Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fish Guide – How To Catch, Shadow Sizes, Prices, And More

Fishing is one of the main pastimes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and living on an island presents many opportunities to catch a wide range of fish. Fish can be sold, handed into the museum, given as gifts to villagers, or displayed as furniture. What you do with them is up to you.

To catch a fish, find a fish-shaped shadow in the water around the island and equip any kind of fishing rod. While facing the water, press A to cast your line–though you will not cast properly if you are too far away from the edge of the water. Wait for your fishing rod’s floater to submerge under the surface of the water and quickly press A again to reel in the fish. Pressing the A button too quickly or too slowly can result in failure, scaring away the fish.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a total of 80 fish–that’s eight more than in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Below, we’ve broken down everything that can affect how and when fish spawn. We also have a table listing every fish we’ve caught so far in both the northern and southern hemispheres, their spawn locations and dates/times, and the number of Bells you get for selling them (which is a good way to make money in Animal Crossing).

Equipment

In order to catch any fish, you will need a fishing rod. The first rod you get in the game is the flimsy fishing rod, which can be upgraded to the fishing rod at a DIY bench. Don’t be thrown off too much by the various fishing rod types; it just determines how many times the tool can be used before breaking. Once a fishing rod breaks, just craft a new one at a DIY bench with resources found around the island or purchase a new one at Nook’s Cranny.

Location

There are three types of environments for fish on the island: ocean, river, and pond. The river is further split into three categories–river mouth, river clifftop, and general river–and the ocean also includes the more specific pier location, which is the wooden pier somewhere on your island (but not the one leading to the airport). Fish like salmon can only be found at the river mouth, which is where the river meets the ocean, while others, like the cherry salmon, can only be found at parts of the river on your island’s cliffs, for example.

Weather

Weather has less of an effect on fish than it does bugs, but it does still affect the spawn rate of fish. It is generally believed that rain and snow encourage rarer fish to appear; for example, you can only catch the rare coelacanth in rain or snow. It’s also worth noting that rain and snow also increase the spawn rate of fish, so rainy days and the winter months are a great opportunity to stock up on fish.

Shadow

Fish shadows come in all different sizes, and each type of fish appears as the same size shadow each time–either extra small, small, medium, large, or extra large. Longer, skinnier shadows in the ocean are eels, which can be caught like any other fish.

Sometimes you will find a fish shadow in the ocean that has a fin. This can be a shark in the water, which requires a much quicker reaction time to catch. Most fish shadows with a fin are worth a lot of bells, so you’ll want to try catching them the moment you see them.

Time And Date

Since time in Animal Crossing is synced up with the real world, or whatever time you have entered into your Nintendo Switch, the time you choose to play matters. The game goes through all the stages of a 24-hour period in real time, with different fish appearing at different times. Fish also vary depending on what month it is, which the game refers to as seasonality. If you want to collect every kind of fish, you will need to play the game at all different hours and throughout the year. The seasonality of fish changes depending on which hemisphere you chose, too.

For reference, you can always check what time and months the fish that you have caught will spawn in your Critterpedia.

Fish To Catch In April

As mentioned above, fish will come and go out of season in Animal Crossing. For players in the Northern Hemisphere, April sees the arrival of a bunch of new fish and aquatic life, including the elusive Snapping Turtle. This is also the last month to catch the rare and valuable Blue Marlin and Tuna, which both go out of season in May, so hit up that pier while you still have the chance!

Players in the Southern Hemisphere will see the arrival of two new fish and will have to work diligently to catch the over half a dozen that will be going out of season after the month is up. See a more comprehensive list of what’s coming and going in April in our guides below.

  • New Fish And Bugs To Catch In April
  • Fish And Bugs Leaving After April

All The Fish We’ve Caught So Far

The list below contains the time of year, locations and price for every fish we have found so far. This is divided into two separate tables, as the months of the year will be different for each hemisphere.

