Stardew Valley is a great game focused on bringing life to your grandfather’s old farm. A skill a lot of people have trouble with, be it casting or just deciding which professions to choose, is Fishing.

Fishing is a great skill to train in Stardew Valley and can often be overlooked by players.

Fishing contains a ton of great unlocks and at levels 5 and 10 you can pick professions to further specialize your character.

At level 5, players often ask what should I pick in Stardew Valley, Fisher or Trapper? We will go over that and more in this guide to the Fishing skill.

If you’re having trouble catching fish, or want to get some tips on where to catch fish check out our other guide on fishing here. This guide is only for the unlocks and professions.

Stardew Valley Fishing Levels: 1-4

stardew valley fisher or trapper
  • Level 1: Casting distance increased by one tile
  • Level 2: Bait, Fiberglass Rod unlocked in Willy’s Fish Shop
  • Level 3: Crab Pot, Dish o’ The Sea
  • Level 4: Recycling Machine, Casting distance increased by one tile

There isn’t too much going on in terms of unlocks for the first four levels in the Fishing skill.

Bait can only be used with the Fiberglass Rod and it simply reduces the time it takes for a fish to bite by 50%. It doesn’t attract certain kinds of fish, it’s just a time saver.

The crab pot allows you to catch shellfish and mollusks like lobsters, crabs, shrimp, oysters, etc. Lastly, the recycling machine takes the occasional trash you get from fishing and turns it into useful items.

You can turn things like trash into stone, driftwood into coal, soggy newspaper into torches, and broken CDs/glasses into refined quartz.

Community Center Bundles and Fishing

Completing the Community Center Bundles is an essential part of the Stardew Valley experience, and fishing plays a significant role in this process.

Certain fish are required for various bundles, and having the right Fishing Professions can help you collect these fish more efficiently.

For example, choosing Fisher and Angler Professions will help you catch higher-quality fish, making it easier to complete the Fish Tank Bundles.

Stardew Valley Fishing Level 5: Fisher or Trapper?

stardew valley fisher or trapper

At level 5 Fishing, Stardew Valley players will be given a choice – Fisher or Trapper? If you pick Fisher, fish are worth 25% more.

Trapper just gives reduces the resources required to craft crab pots. Just how much does it reduce the required resources? Without the Trapper profession, crab pots require 40 wood and 3 iron bars.

After taking Trapper, crab pots only require 25 wood and 2 copper bars! It’s quite a nice way to save your iron and wood, but is it really worth it?

In our opinion, Fisher is the way to go at level 5. The level 10 professions after taking Trapper just aren’t worth it compared to the level 10 professions in the Fisher tree.

Fisher makes both fish caught on a rod and in a crab pot worth 25% more. That is way better than just reducing the materials it costs to make crab pots.

Seasonal Fish and Best Fishing Locations

Each season in Stardew Valley offers unique fish species to catch, and knowing when and where to find them can enhance your fishing experience.

Here’s a brief overview of fish that can be found in each season and the best locations to catch them:

  • Spring: Catfish (River), Eel (Ocean), and Shad (River)
  • Summer: Dorado (River), Octopus (Ocean), and Pufferfish (Ocean)
  • Fall: Salmon (River), Tiger Trout (River), and Walleye (River)
  • Winter: Lingcod (River), Squid (Ocean), and Sturgeon (Mountain Lake)

Keep in mind that the time of day and weather conditions can also affect the availability of certain fish species.

Stardew Valley Fishing Levels: 6-9

stardew valley fisher or trapper
  • Level 6: Spinner, Trap Bobber, Iridium Rod unlocked in Willy’s Fish Shop
  • Level 7: Cork Bobber, Treasure Hunter
  • Level 8: Worm Bin, Barbed Hook, Dressed Spinner
  • Level 9: Seafoam Pudding, Magnet

The Fishing level 6 to 9 unlocks for are pretty useful. You have a ton more equipment at your disposal by the time you hit level 9 in the form of spinners, bobbers, and other new accessories.

Treasure Hunter is a great piece of gear that plays off of one of the professions you pick at level 10.

It increases your chance to find Treasure Chests to 20% instead of 15% and prevents fish from escaping while you’re trying to collect treasures.

Fishing Contests in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley features seasonal fishing contests, such as the Stardew Valley Fair and the Ice Fishing Contest during Winter Star Festival.

