Red Dead Redemption 2 Fishing Tips

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Nothing quite beats the satisfaction of pulling in a huge catch at the end of a fishing trip. Unless you’re not the outdoorsy type. Fortunately for you Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 allows you to have the whole experience without all the mess.

Like many things in Red Dead, the fishing and hunting are incredibly in depth so many rules that apply to real life fishing applies here. Things like time of day you choose to fish, the bait you use, what water you choose to fish in all matter. To help you in all your fishing endeavors, here is everything you need to know about Red Dead Redemption 2 fishing!

1. Fishing Walkthrough

Before you begin fishing, it helps for you to know how the controls work. It works the same way that a lot of fishing mini-games in video games do but with a few more things that you should keep in mind like your bait type.

You have the option of choosing a bobber or lure. If you pick a bobber it’s a matter of casting your line out and waiting. You can reel a little bit but if you do it too much you’ll scare away potential catches.

If you choose lure you’ll have to continue reeling until you feel a bite. Once you’ve chosen which one you want to use, use LT/L2 to grip the rod and then RT/R2 to cast your line into the water. When you want to reel in your line a little, you’ll tap RT/R2.

Grabbing Your Materials

After doing this for a while you’ll eventually run out of materials. You can pick up more in Lagras at the bait and tackle shop. It has everything you need from live worms to crayfish.

2. What You Should Use as Bait

We mentioned bait above but now we’re going to get into a little bit more detail. You shouldn’t pick some bait and slap it on your line. Much like real life, you have to put a little thought into the bait you use.


Food items like bread, cheese, and cornbread will all do the trick for smaller fish. Worms and crickets will help you catch any medium-sized fish. If you want to reel in the biggest of fish that are found in the deep parts of rivers and lakes the only bobber that will work is a crayfish.


Lures will help you catch larger fish than bobbers will unless you use a river lure. River lures only let you catch small and medium-sized fish. If you want to catch a large lake fish then the lake lure will work. Swamp lures will help you get the medium and large-sized fish found in the swamps.

If you want to start catching legendary fish you’ll need the special versions of these lures but we’ll get into that a little later.

3. Fantastic Fish and How to Catch Them

There is no end to the variety of fish that you can catch in Red Dead 2. Here are a few of them and the best bait to use to reel them in.

  • Chain pickerel- corn
  • Bluegill- cheese
  • Redfin pickerel- bread
  • Smallmouth bass- any of the natural baits
  • Largemouth bass- crayfish
  • Rock bass- cheese or any of the natural baits
  • Perch- bread
  • Bullhead catfish- corn or cheese
  • Lake sturgeon- lake lure
  • Steelhead trout- worms
  • Sockeye salmon- river lure
  • Muskie- lake lure

Keep in mind that you can use any bait and still maybe catch some these. These are the baits that are proven to be the most effective in correlation to the fish.

Best Time of the Day to Fish

Like in real life, the time of day will affect what you’re able to catch. The morning and afternoon are when you’ll have the most success with it because again, like in real life this is when the most bugs are around.

You should also try your luck with fishing when it’s raining because the fish will mistake the drops on the water’s surface for bugs.

4. Places and Conditions

Each one of the fish above is found in different bodies of water. The time of day and weather conditions are also a factor in catching them.

Chain Pickerel

You can find the chain pickerel in most bodies of water in the game so they’re fairly common. You’ll have the most success with them if you’re trying to catch them in bright, sunny weather.


You won’t have any luck finding Bluegills in the swamps but you’ll be able to catch them in most of the rivers and lakes in the game. The best time to catch them is when it’s raining.

Redfin Pickrel

Redfin pickerel prefer warm and sunny weather like the chain pickerel. You’ll only be able to find them in the southern rivers.

Smallmouth Bass

You’ll be able to find smallmouth bass in all of the northern rivers. They are more active during rainy days than sunny.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass is also more active in rainy weather. Unlike the smallmouth bass, you’ll mostly find them in the south.

These are only a few examples, you can go find a guide for the rest. Now on to what you want to catch. The legendary fish.

5. Be a Legend by Catching the Legends

To find the legendary fish you’ll need the map that tells you where they are. For that, you’ll go to Gill’s Landing to pick up the quest from an NPC named… well, Gill. There are thirteen fish that you’ll have to hunt down in all.

As we said above, you’ll need to get the special lures in order to catch them. You want to make your reeling time as short as possible so it’s best to not attempt to catch them until they are fairly close to shore.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Fishing Tips That Will Help You Reel the Biggest Catch of the Day

Red Dead Redemption 2 fishing is probably the closest you can come to the sport without actually doing it. It’s fairly in depth down to you having to consider the time of day and weather conditions before you go fishing. Use these tips to make the most legendary catches.

If you’re a perfectionist or an achievement/trophy hunter you’re going to want to do everything in Red Dead 2. Here are a few tips that will help you do that.