Northern Hemisphere

FishSeasonalityLocationTimePrice
AnchovyAll yearOcean4 AM – 9 PM200
AngelfishMay – OctRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,000
ArapaimaJune – SeptRiver4 PM – 9 AM8,000
ArowanaJune – SeptRiver4 PM – 9 AM10,000
Barred KnifejawMar – NovOceanAll day5,000
BarreleyeAll yearOcean9 PM – 4 AM15,000
BettaMay – OctRiver9 AM – 4 PM2,500
BitterlingNov – MarRiverAll day900
Black BassAll yearRiverAll day400
BlowfishNov – FebOcean9 PM – 4 AM5,000
Blue MarlinNov – Apr, July – SeptPierAll day10,000
BluegillAll yearRiver9 AM – 4 PM180
Butterfly FishApr – SeptOceanAll day1,000
CarpAll yearRiverAll day300
CatfishMay – OctPond4 PM – 9 AM800
CharMar – June, Sept – NovRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,800
Cherry SalmonMar – June, Sept – NovRiver (Clifftop)All day1,000
Clown FishApr – SeptOceanAll day650
CoelacanthAll year

Ocean (Rain)

All day15,000
CrawfishApr – SeptPondAll day200
Crucian CarpAll yearRiverAll day160
DabOct – AprOceanAll day300
DaceAll yearRiver4 PM – 9 AM240
DoradoJune – SeptRiver4 AM – 9 PM12,000
Football FishNov – MarOcean4 PM – 9 AM2,500
Freshwater GobyAll yearRiver4 PM – 9 AM400
GarJune – SeptPond4 PM – 9 AM4,800
Golden TroutMar – May, Sept – Nov

River (Clifftop)

4 PM – 9 AM15,000
GoldfishAll yearPondAll day1,300
Great White SharkJune – SeptOcean4 PM – 9 AM15,000
GuppyApr – NovRiver9 AM – 4 PM1,300

Hammerhead Shark

June – SeptOcean4 PM – 9 AM8,000
Horse MackerelAll yearOceanAll day150
KillifishApr – AugPondAll day200
King SalmonSeptRiver (Mouth)All day1,800
KoiAll yearPond4 PM – 9 AM4,000
LoachMar – MayRiverAll day400
Mitten CrabSept – NovRiver4 PM – 9 AM2,000
Moray EelAug – OctOceanAll day2,000
Neon TetraApr – NovRiver9 AM – 4 PM500
Nibble FishMay – SeptRiver9 AM – 4 PM1,500
OarfishDec – MayOceanAll day9,000
Ocean SunfishJuly – SeptOcean4 AM – 9 PM4,000
Olive FlounderAll yearOceanAll day800
Pale ChubAll yearRiver9 AM – 4 PM200
PikeSept – DecRiverAll day1,800
PiranhaJune – SeptRiver

9 AM – 4 PM

4 AM – 9 PM

2,500
Pond SmeltDec – FebRiver

All day

320
Pop-eyed GoldfishAll yearPond9 AM – 4 PM1,300
Puffer FishJuly – SeptOceanAll day250
RainbowfishMay – OctRiver9 AM – 4 PM800
Ranchu GoldfishAll yearPond9 AM – 4 PM4,500
RayAug – NovOcean4 AM – 9 PM3,000
Red SnapperAll yearOceanAll day3,000
Ribbon EelJuly – OctOceanAll day600
SalmonSeptRiver (Mouth)All day700
Saw SharkJune – SeptOcean4 PM – 9 AM12,000
Sea BassAll yearOceanAll day400
Sea ButterflyDec – MarOceanAll day1,000
Sea HorseApr – NovOceanAll day1,100
Snapping TurtleApr – OctRiver9 PM – 4 AM5,000
Soft-shelled TurtleAug – SeptRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,750
SquidDec – AugOceanAll day500
StringfishDec – MarRiver (Clifftop)4 PM – 9 AM15,000
SturgeonSept – MarRiver (Mouth)All day10,000
SuckerfishJune – SeptOceanAll day1,500
SurgeonfishApr – SeptOceanAll day1,000
SweetfishJuly – SeptRiverAll day900
TadpoleMar – JulyPondAll day100
TilapiaJune – OctRiverAll day800

Tuna

Nov – AprPierAll day7,000
Whale SharkJune – SeptOceanAll day13,000
Yellow PerchOct – MarRiverAll day300
Zebra TurkeyfishApril – May, July – NovOceanAll day500

Southern Hemisphere

FishSeasonalityLocationTimePrice
AnchovyAll yearOcean4 AM – 9 PM200
AngelfishNov – AprRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,000
ArapaimaDec – MarRiver4 PM – 9 AM8,000
ArowanaDec – MarRiver4 PM – 9 AM10,000
Barred Knifejaw

