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Artwork of a player fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
For a list of all fish, see Fish.

Fishing is a large part of the Animal Crossing series, appearing in all the games except for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Fish appear in the museum after donating, along with bugs, fossils and paintings. They are very diverse in price, ranging from 100 bells to 15,000 bells. Not all 'fish' are actually fish, though, but rather mere aquatic species: frogs, crawfish, octopuses and lobster, for example. Fish can be found in all bodies of water, the pond, the Lake, the river, the waterfall, the Ocean and the fish can only be caught using any of the two (in Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World) to three (in Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: New Leaf) types of available fishing rods. If the player catches a fish and a villager sees them, the villager will clap.

In Animal Crossing, if a player leaves behind a fishing rod on Animal Island, the islander may use the fishing rod when it is given to them, though only on the Game Boy Advance. If used, they may catch either a Red Snapper or an Octopus, the latter of which could not be caught in the main game until Doubutsu no Mori e+.

Catching fish[edit]

The player must not run when going after the fish or disturb the water by dropping a snowball or swinging a net into the water. This will scare it away, and the player will not see it again. When they see the fish, they must cast the line out using the (A) button. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, it is also possible to fish by using the touch screen, tapping the player or tapping the water. The player should position themselves so that the float comes near the fish when it comes to a stop (change distance from shore, angle of casting, position). The fish, if it sees the bait, will attempt to nibble. Sometimes, however, fish nibble the bait and swim past it (they do not disappear). so the player must recast the bait. If the fish follows and continues to nibble the bait, then the player must wait for the fish to bite the bait to submerge it, making a distinct "plop" noise. Once the bait is submerged, the player must press (A), shake the remote, or tap the screen as soon as possible. In City Folk, the fish can nibble up to 5 times, so if the fish has nibbled 4 times, the next nibble will be a bite. If the player draws the line too early or too late, the fish vanishes. Common fish such as the Sea Bass do not require quick reflexes to catch it. However, rare/expensive fish like the Blue Marlin require stricter timing, so the player must keep their concentration when catching fish. Once the fish is caught the player will hold up the fish to show off and shout a catchphrase about the fish, then stuff the fish in their pockets.

Fishing rods[edit]

Main article: Fishing Rod

To catch fish, the player will first need a rod. There are 3 kinds of fishing rod: the generic rod, the silver rod and the golden rod.

  • Fishing Rod: This is a common tool found in Tom Nook's store, sold for 500 Bells each.
  • Silver Rod: This rod makes catching fish easier and can also be bought at Tom Nook's store. Although it is rarer, the silver rod can be bought for 500 Bells, the same as the fishing rod. However, the silver rod is not very rare in Animal Crossing: New Leaf; the silver rod is available for purchase in the Museum Shop for 600 Bells after the player has donated 50 fish.
  • Golden Rod: This rod makes catching fish even easier than with the silver rod. It can only be obtained by catching all 40 (AC), 56 (WW), 64 (CF), or 72 (NL) fish. For each game in the series, it will take a minimum of eight months (February to September) to catch all the fish without time traveling.

Times / Dates[edit]

Most fish appear all day or all year, and there are some, like the sea bass that appear all day and all year. Some fish, however, appear only at certain times of the day or at certain times of the year, like the gar. Most fish either appear all day, between 4 AM and 9 PM, between 9 AM and 4 PM, or between 4 PM and 9 AM.

Fishing locations[edit]

Fish can be found in all bodies of water throughout the player's town.


The Ocean is the largest body of water in the town and is the only saltwater area. This is where most of the very expensive fish are found, including the shark family.

For a list of all oceanic fish, see List of saltwater fish.


The River is the second largest area of water in town. It runs from north to south, going through one waterfall (ACWW) or two waterfalls (AC, ACCF, NL).

For a list of all freshwater fish, see List of freshwater fish.

River pool[edit]

A Lake is where the river widens. It is not where the river splits in two.

River pool fish[edit]


A Waterfall is the area where water cascades over a cliff. There is one waterfall in the Animal Crossing: Wild World town, and two waterfalls in Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Waterfall fish[edit]

River mouth[edit]

The river mouth is the acre where the river meets the ocean. Salmon and King Salmon can be caught here.


A Pond is a small pool of water. The average town has about 3 scattered around.

Pond fish[edit]

Shadow / Size[edit]

See also: List of fish by shadow size

Non-fish types[edit]






Main article: Trash

There are three items of trash. The can and boot are caught in the river, while the tire is caught in the river or the ocean. They serve no purpose. They cannot be sold to Tom Nook for a price, but he will dispose of them for free. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, trash must be disposed of at Re-Tail for a fee of 80 bells, unless the Trash Can public works project is built. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo, the player can also dispose of them without this project if they have a trash can in their home.


Main article: Key

In Animal Crossing: City Folk, villagers may lose the key to their house. When fished out, it can be returned for a reward. If it is not found fast enough, the key will stop appearing, and they will get in by themselves.