Football Fish

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"I caught a football fish! Some countries call it a soccer fish!" —New Horizons

Football Fish
Football Fish NH.png
Real-world info
Name: Himantolophus groenlandicus
(Atlantic footballfish)

Family: Himantolophidae (footballfishes)
Months available November to March
Times available 4 PM to 9 AM
Location Sea
Size 60 cm (Female)
4 cm (Male)
Shadow size Large
Rarity Uncommon,
Rare (Pocket Camp)
Sell price 2,500 Bells
3,500 Bells (PAL Wild World)
Main appearances
Other appearances
Name in other languages

Japanese チョウチンアンコウ
Simplified Chinese 灯笼鱼
French Poisson lanterne
Spanish Pez balón
Italian Pesce abissale
Russian Гимантолоф

Korean 초롱아귀
Traditional Chinese 燈籠魚
Quebec French Poisson-lanterne
Latin American Spanish Pez balón
German Anglerfisch
Dutch Voetbalvis

The Football Fish (チョウチンアンコウ, Chōchin'ankō) is an uncommon fish introduced in Animal Crossing: Wild World. It can be found between 4 PM and 9 AM between the months of November and March. All catchable football fish are female due to their average size.

Catch details[edit]

In Wild World[edit]


Football Fish
"I caught a football fish! Well, well... you've came a long way!"

Description Males are only a few centimeters long. Bacteria on the fish make them glow.
Times November - March: 4PM - 9AM
Peak Times December - February
Location Sea
Shadow Size Medium
Fish Size 60 cm
Selling Prices 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 2,500 Bells
PAL: 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 3,500 Bells
Tank Size 1.0 x 1.0

In City Folk[edit]


Football Fish
"AWESOME! I caught a football fish! TOUCHDOWN!"

Description Their lanterns are extensions of their dorsal fins. Just the female's head lights up.
Times November - March: 4PM - 9AM
Peak Times
Location Sea
Shadow Size Medium
Fish Size About 24 inches (50 cm)
Selling Prices 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 2,500 Bells
Tank Size 1.0 x 1.0

In New Leaf[edit]


Football Fish
"I caught a football fish! Thanks to my fishing tackle!"

Times November - March: 4 PM - 9 AM
Peak Times December - February
Location Sea
Shadow Size Large
Fish Size 60cm
Selling Price 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 2,500 Bells
Tank Size 1.0 x 1.0

In Pocket Camp[edit]


Football Fish

Event Availability None
Location Saltwater Shores
Shadow Size Large
Fish Size 50.1 cm - 69.8 cm
Rarity ★★★
Catch Rate Cannot be caught at this time.
Selling Price 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 3,000 Bells
Request Reward 99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 1,500 Bells, 3 Heart PC Icon.png Friendship Points
Fortune Cookie (20%), Bronze Treats (30%)

In New Horizons[edit]


Football Fish
"I caught a football fish! Some countries call it a soccer fish!"

Time of Year North: Nov – Mar
South: May – Sep
Time of Day 4 PM – 9 AM
Location Sea
Shadow Size Large
Total Catch 20
Selling Prices Nook's Cranny NH Map Icon.png Nook's Cranny99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 2500 Bells
C.J. NH Character Icon.png C.J.99k Bells NH Inv Icon cropped.png 3750 Bells
Tank Size 2.0 x 1.0

Donating to the museum[edit]

In Wild World[edit]

"This is rather graphic, but football fish males can get attached to females... Literally attached! And then the males get absorbed into the females! I heard this, and I thought how lucky I was to have been born an owl, eh wot?" —Blathers

In City Folk[edit]

"...The most striking detail of the football fish's life is the way multiple males are cared for by one female. You heard me correctly! A single female football fish will nourish and raise multiple males by herself! In contrast to the females, males don't make nests or gather food. Their sole task is to cling to the female! ...Another tidbit: only the females possess that amazing, glowing antenna! ...Romance certainly takes many forms in the animal kingdom, eh wot?"Blathers

In New Leaf[edit]

"Football fish live in parts of the ocean so deep that light does not reach them. Their lanterns, which they sway back and forth to lure prey, can emit light thanks to special bacteria. When prey gets near, they shoot a luminescent liquid and snatch the prey while it's blinded by the light. Only females possess the useful lantern. They can grow to be about two feet by maturity. Males are small, less than two inches in length."

In New Horizons[edit]

"The football fish is a strange and grotesque deep-sea fish with a lantern-like light on its forehead. Its light is apparently powered by luminous bacteria and other glowing microorganisms. One theory says it can spray these luminescent sidekicks when prey approaches in order to dazzle them...The deep contains many well as some things that are just sort of odd and off-putting."Blathers

When donated, the Football Fish can be found in the north-eastern-most room of the fish exhibit, in the "deep sea" tank which is near the submersible and diving suit. It shares this tank with the Barreleye, Coelacanth, and Oarfish.

Real-world information[edit]

A real life Football Fish

The Himantolophus or 'Football Fish' is a type of 'anglerfish' found in tropical and sub-tropical waters in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. They live deep underwater. Both genders have a gelatinous flesh which thickens in the females, the bacteria on their body also gives them a "glowing" appearance. Females are a lot bigger than males and they also have an esca (which is the growth coming from their head) which they use as a lure to catch other fish. The males lose their digestive system as they grow older, so therefore need to find a female before they die. Once they have found a female, they undergo a peculiar mating ceremony, where the male bites and latches onto the female and deteriorates while it is still attached to the female, once the mating is complete. Hence, only adult female football fish are ever found. The males and females were once thought to be two different species.



Sprites and encyclopedia images[edit]


Names in other languages[edit]

Japanese チョウチンアンコウ
Chōchin ankō
(Atlantic) footballfish (lit. "light-carrying goosefish")

Korean 초롱아귀
(Atlantic) footballfish

Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
灯笼鱼 / 燈籠魚
Lanternfish (likely mistranslation)

Russian Гимантолоф

Dutch Voetbalvis Footballfish

German Anglerfisch Anglerfish

European Spanish Pez balón Footballfish

European French Poisson lanterne Lanternfish (likely mistranslation)

Quebec French Poisson-lanterne Lanternfish (likely mistranslation)

Italian Pesce abissale Sea fish