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Minecraft fishing guide: Everything you need to know about how to fish in Minecraft (2023)

Learn about fishing rods, enchantments, types of fish, and more

Looking to learn how to fish in Minecraft? Fishing has been a staple of survival games for well over a decade, and one of the most famous examples is in Minecraft. Mojang's sprawling sandbox gives players the chance to easily indulge in a bit of fishing. But dig a little deeper and there's a fair bit to know if you want to really maximise your chances of getting the real treasures hiding deep in Minecraft's waters.

On this page, we'll explain every step of the Minecraft fishing experience, from crafting your first fishing rod and enchanting it with all the best traits, to all the loot chances of each fish and piece of junk or treasure. We'll also go over some handy tips to keep in mind while you're enjoying a spot of fishing.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe Best Minecraft Shaders

How to make a fishing rod in Minecraft

A fishing rod is the only piece of equipment you need in order to fish in Minecraft. Thankfully, it's very easy to craft. All you need is:

  • 3x Stick
  • 2x String

Organise them in the crafting window as shown below, with the sticks in a diagonal line from bottom-left to top-right, and the string occupying the remaining right-most slots in the grid.

The recipe for a fishing rod in Minecraft.
You need 3 Sticks and 2 String to make a fishing rod in Minecraft.

How to fish in Minecraft

To fish in Minecraft, all you need is a fishing rod and a body of water. This body of water can be of any size and depth, so even a block of water is good enough to fish in! Every body of water is as good for fish as any other - you don't get different fish from different biomes. If you want that, you'll need to turn to Minecraft mods.

You can fish from wherever you like, whether it's standing on the coast, sitting in a boat, or even submerged in water yourself.

To start fishing, equip your fishing rod and right-click to cast your line into the water. You don't need to aim at any particular place in the water. You also don't need to see fish in the water in order to be able to catch fish there.

Keep your fishing rod equipped, and wait patiently until you see a v-shaped trail of bubble particles in the water. This should only take between 5 and 30 seconds.

A player in Minecraft fishes in a lake. Between the bobber and the player, a v-shaped set of particles indicates the presence of a fish.
Note the trail of bubble particles just below the reticle.

You won't see the fish itself, but this trail of particles is what to look for. Once it appears, it will quickly snake its way towards your fishing rod's bobber. When it meets the bobber, there will be a loud splashing noise, and the bobber will sink underwater. When this happens, right-click immediately to pull in your catch.

If you do this correctly, then you'll receive either a fish or some other loot (more on this below), along with some experience orbs. You'll also slightly lower the durability of your fishing rod with each catch, unless it has been enchanted with Unbreaking.

A Minecraft player fishes in the rain.
Fishing in the rain helps you catch fish quicker.

Minecraft fishing tips

Here are a few less well-known facts and tips that you should know about if you want to start fishing in Minecraft:

  • Make sure Particles are NOT set to Minimal in your Video Settings, or you won't see the fish trail particles.
  • If the bobber is not directly exposed to the sky above, it takes twice as long to catch something.
  • Fishing in the rain is good! If it's raining, the wait time before a catch appears is reduced by around 20%.
  • Splash particles and sounds will try to fake you out. Wait for the bobber to go fully underwater before right-clicking.
  • If the player moves more than 32 blocks away from the bobber then the line will break.
  • Don't bother aiming for actual fish in the water. You can kill those fish like ordinary mobs, but actual fishing won't have any effect on them.
An Enchanting Room in Minecraft, made up of an Enchanting Table surrounded by Bookshelves.

Minecraft fishing enchantments

You can enchant fishing rods with the following enchantments:

  • Unbreaking - Increases the fishing rod's durability.
  • Mending - Picking up XP orbs replenishes the fishing rod's durability.
  • Lure - Decreases the wait time before a catch.
  • Luck Of The Sea - Lowers the chance of "junk" catches and increases the chance of "treasure" catches.
  • Curse Of Vanishing - If you die, the fishing rod disappears forever.

Obviously the Curse Of Vanishing is not an enchantment you'll necessarily want to have on your fishing rod, but the rest are very useful if you plan on doing a lot of fishing in your latest Minecraft survival world.

For more information on these and other enchantments, check out our dedicated Minecraft enchanting guide.

A run of salmon underwater in Minecraft.

Minecraft fishing loot - what can you catch?

Each time you make a catch with a basic fishing rod in Minecraft, there's an 85% chance that the catch will be a fish. 10% of the time, it'll be a "junk" item, and 5% of the time it'll be a "treasure" item.

However, in order to catch a "treasure" item, there needs to be a lot of uninterrupted open water around the bobber - at least 5x4x5 blocks. If you're fishing in a small area, then you'll only be able to catch fish or "junk" items.

Below is a list of all the fishing loot you can obtain in Minecraft, and the chances of catching each one:

Fish loot probabilities while fishing in Minecraft

Fish Loot chance Chance in category
Raw Cod 51% 60%
Raw Salmon 21.3% 25%
Pufferfish 11.1% 13%
Tropical Fish 1.7% 2%

"Treasure" loot probabilities while fishing in Minecraft

Treasure Loot chance Chance in category
Enchanted Bow 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)
Enchanted Book 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)
Enchanted Fishing Rod 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)
Name Tag 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)
Nautilus Shell 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)
Saddle 0.8% 16.7% (1 in 6)

"Junk" loot probabilities while fishing in Minecraft

Junk Loot chance Chance in category
Lily Pad 1.7% 17%
Bone 1.0% 10%
Bowl 1.0% 10%
Leather 1.0% 10%
Leather Boots 1.0% 10%
Rotten Flesh 1.0% 10%
Tripwire Hook 1.0% 10%
Water Bottle 1.0% 10%
Stick 0.5% 5%
String 0.5% 5%
Fishing Rod 0.2% 2%
10x Ink Sac 0.1% 1%

Note: if you're fishing in a Jungle biome, then there's also a chance of receiving Cocoa Beans (Bedrock Edition only) or Bamboo as "junk" items.

That's everything you need to know in order to get stuck into fishing in Minecraft! If you're looking for an idyllic spot to do some fishing, then check out our list of the best Minecraft seeds. To fully complete the atmosphere, download one of the best Minecraft shaders while you're at it!

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.