Skyrim: How to Fish and Get the Fishing Rod

Here's how to find the fishing rod and use it to fish in Skyrim.
Here's how to find the fishing rod and use it to fish in Skyrim.

Fishing in Skyrim has existed in the form of mods for a few years, but the activity is now officially part of the game in the latest Anniversary Edition release. Once you get the fishing rod, you can visit one of Skyrim’s many waterways and lakes, cast a line, and catch fish to your heart’s content.

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This Skyrim guide tells you everything you need to know about this new activity in the game, including how to get the fishing rod, of course.

How to Find the Fishing Rod and Supplies in Skyrim

For the purposes of this guide, we’re assuming that you started the game normally. However, the same general mechanics and locations detailed below still apply even if you chose a different location (in case you’re using the Alternate Start mod by Arthmoor).

After the introductory section and your escape from Helgen, travel down the mountain path going to Riverwood until you see The Guardian Stones. Go down to the riverbed to the west, and you should see a fisherman’s tent.

Here, you’ll see the Line and Lure book, which tells you about fishing. You should also spot a Fishing Rod and supplies here (i.e. a bucket of fish).

These supplies can be found at all fishing locations across Skyrim, and they sometimes resemble nets or other gear. 

How to Fish in Skyrim

Equip the Rod and interact with the fishing supplies to start the activity. You’ll notice ripples on the water indicating that fish are nibbling on your bait.

Soon, the Fishing Rod will rise to a higher angle. This means that you should press the corresponding button to reel in your catch. A button prompt will appear on the screen.

The fish that you catch can be cooked, and fishing in Skyrim goes hand in hand with Survival Mode, too, making it even more important if that’s how you’re playing. Cooked fish provides helpful regeneration, and it keeps you well-fed to avoid hunger.

After your first catch, you’ll receive a quest called Angler Acquaintances. This entails visiting Riften Fishery to learn more about the minigame.

Not all bodies of water in Skyrim are viable for fishing. Instead, the proper locations will be marked on maps that you can purchase from general goods vendors. There’s even one map (Falkreath) that you can see in the fisherman’s tent mentioned above.

It’s possible for a fishing spot to run out of fish. If this happens, just wait for a few days to pass for that area to be repopulated. Lastly, rather than obtaining fish, you might end up getting other items once you reel in your catch, just like most any other game that features the mechanic. These could be useless junk or decent artifacts.

And that’s what you need to know about finding the fishing rod and how to actually fish in Skyrim. To make the most of the activity, you’ll need to know all of the fishing locations in the game, which we’ve collected here. For other tips and tricks, such as how to complete specific quests or find Daedric armor, for example, head over to our other Skyrim guides here.

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Author
Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.