Unlike the newer games in the series, you can fish immediately without any tools after the first day, which is essentially the introduction / tutorial of the game. Fishing is an optional way to make money as well as a requirement to get one of the 10 Power Berries in the game.
The Fishing Pond
The fishing pond is located just north of the entrance to the mountain. You’ll learn about it on the first day and meet the fisherman by the pond. This is the only place you are able to fish in the game. However, you are unable to fish in Winter as the pond will be frozen over.
How to Fish
To fish, simply talk to the fisherman and he will “lend” you his fishing rod. He doesn’t actually give you any tool or equip though, you just “have it” while you’re there. This means that you can only fish during the day time when he’s outside of his tent. At night, he goes back into his tent so he won’t be there to lend you it.
Once he lends it to you, go to the left side of the pond and press Y to cast your line. Once you do, it’s just a waiting game until your rod starts to shake to indicate you have a bite on the line. Press Y again and you’ll reel it in.
If you reel in a fish, you’ll be prompted if you would like to eat it. If you eat it, you’ll restore some of your stamina. If you don’t eat it, you’ll be holding the fish and you are free to do whatever you like with it, however you will not be given the prompt to eat it again.
If you reel in trash, too bad. It’s really just trash with no use so you can just throw it off to the side and continue fishing.
What to do with Fish
If you choose not to eat the fish, there are a few things you can do with the fish:
- Sell it. This is the most likely reason you’re fishing in the first place. A fish sells for 300 G in the Spring and Fall and 200 G in the Summer which makes it a lucrative option to make money while you’re waiting for crops to grow. The pond is frozen in Winter so you can’t fish during that season.
- Gift it. You can gift the fish to a bachelorette to increase their affection.
- Exception: Eve hates fish and you will decrease her affection if you gift it to her.
- Return it. You can throw the fish back into the pond by walking to the south side of the pond opening and throwing it north into the pond. The first time you do this, you’ll receive a Power Berry from the Pond Spirit. After the first time, nothing happens so there’s no reason to do this again.
Fishing for Profit
Although the price you get for fish is high and you can fish as long as the fisherman is there, it’s actually not a viable way of making money long term. This is because of the time it takes to get to the pond, then fish, then take the fish back to the shipping bin (assuming you catch a fish and not trash), then head back to the pond.
Because of all the time it takes to do this, the best case scenario is that you’ll be able to get 2 fish shipped before the shipping guy comes. The worst case scenario is none if you’re extremely unlucky and catch only trash.
So this is only viable at the beginning of every season while you’re waiting for crops to grow. Even if you have animals to take care of, time doesn’t pass when you’re in the barn and chicken coop so if you’re the type to handle your animal chores when the day starts, then you’ll have time to do so (although the most optimal thing to do is handle all the farm chores at night).