How to fish in Sea of Thieves

A step-by-step guide to fishing on the high seas.

Screenshot by Gamepur

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Fishing is a fun, relaxing, and potentially lucrative side activity in Sea of Thieves. Pirates who wish to take a break from a life of thieving and plundering can earn Gold and Renown by catching fish and selling their haul to The Hunter’s Call. What’s more, this easy-to-learn, randomized minigame can be as deep as you’d like. You might only try fishing once before deciding it’s not for you, or you could max out all 57 Hunter’s Call Commendations to become a Legendary Hunter of the Sea of Thieves, if you dare.

Selecting the Fishing Rod and Casting

Screenshot by Gamepur

To begin fishing right away in Sea of Thieves, stand next to an open body of water that’s at least a few feet deep with no obstacles. You’ll then need to pull out your trusty Fishing Rod. Open the Item Radial by holding Left Bumper (LB) on controller. Keep holding LB and press X to open the second page. While still holding LB, select your Fishing Rod at the bottom of the Item Radial by using your Right Stick (RS), then let go of LB.

With Fishing Rod in hand, you’re now ready to catch any fish that doesn’t require bait, which most likely means a Splashtail (skip to the Using Bait section below for info on bait). Splaishtails are the most common fish species in Sea of Thieves, and they can be found virtually anywhere. To fish for one, cast your line into the ocean by pressing Right Trigger (RT). You can also hold, aim, and release RT for a longer, more accurate cast. Immediately retrieve your hook by pressing Left Trigger if you want to recast, or you can slowly reel in your line by holding RT.

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Related: What are the rarest fish in Sea of Thieves and how do you catch them?

Catching a Fish

Screenshot by Gamepur

Ambient string music will begin to play as you wait for a fish to become interested. In Sea of Thieves, this process rarely takes longer than about 15 seconds. You don’t need to press anything for now. Once an interested fish begins circling your hook, you’ll be able to see what kind it is, which gives you a chance to recast if you don’t want that fish. The fish will bite after a moment and swim away with your line, triggering the minigame.

The point of the game is to pull your line against the direction that the fish is pulling to tire out the fish, then reel it in when it stops. The fish will swim left, right, or down, and you need to pull in the opposite direction using either of the thumbsticks on the controller. When the fish changes direction, you’ll need to change which direction you pull. You’ll know you’re pulling the wrong way (or not at all) if your controller begins vibrating and your line begins straining. Be sure not to reel the line in while the fish is moving. Not only will it not work, but your line will eventually snap, forcing you to recast.

When the fish stops moving, reel it in as much as you can using RT. As soon as the fish starts swimming again, stop reeling and go back to pulling your line against the direction of the fish’s movement. After a few rounds of this, you’ll reel in the fish all the way. Hold X to claim your prize. If your inventory’s too full of food—store some away, pull your rod back out, and the fish will still be there to claim. You can now sell your catch to The Hunter’s Call at any Seapost for some extra Gold, Renown, and Reputation with the company.

Related: How to catch all Islehoppers in Sea of Thieves

Using Bait

Screenshot by Gamepur

There are three types of bait in Sea of Thieves, each with a distinct color and location for digging. Using bait is also necessary to catch certain species of fish:

  • Earthworms – pink, located in grassy areas
  • Grubs – white, located in sand
  • Leeches – purple, located in sand very close to the shoreline
No BaitEarthwormsGrubsLeeches

While all bait can be found as random spawns in Barrels, the most consistent way to gather bait is to dig it out of the ground. To do so, open your Item Radial and select your Shovel at the bottom of the first page. With your Shovel in hand, look down at the ground and press RT to dig.

To equip a piece of bait, open the Item Radial with your Fishing Rod in hand. There will be a new option to press B to see your bait. This brings up another radial where you can select which bait you want to equip from your inventory. The bait will now be on your hook, and you can cast out as usual. Be warned: certain fish are only available in certain areas and/or under certain conditions, even if you have the right bait.