Riverland Farm: How to become a master fisherman

Do you love fishing in Stardew Valley? Are you starting up a new game and wondering which farm to choose? The Riverland Farm may just be the right choice for you!

A screenshot from Stardew Valley in which the farmer is fishing on the Riverland Farm.
The perfect farm for fans of fishing.

How to Select the Riverland Farm

You can select the Riverland Farm by choosing its icon in the New Game screen, as seen in our screenshot below:

If you’re already in the middle of a playthrough, unfortunately, you cannot change your farm map mid-game. However, you can always make a new farmer and start your journey anew!

An overview of the Layout

If you’re curious to see what your Riverland Farm can look like, check out our breakdown of the layout of this farm below:

The Riverland Farm in Summer of Year 2.

The Riverland Farm, essentially, looks like the Standard Farm has sustained some flooding. The Farm is sectioned into several islands, connected by small wooden bridges.

The top island is the largest, and it’s where you’ll find your homestead and the Greenhouse. This area has a good amount of tillable tiles but is broken into two parts due to the grassy area right in the middle. You can still use this area for planting Trees, Fruit Trees, or constructing a Barn or Coop since these two do not need any tillable land.

Going lower, there is one larger land mass. This island is composed entirely of arable land, so it’s an excellent place for crops or a spacious orchard.

Aside from these two larger pieces of plot, we have five smaller islands. These are fairly small, but enough to house some structures. You could place Fish Ponds, create a Beekeeping area, or a place to farm Hardwood or tapped items. The layout is highly customizable in this way.

The Advantages of the Riverland Farm

1. Great for Fishing

The focus of this farm map is on fishing. On other farms, fishing tends to lead to a big collection of trash. On the Wilderness Farm, farmers will catch Trash exactly 65% of the time. Even on the Beach Farm, another fishing-focused farm map, fishing leads to fish only 52% of the time. On the Riverland Farm, you will catch fish 70% of the time!

Players can catch River Fish on this farm. This includes all of the Fish you’ll need to collect for the River Fish Bundle in the Community Center.

2. Crab Pot Haven

Most other Farm Maps have only a small pond or two on their land, meaning that farmers can only place a few Crab Pots at home. Not so with the Riverland Farm! The farm is made up of islands, and you can place many Crab Pots on every island.

Crab Pots catch fish overnight, provided that you have placed bait inside the day before. Each Pot has a 38% chance to trap Trash instead of a fish, but the other 62% of the time you will catch a freshwater or saltwater critter instead.

The daily haul!

On the Riverland Farm, you can catch Freshwater fish. This includes the Crayfish, Snail, and Perwinkle. These are by no means highly valuable fish, but they have some uses.

For one, all three fish can be placed in the Crab Pot Bundle in the Community Center’s Fish Tank. All three fish can be crafted into Sashimi (and eaten, gifted, or sold for higher profit), and, more importantly, into Quality Fertilizer. To acquire the crafting recipe for the Quality Fertilizer, you need to reach Farming Level 9. When mixed into soil, it improves the crop’s quality.

Crayfish and Periwinkles in particular can be used to make Fish Stew. This recipe grants you a +3 Fishing buff. You can get the recipe for this dish from Willy by reaching 7+ Heart with them.

Periwinkles are also necessary to cook Strange Buns. You can get the recipe for this dish from Shane by reaching 7+ Heart with them. Strange Buns are used as offerings to the Dark Shrine of Night Terrors in the Witch’s Hut.

Finally, Snails have two notable uses. They can be used to cook Escargot, a Loved Gift for Gus, which grants a +2 buff to Fishing. You can get the recipe for this dish from Willy by reaching 5+ Heart with them. Snails by themselves are also a Loved Gift for Vincent!

Fish is used in many recipes.

To further benefit from Crab Pots, consider choosing the level five Fishing profession Trapper, and the level ten professions Mariner or Luremaster.

Trappers require fewer materials to craft Crab Pots. Very useful if you want to fill your farm up with Pots. After you’ve chosen Trapper, you have to make a decision about your level ten profession.

Mariners will no longer gain Trash from Crab Pots. This is a blessing and a curse since Trash can be recycled into useful items as well. Luremasters do not need to place Bait into Crab Pots. This is the best choice, as it removes the tedious task of refilling Pots with Bait every day.

