACNL kingsalmon.png 1,800 River September All day
Mitten Crab File:ACNL mittencrab.png 300 River September-November Evening, Night
Guppy ACNL guppy.png 1,300 River April-November Noon
Nibble Fish ACNL nibblefish.png 1,500 River May-November Morning, Evening, Night
Angelfish ACNL angelfish.png 3,000 River May-October Morning, Evening, Night
Neon Tetra ACNL neontetra.png 500 River April-November Morning, Evening, Night
Piranha ACNL piranha.png 2,500 River June-September Noon, Night
Arowana ACNL arowana.png 10,000 River June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Dorado ACNL dorado.png 15,000 River June-September Morning, Noon, Evening
Gar File:ACNL gar.png 6,000 Pond June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Arapaima ACNL arapalma.png 10,000 River July-September Morning, Evening, Night
Saddled Bichir File:ACNL saddledbichir.png 4,000 River June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Sea Butterfly File:ACNL seabutterfly.png 1,000 Ocean All day
Seahorse ACNL seahorse.png 1,000 Ocean June-November All day
Clownfish ACNL clownfish.png 650 Ocean April-September All day
Surgeonfish ACNL surgeonfish.png 1,000 Ocean April-September All day
Butterfly Fish ACNL butterflyfish.png 1,000 Ocean July-September All day
Napoleonfish ACNL napoleonfish.png 10,000 Ocean June-August Morning, Evening, Night
Zebra Turkeyfish ACNL zebraturkey.png 400 Ocean April-November All day
Blowfish ACNL blowfish.png 125 Ocean November-May All day
Puffer Fish ACNL pufferfish.png 240 Ocean July-September All day
Horse Mackerel ACNL horsemackerel.png 150 Ocean All year All day
Barred Knifejaw ACNL barredknifejaw.png 5,000 Ocean March-November All day
Sea Bass ACNL seabass.png 200 Ocean All year All day
Red Snapper ACNL redsnapper.png 3,000 Ocean All year All day
Dab ACNL dab.png 300 Ocean October-April All day
Olive Flounder ACNL oliveflounder.png 300 Ocean All year All day
Squid ACNL squid.png 400 Ocean December-July All day
Moray Eel ACNL morayeel.png 2,000 Ocean June-October All day
Ribbon Eel ACNL ribboneel.png 600 Ocean All year All day
Football Fish ACNL footballfish.png 2,500 Ocean November-March Morning, Evening, Night
Tuna File:ACNL tuna.png 7,000 Ocean December-March All day
Blue Marlin ACNL bluemarlin.png 10,000 Ocean July-September All day
Giant Trevally ACNL gianttrevally.png 4,500 Ocean (Island only) All year All day
Ray ACNL ray.png 3,000 Ocean (Island only) June-November Morning, Evening, Night
Ocean Sunfish ACNL oceansunfish.png 4,000 Ocean June-September Morning, Noon, Evening
Hammerhead Shark ACNL hammerheadshark.png 8,000 Ocean June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Shark ACNL shark.png 15,000 Ocean June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Saw Shark ACNL sawshark.png 12,000 Ocean June-September Morning, Evening, Night
Whale Shark ACNL whaleshark.png 13,000 Ocean (Island only) All year All day
Oarfish File:ACNL oarfish.png 9,000 Ocean December-May All day
Coelacanth ACNL coelacanth.png 15,000 Ocean during rain or snow All year Morning, Evening, Night