Sims 4 Fishing Guide: Everything You Need to Know

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One of the 20 skills included in The Sims 4 base game is fishing, which can be improved by fishing, reading about fishing, and fishing some more.

Increasing this skill makes you a more well-rounded fisherman/woman, which will let you catch more fish, put them in fishbowls, teach other sims to fish, create traps, and, at level 10, catch the legendary Golden Mahi Mahi.

Your ultimate goal as a fisherman is to catch all of the fish in the base game, which awards you The Right Angler trophy. If you have the expansion packs, you can set new goals. Fish in the Island Living expansion are much harder to find, catch and obtain. Some are even endangered.

Let’s look at what benefits the fisherman skill earns you, how to create your own fisherman/woman, and where you can fish to catch every swimmer in the game.

How Island Living Changed the Fishing Skill

Sims 4 Summer Picnic Willow Creek

The Island Living expansion pack changed how the fishing skill levels up in the main game. Other changes were also made to fishing mechanics. If you haven’t played Sims 4 since The Island Living Expansion (June 21, 2019), keep reading.

  • In The Sims 4 Base game, fishing has the worst unlocks out of all skills available. After level 7, the player received no more perks.  Now, the perks are better and more fleshed out.
  • Fish traps are a new addition. We expand on this in “Fish Traps (Island Living).”
  • “Examining Water” is improved, dropped to level 3, and no longer gives generic bait clues. It will tell you what kind of fish are caught in that spot.
  • Sims can fish from Canoes. We expand on this in “Fishing from Canoes (Island Living).”
  • Sims can be asked to join in on fishing, and you can mentor others on how to fish at Level 8. However, you can’t have a conversation while fishing.
  • Bait now makes it more likely that you’ll receive the catch that the bait was specific to. For example, Red-Tailed Black Sharks are baited by small fish.
  • Mermaids Aquatic Lure is an item you can buy, which increases your skill level higher by 2. Level 10 fisherman/women can have a level of 12.
  • Angle for Big Catch is included with the asperation Angling Ace. This appears as an option at level 9. You can select it when you go to cast your line. You’ll attract more high-level fish. However, your Sim won’t catch small fish with this action activated.
  • Sims can share fishing tips and XP.
  • All the above changes help make the notebook more useful, because you can fill more pages in your notebook by the increased interaction.
  • 14 fishes were released, including the legendary Golden Mahi Mahi.
  • If you give your Sim the new Child of the Sea trait, you can release fish, and you gain a reputation boost when you do this and a Feel Good Moodlet. Removing litter from the ocean does the same thing.
  • Not releasing Endangered fish, even if you don’t have the Child of the Sea trait, will make you lose reputation.

Island Living changed fishing in Sims 4 mostly for the better. The new fishing skill level unlocks was a massive improvement.

Skip leveling up yourself with this Fishing Cheat: On the keyboard, select Control + Shift + C. In the box, type testingcheats on. Press Enter. You can set you skill by imputing stats.set_skill_level major_fishing x (in the x, use numbers 1-10 to set the level.)

The Old Fishing Skill Level Unlocks

Below are the old fishing skills a player could obtain before the Island Living expansion and the patch to the base game:

  • Level 1: Fish can be used as decoration in the home.
  • Level 2: Koi, Trout, and Bass now spawn in fishing ponds.
  • Level 3: Player can use bait while fishing.
  • Level 4: Tilapia and Catfish now spawn in fishing ponds.
  • Level 5: Examine Water gained. Used to observe water.
  • Level 6: Rainbow Fish now spawn in fishing ponds.
  • Level 7: Player can catch mysterious fish.
  • Level 8: Become a master fisherman/woman.
  • Level 9: Nothing.
  • Level 10: Nothing.

The fishing skill capped out at level 7, as the next level earn you nothing, which was a massive disappointment for Sims 4 fans.

The New Fishing Skill Level Unlocks

After the The Island Living Expansion (June 21, 2019), the new fishing skill level unlocked rolled out. You can unlock new skills that weren’t available in the old fishing skill level unlocks. Some skills were switched around to different levels.

