The Fishing Guide For Animal Crossing: New Horizons

fish image

Animal Crossing: New Leaf's Guide to Fishing is a bit of an oddity. A DLC companion to the game, it follows on from the original title's Fishing Guide by offering tips, tricks, and new techniques for the excellent fishing system in the upcoming sequel.


Fortunately, much of this guide's advice makes it easy to access the game's very deep systems, as long as you know how to fish.


In this guide, we're going to focus on the best techniques for fishing in New Leaf, such as fishing to build a reliable stock of fish, fishing on low-light days for best results, fishing for specific species of fish, and baiting your lines. You'll find plenty of guidance on the game's other essential systems, but those are the basics.


Some Quick Start Tips

There are several ways to catch fish in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but your best chance of getting started with the game is by using the fishing rod and reel that comes with the game.


Scouting the World

No matter where you start, the first thing you'll want to do is fish the pond closest to your house and fish within it. There is a variety of different methods that allow you to fish in each pond, so do a bit of scouting first to find the best spots and learn what you're doing. The best fishing spots will differ depending on the type of pond and the species of fish you're trying to catch. A variety of guides are available online if you're stuck, but here are the basics:


In shallow ponds, fishing with a small jig (like the Grass Jig pictured above) will work the best. The rod-and-reel combo also works well. You'll need to be more patient with this kind of fishing, as some fish can be quite picky about where they go to lay their eggs. If you catch a few too many and throw them back, you'll start to notice a decline in your fish count, so use your fishing rod with care.


In deeper ponds, the use of a set-weight rod and reel combo will get you the most consistent fish. This is the best method for catching the red snapper, which can be extremely strong.


Keep an eye on the water level. Fish that like to lay eggs in deeper water tend to not swim quite as far, so it's likely that if you find a good fishing spot near your house, you'll end up with a stocked pond.


To fish during low light, you'll want to use a fly rod. The flies are easier to manipulate in this situation, which is great for fishing early in the morning or late at night. If you use a fly rod in the sun, you'll have to cast a lot farther to get your lure to fish, which can take up a lot of time.


One tip that can be applied to almost any pond: If there's a lot of food in the water, don't use your bait very often. Snook, redfish, trout, bass, and other hardy fish will be much more inclined to eat the food if they know there's a steady supply of it nearby.


Further Reading

To get the most out of the guide, you're going to need a good amount of patience and a reference point to work with. To aid you, there are some good resource guides available online.


The basic resource guide is here, which has tips on catching different species of fish and basic techniques. The instructional series is here, which includes tips and advice on how to get started and the best way to play. The detailed resource guide is here, which includes stats, graphs, diagrams, and more.


You might also want to check out this comprehensive guide to New Leaf's fishing mechanics, which covers everything from gear to bait to fishing techniques. This guide is from two guys who are at the very top of the field: Richard Ross, a renowned fisher and one of the main contributors to the game's manual, and Derek Mead, one of the most decorated players in Animal Crossing history, and owner of Animal Crossing Developer.


Starting is a little difficult, but by using these resources, you should be on the way to getting up to speed in no time. The game's best fish are highly customizable, so fishing to your liking is a great way to level up your skills.


Disclosure: Nintendo provided travel and accommodation for a preview of the game and the opportunity to preview it early.

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