11 Reasons You Need A Catfish + How to Catch One

Catfish is a freshwater fish that can be quite tricky to find and catch. They’re quite valuable, though! Read on to learn everything there is to know about this freshwater fish!

A screenshot from Stardew Valley in which the farmer has just caught a Catfish.

Fish Properties

All the different types of fish in Stardew Valley have specific behaviors, difficulties, and sizes.

Fish Behavior

A fish’s behavior determines how it behaves during the fishing mini-game. There are five types of fish behavior:

  • Mixed – This is the basic fish pattern. The fish will go up and down randomly without any very tricky or sudden movement.
  • Smooth – These fish are easier to catch than fish with mixed behavior. Their movement patterns are steady and smooth.
  • Sinker – These fish behave normally for the most part, but will dip suddenly. They move faster when they go down.
  • Floater – These fish are the opposite of sinkers. They are faster going up.
  • Dart – Fish that have a dart behavior are the hardest to catch. They move much faster in both directions and change direction suddenly and rapidly.
Dart fish can be the hardest to catch due to their unpredictable movement.

Fish Difficulty

A fish’s difficulty is predetermined – each fish in Stardew Valley is considered to have a difficulty between five and 110. The most difficult-to-catch fish is the Legend, one of the five legendary fish you can catch, and its difficulty rating is 110. Carp is on the other end of the spectrum, with a difficulty of just 15.

What Is A Catfish Like?

A Catfish is a brown-colored fish with black fins, red eyes, and whiskers. Using the descriptors from the section above, their behavior is mixed – they follow a pretty basic movement pattern during the fishing mini-game. A Catfish’s difficulty is rated 75 – which is on the higher side. This means that, even with their mild behavior, these fish are decently difficult to catch. They can be caught in the size range of 12-73 inches.

Size12-73 In.

How to find a Catfish

Time and weather

Generally speaking, Catfish can only be caught during any time of the day in Spring or in Fall, in different places in Pelican Town where there is freshwater. These fish can only be found when it’s raining outside. Under certain conditions you can also catch one during Summer and Winter:

  • Summer – You can catch it during the Summer only in the Secret Woods and the Witch’s Swamp.
  • Winter – You can catch it at their usual locale during Winter if you can get it to rain. A Rain Totem will do the trick!

You can tune into the Weather Channel each day to see if it’s going to rain on the next day. Once the weatherman confirms it, get your Fishing Rod ready to go for tomorrow!

Gonna have to wait another day.


As for where you can find this fish, there are six possible locations:

  • The Pelican Town River
  • The Cindersap Forest River
  • The Secret Forest
  • The Witch’s Swamp
  • The Riverlands Farm
  • The Hill-Top Farm

Where are the Secret Woods?

The entrance to the Secret Woods is in the northwest corner of the Cindersap Forest. However, you will need to have a Steel Axe before you can chop down the Large Log that’s blocking the path. To catch this fish at the Secret Woods, it still needs to be raining. However, you can catch a Catfish here in Summer as well, and not just Spring and Fall.

Fishing in the Secret Woods.

Where is the Witch’s Swamp?

Meanwhile, the entrance to the Witch’s Swamp is at the northeastern corner of the area next to the Spa. This area becomes available after the “Dark Talisman” quest. Like the Secret Woods, it must be raining outside for you to catch this fish in the swamp; even though you won’t see the rain in the swamp area itself. It can be caught here in Spring, Summer, or Fall.

What is the Riverland and Hill-top Farm?

There are two of the several possible farm maps you can choose when you start your game. These two in particular have rivers coursing through them, which makes it possible to catch this fish on your property. In comparison, on the Beach Farm, there is no river in sight; only saltwater.

If you didn’t choose either of these two farm maps, you won’t be able to catch a Catfish on your farmstead. However, you can still find them all over Pelican Town; so don’t sweat it!

How to catch a Catfish

Catfish boast a difficulty level of 75, which means that catching them is no small feat. If you’re new to fishing, you may struggle to catch this fish for a long time. To improve your chances:

  • Level up your fishing skill
  • Purchase the Iridium Rod – For the best results, get the best fishing gear there is! This Rod allows you to attach tackles.
  • Acquire the Cork Bobber – This tackle increases the size of your fishing bar, making the fishing mini-game just a tad easier.
  • Eat some +Fishing Food – Certain meals will artificially and temporarily increase your fishing skill level, making it easier to catch difficult fish. You can buy Trout Soup from Willy for just 250g. For more recipes, befriend Willy and check your mailbox!