The biggest improvement is the players’ ability to max out the skill.

  • Level 1: Fish can be placed on Mounts and put in Fish Bowls.
  • Level 2: Koi, Trout, and Bass are catchable.
  • Level 3: Player can use bait while fishing, Examine Water is gained to observe water. Fish Traps unlocked in Island Living.
  • Level 4: Tilapia and Catfish are catchable. Possibility of reeling in treasure increases.
  • Level 5: Catch rarer fish, like the Captain Fishbone. Fish in any weather, or while stressed, tense, or uncomfortable.
  • Level 6: Rainbow Fish are catchable. Unlocks Share Fishing Tips, a social activity that helps other Sims gain skill in fishing. Fish Traps in Island Living increase from 2 to 4.
  • Level 7: Anglerfish are catchable. Social interaction unlocked for sharing fishing spot and info on rare fish. Sims become better are deep sea fishing in Island Living.
  • Level 8: Gain the social interaction Teach How to Fish.
  • Level 9: Can use the buff “Angle for Big Catch.” Gain the social interaction “Expert Fishing Tips,”
  • Level 10: Become a master fisherman/woman. Fish Traps increase from 4 to 6, and you can now attempt to catch the Golden Mahi Mahi in Island Living.

Now that you know how the Island Living changed the fishing skill, let’s move on to creating your fisherman/woman.

Creating Your Fisherman/Woman

To create your new fisherman/women, start the game (or exit to the main menu by clicking the ••• at the top right of the screen and selecting “Exit to Main Menu) and select “New Game.” If you want to keep your saved town, add a family in your already loaded game.

Traits and Aspirations for Fishing

The appearance of your fisherman/woman won’t affect your fishing ability, but your traits and aspirations will.

  • Traits is the personality system in The Sims 4. All traits affect your Sim’s actions, behaviors and emotions.
  • Aspirations is the lifelong goal system in the Sims 4. When an aspiration is chosen, your Sim will be given a bonus trait. For example, the aspiration “Animal” is chosen, the player can select “Animal Affection” to improve their relationships with animals.

Choosing the following traits and aspirations will help you become the fishing master you’ve always wanted to be.

  1. Genius: With the Genius trait, Sims are Focused but can become Very Focused if their needs are met. If you choose to pick Genius, you’ll gain performance at technical jobs and while fishing, making your skill go up faster. Make sure you pursue Mental Skills as a Genius, or they will become upset and not stay focused.
  2. Love Outdoors: Naturally, someone who loves the outdoors would love to fish! With the Love Outdoors trait, Sims will become happier outside of the house, which will increase Skill gain. Stack other Positive Moodlets for a better effect.
  3. Base Game for 3rd Trait – Cheerful, Loner: In the base game, players should pick either Cheerful to gain random “Feeling Happy” moodlets, which increase their happiness to increase skill gain. Loner is another great trait, as fishing in Sims 4 is a solitary sport.
  4. Expansion Packs for 3rd Trait – Green Fiend: In the expansion packs, Green Fiend (Eco Lifestyle) gives Sims a 4 hour inspired buff when doing green activities, including walking through a green neighborhood (cities with forests or renewable energy).
  5. Angling Ace Aspiration: If you’re making a fisherman/woman, this aspiration is a must. With the Angler’s Tranquility buff that’s activated while fishing, Negative Moodlets disappear.

Here are the levels in Angling Ace and what is needed to max out this aspiration.

Angling Ace Aspiration

Fish out of Water

• Catch 5 fish + Go to 3 different locations and fish.


• 10 hours banks for fishing + Bowl or mount 5 fish.

• Reach fishing skill level 4.

Reel Smart

• Catch 5 fish with bait + Make 6 catches.

•  Reach fishing skill level 6.

Angling Ace

• Collect 20 different kinds of fish + Reach fishing skill level 10.

Now that you’ve created your character, move them into a house, preferable in Willow Creek, to get started.

