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How to fish in New World: how to make and use a Fishing Pole

How to use a Fishing Pole and Bait to catch all sorts of New World fish

Want to learn how to fish in New World? In all honesty, who doesn't? Why would anyone want to play a gigantic MMO for any reason other than equipping a Fishing Pole and spending a bit of downtime seeing what you can catch in various different bodies of water?

Below we'll walk you through how to get your hands on a Fishing Pole and bait in New World, and how to fish without breaking your line. We'll also show you all the best fishing hotspots on one handy map.


On this page:

How to fish in New World

You can get stuck into fishing very early on in New World, because what you'll need is actually very simple and easy to get. First you'll need a Fishing Pole - we cover how to make or obtain a Fishing Pole in the section below.

Second, you may wish to get some bait by purchasing it from more or less any trader in the game. You can fish without bait, but fishing with the right sort of bait for the type of water you're fishing in (fresh water or salt water) will improve your chances of getting more valuable fish.

Once you've found a good fishing spot, here's how to fish:

  1. Press F3 near a fishing hotspot to enter Fishing Mode.
  2. Press R to equip bait (optional).
  3. Hold left-mouse button to prepare to cast your line; a bar will fill up to indicate the distance of your cast.
  4. Release left-mouse button once you're happy with the distance.
  5. Wait until you've caught something (a warning will appear on-screen a second before).
  6. Hold left-mouse button to reel your line back in. An icon will appear with a green centre which slowly stretches as you reel. Release left-mouse button once the icon turns orange, or your catch will escape. Start reeling again once the icon is back to green.
  7. Keep alternating between holding left-mouse button and releasing to reel the fish back to you.
A side-by-side comparison of the fishing icon in New World: green on the left, orange on the right.

Sometimes it's fairly quick and easy to reel your fish back to you, because the fishing icon stretches very slowly. But other times you have to be patient, because holding down left-mouse button for even a couple of seconds will push the icon into the orange state, threatening to snap your line. But stay patient and you'll always be able to reel the line back fully. Be aware also that investing in the Focus attribute will improve your fishing capabilities by increasing your fishing line tension and decreasing the weight of fish in your inventory.

Fishing is a decent way of earning XP, and it's a fun, chill way to get lots of tasty meals and other useful items - particularly if you can get a group of friends together for a fishing session.


How to get a Fishing Pole

By far the easiest way to get a Fishing Pole in New World is to craft one yourself. You can craft a simple Wooden Fishing Pole out of 1 Green Wood and 1 Fiber at any campfire. Check out our page on how to get Fiber from Hemp plants in New World for more information. If you spawned there, I'd recommend you craft one at the Watcher's Campfire at Monarch's Bluffs Watchtower (the starting point for many new characters) because there happens to be Hemp in the forest nearby, which you'll need to harvest in order to get Fiber. See the map below for the exact location.

Left: part of the New World map showing the location of Hemp next to Monarch's Bluffs Watchtower. Right: a close-up of the Hemp in-game.
The map portion of this image was made using the interactive New World online map linked below.

You can also obtain a Fishing Pole by speaking with Master Fisher Michael Shields in Windsward, but it's far quicker to simply make one yourself.

There are higher tiers of Fishing Poles out there, of course, but you'll have to meet certain level requirements before you can use them. The Treated Wood Fishing Pole requires you to be Level 4; to use the Aged Wood Fishing Pole you must reach Level 18; the Wyrdwood Fishing Pole requires level 40, and the Ironwood Fishing Pole requires level 60, which is New World's level cap. If you're looking for ways to increase your level quickly, check out our New World leveling walkthrough.


New World fishing hotspot locations

You can fish more or less anywhere in New World, even in shallow water. But deep water is far better, as it increases your chances of finding rare and more valuable fish.

As you explore in New World you'll come across various fishing hotspot locations, which are areas of shallow water that behave like deep water, giving you an improved chance to catch rarer, higher-tier fish. These fishing hotspots have limited uses per player, so you can't keep fishing there forever - although server restarts will generally reset these uses.

You can view all the fishing hotspots in New World by checking out the map below, which was taken from this handy interactive New World online map. Note that each fishing hotspot has either 1, 2, or 3 stars next to it, which indicates the quality of the hotspot (Broad, Rare, or Secret), and the rarity of fish you are likely to catch by fishing there.

The New World map, with all the fishing hotspots marked by icons.

That wraps up this quick primer on how to fish in New World. If you want to know how to jump between fishing hotspots as quickly and efficiently as possible and you consider the absence of New World mounts to be a deplorable crime, check out our primer on the different New World fast travel options. Elsewhere, you can check out our walkthrough on how to make and upgrade Camps in New World. Or, if you're a newcomer who's still getting to grips with the game, look no further than our list of New World tips and tricks.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having just about the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be pretty darn good at Rocket League, but he has since sacrificed that accolade in order to become passably decent at Apex Legends. His favourite pastimes include playing piano covers of his favourite game soundtracks, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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