How to catch Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Struggling with Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Here's what you need to know to catch the slippery river fish.

Trying to fill out that Critterpedia in an orderly fashion? We getcha. Of the many creatures inhabiting the Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands, the elusive String Fish is one of the select few leaving at the end of March, meaning you need to get a move on if you want to grab it. The Stringfish is one of the rarest scaled friend you can add to your collection, but it’s not impossible. By following the steps below, you can also learn how to catch Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

How to catch Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How to catch stringfish animal crossing new horizons
You can only catch Stringfish from elevated rivers between 4pm and 9am, December to March.
© Nintendo

To catch Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need to know the specific requirements it needs to appear. Here’s what the String Fish needs:

  • Time: 4pm - 9am, December - March (Northern Hemisphere) / June - September (Southern Hemisphere)
  • Location: River (Clifftop/Elevated)
  • Shadow size: Large
  • Bell value: 15,000

We’ll be describing our experience from the perspective of Northern Hemisphere islands. As the details above state, the Stringfish is only available to catch between 4pm and 9am, so don’t waste time trying outside of that window.

The second, and key part to catching the Stringfish, is that it only appears in clifftop rivers. That means to have a chance of catching this rare boy, you need to have access to a ladder (find out how to get one here if you don’t), and climb up the cliff face on your island. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the first or the highest level, you can catch the Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as long as you’re above the ground level of your island. You don’t need to be next to a waterfall, any elevated river will work.

If you’re in the right area at the right time, what you’re looking for is a large, long, dark shadow under the water. You should be able to easily distinguish it from the other fish at this time period, which will mostly be bitterlings, crucian carps and loaches. It’ll appear even bigger than the black bass, but you should probably catch them too since they’re worth a bell or two. 

Now here’s the bad news: The Stringfish is incredibly rare in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you’re hoping to just find one by running around the right area at the right time, you’ll need to get very lucky. Instead, we suggest crafting a large amount of fish bait before you start your hunt. Even then, it may take you several evenings to see one pop up. You need to be quick on reeling in too, or they’ll make an escape.

You now know how to catch Stringfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so it’s time to get down to the grind and hunt that fish! With good luck, you might even find it on your first try! We also have guides for how to catch Sturgeon, and a complete list of all fish in Animal Crossing New Horizons for you to check out. If bugs are more your style, click here for our list of them instead! Catch you on the next guide, friends.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


Shop Now


Shop Now