Read Books on Fishing

Get your fishing skill up before leaving, or it’s a waste of time and money. If you leave too early to try and fish, some fishing spots will give you an error message that reads, “The Fish are too Crafty for Your Sim!”

To read a book, buy a bookcase, right-click on the bookcase and choose Purchase Books. You can purchase a fishing book using this method.

Even if you leave at fishing level one (1), you won’t catch much. Read your books on fishing until your character hits level 3. At level 3, you can catch decent fish like Koi or Bass. Plus, you gain the ability to use bait. You can order organic seed, a bait, by using a computer.

Go to Willow Creek

Willow Creek

To go to Willow Creek if you’re in another location, hit the “Globe” button in the left-hand corner of the screen and select Willow Creek. To start fishing, you’ll need to select on of the fishing signs.

Note: Refer to the Willow Creek map. You’ll see the common locations labeled in red. Walk your Sim towards those areas, because you’ll be able to catch all of the fish swimming in those rivers and the ocean.

Start Fishing

Sims 4 Fishing

Right-click the fishing sign. If you bought bait in the previous section, you can select it now. You’re Sim will automatically start casting their lure, and will continue to fish until they’re in a bad mood (for level 5 and under) or you tell them to stop.

Freshness and Value

All fish spoil within 24 hours, but they may spoil faster if the fish you caught was of poor quality. When they spoil, the fish don’t lose their value, but they can’t be cooked to form nutritious food.

Fish can either be of Great, Average, Poor, or Foul quality.

You can prolong the freshness of the fish by putting it in the refrigerator. The higher your fishing level, the more a fish will be worth. To sell a fish, open your inventory or “backpack” and drag it towards the sell button.

How Common is Treasure?

For every 7-8 fish, you may get 1-2 treasure chests. You have about a 20%-25% chance of getting a treasure chest at any time, which is quite high. However, treasure can be anything that isn’t trash or fish, so the treasure you’re getting can be as common as fruit, or as rare as potions.

What is Found in Treasure?

If you “fail” to catch a fish, you can still find useful collectibles or fruit. Some of the more interesting items to obtain include Emotion Potions, Cowplant Berries, Kitchen Upgrade Parts, Apples,  Musical Instruments, and Pomegranates.

Continue Fishing or Reading to Boost Level

Similar to other skills in The Sims 4, your Sim can only learn by doing. While fishing is one of the more engaging skills in the game, it still requires you to wait to catch a fish.

Catching a rare fish will boost your level significantly, while catching junk boosts it the least. Keep moving around to better fishing spots as you gain levels. Please refer to the “Fishing Locations” for the best fishing locations, and “Sim 4 Base Game Fish Collection” and the sections below to find out where you can find every fish in the game.

Fishing Level Unlock Perks Explained

Mounting Fish and Fish Bowls

At level one, the fishing skill lets players mount fish and put them in Fish Bowls. If you keep your catch, you can buy a Fish Bowl in buy mode. Either search for “Fit4Fish,” or look in Room, Study, Indoor Activities. They are $60 dollars each.

A dead fish can still be put inside a Fish Bowl. To mount a fish on a plaque, the fish can either be alive or dead. Click the fish in your inventory to mount it.

Using Bait

At level three, the fishing skill lets players use bait to fish. Fish need specific types of bait. For example, and Anglerfish need medium fish as bait. All bait requirements are discussed in the “Sim 4 Base Game Fish Collection” section and below.

Always use bait to fish, because it gives a boost to your level. Except for trash, which lowers your level. Vegetables are +1 level for catching, small fish and frogs are +2 levels for catching,  and medium fish are +3 levels.

A good mood, focused mood, and bait can possibly up your skill level to +5 or more. However, you won’t get the perks associated with your boosted level.

You can use the “Catch Frog” action when clicking a pong to catch frogs for bait. This is useful if you’re in the middle of fishing and don’t want to return home to get more. You can use your own catches as bait when you’re running low.

