Hokko Life Fishing Guide
A big part of Hokko Life is sitting back and smelling the roses, and one of the best ways to relax is by casting a line and waiting for a bite. It's a great way to fill in the gaps between resident quests and waiting for trees and crops to grow, and you can get some good money from it, too. But actually unlocking the mechanic can be a bit of conundrum: the game doesn't do a good job of explaining what to do.
This Hokko Life guide tells you how to unlock fishing and get the fishing rod, how to the mini-game's mechanics work, and how to get and use bait. That last part isn't terribly important, but it can shave down some of the time and effort you spend fishing if you want to move on to other things.
How to Unlock Fishing and Get the Fishing Rod
Before you can start fishing, you'll need to meet Rosa the Realtor. They'll show up at the Inn within your first couple of days in town; be sure to check in around lunch time each day for a chance to meet them. Speak to Rosa, and they'll move their real estate agency into town after a few days' time, just to the right of Moss' shop.
Next, you'll need to speak to any other villager in the Inn and invite them to move into your village. Go speak to Rosa, and build any house; it doesn't matter which of the six options you choose, though the first choice requires the fewest number of resources. Once you move a resident in, Rosa will give you the design blueprint for the Simple Stairs; you need these to reach the second level on the north side of the village.
Go to the Workshop, and build the Simple Stairs with x15 Wooden Planks. Place the stairs either behind the workshop or to the right of the waterfall to access the second level of the village area. Go to the very back of the area (to the extreme north), and you'll find a set of stone stairs under a Torii Gate. Take these steps to advance to the next area, the woods.
Take a left as soon as you load in, and you'll come to a waterfall and a gap in the path. Here, you'll receive the Log Bridge blueprint. Go back to the workshop and bring x22 Wooden Logs to build it. (Constructing the Log Bridge is far cheaper than crafting the initial Simple Bridge blueprint: x22 Wooden Logs to x54 Wooden Planks, which cost x2 Wooden Logs to make).
Return to the gap at the waterfall, and place the Log Bridge to cross over. Enter the Grove by following the path all the way to the left.
Once in the Grove, you'll see a pond with tons of trash piles on the ground around it. Pick up all of the trash and stash it in your backpack. Exit the area, and you'll run into a new NPC, Derris, just before the bridge and waterfall. They'll thank you for cleaning up all the trash and mosey off to the Grove.
Go back to the Grove, and speak with Derris. He'll give you the fishing rod at the end of your conversation.
Fishing Rod Recipe
Interact with the crafting workbench in the Workshop to craft the fishing rod:
- x3 Wooden Logs.
- x3 Grass Tufts.
How to Catch Fish
Catching fish is pretty simple. Go to any body of water, such as the pond at the Grove, the river running through the village, or the ocean to the east of the village, and look for dark silhouettes swimming around. Note: there is no way to know which fish you'll catch. It's mostly random, reliant on season, time, and weather.
Aim toward the silhouettes in the water, and press the Interact button to cast your line. The fastest way to catch fish at this point in the game is to cast in front of them whenever possible. Unlike Stardew Valley, for instance, there is no casting power in Hokko Life; the line goes the same distance every time. You'll have to experiment with where to stand for the perfect cast until you get the feel for it.
Eventually, a fish will approach your bobber and boop it a few times (usually at least three to four times) before latching on to the hook. When they do, a circular meter will appear, with your platform's interact button in the center. Press the interact button before the meter depletes to hook the fish; press the interact button when the meter is in the bottom, center orange portion to guarantee hooking a treasure chest, as well.
With the fish on the line, two horizontal meters will appear:
- The top blue meter represents the "distance" between you and the fish at the end of the line, or how far you have to reel it in.
- The bottom tan/orange/red meter represents line tension.
You'll also notice directional inputs appear above the two meters, indicating which way you should press either the left control stick or push your mouse to reel the fish in. Most fish take the line out very slowly, and you may not even notice it moving to the right; rarer fish will take the line out much faster, increase tension more quickly, and cause the directional inputs to flash more rapidly.
