Animal Crossing Fish list: New April fish, how to catch rare fish and use fish bait in New Horizons explained

What's leaving New Horizons at the end of the month - plus an in-progress list of other fish available year round.

Fishing in Animal Crossing has proven to be one of the most popular activities throughout the series.

Catching fish serves two main purposes - as something to collect and donate to the Museum, to make money and, if you catch every fish, unlock the DIY recipe for the Golden Fishing Rod - with rare fish going for a high price.

As with insects and many other aspects of the game, the fish list is seasonal and changes each month (note - this page focuses on the Northern Hemisphere) so you'll want to check in regularly to see what fish are available this month before they disappear.

On this page:

How to increase your chances of catching fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The basics of catching a fish are pretty simple. Once you have crafted a fishing rod, equip it at the edge of a body of water and cast it out near the outline of a fish. Wait until it starts nibbling, and once it goes under, press the A button to lure it in.

animal_crossing_fishing_rare_catch_10
Excuse the mess.

Of course, there are plenty of other things you should be aware of when it comes to fishing:

  • All parts of the island - from the ocean shore to rivers, ponds, waterfalls, the mouths of rivers and even higher elevations - will see different fish appear.
  • Though you cannot see what fish you are catching before you land it, both the location and the size can help narrow down any you might be looking for.
animal_crossing_fishing_rare_catch_4
It's worth trying to fish all over the island - including in ponds.
  • When casting, aim for just in front of the fish. If it doesn't take notice straight away, pull the line up. Make sure it has definitely ignored your line however, as if you cast too early, it'll swim away. If you're struggling to reach it, then reposition yourself and try again.
  • If you're struggling to time pulling the lure, it might be worth concentrating more on the sound and vibration over the sight of the fish going in for a bite.
  • Not only does location and weather impact fish spawns, but so does the time of day and the time of year. Our fish list at the end of this page is an on-going roster of fish you should be looking out for in your current month of play.
  • Fishing is one of the few interactions you can make when playing with friends in multiplayer without being a Best Friend - and makes for a relaxing social activity even if you are!

How to catch fish using fish bait with a Manila Clam explained

As you've been exploring the shores of your island, you might have seen little holes appear with spirts of water.

Digging at these locations can result in items being round, but one of the most common is the Manila Clam.

animal_crossing_fish_bait_3

When you find one of these for the first time, you'll learn a DIY recipe for Fish Bait. Head to a DIY workshop to craft this whenever you're ready.

animal_crossing_fish_bait_1

To use Fish Bait in Animal Crossing, stand at water and select the item from your inventory, where you'll be given the option to 'Scatter Food' some. Doing so will cause a fish to instantly appear, allowing you to fish there.

This fish won't be any rarer than any you might find ordinarily, but the benefit of using Fish Bait is you can control where they appear. This means if you're looking for a fish in an awkward location - such as higher up cliffs, or in the mouth of a river - it will force one to appear there.

animal_crossing_fish_bait_4

Note according to Mecal00 on reddit, it has been known that fish bait can make rare fish appear outside of their required circumstances - such as a Coelacanth when it isn't raining. This could be a bug, and either way, the chances of this spawning are still very small - but useful to know regardless!

Ultimately, Fish Bait isn't an essential item when it comes to fishing - but saves having to run back and forth until one appears where you need it to.

How to catch rare fish and the highest fish prices in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

As you might expect, the rarer the fish, the higher the price it will sell for in the shop - making for a welcome money making opportunity.

But as implied, finding these fish is difficult, and requires a dose of luck to appear - not to mention some skill in catching them, especially as rarer fish tend to be more skittish when biting the lure.

If you're after rarer fish, especially to sell, there are some rules to follow:

  • Keep scanning the sea as it's where most rare fish, such as sharks, will appear, so stick to the coast (and when you can, also check the pier area).
  • If a fish has a fin, it's likely to be a shark - and is one of the few fish types you can spot ahead of catching.
  • Though rain is unconfirmed to increase numbers or chances of certain types of fish, the infamous Coelacanth will only appear when it rains - which can give you an extra incentive to get out to the coast when it does.
  • Though lures don't increase your chances, they will force a fish to appear in unusual locations, such as the pier - saving you some effort in waiting.
  • Aside from known factors such as time of day, year and island location, rare fish appear by luck, so it's a case of fishing again, and again, and again...