Examining Water

At level three, the fishing skill lets players use Examine Water, which is an ability that works better when the Sim is Focuses. There’s a small chance the Examine Water will fail (there’s no indication it has failed), but you can try again. Always use it before fishing to figure out which fish are lurking in a ponds, rivers, oceans, or stream.

Social Functions

At level six (Share Fishing Tips), level seven (Share Fishing Spots, Share Information on Rare Fish), level eight (Teach How to Fish), and level nine (Expert Fishing Tips), the fishing skill lets players conduct social functions.

  • Share Fishing Tips: Shares fishing tips with other sims. Increases other sims skill in fishing.
  • Share Fishing Spots: Share best fishing spots with other sims. Increases other sims skill in fishing.
  • Teach How to Fish: Coaches other sims how to fish. The student can’t interact with the teacher.
  • Expert Fishing Tips: Shares fishing tips with other sims. Increases other sims skill in fishing.

You will gain a small amount of relationship by using either action.

Angle for Big Catch

At level nine, the fishing skill lets players use the buff Angle for Big Catch, which makes ignores all little fish to go for bigger swimmers. To activate it, use the buff instead of using bait. The player can’t catch small fish with the buff, but you’ll always catch a big fish while Angle for Big Catch is active.

Island Living Fishing Unlock Perks Explained

Island Living introduced fishing perks that are only available on Sulani. Once you leave the island, you can’t access these perks. The Child of the Sea trait and Endangered fish buff/debuff can be accessed in the main game, but you have to have Island Living to use it.

Fish Traps (Island Living)

At level three, the fishing skill lets the player use Fish Traps in Sulani. At level six, the fish traps you can use at a time increase from 2-4 and at level ten, these traps increase from 4-6. Fish traps attract random fish, but the bait you place inside of them increases the odds of catching fish that are attracted to that food.

You can place Fish Traps by the shoreline, in snorkeling depth water and deep water. The shallowness of the water determines what kind of fish you can catch, so experiment with your traps.

Fish Traps take 48 hours to fill, but they may fill earlier. Players can harvest them when they’re half-way full, but it’s better to wait to get more fish in less time. You can check the trap at any time to see your yield.

Fishing From Canoes (Island Living)

In Island Living, players can fish off canoes. Go to the shop Outdoor Activities and purchase a canoe. When you select the canoe, your Sims can select a spot in the water to sail to. Click “Sail Here” to go to that location.

You can only fish on shallow water and deep water. Deep water looks incredibly dark, but you can see the bottom of the ocean when you look at shallow water. Mua Pel’am has no deep water, whereas Sulani has deep water. Some fish can only be caught in deep water.

Aquatic Lure (Island Living)

With the Island Living Mermaids Expansion Pack, players can become mermaids by acquiring Mermaids Kelp. You must pay 30 hydration to use the Aquatic Lure, which you gain by sitting or swimming in water.

Blowing the Aquatic Lure horn will make all fishermen/women 3 levels higher, and catch rates improve for all fish for several hours.

Child of the Sea Trait and Endangered Fish (Island Living)

Child of the Sea was introduced to Island Living as a trait. Sims that have this trait are lovers of the sea, and will get a debuff if they fish or keep fish instead of letting them go.

By letting the fish go, the Sim receives positive reputation. With the Child of the Sea trait, your reputation increases more. If you keep a fish, your reputation won’t go down, but if you kill or keep an endangered fish, your reputation will plummet.

Fishing Locations Base Game (Full Pictures)

Willow Creek

Willow Creek

Oasis Springs

Oasis Springs

Granite Falls

Granite Falls

Magnolia Promenade

Magnolia Promenade





San Myshuno

San Myshuno

Sim 4 Base Game Fish Collection

Image Fish Name  Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Guppy 1 Small Common $5-$10 • Fishbowl


• Oasis Springs Park Pond

Goldfish 1 Small Common $11-$15 •  Willow Creek Park Pond


• Pond in Oasis Springs Park

• Fishbowl

Perch 1 Small Common $10-$15 • Most Fishing Spots
Minnow 1 Small Common $7-$9 • Most Fishing Spots
Tetra 1 Small Common $5-$10 • Willow Creek Park River


