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If you're wondering how to catch fish and get the fishing rod in Valheim, this guide has everything you need to know.

How to Fish in Valheim and Get the Fishing Rod

If you're wondering how to catch fish and get the fishing rod in Valheim, this guide has everything you need to know.
This article is over 3 years old and may contain outdated information

Much like anything else in Valheim, the game doesn’t tell you how to fish or where to get the fishing rod. In fact, it’s one of the more perplexing mechanics in the early going. These critters are everywhere, but none of your tools will snag them. There are reports that they can be caught by hand, but I’ve had no such luck. 

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To make matters more frustrating, none of the crafting recipes you get from chopping down trees or mining ore like tin and copper give you the pole to catch them. Hint: you can’t craft it

This Valheim guide will tell you everything you need to know about why you should fish, how to get the pole, and what to look out while angling. 

Fish Provide Some of the Best Meat in Valheim

Food is an important part of the Viking survival experience because it increases your maximum health and stamina. Different foods have different effects and durations, all of which can be seen in their information tabs if you hover over them in your inventory.

Berries, mushrooms, and honey are OK in a pinch, but meats give you some of the best early-game health and stamina buffs. You can hunt boars, deer, and neck to get raw meat and neck tail, both of which will be your main sources of sustenance in the Meadows and early in the Black Forest.

Fish may not give the best stamina boost, but they give the best HP gains early on. Unlike other meat sources, which only give one item per kill, one fish can give you multiple rations per catch depending on the type. 

So if you eat, for example, 1x cooked meat, 1x cooked neck tail, and 1x cooked fish, you can increase your health bar to 130HP and your stamina bar to six segments. 

Types of Fish

Per the Valheim wiki: 

  • Small Mouth bass = 1 raw fish
  • Medium Pike = 2 raw fish
  • Large Tuna = 4 raw fish

Small Mouth Bass are relatively short with black-ish bodies and three stripes. They tend to spawn nearest the shore. Medium Pike are larger and have silver bodies with green fins. They tend to spawn in deeper water. Both appear in rivers and lakes and along the ocean shore. 

Tuna are jet black and a little fatter than the other two. They are often found in deeper water off the shoreline. You’ll need to use the raft to catch these. Here’s a quick guide for putting one together

How to Get the Fishing Rod 

Unlike other tools in the game, the fishing pole can’t be crafted. Instead, you must purchase it from Haldor, the Merchant in the Black Forest biome. It costs 350 coins.

Be sure to also buy some Bait x50 for 10 coins while you’re at it. 

Finding Haldor can be a bit frustrating since every world seed in Valheim is procedurally generated. However, it does seem that he can be found near the Elder boss in the Black Forest. In two of my worlds, his symbol appeared near the Elder’s summoning location both times. 

His map icon is a small coin pouch. 

How to Get More Coins

It’s likely that you already have a few coins in your pocket by the time you meet Haldor, but you may not have enough to buy what you need. If you need more, you can get coins by killing trolls, exploring troll caves, and searching delves. 

All of these can be found in the Black Forest. If you’ve uncovered the Swamp biome before defeating the second boss, you can also find coins in sunken crypts, but these are only viable once you’ve upgraded your weapons and armor because they’re overrun with powerful Draugr and Blobs. 

How to Catch Fish

Once you’ve purchased your tool, it’s time to do a bit of angling. Head to the nearest river, lake, or ocean shore. Look for fish swimming in the water. 

Equip the pole to any of the top eight inventory slots, and press that corresponding number to wield it. Your bait will set automatically, as long as it’s in your inventory.

Cast your line with the left mouse button and reel it in with the right mouse button. For a longer cast, hold the left mouse button; for a shorter cast, press or tap it. You can reel in your line by holding the right mouse button, or you can flick the line by tapping the button. 

How Do I Know If I Get a Bite?

It’s important to watch your cork/bobber carefully. Some fish will investigate it slowly, while others will hit it quickly before darting away. You can get a better view of your cork/bobber by using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. 

Whenever it goes underwater, press the right mouse button. If you’re quick enough, you’ll see yellow text appear on the screen, saying “Hooked.” 

Now, press the right mouse button to reel in. Once your prey gets close enough to you, you can press “E” to grab it or reel it all the way in to pick up automatically. 

It’s important to know that you can run out of stamina while reeling in a line. If you do, you’ll lose the catch. Stamina continues to deplete while the fish is on the line, even if it’s on land.

Always keep an eye on your stamina meter before you cast and always try to get as close to your quarry as possible by climbing on a rock or standing in the water. Eating something before you start is always a good idea. 

That’s everything you need to know about how to catch fish and find the fishing rod in Valheim. Once you get it from Haldor, you’ll have another food source to eat ahead of important battles, and if used alongside meat and neck tail, one that should max out your health and stamina. For more tips and tricks, consider checking out our guides on finding copper, using the fermenter, and how skills work.  

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.