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How to Fish in New World

Before you can catch a fish ...

You must have a fishing pole equipped, and you must be standing at a fishable body of water.

How do I get a Fishing Pole?

You can obtain a fishing pole through crafting, questing, or purchase from the trading post. Fishing bait and wearable gear provide benefits, but are strictly optional, you do not need any to get started.

How do I craft a fishing pole?

There are currently 5 fishing poles you can craft with the Engineering skill. The basic of which is the Wooden Fishing Pole, which requires 1x Green Wood and 1x Fiber and can be crafted at level 0 Engineering. You can craft one at a Tier 1 Workshop in town, or at a Tier 1 Camp outside of town.

What quest rewards a fishing pole?

The very first fishing quest in the chain will reward you with a {Wooden Fishing Pole} upon completion. This quest can be found at the lake outside of Windsward and becomes available to you shortly after creating your character. A few additional fishing poles can be obtained through the Fishing Quest chain.

Where can I Purchase a Fishing Pole?

It is also possible to purchase a fishing pole from the trading post. They can be found under Tools / Gathering Tools / Fishing Poles.


Once you obtain your fishing pole make sure you equip it.

Where should I go to fish?

You can fish almost anywhere there is water but location is everything! There are two types of water, saltwater (ocean and swamps) and freshwater (rivers and lakes). You will get different fish from each type of water, and each region has a different set of fish you can catch in each of these water types. If you are after a specific fish, be sure to view our fish location list. The best locations to fish are in hotspots, and we will go over this subject in-depth in the next chapter.


Think you're ready to catch your first fish?

You look ready! Now for the basics of fishing.

Step 1 - How do I start fishing?

With your fishing pole equipped, approach the body of water you wish to fish in.

Now press F3 on your keyboard to activate Fishing Mode. Fishing mode will enable an overlay with a few additional options for you. Here is what it looks like:

Press F3 to enter fishing mode

While in Fishing Mode we are given these three options:

[LMB] (HOLD) Cast

This option tells us if we press and hold the Left Mouse button it will start the Casting mini-game for fishing. When you are ready to fish, this is how you start it. The next part of this chapter will go over how this mini-game works.

[R] Equip Bait

Pressing R on your keyboard will show the fishing bait window. This is how you select the fishing bait you want to use. Bait is not required to fish, but it does provide benefits if used properly. We will go over fishing bait and equipment in-depth in its own chapter, but since it is not required you do not need to worry about this right now, simply leave it empty.

[F3] Exit Fishing

To get out of Fishing Mode at any time simply press F3 again. If you need to attack an enemy you must first put away your fishing pole. Your normal abilities will not work while in Fishing Mode.

Step 2 - Casting your line mini-game (Distance matters!)

Max distance, perfect fishing cast

As soon as you hold down your left mouse button the casting mini-game will start. This game will end when you release the mouse button. The point of this mini-game is to determine the distance of your cast.

Does cast distance matter? In short, the total distance of your cast will affect how easy reeling in the fish is going to be for you in the tension mini-game part. If your cast has very little distance, every fish you pull up will be a struggle. Even the small ones. By not maximizing your distance you are just making fishing harder on yourself.


You will want to maximize your casting distance as often as possible.

You achieve maximum distance on your cast by releasing your mouse when the indicator is at the very top of the bar. You will see the word ‘MAX’ and hear a little chime when you achieve the maximum distance. It takes about 2 seconds of holding down the Left Mouse button to hit this apex.

How does the depth of the water work into this?

Water depth effects the number of seconds it takes to get a bite. Below is a table that outlines the time for a bite (in seconds) for Deep, Shallow and Very Shallow Water Types. Using any bait will cut the number of seconds in half. Make sure you use bait!

DeepWater ShallowWater Very ShallowWater
Freshwater 5 - 15Seconds 10 - 25Seconds 20 - 30Seconds
Saltwater 5 - 15Seconds 10 - 20Seconds 15 - 25Seconds

Step 3 - The Bite mini-game

After you cast your line the bite mini-game starts. All you have to do is sit there and wait patiently for a bite. How long you wait is determined by a number of things. If you use bait, it will cut the wait time down greatly. If you fish in a hotspot you will get a bite almost instantly.

