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

Here are all the fish you can catch in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

There are a lot of different ways to make money in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and one of the best is by fishing for rare species. Similarly to bugs, there are tons of different types of fish that vary depending on a variety of factors, including the time of day, weather, and season. There are 80 to catch in New Horizons, and you can sell them, gift them, donate them, or display them. What you chose to do with them is up to you, but you'll need to actually catch them before making that decision.

Below, we have two tables--one for the Northern Hemisphere and one for the Southern Hemisphere--listing every fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where and when you can catch them, and how much you can sell them for (which is a good way to make money in Animal Crossing). We've also broken down the fundamentals of fishing in Animal Crossing, including how to craft your first fishing rod, everything that can affect how and when fish spawn, and which seasonal fish you should focus on each month.

If you're determined to fill out your museum, you should also check out our guide to Redd's art and how to tell real art from the fakes. You can also look up every item in the game using the New Horizons catalog tool from our sister site GameFAQs.

Every Fish In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The list below contains the time of year, time of day, location, shadow size, and price for every fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This is divided into two separate tables, as the months of the year will be different for each hemisphere.

Location

There are three types of environments for fish on the island: sea (the ocean), river, and pond. The river is further split into three categories--river mouth, river clifftop, and general river--and the sea 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.

Shadow Size

Fish come in a few different sizes, and each type of fish appears as the same size shadow each time. The shadow sizes are: extra small (1), small (2), medium (3), large (4), extra large (5), and giant (6). Longer, skinnier shadows in the ocean are eels, which can be caught like any other fish, and some shadows will also appear with a fin on top, signaling a shark or other rare, finned fish. You can use our chart and the tables below to help determine the size of a fish's shadow and which fish it might be.

A chart of the standard fish sizes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
A chart of the standard fish sizes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Northern Hemisphere

FishMonthsLocation / SizeTimePrice
AnchovyAll yearSea
2
4 AM -
9 PM
200
AngelfishMay - OctRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
3,000
ArapaimaJune - Sept

River
6

4 PM -
9 AM
10,000
ArowanaJune - SeptRiver
4
4 PM -
9 AM
10,000
Barred KnifejawMar - NovSea
3
All day5,000
BarreleyeAll yearSea
2
9 PM -
4 AM
15,000
BettaMay - OctRiver
2
9 AM -
4 PM
2,500
BitterlingNov - MarRiver
1
All day900
Black BassAll yearRiver
4
All day400
BlowfishNov - FebSea
3
9 PM -
4 AM
5,000
Blue MarlinNov - Apr
July - Sept
Pier
6
All day10,000
BluegillAll yearRiver
2
9 AM -
4 PM
180
Butterfly FishApr - SeptSea
2
All day1,000
CarpAll yearRiver
4
All day300
CatfishMay - OctPond
4
4 PM -
9 AM
800
CharMar - June
Sept - Nov
River
3
4 PM -
9 AM
3,800
Cherry SalmonMar - June
Sept - Nov
River (Clifftop)
3
4 PM -
9 AM
1,000
Clown FishApr - SeptSea
1
All day650
CoelacanthAll year

Sea (Rain)
6

All day15,000
CrawfishApr - SeptPond
2
All day200
Crucian CarpAll yearRiver
2
All day160
DabOct - AprSea
3
All day300
DaceAll yearRiver
3
4 PM -
9 AM
240
DoradoJune - Sept

River
5

4 AM -
9 PM
15,000
Football FishNov - MarSea
4
4 PM -
9 AM
2,500
Freshwater GobyAll yearRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
400
FrogMay - AugPond
2
All day120
GarJune - SeptPond
5
4 PM -
9 AM
6,000
Giant SnakeheadJune - AugPond
5
9 AM -
4 PM
5,500
Giant TrevallyMay - OctPier
5
All day4,500
Golden TroutMar - May
Sept - Nov

River (Clifftop)
3

4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
GoldfishAll yearPond
1
All day1,300
Great White SharkJune - SeptSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
GuppyApr - NovRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
1,300

