Animal Crossing Turtles: How to catch a Soft-shelled Turtle and Snapping Turtle in New Horizons

Do you prefer your turtle soft-shelled or snapping?

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Critterpedia has two entries for turtles - the Soft-shelled Turtle and the Snapping Turtle.

To complete the fish exhibit in the Museum, you must catch one of each turtle breed and donate it to Blathers.

Catching a Snapping or Soft-shelled turtle will also fill in its entry in the Critterpedia and bring you two steps closer to unlocking the Golden Fishing Rod DIY recipe.

On this page:

Where and when can I catch a Soft-shelled Turtle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?


Below you can find all the details you need to know for catching a Soft-shelled Turtle in New Horizons:

  • Soft-shelled Turtle months - August to September
  • Soft-shelled Turtle times - 4pm to 9am
  • Soft-shelled Turtle location - River
  • Soft-shelled Turtle selling price - 3,750 Bells

Where and when can I catch a Snapping Turtle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?


Here is everything you need know about the Snapping Turtle in New Horizons:

  • Snapping Turtle months - April to October
  • Snapping Turtle times - 9pm to 4am
  • Snapping Turtle location - River
  • Snapping Turtle selling price - 5,000 Bells

How to catch a Soft-shelled Turtle and Snapping Turtle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

There are two turtles you can find swimming through the rivers of your island in New Horizons - the Soft-shelled Turtle and the Snapping Turtle.

Despite only being available in August to September, the Soft-shelled Turtle is typically easier to catch as it appears from 4pm to 9am, while the Snapping Turtle can only be found at night, starting at 9pm till 4am.

Since these times overlap, you can easily search any river for both turtles at the same time in either August or September.


Both turtles appear as a medium sized shadow when in the water, so it's a good idea to ignore or scare away the smaller fish that you come across. River fish are typically easier to scare away than sea fish, so you can quite easily patrol any river that you might have on your island.

Turtle shadows are this size.

If, however, you have a preferred river fishing spot, then you can make a batch of fish bait and attempt to bring the turtle to you. Though, if you don't have a good river fishing spot, but prefer using bait, you can always terraform the island using the Island Designer app.

We suggest creating a curved section of river, which will allow you to access at least two different angles. This will allow you to easily toss bait into the waters, while also keeping an eye out for any fish that naturally appear.

Just remember to connect your new section of river to the river mouth or else you risk it becoming a pond, which will change the fish available to you, removing both turtles.

You can bend rivers to your will in New Horizons!

Snapping turtles can be found in rivers from 9pm to 4am during April to October, while Soft-shelled turtles, which also appear in rivers, appear between 4pm to 9am throughout August and September.

New to Animal Crossing? Our Animal Crossing New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there's fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow with Leif selling seeds, villagers to add or remove and tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to collect. Once you have settled in, you'll want to be making as many Bells as possible, start collecting K.K. Slider songs and work on your island star rating, increase your HHA ranking, incorporate Feng Shui into your room design and acquiring kitchen furniture. You can also buy fake art from Redd, use the Dream Suite and island backup.

If you'd like to learn more about the fish that visit your island in New Horizons, then you can visit our fish guide, alongside our specialised guides on the Barreleye, Blue marlin, Giant trevally, Golden trout, Mahi-mahi, Sturgeon, Stringfish, every shark, Tuna and both the Salmon and King salmon.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (0)

About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer  |  Stormscribe

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


You may also enjoy...

Comments (0)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch