Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fishing Tourney Guide – When is it, How Does it Work, How to Prepare

What to do to get ready for the fishing tourney

by Kyle Hanson

With less than a month out in the wild, players are still figuring out the intricate schedule and calendar that dictates what goes on on their island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, now that most players have settled and gotten themselves decently far into the game, certain events are beginning to trigger. Of course, this can be different based on your hemisphere and progress within the game. But if you’re like most players right now you should be getting ready for the first fishing tourney of the game. But to do that you need to know a few things about it. So here’s our Animal Crossing: New Horizons fishing tourney guide explaining when it is, how it works, and how to prepare.

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When is the Fishing Tourney

In a departure from previous games, it looks like the second Saturday of the month is the chosen one for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons fishing tourney. We’ll have to wait and see if this becomes a pattern, but for now you should be ready for April 11th. Especially for the northern hemisphere players who have already had a few villagers move to their island. Whether this is the day for you or not, you can always find out when the next one is via your island bulleting board. If one is coming in the next week a notice will be posted with the date. As far as the time, C.J. should show up bright and early in the morning, so be ready to start fishing as soon as you get up. C.J. heads out after 6pm so you only have until then to claim all the prizes.

How does the Fishing Tourney Work

Once you’re up and ready just head to Resident Services to speak with C.J. He should have setup his tent and gear and will break down the whole thing. Basically you can enter a round of the fishing tourney for 500 Bells, though your first time is free. Once you start a round you have three minutes to catch as many fish as possible. Each fish earns you a point with two bonus points being awarded for catching at least three fish. It doesn’t matter what kind of fish they are, so don’t worry about reeling in an oarfish or other rare species. Just get to the nearest body of water and start tossing your bobber out there.

Once you’ve earned points you can start spending them on the tourney prizes. Ten points gets a random prize, which are all themed around fish within the game. There’s a lot to earn, including some big trophies you’ll definitely want to display, so be ready to earn a ton of points when it starts. We’ll have more specific tips for how to win the fishing tourney closer to the event, but for now here’s how to start preparing.

How to Prepare for the Fishing Tourney

The key to landing the most fish during the fishing tourney will be bait. We’ve explained it all here, but basically you need to start digging up manila clam and crafting them into bait right now. You’ll also want to stock up on extra fishing rods as they can break during the tourney and you don’t want to have to go search for material. Each three minute round will likely eat through a stack of ten bait or more, which would translate to about a rod every three sessions.

You can use it anywhere, but we recommend the closest body of water or the southern ocean as time is of the essence. You want to get fishing right away, but sprinting to the bottom of the map will make it easier to actually get the fish, as they are usually facing straight up and will be easy to catch without repositioning. You do end up selling these fish to C.J. for the usual premium price, so if you need the Bells try fishing near the pier to get the most valuable fish.

If you start Saturday, April 11th with a ton of bait and fishing rods you should be all set to go. But check back for more as the event gets closer.

- This article was updated on April 7th, 2020