Island/Ocean Fishing Guide

A Tutorial for Animal Crossing: New Leaf

1. Island/Ocean Fish

1.1. Tiny Fish


(Smaller than the size of the bobber)
  • Clownfish (Island or Ocean) - 650 bells
    April until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Sea Butterfly (Ocean) - 1,000 bells
    December until the end of February (All Day)
  • Seahorse (Island or Ocean) - 1,100 bells
    April until the end of November [Year-round on the island] (All Day)

1.2. Small Fish


(Around the size of the bobber)
  • Butterfly Fish (Island or Ocean) - 1,000 bells
    April until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Horse Mackerel (Island or Ocean) - 150 bells
    Year-round (All Day)
  • Surgeonfish (Island or Ocean) - 1,000 bells
    April until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (All Day)

1.3. Medium Fish


(Slightly bigger than the size of the bobber)
  • Barred Knifejaw (Island or Ocean) - 5,000 bells
    March until the end of November [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Blowfish (Ocean) - 125 bells
    November until the end of February (9PM - 4AM)
  • Char (Ocean Waterfall) - 3,800 bells
    March until the end of June & September until the end of November (4AM - 9AM & 4PM - 9PM)
  • Dab (Ocean) - 300 bells
    October until the end of April (All Day)
  • Puffer Fish (Island or Ocean) - 240 bells
    July until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Red Snapper (Island or Ocean) - 3,000 bells
    Year-round (All Day)
  • Squid (Island or Ocean) - 400 bells
    December until the end of August [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Zebra Turkeyfish (Island or Ocean) - 400 bells
    April until the end of November [Year-round on the island] (All Day)

1.4. Large Fish


(Around the size of your character's torso)
  • Football Fish (Ocean) - 2,500 bells
    November until the end of March (4PM - 9AM)
  • Olive Flounder (Island or Ocean) - 800 bells
    Year-round (All Day)
  • Salmon (Ocean) - 700 bells
    September 1st until September 15th (All Day, near river mouth)

1.5. Very Large Fish


(The same size as your entire character)
  • Giant Trevally (Island) - 4,500 bells
    Year-round (All Day)
  • Moray Eel (Island or Ocean) - 2,000 bells
    June until the end of October [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Ray (Island or Ocean) - 3,000 bells
    June until the end of November [Year-round on the island] (4AM - 9PM)
  • Sea Bass (Island or Ocean) - 200 bells
    Year-round (All Day)

1.6. Huge Fish


(Longer and thinner than the very large fish)
  • Blue Marlin (Island or Ocean) - 10,000 bells
    July until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (All Day)
  • Coelacanth (Ocean) - 15,000 bells
    Year-round (4PM - 9AM, while raining or snowing)
  • King Salmon (Ocean) - 1,800 bells
    September 1st until September 15th (All Day, near river mouth)
  • Napoleonfish (Island or Ocean) - 10,000 bells
    July until the end of August [Year-round on the island] (4AM - 9PM)
  • Oarfish (Ocean) - 9,000 bells
    December until the end of May (All Day)
  • Tuna (Ocean) - 7,000 bells
    November until the end of March (All Day)

1.7. Huge Fish with Fin


(Same as huge, but with a fin)
  • Hammerhead Shark (Island or Ocean) - 8,000 bells
    June until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (4PM - 9AM)
  • Ocean Sunfish (Island or Ocean) - 4,000 bells
    June until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (4AM - 9PM)
  • Saw Shark (Island or Ocean) - 12,000 bells
    June until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (4PM - 9AM)
  • Shark (Island or Ocean) - 15,000 bells
    June until the end of September [Year-round on the island] (4PM - 9AM)
  • Whale Shark (Island) - 13,000 bells
    Year-round (All Day)

1.8. Long & Thin Fish


(Essentially a long, thin tube)
  • Ribbon Eel (Island) - 600 bells
    Year-round (All Day)

2. Tips & Tricks

  • Plug earbuds or headphones into your 3DS/2DS when fishing, as though you will be visually able to identify when a fish pulls the bobber below water, the the accompanying sound (something like "Bloop") is a lot easier to pick up on, especially with larger fish that may escape faster if you don't reel them in.
  • If you accidentally scare off a fish you're trying to catch, circle around the island a few times, or go to the farthest away end of the beach and then come back to trigger fish to spawn again.
  • The island is an amazing resource for getting rare & valuable fish. It can be unlocked by paying off your first home loan. After that point, it costs 1,000 bells per trip to the island, but the yield in fish you can get will be worth many times that. Note that you cannot save on the island, so you must bring back what you catch.
  • Don't sell your fish on the island! You will get only a few percent of the actual value of the fish by selling it on the island rather than bringing them back to sell to Reese.
  • Plan out capturing fish. Certain fish only appear during very small intervals throughout the year, and if you miss that, you may have to wait an additional entire year to try again.
  • Keep a few extras of rare or seasonal fish, as villagers tend to ask for these when they're least convenient.
  • Using seasonal fish as home decorations boost your home score when rated Lyle of the Happy Home Academy, as long as the fish are available in the current season.
  • Trade your fish into the museum! It's a fun place to visit, and it allows you to learn more about each of the fish species and see them interact/swim around with other fish from their environment.
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