• Fishbowl

Salmon 1 Large Common $90-$340 • Most Fishing Spots
Angelfish 1 Small Uncommon $15-$20 • Willow Creek Rivers
Betta 1 Small Uncommon $10-$20 •  Willow Creek Park Pond
Wolf Eel 1 Large Uncommon $110-$360 • Forgotten Grotto (bait: frog)
Kissing Gourami 1 Small Uncommon $16-$18 • Rivers
Batfish 1 Medium Rare $120-$280 • Forgotten Grotto
Red-Tailed Black Shark 1 Small Rare $17-$21 • Willow Creek Park Pond (bait: small fish)


• Oasis Spring Park Near Forgotten Grotto Entrance (bait: small fish)

Piranha 1 Small Rare $20-$30 • Willow Creek Park Pond (bait: medium)


• Oasis Spring Park Pool in the Back (bait: medium)

Treefish 1 Medium Rare $150-$375 • Willow Creek Park Pond


• Sylvan Glade

Sturgeon 1 Large Rare $135-$345 • Oasis Springs Park Stream


• Forgotten Grotto

• Willow Creek Park Pond

Gummie Guppie 1 Small Rare $15-$30 • Oasis Springs Park Stream


• Sylvan Glade Waterfall

• Magnolia Promenade (GTW)

• Hermit’s Secret Location (OR)

“Captain Fishbones” Bonefish 1 Small Rare $10-$25 • Oasis Springs Park Stream


• Sylvan Glade Waterfall

• Magnolia Promenade (GTW)

• Hermit’s Secret Location (OR)

Trout 2 Medium Common $20-$115 • Oasis Springs Park Pond
Bass 2 Medium Common $15-$70 • Most Fishing Spots
Koi 2 Medium Common $25-$35 • Willow Creek Ponds


• Oasis Springs Park Pond

Catfish 4 Medium Uncommon $45-$110 • Rivers (bait: plants)
Tilapia 4 Medium Uncommon $55-$60 • Sylvan Glades Waterfall
Rainbowfish 6 Medium Rare $66-$84 • Forgotten Grotto


• Sylvan Glades Waterfall

Anglerfish 7 Medium Rare $40-$340 • Willow Creek Park Pond (bait: medium fish)


• Sylvan Glades Pond (bait: medium fish)

• Forgotten Grotto Pond (bait: medium fish)

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Image Plaque Name Skill Size Rarity (§)* How to Obtain
The Right Angler 10 Small – Large Very Rare $0 Catch all of the fish from the Sims 4 Base Game.

Sim 4 Outdoor Retreat Fish Collection

Image Fish Name  Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Yellow Perch 2 Medium Common $25-$45 • Granite Falls
Mountain Lionfish 3 Large Rare $165-$300 • Hermit’s Mountainside Retreat
Red Crawdad 4 Small Uncommon $10-$15 • Granite Falls Forest
Walleye 4 Medium Common $20-$80 • Granite Falls Forest
Blue Crawdad 7 Small Rare $50-$80 • Granite Falls Forest

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Sim 4 Spa Day Fish Collection

Image Fish Name  Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Exotic Goldfish 1 Small Uncommon $30-$60 • Sylvan Glades Waterfall
Discus 1 Medium Uncommon $35-$50 • Willow Creek Ponds


• Oasis Springs Park Pond 

Cichlid 1 Medium Common $10-$20 • Most Fishing Spots

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Sim 4 Spa Day Fish Collection

Image Fish Name Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Pufferfish 1 Small Uncommon $65-$100 • San Myshuno Docks


• Fish Bowl

Tuna 1 Large Uncommon $50-$90 •  Most Fishing Spots

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Sim 4 Vampire Fish Collection

Image Fish Name Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Vampire Squid 5 Medium Rare $50-$300+ • Forgotten Hollow

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Sim 4 Jungle Adventure Fish Collection