When you get a bite all you have to do is press the Left Mouse button to hook it.

How do I know when there is a bite? Right before you get a bite your bobber indicator will start to shake and it will say "Get ready!", do not try to hook it just yet! The point of this is to throw you off and get you to try to hook it early, which will cause you to fail. Instead, wait until it updates and you see this:

Wait for it .... bite!

When it updates a circular progress bar will appear and you will hear a loud sound as your line pulls. It will say "Hook!". At this point is when you want to press your Left Mouse button as quickly as possible, before the progress bar hits zero. It starts at 100% and green, and counts down to zero. In this screenshot you can see it is orange with about 45% left. If you left click too early, or too late, you will lose your catch and your bait will be consumed.

Successfully hooking is how the final tension mini-game for reeling in the fish is started.

Step 4 - The Tension mini-game

The trick to this mini-game is to not let the tension get too high while you continue to pull in your line using the Left Mouse button.

The fishing tension mini-game

How does tension work? As you hold down the left mouse button you will begin to pull in your line. The tension indicator will grow and change from green, to orange, to red as you continue to hold down the left mouse button. When you let go of the mouse button it will ease up on the tension and the indicator will shrink back down and change back to green. If you just hold down the left mouse button the entire time the indicator will goto red and then eventually break.

A visual breakdown of fishing tension

How exactly do you reel in a fish then? It is a game of back and forth. Hold down the left mouse button until the tension indicator turns to orange. Then let it go until it gets back to green. Then do it again, rinse and repeat until your fish is caught. As you get better you can adjust your maximum tension (deep orange or even red) to whatever you are comfortable with.

One other thing worth mentioning on the subject is each fish seemed to have a unique fighting pattern. Some will fight early in the reel, some will fight later, some will fight continuously and some didn't fight at all. However, sometimes they don't follow these trends at all. It could be a bug, or some kind of latency related fall back.

When does the tension game end? The tension game completes when the fish reaches you. As you hold down the left mouse button the progress ticks up. Once the progress bar reaches 100% you will have pulled in your fish.

Would it be quicker to reel in a fish if I did not cast very far?

Not in the New World. The distance of your cast is a major variable in the algorithm used to determine the tension difficulty of this stage of the mini-game. A harder difficulty tension game means you will have to release and pull a lot more than an easier difficulty where you won’t have to do it very much for the same size, and type of fish.

For example, a small or medium fish at maximum distance may take 2-3 cycles of holding down and releasing to pull in, however the same exact fish at a minimum distance may take 9 cycles of holding down and releasing to pull in.

Each fish seems to have a base difficulty value. Your fishing level, as well as your equipment bonuses are also values in this algorithm. We don't know exactly how these all work together, we just know by modifying each of them the results change when the fish being caught are the same.

Each level up in fishing will increase your maximum distance of your cast by approximately 0.05 meters. Effectively making the tension game easier the higher your fishing level reaches. Near the end of my testing my maximum cast distance was around 28 meters where it was only around 12 meters at the start.

A fine catch!

Congratulations on your catch, I’m sure it was a fine one. One final point to reiterate is that not all fish are available in every region. Each region has its own set of fish for both Saltwater and Freshwater. If you are searching for a specific fish be sure to check out our Fish Locations List.

This chapter really just scratches the surface and serves as a starting point for those new to fishing in the New World. In the next chapter we are going to go over Fishing Hotspots, which are currently the best locations to fish in Aeternum. After that we will break down Fishing Baits and other equipment. There are still a lot of secrets to teach you, so stick around for a few more chapters or bookmark us and pick back up later when you have the time.

Next Page
Up Next ...Fishing Hotspots
This guide was made (with love) by a fan of the game. If you found it useful please share a link with your friends. You have permissions to link to, and write about my articles and you can even use my data in your videos as long as you include a verbal or visual attribution to this website (NewWorldFishingGuide.com) within that video. You do not have permission to copy my articles just to repost on another website in text format. Some of this information was from data mined sources, but most of it took me many hours of fishing to figure out. If you have corrections, questions, or business opportunities please contact me.