Hammerhead Shark

June - SeptSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
8,000
Horse MackerelAll yearSea
2
All day150
KillifishApr - AugPond
1
All day300
King SalmonSeptRiver (Mouth)
6
All day1,800
KoiAll yearPond
4
4 PM -
9 AM
4,000
LoachMar - MayRiver
2
All day400
Mahi-mahiMay - OctPier
5
All day6,000
Mitten CrabSept - NovRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
2,000
Moray EelAug - OctSea
Narrow
All day2,000
NapoleonfishJuly - AugSea
6
4 AM -
9 PM
10,000
Neon TetraApr - NovRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
500
Nibble FishMay - SeptRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
1,500
OarfishDec - MaySea
6
All day9,000
Ocean SunfishJuly - SeptSea
Fin
4 AM -
9 PM
4,000
Olive FlounderAll yearSea
5
All day800
Pale ChubAll yearRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
200
PikeSept - DecRiver
5
All day1,800
PiranhaJune - SeptRiver
2

9 AM -
4 PM,
9 PM -
4 AM

2,500
Pond SmeltDec - FebRiver
2

All day

400
Pop-eyed GoldfishAll yearPond
1
9 AM -
4 PM
1,300
Puffer FishJuly - SeptSea
3
All day250
RainbowfishMay - OctRiver
2
9 AM -
4 PM
800
Ranchu GoldfishAll yearPond
2
9 AM -
4 PM
4,500
RayAug - NovSea
5
4 AM -
9 PM
3,000
Red SnapperAll yearSea
4
All day3,000
Ribbon EelJune - OctSea
Narrow
All day600
Saddled BichirJune - SeptRiver
4
9 PM -
4 AM
4,000
SalmonSeptRiver (Mouth)
4
All day700
Saw SharkJune - SeptSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
12,000
Sea BassAll yearSea
5
All day400
Sea ButterflyDec - MarSea
1
All day1,000
Sea HorseApr - NovSea
1
All day1,100
Snapping TurtleApr - OctRiver
4
9 PM -
4 AM
5,000
Soft-shelled TurtleAug - SeptRiver
4
4 PM -
9 AM
3,750
SquidDec - AugSea
3
All day500
StringfishDec - MarRiver (Clifftop)
5
4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
SturgeonSept - MarRiver (Mouth)
6
All day10,000
SuckerfishJune - SeptSea
Fin
All day1,500
SurgeonfishApr - SeptSea
2
All day1,000
SweetfishJuly - SeptRiver
3
All day900
TadpoleMar - JulyPond
1
All day100
TilapiaJune - OctRiver
3
All day800

Tuna

Nov - AprPier
6
All day7,000
Whale SharkJune - SeptSea
Fin
All day13,000
Yellow PerchOct - MarRiver
3
All day300
Zebra TurkeyfishApril - May
July - Nov
Sea
3
All day500
A medium-sized fish (size 3) in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
A medium-sized fish (size 3) in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Southern Hemisphere

FishMonthsLocation / SizeTimePrice
AnchovyAll yearSea
2
4 AM -
9 PM
200
AngelfishNov - AprRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
3,000
ArapaimaDec - MarRiver
6
4 PM -
9 AM
10,000
ArowanaDec - MarRiver
4
4 PM -
9 AM
10,000
Barred KnifejawSept - MaySea
3
All day5,000
BarreleyeNov - AprSea
3
9 PM -
4 AM
15,000
BettaNov - AprRiver
2
9 PM -
4 AM
2,500
BitterlingMay - SeptRiver
1
All day900
Black BassAll yearRiver
4
All day400
BlowfishMay - AugSea
3
9 PM -
4 AM
5,000
Blue MarlinJan - Mar
May - Oct
Pier
6
All day10,000
BluegillAll yearRiver
2
9 AM -
4 PM
180
Butterfly FishOct - MarSea
2
All day1,000
CarpAll yearRiver
4
All day300
CatfishNov - AprPond
4
4 PM -
9 AM
800
CharMar - May
Sept - Dec
River
4
4 PM -
9 AM
3,800
Cherry SalmonMar - May
Sept - Dec
River (Clifftop)
3
4 PM -
9 AM
1,000
Clown FishOct - MarSea
1
All day650
CoelacanthAll year