The most important thing is to keep an eye on the bottom meter: the darker the color, the closer your line is to snapping. You can safely keep the meter in the orange/middle portion of the bar, but immediately release any directional input if you see three red exclamation points on the right side of the bar.
Every time you catch a new fish or gain a new size record for a fish you've already caught, visit Derris for a small gold reward. This reward is separate from the sales price of a fish at Moss' shop. Rarer fish demand slightly larger rewards.
How to Craft Fishing Bait
Bait causes fish to bite faster and somewhat decreases the difficulty of catching all fish, but most noticeably, rarer fish. There are three types of bait: Worm Bait, Insect Bait, and Fish Guts Bait. To unlock them, you'll need to complete the nodes on the first line of the nature Mayor Merits category (the category with the fish and butterfly symbol in the Mayor Merits tab).
You can craft Bait at the Workbench in the Workshop:
- Worm Bait: x2 Worms (found anywhere)
- Dig 30 holes with the shovel.
- Catch 25 fish from any body of water.
- Insect Bait: x2 Peacock Butterflies (found in the Meadows)
- Complete Worm Bait requirements.
- Catch 25 insects/butterflies.
- Catch any 50 fish.
- Use any bait 15 times.
- Fish Guts Bait: x2 Tadpoles (found in The Grove)
- Complete Worm and Insect Bait requirements.
- Catch any six unique fish.
- Use any bait 15 times.
You can also find more Worm Bait by fishing up treasure chests, which you'll need to do to complete other Mayor Merits. You must craft the other two Bait types.
To attach bait, have bait in your backpack/inventory and equip the fishing rod (have it in your hand). You'll see a small tab appear on the left side of the screen with a button/key assigned to it (example: L2 on PlayStation). Press that, highlight the bait, and press the interact button. If you did it correctly, you'll see a bait icon appear on the left side of the fishing rod icon at the bottom of the screen and a number on the right.
You can find more information on when and where to catch each fish, as well as which baits work for those types over on the Hokko Life wiki page.
Speak to Derris after meeting him, and he'll eventually give you a fishing challenge. You'll either have to catch any five fish in five minutes or any 10 fish in 10 minutes; these criteria seems to be given randomly. He will give you a new fishing challenge every seven in-game days. For example, mine appear every Tuesday. You can find Derris for these challenges either at the beach east of the village or in The Grove in the woods north of the village.
You'll need to complete fishing challenges to unlock Mayor Merits and get the Fish Challenger trophy and achievement. It will take you 70 in-game days to get the trophy/achievement, 140 in-game days to meet the fishing challenge criteria for the fishing rod upgrade, and 210 in-game days to meet the fishing challenge criteria for the fish trap.
Alongside fishing challenges, Derris will invite you to participate in fishing tournaments on the 17th of every month (every season). A letter from Derris will appear in your mailbox a few days before each tournament. On the day of the competition, go to the beach, and speak with Derris.
They'll tell you which random fish you'll need to catch to move up the leaderboard, which can be found near the pier. You can also see on the leaderboard how many fish you'll need to catch to win gold, silver, and bronze in-game trophies.
Keep in mind that Tournaments can task you with catching any fish species anywhere on the map; though you'll start Tournaments at the beach, you may have to catch fish at the beach, in the river, or at the pond. The only way to know where to look is to know which fish can be found in each location.
You'll need to compete in four fishing tournaments for the Gold Medalist — Fishing trophy and achievement. That in itself will take you at least one in-game year to complete, depending on when you first find Derris at The Grove. You'll need to compete in 20 fishing tournaments for some Mayor Merits, over the course of a whopping five in-game years.
That's everything you need to know about fishing in Hokko Life. The mini-game can be a great source of income alongside bug catching, especially in the early game. There's no reward for catching all of the two dozen plus fish in the game, but if you're patient enough, you can take pride knowing you've caught em' all. For tips on farming, head over to our comprehensive guide on that mechanic right here.