Excelling in these competitions can earn you valuable rewards and bragging rights.

Having a higher Fishing skill and the right Professions can give you a competitive edge in these contests, enabling you to catch more and better-quality fish.

Stardew Valley Fishing Level 10: Angler or Pirate? Mariner or Luremaster?

At Fishing level 10 you will be given a choice between another two professions. This choice is dependant on what you picked at level 5, so if you’re reading this before level 5 make sure you plan ahead!

If you picked Fisher at level 5, you pick between Angler or Pirate. If you picked Trapper, you choose between Mariner or Luremaster. Here are our preferred choices for these four professions.

Angler or Pirate?

stardew valley angler or pirate

This choice between Angler or Pirate is a little tough. Angler will replace the buff that Fisher gave.

This means that instead of your fish being worth 75% more, they’re only worth 50% more. That’s not a huge setback since it is 50%, but it may influence your decision.

Pirate doubles the chance to find treasure. This means that your chance to find treasure is 30%, or 40% if you are using the Treasure Hunter tackle.

Between us, it’s a tossup on between these two professions. While the 50% bonus from Angler is nice, the doubled chance to find treasure is also nice.

At the end of the day, we think this one is up to you. We all agree that Fisher is the way to go at level 5, but there is no concise answer here for what is best.

If you like fishing for fish, go with Angler. If you want to hunt for treasure, take Pirate.

Mariner or Luremaster?

stardew valley mariner or luremaster

If you for some reason took Trapper you’ll be given a choice between Mariner and Luremaster at level 10.

Trapper is a good choice for people that don’t plan on fishing, but still want to have a steady supply of shellfish and mollusks. Some people hate having to check traps daily, others don’t even bother checking them daily.

They simply check them every few days and make one big haul.

If you’re any of the above, Mariner or Luremaster would be a good choice. Mariner is a good way to stop having false traps.

If you only check your traps every few days, Mariner makes sure that when you do have something in your crab pot it’s not trash.

Luremaster is great for people who don’t want to carry around bait and like to reset their traps on the go. If you find yourself checking your traps daily, take Luremaster so you don’t have to worry about bringing bait every day.

Catching Legendary Fish in Stardew Valley

Legendary fish are unique, rare, and valuable species that can be caught by skilled anglers in Stardew Valley. Each legendary fish has specific requirements for location, season, and weather conditions.

Improving your Fishing skill and selecting the right Professions, such as Fisher and Angler, can increase your chances of successfully catching these elusive fish.

So, What Fishing Professions Should I Pick in Stardew Valley?

So, what should you take in Stardew Valley, Fisher or Trapper? Angler or Pirate? Mariner or Luremaster? Well, we think there is a clear winner here when it comes to the Fishing professions, but you also need to consider your playstyle.

If you hate the fishing minigame, take Trapper. If you love getting those bites, take Fisher.

Fisher paired with either Angler or Pirate is a great way to make money from the Fishing skill.

The 50% buff to fish value from Angler is a great boost to your income and Pirate is a good way to rake in those Treasure Chests.

If you find yourself dreading the Fishing minigame, then you should take advantage of crab pots. Take Trapper and then take either of the level 10 professions.

If you check your traps every few days, take Mariner to ensure that there is an actual shellfish in the trap instead of trash. If you check your traps daily, take Luremaster so you don’t have to worry about bringing bait to the beach every day.

Fishing Tips and Tricks for Stardew Valley

Fishing Stardew Valley
via GamesRadar

To enhance your fishing experience in Stardew Valley, consider these tips and tricks:

  • Use the appropriate bait and tackle for the fish you’re targeting.
  • Fish in optimal spots, such as near rocks, logs, or bubbling water, to increase the likelihood of catching fish.
  • Pay attention to the in-game clock and weather, as some fish are only available at specific times or during certain weather conditions.
  • Upgrade your fishing rod and equip useful tackle to make fishing more efficient and enjoyable.
  • Practice patience and time management when fishing, as it can take time to master the fishing mini-game and catch desired fish species.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a fishing expert in Stardew Valley.

If you’re interested in more Stardew Valley content check out our other guides on whether to pick Mushrooms or Bats, Fighter or Scout, Forester or Gatherer, and whether to be a Miner or Geologist!