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Animal Crossing Golden Trout: How to catch golden trout and find the clifftop river location in New Horizons

Sadly these fish are not made of gold.

Catching a Golden Trout in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be quite a time consuming endeavour.

Not only are Golden Trout one of the rarer fish, like Blue Marlin, in New Horizons, but they can only be caught in clifftop rivers.

Within this guide you'll find everything you need to know about catching Golden Trout, including some useful tips and which months you'll be able to catch a Golden Trout in.

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Where and when can I catch a Golden Trout in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Below you'll find everything you need to know about Golden Trout in New Horizons, including its location and time:

  • Golden Trout months - March to May and September to November
  • Golden Trout times - 4pm to 9am
  • Golden Trout location - Clifftop rivers
  • Golden Trout selling price - 15,000 Bells

The Animal Crossing 2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise is here! We can help you with the new additions - including where to find Brewster, Gyroids, new villagers, ordinances, new fences, storage shed, new hairstyles, Froggy Chair, group stretching and Kapp'n boat tours. Cooking is now unlockable, so you need to know how to make both flour and sugar, as well as how to grow carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Meanwhile, if you're new to Animal Crossing, our New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there's fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow with. One long term goal is building your Happy Home Academy score. Finally, you need tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to fully explore.

Where are the clifftop rivers and how do you catch a Golden Trout there?

Golden Trout can only be found in clifftop rivers in New Horizons. These are the rivers that are located on the second or third layer of cliffs on your island.

If your island is lacking a decent section of clifftop rivers, then you can always build one yourself using the Island Designer app. (Just make sure you've reached a three-star island rating, so that you've unlocked terraforming first!) Ensure that this new river eventually flows down to one of the river mouths on your island or else it will merely be a pond and Golden Trout won't spawn.

Don't accidentally make a pond!

With your clifftop river in place, your next task is to make some fish bait. Since you can force spawn Golden Trout by scaring away other fish, you technically don't need as much fish bait as you would when catching a Tuna. Still, if you need that Golden Trout for your museum, then we suggest making roughly 30 to 50 bags of fish bait.

There is no guarantee that you'll catch a Golden Trout with this amount of fish bait, but it will prevent this task from becoming tedious. You don't want to lose out on adding this fish to your museum simply because you get tired of fishing.

Golden Trout can be found in the clifftop rivers of your island between the months of March to May and then September to November. Like all rare fish, like Blue Marlin, catching a Golden Trout also requires a good amount of luck, but if you keep going, you'll eventually catch one.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.