Gameplay GUIDES

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There are 64 varieties of fish in Animal Crossing: City Folk.


Catching Fish

Rules for Catching Fish

Rule #1: Don’t run. Fish will get scared and disappear if you run near them. Therefore, NEVER run when you are fishing!

Rule #2: Never throw your bobber down right on top of a fish—this makes the fish swim away. Instead, watch the current and cast upstream from the fish so that the bobber floats toward the fish.

Rule #3: Throw in your bobber in front of the fish.  Fish don't bite a bobber that is behind them.  Cast so that the bobber will flow downstream toward or right past the fish.  If the bobber goes behind the fish, reel in the line and try again.

Tips for Catching Fish

It is a good idea to fish in a pattern. For example, start at one end of the ocean and stop to fish all the way across to the other side. Then go back and forth this way.

If you don't see any fish, cast out anyway.  There may be some that you don't see.

Empty your pockets before a fishing trip; it is frustrating to keep running to Nook’s to sell your fish. By the way, you cannot store fish in letters.

Keep your fishing trips enjoyable by not leaving trash near the water and not planting trees that block your view of the water.

Rare and Expensive Fish

Tips for Catching Rare Fish

Rule #1: Don’t panic! Most rare and expensive fish are very large (of course, even Sea Bass are pretty large). When you see that huge shadow in the water, you may get very nervous—don’t. They are often as easy or easier to catch as the regular fish. Just take a deep breath, relax, and tell yourself that this fish is just like any other fish. You don’t want to jerk up your bobber too quickly because your nerves are going crazy or fall into a trance and not pull the fish in at all. If you are nervous, you probably will not be able to catch the fish. And you will have time to pull yourself together because the fish isn’t going to leave while you are standing next to the water.

Rule #2: Reserve the first catch of a new species for the museum. After you’ve played the game for several months, you may decide to fill up the museum (and thus get the museum model). Unfortunately, you may start wishing that you had donated some of those expensive fish to the museum instead of selling them to Nook so you could buy Cabin furniture. Just understand that it is much more difficult to fill the museum than it is to make money. You can make 15,000 bells by selling a Stringfish, or by selling two pocket loads of fruit. (see making bells) The fruit will come back in three days, but it may take you years to catch another Stringfish. Donate it to the museum!

museum fish

A Word of Caution

Be careful with your rare fish. You might not want to trade these with villagers because you are more likely to be scammed. Obviously, don’t carry them around on Halloween. (see Halloween)

List of Rare Fish

These fish are "rare" according to the Prima guide to the game.  The rareness of some of them is debatable, as I have caught several Olive Flounders on a few different occasions in two weeks.  Please note that this is not a complete list of fish.  These are only the rare fish.  The months and times of day when each can be caught are provided.  The ones with the asterisk (*) are, in my opinion, the most rare.

Koi {2,000}--River
January-December: Evening through morning

Goldfish {1,300}--River
January-December: All day and night

Popeyed Goldfish {1,300}--River
January-December: Daytime only

Stringfish {15,000}--River*
December-February: Evening through morning
I caught one of these when it was snowy. Unfortunately, I did not donate it to the museum and I deeply regret it.  These are very rare—if you catch one, be sure to donate it to the museum or you could regret it!

Guppy {1,300}--River
April-November: Daytime only

Angelfish {3,000}--River*
May-October: Evening through morning
I have only caught one of these, when we first got the game, and I did not donate it to the museum. I have tried so hard to catch another, but it eludes me. If you are lucky enough to catch one of these, donate it to the museum or you may regret it later.

Piranha {2,500}--River
June-First half of September: Daytime, During the night

Arowana {10,000}--River*
June-First half of September: Evening through morning

Dorado {15,000}--River*
June-September: Evening through morning

Gar {6,000}--Pond
June-September: Evening through morning

Arapaima {10,000}--River*
July-September: Evening through morning

Olive Flounder {800}--Sea
January-December: All day and night

Football Fish {2,500}--Sea
November-March: Evening through morning

Tuna {7,000}--Sea
November-March: All day and night

Blue Marlin {10,000}--Sea*
July-September: All day and night

Ocean Sunfish {4,000}--Sea
June-September: Morning through evening

Hammerhead Shark {8,000}--Sea
June-September: Evening through morning

Shark {15,000}--Sea*
June-September: Evening through morning

Coelacanth {15,000}--Sea*
January-December: Evening through morning
These fish can only be found in the rain
(or snow). 
If you catch one, keep fishing for more!  We have caught over ten in one hour (on GC).  These fish are very common on rainy days.  Be patient because you may have to fish for a while before one shows up.  Be sure to donate one to the museum eventually, because Blathers will be excited!


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