Other Ways to Get a Catfish

There are more ways to obtain a Catfish than just through fishing:

  • Garbage Cans – You can find lots of things in the garbage cans around Pelican Town, including Catfish. Right-click on cans when you walk by them and try your luck!
  • Travelling Cart – They can also be bought at the Traveling Cart for 600-1,000 gold each. Find the Travelling Cart in the northern part of the Cindersap Forest during the daytime on Fridays and Sundays.
  • Linus – You may recieve a fish in the mail from Linus if you befriend him.

What to do with a Catfish

1. Complete the River Fish Bundle in the Community Center

Catfish are used for one bundle in the Community Center: The River Fish bundle in the Fish Tank. The Community Center is located directly north of Pierre’s General Store. Your reward for completing this bundle is 30 pieces of Bait.

2. Gift It to an NPC

Only one villager loves getting it as a gift – Willy, the local fisherman. Demetrius, Elliot, Leo, Linus, Pam, and Sebastian are all neutral to receiving a Catfish as a gift. Everyone else in Stardew Valley either dislikes it or hates it.

4. Store it for Quests

There are two types of quests where a Catfish will be needed – “Item Delivery” and “Fishing” quests.

There is a chance of catfish being requested randomly during the Spring and Fall Seasons on the “Help Wanted” board. This board is located in front of Pierre’s General Store, next to the calendar. Completing this quest rewards you with gold and friendship points with the villager who requested it. If you store a couple of Catfish in a chest somewhere, you can get this quest done lickety-split as soon as it pops up.

Alternatively, one to four Catfish in total can be requested by Willy or Demetrius in a “Fishing” quest. You can find these quests on the same Quest Board. Unlike the regular “Item Delivery” quests, you get to keep all of the Catfish you catch for these fishing quests.

5. Use it for Crafting

Any fish can be used to craft Quality Fertilizer, including Catfish. To learn more about fertilizers, check out our article on them below:


6. Use it for Cooking

Catfish is used in two cooking:

  • Maki Roll You can learn the recipe for Maki Roll by watching the Queen of Sauce on the 21st of Summer in Year One. Alternatively, you can purchase the recipe from Gus at the Stardrop Saloon. Maki Rolls are made with Seaweed, Rice, and any one fish.
  • Sashimi – Linus will give you the recipe for Sashimi after you’ve reached three hearts of friendship with him. You need one of any fish to craft Sashimi. Sashimi grants you more health and energy than a regular quality Catfish would.

7. Tailor With It

Catfish are also used in making the fish shirt with the sewing machine, which you can see below. Unlike many other items in Stardew, you cannot use Catfish in the dye pots.

8. Make a Catfish Pond

When Catfish are put into a Fish Pond they produce Roe. Roe can be placed into a Preservers Jar to craft the artisan good Aged Roe. This can be sold for quite a pretty penny. For best profits, make sure to keep growing your fish farm by completing fish quests and homing more and more Catfish.

9. Save it for the Luau

The Luau is one of the most fun festivals in Stardew Valley. The center-focus of the festival is the community pot-luck. You’ll find a big wooden tub of stew and be asked to contribute the final ingredient. As it happens, a Gold or Iridium quality Catfish will get the best response from the visiting Governer.

If the Governer is happy, so is mayor Lewis, and so is the rest of the village! You’ll gain heaps of friendship points from everyone by making the Governor happy.

10. Sell ’em

The follow table outlines the price of Catfish at different quality levels. Furthermore, you can increase the worth of any fish you sell by grabbing the Fisher and Angler professions at levels five and ten of the fishing skill – also outlined below!

No professionFisher ProfessionAngler Profession
Regular Quality200g250g300g
Silver Quality250g312g375g
Gold Quality300g375g450g
Iridium Quality400g500g600g

11. Eat ’em

When consumed, you will receive a boost of 50 energy, and 22 health. A regular quality fish should be made into Sashimi for better results. However, an Iridium Quality specimen will give you a far handsomer boost in both Energy and Health – 130 Energy, and 58 Health to be exact.

Meet the author

I'm a content writer and an avid video game player whose favourites are either chill RPGs or super competitive shooters with no in-between! If anyone is still reading this please help, Joja has trapped me in a guide-writing factory and I'm so tired of drinking Joja Cola.

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