Skyrim fishing: How to unlock fishing, get a fishing rod and fish list in Skyrim: Anniversary Edition

Where to fish in the Anniversary Edition update.

Fishing is a new feature in Skyrim: Anniversary Edition, alongside several other new additions that have been added to celebrate the game’s 10th birthday.

However, unlike the fishing mini-games you’ve grown accustomed to in games such as Stardew Valley, this fishing is a little different from just having a rod and plunging it into any body of water you find and hoping something will bite.

This page explains how to unlock fishing in Skyrim, how to get a fishing rod and a Skyrim fish list.

How to unlock fishing in Skyrim

First, make sure you are playing the Anniversary Edition of the game, which was released on PC and consoles in November 2021.

After playing the introductory quest in Helgen, you’ll be free to start your journey into the land of Skyrim. It’s at this point that Fishing (as well as Survival Mode) is unlocked, though the latter is revealed to the player via a pop-up menu.

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Fishing, on the other hand, is not so obvious – you’ll have to find more about the feature yourself. You can only fish in certain fishing spots in Skyrim, and thankfully, from start of the game you aren’t too far from your first fishing point. This is where you can find your first rod…

How to get a fishing rod in Skyrim

There are multiple ways to get a fishing rod in Skyrim, with the easiest being finding one via fishing locations. The first fishing location you can find isn’t far from the introductory area outside of Helgen, where you end up with either Ralof or Hadvar.

It’s right next to the Standing Stone, just North from where you first start.

Another way is to simply go to your nearest trader in whichever city you find yourself in at the time. For us, keen to get started on fishing straight away, we found a rod over at Riverwood’s trader, Lucan. It isn’t at all pricy, with a value of 31 gold.

Of course, if you’d rather show off your craftsmanship, you can also just make a fishing rod for yourself. Head to your nearest forge and you can craft the rod by using 1 iron ingot and firewood – both items being easy to buy or be found throughout your adventures). All you’ll have to do then is find a fishing location and start fishing.

How to cast your line and catch fish in Skyrim

Unlike in games like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, fishing in Skyrim is focused on multiple fixed locations (meaning you can’t fish just willy-nilly) so you’ll have to go to specific locations where fish reside before you can become the best angler in Tamriel.

Once you find a fishing location, you need to equip a rod as though you would equip a sword or a bow. Thankfully you don’t need bait, as the locations you find scattered across Skyrim will provide the bait for you.

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All you need to do is go up to the bait and press the correct input and you’ll start fishing.

All fish are unique in the way they may move and bite on the line. For example, a bass fish tugging on the line might kick up waves, whereas a river petty will just tug gently. Once the time is right – often indicated by the vibration of your controller / mouse and the tug of your line – you need to press the correct input (on PlayStation this would be the X button) and the fish will automatically be pulled in.

The fish is then added to the food inventory, where you’ll be able to cook the fish into a delicious meal – particularly helpful if you’re planning on using Survival Mode in your playthrough.

Skyrim fish list

There are multiple fish that you can find in Skyrim, with locations spread out across Tamriel.

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Here’s the full list of what fish you can expect to lure in during your time fishing in Skyrim:

  • Angelfish
  • Angler
  • Angler Larvae
  • Arctic Char
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Brook Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Direfish
  • Glass Catfish
  • Glassfish
  • Goldfish
  • Juvenile Mudcrab
  • Lyretail Anthias
  • Pearlfish
  • Pogfish
  • Pygmy Sunfish
  • Scorpion Fish
  • Spadefish
  • Tripod Spiderfish
  • Vampire Fish

What else do you need to know about fishing in Skyrim?

Here’s some other tips and tricks which can be useful as you fish in Skyrim:

  • When the water calms and there’s no bite around your line, it signals that there’s no fish for you to catch and you’ll have to wait 24 hours until you can fish there again.
  • You are unable to be attacked while fishing, though you will still be able to hear monsters / NPCs talk and growl if they are nearby…
  • The book Line and Lure gives helpful tips on how to fish in Tamriel, such as when to pull the fish in, what sort of fish you can find out there, and the benefits of fishing in cooking.

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