It's worth adding though some fish can sell for up to 15,000 Bells each, the chances of catching enough to make it worth prioritising over other make money opportunities - such as finding Tarantulas - is unlikely. As a result, see Fishing as more of a completionist exercise than a lucrative one!

Though not an exhaustive list of rare fish or fish prices, here are our recommendations on how to catch rare fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:

Football Fish (fish price - 5,000 Bells) - If you want a balance of finding a fish which is uncommon but fetches a good price, we'd recommend looking for Football Fish. These appear in the sea, between November and March, and 4pm to 9am.

animal_crossing_fishing_rare_catch_7
The Football Fish is as 'common' as rare fish get - and still fetch a decent price.

Oarfish (fish price - 9,000 Bells) - The Oarfish is a rare fish which, despite its huge size when caught, looks like a regular 'large' fish in the water. You'll find this in the sea at any time of day between December and May.

Golden Trout (fish price 15,000 Bells) - Found between March to May and September to November between 4pm and 9am, you'll find the Golden Trout in the hardest place to reach on the island - the source of the river at the highest elevation. Bring a ladder and a few fish baits with you - that way you can keep spawning them without having to travel back and forth. It's very, very rare - but keep trying!

Blue Marlin (fish price 10,000 Bells) - You can find this all day between November to April and July to September. It's one of the few fish which appears at the pier - so have a quick glance when you pass by it, or use some fish bait to encourage it out.

Sharks (fish prices - between 8,000 Bells and 15,000 Bells) - There are many different varieties throughout the year, but as long as you fish out at sea, and fish in the evening hours (between 4pm and 9am) there's a (rare) chance you can find one. If you see a fin on the fish silhouette before you catch it, then you're in luck!

Here is Hacked Switch on YouTube showing off some of these varieties:

Coelacanth (fish price - 15,000 Bells) - Infamous for being one of the rarest fish in the Animal Crossing series, Coelacanth is back in New Horizons. The rules for this one are pretty simple - it needs to rain, but otherwise it's available all year round, at all times of day, and from the ocean. You just need luck on your side!

Here's Leep Plays on YouTube with some extraordinary luck in catching five in quick succession:

New Animal Crossing fish to catch this month: All new fish arriving in April

Every month at least one new fish will appear in the waters in and around your island in New Horizons. Catching these fish will help you complete both the Critterpedia and the fish exhibit in the Museum, so it's good idea to always know which fish are arriving every month.

It should be noted that the following only apply to the northern hemisphere.

All the fish arriving in New Horizons in April:

Animal Crossing FishMonths available Times available Location
Killifish April to August 24 hours Pond
Crawfish
animal_crossing_fish_27
April to September 24 hours Pond
Snapping Turtle April to October 9pm to 4am River
Guppy April to November 9am to 4pm River
Neon Tetra
animal_crossing_fish_30
April to November 9am to 4pm River
Seahorse
animal_crossing_fish_31
April to November 24 hours Ocean
Clownfish
animal_crossing_fish_29
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Surgeonfish
animal_crossing_fish_32
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Butterfly Fish
animal_crossing_fish_26
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Zebra Turkeyfish
animal_crossing_fish_28
April to November 24 hours Ocean

Last chance Animal Crossing fish to catch this month: All fish disappearing in April

Every month sees new fish come and go from your island. If you want a complete Critterpedia and Museum, you'll want to pay attention to the fish which will disappear soon.

Of course, if you miss a fish it isn't the end of the world - it just means you will have to wait some months before they appear again!

It should be noted the following only apply to the northern hemisphere.

