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Far Cry 5 fishing: How to fish, where to unlock all fishing rods and find all hard fishing spots

How to become an Angling Master with one of Far Cry 5's best pastimes - fishing.

Far Cry 5 fishing allows you to engage in something that doesn't involve gunfights, archery or copious amounts of dynamite.

Hope County may be a sandbox under siege, but sometimes you just need to grab a rod from the local store, head out to your favourite quiet waterside spot and unwind with a casual bit of fishing.

Fishing mini-games are pretty commonplace these days, and the mechanics in Far Cry 5 won't be too much of a departure. It's also a great way to complete Perk Challenges, made easier if you track down hard fishing spots by unlocking all fishing rods.

How to fish in Far Cry 5

First, have a rod in your possession - you can buy them from gun stores and unlock them via specific missions - then hold L1/LB to bring up the Utility Wheel then press R1/RB to bring up the crafting section.

From here you'll be able to cycle through the different types of flies you have equipped.

Second, find somewhere to fish. As well as the hard fishing spots later in the article, we have a page of Bass, Trout, Salmon and Sturgeon locations to help you narrow down what you're looking for.

When you've found the right spot (look out for midges and telltale splashes in the water), equip your rod by pressing L1/LB and pressing R1/RB - the rode will be found at the top of the wheel. Hold R2/RT to build up momentum, then release to loose the line into the water.

Now wiggle the line by reeling it in with L2/LT. This will make the bait more appealing to any nearby fish. When you get a tug on the line, press R2/RT to hook the fish. Hold L2/LT to reel the catch in and pull the right analog stick away from the fish's resistance. If the line turns red, stop fighting and reeling or the line will break.

When the fish is sufficiently tire, you can reel it in with L2/LT and earn yourself some cash and perk points while you're at it. Just get it reeled in before it recovers some strength and starts fighting properly again.

It's also a really good idea if you're committed to fishing to unlock the Fisher King perk so you can unlock flies that attract larger and more lucrative catches. Fish will also tire more easily, making them easier to catch, once this perk has been purchased.

How to unlock all Far Cry 5 fishing rods

There are four fishing rods to be bought/unlocked in the launch version of Far Cry 5:

  • Basic Fishing Rod
  • Natural Fishing Rod
  • Wonderboy Fishing Rod
  • Old Betsy Fishing Rod

The Basic Fishing Rod ($300) and the Natural Fishing Rod ($800) can be bought from any shop in the gameworld and you can equip which rod you want to use at any of these vendors (much like you would a weapon).

The Wonderboy Fishing Rod and the Old Betsy Fishing Rod can only be unlocked by completing specific missions in Hope County. One is relatively easy, and serves as something of a tutorial (as well as unlocking a fishing 'hard spot'):

To unlock these rods, you need to get started with completing Skylar missions The Admiral and Gone Fishin'.

Then, you'll want to unlock Old Betsy, which involves finding all hard fishing spots.

Hard Spot fishing locations in Far Cry 5

What follows is a list of all the hard fishing spot locations. First, complete Skylar missions The Admiral and Gone Fishin', giving you a better rod to help you unlock the final rod - Old Betsy.

How to unlock the Old Betsy Fishing Rod

Unlocking the fourth and final fishing rod in Far Cry 5 requires you to take all the knowledge you learned and implemented in order to catch The Admiral in Skylar's questline and become the most prolific fisherman / woman in Hope County.

Some fish are found in all three regions - in those cases, we've simply picked one of them to show you where to go below.

In other words, you need to go to the 12 types of fish to catch, so there are at least 12 'hard' fishing spots in the game. You'll need to fish exclusively at these spots to beat the records held for each region.

Headquarter locations

To see these records, you'll need to visit the headquarters for each respective region (Hope County Jail in Faith's Region (Henbane River), Fall's End in John's Region (Holland Valley) and Wolf's Den in Jacob's Region (Whitetail Mountains) and check the board for the record-breaking weights. Here are the locations of each HQ in each region:

John's Region - Holland Valley:

Faith's Region - Henbane River:

Jacob's Region - Whitetail Mountains:

The left-hand column on these noticeboards are the same in all three regions - this is because bull trout, golden trout, rainbow trout and lake trout can be found in all three regions.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass can only be found in Faith's Region, pallid sturgeon and the paddlefish sturgeon can only be found in John's Region and chinook salmon, kokanee salmon and arctic grayling salmon in Jacob's Region.

Looking for more Far Cry 5 guides? Learn how to complete the Arcade Dawn Live Event this week, and when you're back in the campaign, make use of our Prepper Stash locations list, which are among the most interesting missions in the game. As well as Far Cry 5 animal locations, we have an in-depth look at how to fish and hard fishing spots, as well as Bass, Trout, Salmon and Sturgeon locations. All of these can help you unlock Perks in the Challenges List, and ultimately, unlock those Far Cry 5 endings.

Hard Spot fishing locations in Far Cry 5

From there, it's time to find those hard fishing spots. Here are they respective locations within the game's three regions:

John's Region - Holland Valley:

Pallid Sturgeon (Hard):

Paddlefish Sturgeon (Hard):

Rainbow Trout (Hard):

Golden Trout (Hard):

Bull Trout (Hard):

Faith's Region - Henbane River:

Rock Bass (Hard):

Largemouth Bass (Hard):

Smallmouth Bass (Hard):

Jacob's Region - Whitetail Mountains:

Lake Trout (Hard):

Chinook Salmon (Hard):

Kokanee Salmon (Hard):

Arctic Grayling Salmon (Hard):

Again, with the above, unlocking the Fisher King perk so you can unlock flies makes fish will also tire more easily and easier to catch, so it's worth unlocking as a Far Cry 5 Perk as soon as you can.

If you're looking for more fish, we also have a wider Bass, Trout, Salmon and Sturgeon locations page to cover the game's many types available.

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About the Author

Dom Reseigh-Lincoln


Dom Reseigh-Lincoln has been playing - and writing about - games for so long, his family have finally accepted he's never going to properly grow out of it. He's also the editor over at nintendolife.com.

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