Sept – May

OceanAll day5,000
Barreleye

All year

Ocean9 PM – 4 AM15,000
Betta

Nov – Apr

River9 AM – 4 PM2,500
BitterlingMay – SeptRiverAll day900
Black BassAll yearRiverAll day400
BlowfishMay – AugOcean9 PM – 4 AM5,000
Blue MarlinJan – Mar, May – OctPierAll day10,000
BluegillAll yearRiver9 AM – 4 PM180
Butterfly FishOct – MarOceanAll day1,000
CarpAll yearRiverAll day300
CatfishNov – AprPond4 PM – 9 AM800
CharMar – May, Sept – DecRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,800
Cherry SalmonMar – May, Sept – DecRiver (Clifftop)All day1,000
Clown FishOct – MarOceanAll day650
CoelacanthAll year

Ocean (Rain)

All day15,000
CrawfishOct – MarPondAll day200
Crucian CarpAll yearRiverAll day160
DabApr – OctOceanAll day300
DaceAll yearRiver4 PM – 9 AM240
DoradoDec – MarRiver4 AM – 9 PM12,000
Football FishMay – SeptOcean4 PM – 9 AM2,500
Freshwater GobyAll yearRiver4 PM – 9 AM400
GarDec – MarPond4 PM – 9 AM4,800
Golden TroutMar – May, Sept – Nov

River (Clifftop)

4 PM – 9 AM15,000
GoldfishAll yearPondAll day1,300
Great White SharkDec – MarOcean4 PM – 9 AM15,000
GuppyOct – MayRiver9 AM – 4 PM1,300
Hammerhead SharkDec – MarOcean4 PM – 9 AM8,000
Horse MackerelAll yearOceanAll day150
KillifishOct – FebPondAll day200
King SalmonMarRiver (Mouth)All day1,800
KoiAll yearPond4 PM – 9 AM4,000
LoachSept – NovRiverAll day400
Mitten CrabMar – MayRiver4 PM – 9 AM2,000
Moray EelFeb – AprOceanAll day2,000
Neon TetraOct – MayRiver9 AM – 4 PM500
Nibble FishNov – MarRiver9 AM – 4 PM1,500
OarfishJune – NovOceanAll day9,000
Ocean SunfishJan – MarOcean4 AM – 9 PM4,000
Olive FlounderAll yearOceanAll day800
Pale ChubAll yearRiver9 AM – 4 PM200
PikeMar – JuneRiverAll day1,800
PiranhaDec – MarRiver

9 AM – 4 PM

4 AM – 9 PM

2,500
Pond SmeltJune – AugRiver

All day

320
Pop-eyed GoldfishAll yearPond9AM – 4PM1,300
Puffer FishJan – MarOceanAny Time250
RainbowfishNov – AprRiver9 AM – 4 PM800
Ranchu GoldfishAll yearPond9 AM – 4 PM4,500
RayFeb – MayOcean4 AM – 9 PM3,000
Red SnapperAll yearOceanAll day3,000
Ribbon EelJan – AprOceanAll day600
SalmonMarRiver (Mouth)All day700
Saw SharkDec – MarOcean4 PM – 9 AM12,000
Sea BassAll yearOceanAll day400
Sea ButterflyJune – SeptOceanAll day1,000
Sea HorseOct – MayOceanAll day1,100
Snapping TurtleOct – AprRiver9 PM – 4 AM5,000
Soft-shelled TurtleFeb – MarRiver4 PM – 9 AM3,750
SquidJune – FebOceanAll day500
StringfishJune – SeptRiver (Clifftop)4 PM – 9 AM15,000
SturgeonMar – SeptRiver (Mouth)All day10,000
SuckerfishDec – MarOceanAll day1,500
SurgeonfishOct – MarOceanAll day1,000
SweetfishJan – MarRiverAll day900
TadpoleSept – JanPondAll day100
TilapiaDec – AprRiverAll day800

Tuna

May – OctPierAll day7,000
Whale SharkDec – MarOceanAll day13,000
Yellow PerchApr – SeptRiverAll day300
Zebra TurkeyfishJan – May, Oct – NovOceanAll day500

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