Sea (Rain)
6

All day15,000
CrawfishOct - MarPond
2
All day200
Crucian CarpAll yearRiver
2
All day160
DabApr - OctSea
3
All day300
DaceAll yearRiver
3
4 PM -
9 AM
240
DoradoDec - MarRiver
5
4 AM -
9 PM
15,000
Football FishMay - SeptSea
4
4 PM -
9 AM
2,500
Freshwater GobyAll yearRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
400
FrogNov - FebPond
2
All day120
GarDec - MarPond
5
4 PM -
9 AM
6,000
Giant SnakeheadDec - FebPond
5
9 AM -
4 PM
5,500
Giant TrevallyNov - AprPier
5
All day4,500
Golden TroutMar - May
Sept - Nov

River (Clifftop)
3

4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
GoldfishAll yearPond
1
All day1,300
Great White SharkDec - MarSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
GuppyOct - MayRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
1,300
Hammerhead SharkDec - MarSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
8,000
Horse MackerelAll yearSea
2
All day150
KillifishOct - FebPond
1
All day300
King SalmonMarRiver (Mouth)
6
All day1,800
KoiAll yearPond
4
4 PM -
9 AM
4,000
LoachSept - NovRiver
2
All day400
Mahi-mahiNov - AprPier
5
All day6,000
Mitten CrabMar - MayRiver
2
4 PM -
9 AM
2,000
Moray EelFeb - AprSea
Narrow
All day2,000
NapoleonfishJan - FebSea
6
4 AM -
9 PM
10,000
Neon TetraOct - MayRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
500
Nibble FishNov - MarRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
1,500
OarfishJune - NovSea
6
All day9,000
Ocean SunfishJan - MarSea
Fin
4 AM -
9 PM
4,000
Olive FlounderAll yearSea
5
All day800
Pale ChubAll yearRiver
1
9 AM -
4 PM
200
PikeMar - JuneRiver
5
All day1,800
PiranhaDec - MarRiver
2

9 AM -
4 PM,
9 PM -
4 AM

2,500
Pond SmeltJune - AugRiver
2

All day

400
Pop-eyed GoldfishAll yearPond
1
9AM -
4PM
1,300
Puffer FishJan - MarSea
3
All day250
RainbowfishNov - AprRiver
2
9 AM -
4 PM
800
Ranchu GoldfishAll yearPond
2
9 AM -
4 PM
4,500
RayFeb - MaySea
5
4 AM -
9 PM
3,000
Red SnapperAll yearSea
4
All day3,000
Ribbon EelDec - AprSea
Narrow
All day600
Saddled BichirDec - MarRiver
4
9 PM -
4 AM
4,000
SalmonMarRiver (Mouth)
4
All day700
Saw SharkDec - MarSea
Fin
4 PM -
9 AM
12,000
Sea BassAll yearSea
5
All day400
Sea ButterflyJune - SeptSea
1
All day1,000
Sea HorseOct - MaySea
1
All day1,100
Snapping TurtleOct - AprRiver
4
9 PM -
4 AM
5,000
Soft-shelled TurtleFeb - MarRiver
4
4 PM -
9 AM
3,750
SquidJune - FebSea
3
All day500
StringfishJune - SeptRiver (Clifftop)
5
4 PM -
9 AM
15,000
SturgeonMar - SeptRiver (Mouth)
6
All day10,000
SuckerfishDec - MarSea
Fin
All day1,500
SurgeonfishOct - Mar

Sea
2

All day1,000
SweetfishJan - MarRiver
3
All day900
TadpoleSept - JanPond
1
All day100
TilapiaDec - AprRiver
3
All day800

Tuna

May - OctPier
6
All day7,000
Whale SharkDec - MarSea
Fin
All day13,000
Yellow PerchApr - SeptRiver
3
All day300
Zebra TurkeyfishJan - May
Oct - Nov
Sea
3
All day500

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.

How To Fish

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.

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.

Fishing bait is also a useful item for forcing fish spawns to appear in empty water. You can craft it at any DIY workbench using manila clams, which you can dig up from beaches with a shovel. You'll know where they are when you see a squirt of water emerge from the sand. One manila clam can craft one fish bait. Unfortunately, you can't bulk craft fish bait.

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.

If you're in the market for a Nintendo Switch, see our roundup of where you can buy a Switch right now. We've also rounded up all the best Animal Crossing merch out there.

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