Fishing in ARK can help you catch more than just some extra food. Many players don’t know that it’s a spectacular way to get additional Blueprints to help you learn new recipes and crafting skills.
The bait you use significantly affects what you drag up from the waters, so make sure you know what you’re fishing for before setting out with your pole.
What is Fishing in ARK: Survival Evolved
Fishing is exactly what it is in the real world – you bait a rod, find the right place to sit, and then cast the line to reel in fish. However, it’s not just a matter of strength and patience in the game.
Fishing in ARK is almost a minigame. Specific commands come up on the screen, and you have to match your inputs to the ones you see.
How to Fish in ARK: Survival Evolved
There are a few different options for bait and seating that you can read more about below. However, the mechanics of fishing in ARK are the same no matter which options you choose.
- Search for a lake, river, or ocean with visible fish you can catch. You want to have a healthy fish population if you intend to fish for a while.
- Put the fishing rod in your hot bar.
- Set down the seat you intend to use if you’re going to use a chair. Otherwise, mount the fishing vessel you’re going to ride. If you’re using a seat, it needs to be facing the water.
- Open your inventory and select the bait you want to use. Place the fishing rod in your hands and drag the bait onto it to load it.
- Sit down if you aren’t already.
- Cast your reel into the water.
- Stay seated while you wait for the bite. It might be a while, so ensure you don’t move out of the spot.
- When a fish bites, start pressing the keys that appear on the screen. They should all be keys from the left side of the keyboard on the PC. On console, it will be options from your controller. Do not press one out of sequence or miss one, or you will lose the fish.
- Check your inventory to see what you got.
One of the most complex parts of fishing in ARK is finding a spot with the type of fish you want to catch. If there aren’t any fish visible in the water, you will not catch anything. ARK fishing isn’t like fishing in Stardew Valley, where there’s a chance for any fish in the game to spawn according to certain conditions. Instead, you can catch what you can see in the water.
How to Make a Fishing Rod
Many players on ARK are unaware of the benefits of fishing and don’t realize how easy it is to make the fishing rod. The engram unlocks at level 18, and you can craft it right in your inventory.
You just need 50 fibers, 20 pieces of thatch, and 12 pieces of wood to craft it. It only takes ten seconds to finish once you start.
The fishing rod is considered a weapon that can do ranged damage. You load the bait into it like ammo.
Types of Fish
There are only a few kinds of fish you can catch using a rod in ARK. You don’t be yanking a Megalodon out of the ocean. However, no matter which fish you get, you will still get the same items in your inventory.
- Coelacanth is the easiest fish to catch. They are non-aggressive fish who won’t hurt you if you wade into the water.
- Sabertooth Salmon are aggressive fish. They are as easy to catch as the Piranha but not as easy as the Coelacanth.
- Piranha have the same conditions to catch as the Sabertooth Salmon. They are also aggressive and will attack you if you wade into the water.
- Leedsichthys can only be caught on mobile. If you’re playing on any other platform, they aren’t an option and can’t be caught.
The type of fish you want to catch only depends on which kind of bait you use. They all give the same drops, which is fish meat and prime.
However, there are drops you can get that aren’t guaranteed. For example, fishing can help give you random resources. You can also get blueprints to help you craft other items.
Types of Bait
The bait you use determines which kinds of fish you can catch. It determines the maximum fish size but also the kind of fish.
- Sap will only attract Coelacanth. It will only attract fix up to 0.94 in size, so anything larger will not be tempted. If you’re using Sap to attract fish, they must be near it for between 20 and 42 seconds before they bite.
Getting sap is very easy, as long as you have access to Redwood Trees. You can use a Tree Sap Tap placed on one to get an ample supply in time.
- Leech Blood is a bit harder to obtain, but it can attract Coelacanth, Sabertooth Salmon, and Piranha up to 1.88 in size.
Leech blood has to be harvested from leeches, which can damage you and your pets. Search for them in the swamp and try to get them with ranged weapons before they can attach to you. If a leech grabs on, you’ll see a prominent icon in the center of your screen warning you that it needs to be removed.
- Giant Bee Honey catches the Coelacanth, Sabertooth Salmon, and Piranha. You can get it from beehives, though it’s much easier to use as a regular resource if you have your own. It can get fish of up to 2.4 in size.
- Unicorn Residue is a bait only used on ARK Mobile. It’s the only bait that will attract the Leedsichthys. It drops as the feces of a unicorn.
- Ancient Amber can also attract the Coelacanth, Sabertooth Salmon, or Piranha. However, it’s an expensive resource and just as easy to fish with as the other types of bait.
Types of Seating
There are a few kinds of things you can sit on to fish. The one you choose should be based on where you’re fishing and what you want to catch.
The Wooden Chair and Wooden Bench are great, low-cost items that you can easily set down almost anywhere, including on a raft. However, if the raft moves, the line will snap, and you won’t catch the fish you’re trying to get.
The Canoe wasn’t available until the Genesis: Part 2 update. However, it’s a viable choice for fishing. Nothing in the water will attack it while you’re in it, but other types of creatures can attack you, so be aware of what when choosing a fishing position.
Like the Wooden Chair and Wooden Bench, you can unlock the Canoe at a very low level, and it doesn’t take a lot of materials to build.
A tamed Pelagornis is another option for those who wish to ride this flyer for fishing. However, other creatures will attack a Pelagornis when they act like a boat in the water. It’s essential to be aware of where you’re setting up so that you don’t end up being eaten.
Fishing Tips in ARK
- Many people like to kill low-level fish before they actually start fishing. They have a better chance of getting the blueprint drops since higher-level fish by the weight value have a better chance of dropping them.
- Look for blueprints to craft a higher-quality fishing rod. It will increase your chances of high-value drops.
- You can also throw a fish net into the water to catch a fish. Just put it in your hotbar and use it from there.
- ARK also includes fish traps. You set them up in the water like furniture and then use them to trap fish. You can move a fish from one place to another with them.
- Try practicing with a low-level rod and sap until you’re used to the fishing minigame and aren’t struggling to hit the right buttons in the amount of time you’re given. When you use more difficult bait to catch higher-level fish, it won’t go to waste.
- Look in red or yellow drops for blueprints for higher-level fishing rods. You might find them in Supply Crates or cave drops.
- Practicing fishing with sap is an excellent way to go, but when you’re fishing to get drops, you should use a different bait.
- Some players like to create a pond near their base by walling off part of a body of water. They let fish swim in and then close the gate to have a good number. Then they can sit there and fish for a time without looking for other fish in larger waters where they can get away faster. Doing this also helps keep them nearer the bait radius.