Image Fish Name Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Electric Eel 2 Large Rare $50-$100+ • Selvadorada Jungle
Armored Catfish 2 Medium Uncommon $50-$200+ • Omiscan Royal Baths
Tambaqui 2 Large Common $60-$100 • Selvadorada Market Ponds

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Sim 4 Island Living Fish Collection

Image Fish Name  Skill Size Rarity (§)* Catch Site
Celestial Grouper 1 Medium Common $15-$20 • Sulani
Neon Angelfish 3 Small Common $10-$20 • Sulani
Mahi Mahi 3 Large Common $90-$120 • Sulani (deep water)
Clownfish 3 Small Common $15-$20 • Sulani
Parrotfish 4 Large Uncommon $60-$75 • Sulani
Fighting Plakat 4 Large Uncommon $20-$25 • Sulani
Butterflyfish 5 Medium Uncommon $30-$40 • Mua Pel’am Oceanic Paradise Lot
Green Plakat 6 Small Rare $30-$45 • Sulani
Bluefin Tuna 7 Large Uncommon $150-$175 • Sulani (endangered)
Scorpionfish 8 Large Rare $100-$135 • Mua Pel’am Shipwreck
Leopard Shark 8 Medium Rare $100-$140 • Sulani (endangered)


• Mua Pel’am Shipwreck

Swordfish 9 Large Rare $200-$250 • Sulani (deep water)
Royal Sabrefish 9 Large Rare $300-$400 • Sulani (endangered) (deep water)
Golden Mahi Mahi 10 Large Rare $250-$350 • Sulani (endangered) (deep water)

* The price (§) (or $ for simplicity) of fish is determined by size. The above numbers are estimates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: How do you go fishing in Sims 4?

Answer: Fishing was a skill introduced in the base game of The Sims 4. Every neighborhood has at least one fishing spot, but some of them, like Willow Creek, have over 10.
To go fishing, you need to locate one of these fishing spots and click the wooden fishing sign. Sims will begin fishing once you interact with the sign. Multiple Sims can fish at the same location at once.

Question: Can you make a fishing pond in Sims 4?

Answer: Yes, you can build a pond in The Sims 4 without using custom content. However, you will need to turn on custom content. Select Control + Shift + C. In the box, type testingcheats on. Now that you’ve turned custom content on, use one of the following inputs:

• bb.showhiddenobjects 
• bb.moveobjects
• bb.showliveeditobjects 
• Bb.enablefreebuild (for locked community lots)

Draw any shape you like, but make sure your pond is deep enough to store fish. Once it is deep enough, you’ll be able to click the pond and select “Stock.” Then, select the fish you want to put in your pond. You now have a fish pond, but you won’t be able to fish from it.

Questions: Where are the fishing signs in Sims 4?

Answer: You’ll need to walk around the map yourself to find individual fishing signs to fish at, or you can refer to our maps earlier on in this blog post.
To make a fish sigh, open the cheat console by selecting Control + Shift + C, Type in bb.showliveeditobjects. Find the fishing signs and/or ponds by typing DEBUG in search and typing in FISHING. Then, build your pond.

Question: Can you breed fish in Sims 4?

Answer: As of writing this you cannot breed fish, but you can keep fish in an aquarium. When your fishing skill is level one, you can put fish in Fish Bowls or buy an aquarium from the buy menu.

The Fit4Fish Crystal Fish Bowl is an inexpensive fish bowl that looks great. Plus, you can put your catch inside the fish bowl, regardless if it’s alive, or poor quality or dead.


Before the Island Living update, using the fishing skill wasn’t ideal. After the update, fishermen and fisherwomen can employ really cool skills, like fishing from a canoe, using fish traps, Examining Water, improving their catch rate, and talk to others about fish and catch sites.

A word of advice: If you are going to start your fishing skill from scratch, read fishing books until level 3 so you can start to catch Bass, Koi and Trout. These fish will sell for more, and you won’t be locked out from uncommon fishing spots. Plus, you can use bait to catch more fish.

Have fun fishing in your Sims 4 world and catching tons of fish!


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