Fishing is a quintessential part of Stardew Valley. The rewards are great, and it’s one of the more peaceful things you can do in-game. Plus, who doesn’t love a fishing mini-game? The fish you catch can be used as an ingredient when cooking or to restore the Fish Tank in the Community Center for rewards. You can fish near any body of water, but you’ll have different rates of success depending on where you are.
While fishing, you’ll gain experience and level up. Each level comes with different bonuses, and at certain milestones, you’ll be given a choice between two different professions. A lot of players, both new and old, continue to wonder which fishing profession is the best in Stardew Valley, and we’re here to finally give you an answer. Here’s whether you should take Fisher or Trapper, Angler or Pirate, and Mariner or Luremaster in Stardew Valley
Fishing Level Bonuses
Before we dive into the professions, let’s go over the different bonuses you can get from leveling up your fishing skill. The majority of the bonuses, surprise, surprise, just have to do with fishing and offer no other real bonuses. That said, some of these bonuses can definitely help you make money or turn your fishing byproducts into other useful things. Here’s what to expect from levels 1 through 4 and 6 through 9. Fishing levels 5 and 10 are where you choose a profession, such as Fisher or Trapper, and will be discussed later.
Fishing Levels 1 – 4
- Level 1 – Casting distance increased by 1 tile
- Level 2 – Bait crafting recipe unlocked. Fiberglass Rod and Bait appear in Willy’s Fish Shop.
- Level 3 – Crab Pot and Dish O’ The Sea recipes unlocked.
- Level 4 – Recycling Machine crafting recipe unlocked.
There isn’t too much to say about Fishing Levels 1 – 4. The best things here are Dish O’ The Sea, which will increase your Fishing level by 3 for 5 minutes and 35 seconds. It will also give you 125 Energy and heal 56 Hit Points, and the Recycling Machine. The Recycling Machine will become obsolete later if you take Mariner, but for early levels, it’s quite good.
You’ll need 25 wood, 25 stone, and 1 iron bar to craft the Recycling Machine, but once built it will turn trash, driftwood, and other junk you catch while fishing into usable resources such as stone, coal, refined quartz, and more. You can’t really do anything else with the junk you get from fishing in Stardew Valley, so you should build one as soon as you can to recycle all your garbage. The Recycling Machine takes an hour to process any items you feed into it.
Fishing Levels 6 – 9
- Level 6 – Spinners and Trap Bobbers crafting recipes unlocked. The Iridium Rod, Lead Bobbers, Spinners, and Trap Bobbers appear in Willy’s Fish Shop.
- Level 7 – Cork Bobbers and Treasure Hunter crafting recipes unlocked and appear in Willy’s Fish Shop.
- Level 8 – Worm Bin, Barbed Hooks, and Dressed Spinners crafting recipes unlocked and appear in Willy’s Fish Shop. Casting distance increased by 1 tile.
- Level 9 – Seafoam Pudding and Magnet recipes unlocked. Magnets appear in Willy’s Fish Shop.
The big things unlocked between levels 6 – 9 are the Iridium Rod, Worm Bin, and Seafoam Pudding. The Iridium Rod is the best fishing rod in the game, so definitely buy it for 7,500g as soon as you can. The Worm Bin will supply you with an endless amount of bait, 2-5 every morning. Lastly, Seafoam Pudding increases your Fishing skill by 4 and restores 175 Energy, and heals 78 Hit Points.
Fisher or Trapper in Stardew Valley
Now that we’ve covered the general level bonuses let’s dive into the different professions you can get through the Fishing skill in Stardew Valley, starting with Fisher or Trapper. Fisher and Trapper are the first two professions in the Fishing tree, and you’ll have to choose between them at level 5. The bonuses are pretty straightforward, but your choice does affect which professions are available later on in the game, so choose wisely.
Fisher makes any fish you catch and sell worth 25% more, which is definitely a nice boost to your income if you find yourself fishing a lot. Trapper, on the other hand, reduces the resources required to craft Crab Pots. Without the Trapper profession, it’ll cost you 3,100g to build a pot. With Trapper, it’ll only cost 1,300g to build one.
This might seem like a huge discount, but you can buy pots from Willy’s Fish Shop for 1,500g. With the rise in the cost of materials starting after Year 2, Trapper becomes a useless profession in Stardew Valley. While Mariner or Luremaster might redeem it, Trapper becoming useless is a pretty huge blow, and we advise against taking picking Trapper in Stardew Valley.
Angler or Pirate in Stardew Valley
If you pick Fisher at level 5, you’ll have to pick between Angler or Pirate. Angler might seem like the better choice, but when it comes to Angler or Pirate in Stardew Valley, you’re going to want to go with Pirate. It doesn’t sound right at first; after all, selling fish for 50% more sounds like a sweet perk, but Pirate definitely is the way to go in the mid-late game. Angler is an easy way to get fat stacks early, but you’ll struggle with artifacts and completing the museum later.
Pirate, along with a Magnet and Treasure Hunter, can increase your odds of finding a chest to 50%. That’s basically every other cast, meaning you’ll farm those artifacts quickly. Plus, by the end of the game, you usually have all the cash you could ever need from farming or other aspects of the game, so increasing the value of your fish by 50% isn’t exactly great. It doesn’t stack with the original 25% bonus from Fisher at level 5, either, making it even worse.
Mariner or Luremaster in Stardew Valley
If you pick Trapper at level 5, you’ll be given the choice between Mariner or Luremaster in Stardew Valley. Mariner just stops Crab Pots from catching junk items, while Luremaster removes the need to bait traps before you set them. Both of these bonuses are pretty horrible when compared to Pirate or even Angler. That, along with the fact that Trapper becomes useless after Year 2, means that the Trapper profession tree is pretty useless.
That said, if you did go down the Trapper tree without knowing, you’re better off picking Mariner. While it might sound nice not to have to bait traps, Mariner ensures that you’re always catching a fish, increasing your profits well beyond whatever you would save by not having to use bait. However, you’re better off avoiding picking between Mariner or Luremaster in Stardew Valley by taking Fisher instead of Trapper at level 5.
We hope you got some good information from this quick guide about the best professions for Fishing in Stardew Valley. Hopefully, you now know which profession to pick the next time you’re forced to choose between Fisher or Trapper, Angler or Mariner, and Pirate or Luremaster. Happy fishing!