All Animal Crossing fish leaving at the end of April:

Animal Crossing FishMonths available Times available Location
Dab
animal_crossing_fish_19
October to April 24 hoursSea

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has arrived! After you've set up character customisation, your island name and chosen the correct season for your hemisphere, it's time to get to work on your new holiday life. Thankfully, we have some Animal Crossing New Horizons tips for that. There is fish to catch (including Stringfish and Sturgeon), bugs to catch, Bamboo, flowers and fruit to grow, hairstyles to unlock, villagers to add, shooting stars to wish upon, tools to craft (such as the new ladder and vaulting pole), materials (such Iron and Gold Nuggets) to find, Tarantulas to catch, wasp stings to avoid and Nook Miles and Bells to make, and of course, a house, museum and most importantly, the town hall and Isabelle to unlock where you can change the Town Tune and check your island star rating. You can also meet Gulliver and Wisp on your travels. Finally - you can take part in multiplayer, download QR code designs, complete your activities ahead of the Animal Crossing daily reset time, use amiibo and learning about the upcoming Bunny Day Easter event and Cherry blossom event.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fish List

Here is an in-progress list of all fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as their spawning conditions and other behaviours.

This list will be updated regularly throughout the year as more fish become available in the coming months, but should serve as a useful guide for any currently missing in your collection.

It should be noted the following months are for the northern hemisphere. For the southern hemisphere, each set of dates will differ by six months.

Animal Crossing FishMonths availableTimes availableLocation
Bitterling
animal_crossing_fish_1
November to March 24 hours River
Pale chub
animal_crossing_fish_2
All year round 9am to 4pm River
Crucian Carp
animal_crossing_fish_3
All year round 24 hours River
Dace
animal_crossing_fish_4
All year round 4pm to 9am River
Carp
animal_crossing_fish_5
All year round 24 hours Pond
Ranchu Goldfish
animal_crossing_fish_6
All year round 9am to 4pm Pond
Killifish April to August 24 hours Pond
Crawfish
animal_crossing_fish_27
April to September 24 hours Pond
Snapping Turtle April to October 9pm to 4am River
Tadpole
animal_crossing_fish_7
March to July 24 hours Pond
Freshwater Goby
animal_crossing_fish_8
All year round 4pm to 9am River
Loach
animal_crossing_fish_9
March to May 24 hours River
Bluegill
animal_crossing_fish_10
All year round 9am to 4pm River
Yellow Perch
animal_crossing_fish_11
October to March 24 hours River
Black Bass
animal_crossing_fish_12
All year round 24 hours River
Char
animal_crossing_fish_24
March to June, September to November 4pm to 9am River (Clifftop)
Guppy April to November 9am to 4pm River
Neon Tetra
animal_crossing_fish_30
April to November 9am to 4pm River
Sturgeon
animal_crossing_fish_25
September to March 24 hours River (Mouth)
Sea Butterfly
animal_crossing_fish_13
December to March 24 hours Sea
Seahorse
animal_crossing_fish_31
April to November 24 hours Ocean
Clownfish
animal_crossing_fish_29
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Surgeonfish
animal_crossing_fish_32
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Butterfly Fish
animal_crossing_fish_26
April to September 24 hours Ocean
Zebra Turkeyfish
animal_crossing_fish_28
April to November 24 hours Ocean
Anchovy
animal_crossing_fish_14
All year round 4am to 9pm Sea
Horse Mackerel
animal_crossing_fish_15
All year round 24 hours Sea
Barred Knifejaw
animal_crossing_fish_16
March to November 24 hours Sea
Sea Bass
animal_crossing_fish_17
All year round 24 hours Sea
Red Snapper
animal_crossing_fish_18
All year round 24 hours Sea
Dab
animal_crossing_fish_19
October to April 24 hours Sea
Olive flounder
animal_crossing_fish_20
All year round 24 hours Sea
Squid
animal_crossing_fish_21
December to August 24 hours Sea
Football Fish
animal_crossing_fish_22
November to March 4pm to 9am Sea
Oarfish
animal_crossing_fish_23
December to May 24 hours Sea

More fish coming soon!

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Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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