3. Unique Layout

The Standard Farm is great; but, it’s just a square piece of land. The Riverland Farm’s layout is completely unique and interesting. Despite all the shortcomings of having less space, the farm is quite pleasant to look at and can be used for a lot of really interesting farm designs.

4. Spices Up Your Playthrough

If you’re the kind of player who has all the most profitable crops memorized by season, this map can prove to be a bit challenging. Having so little farming land means thinking outside the box when it comes to earning money. Perhaps this map will push you a bit in the direction of Fishing, Mining, Foraging, or Combat!

The Disadvantages of the Riverland Farm

1. Lack of Farming Area

The biggest disadvantage of the Riverland Farm is the lack of space. A large portion of the map is just water. The number of tillable tiles on the map is about 1500, whereas on the Standard Farm it’s 3400. There are about 500 extra tiles on the land that can be used, just not for farming, but that’s not a large number either.

The lack of farming area won’t be so noticeable in the early game when your Energy and wallet prevent you from even being able to plant many crops. But, you may need an alternative for late-game profit, if your goal is to earn as much money as possible.

The Greenhouse is incredibly valuable on such a small farm.

1. Not Spacious Enough for Multiplayer

Multiplayer is definitely possible on this farm map, but it may be a little too cramped. To compare with others maps, there are about 2000 tiles on the Riverland Farm, whereas the Standard Farm has 4600. The next map with the least amount of tiles still trumps the Riverland Farm by at least 500 tiles.

If you were to play multiplayer on the Four Corners Farm, you and your friend could pick a piece of the farm to call your own. On the Riverland Farm, there’s just not that much space to go around. So while multiplayer is an option, you might find it more enjoyable to play single-player on this farm, and multiplayer on one of the large ones.

How to Earn Money By Fishing

The obvious avenue for profit on the Riverland Farm is through Fishing. This map is the best choice for players who love fishing and want to focus on it. It’s also great for people who haven’t really given fishing a shot yet.

Here are five ways for you to improve at Fishing and earn more money doing it:

1. Upgrade your Fishing Pole

Your Fishing Rod is your most important tool. There are four types of rods, and each increases your odds of success more and more:

  1. Training Rod – This rod is easier to use than the other rods, but it can only catch common Fish. You can buy it from Willy at his Fish Shop at the Docks.
  2. Bamboo Pole – This rod will be given to you by Willy. It’s the most basic Rod, but it can catch more than just common Fish, and it’s a bit harder to use.
  3. Fiberglass Rod – This Rod is available for purchase from Willy when the player reaches level 2 in Fishing. You can apply Bait to this Rod, which can cause Fish to bite faster.
  4. Iridium Rod – This Rod can be purchased once the player reaches level 6 Fishing skill. You will be able to attach tackles to his Rod, which improves fishing in different ways.

2. Perfect your Mechanics

Your goal when fishing is to catch fish of the highest possible quality. Ideally, you should only be catching Gold and Iridium Quality Fish.

What quality your Fish will be depends on a couple of factors:

  1. Casting Distance – The player’s skill level determines the maximum possible casting distance. Fish are of higher quality the longer the distance between the shore and where your bobber lands. Make sure you’re always fishing at the edge of the land, and that you’re casting at maximum distance.
  2. Perfect Catch – A perfect catch means that the fish never leaves the green rectangle in the Fishing minigame screen. If you accomplish a perfect catch, the fish’s quality increases by one (a regular fish will now be Silver, a Silver will now be Gold). You also gain more experience by getting a perfect catch.
This is an example of poor fishing mechanics. The player should be closer to shore and throw the bobber at the max distance.

3. Cook Food with +Fishing

You can catch higher quality Fish by giving yourself a +Fishing Skill buff by consuming certain foods. There are many options, but here are three great options:

  1. Trout Soup – This is the best early game option. It’s easy to acquire but grants only a small +1 buff. Trout Soup can be purchased for just 250 gold from Willy, or crafted with Rainbow Trout and Algae.
  2. Dish O’ The Sea – This recipe grants +3 Fishing and is fairly simple to make, provided you have potatoes on hand, which normally grow in Spring. You also need Sardines to cook this dish, which is available in every season except Summer. You will automatically gain this recipe once you reach Fishing level 3.
  3. Seafoam Pudding – This is a complex recipe that you will obtain when you reach level 9 in Fishing. It grants a +4 Buff to fishing. It requires Squid Ink – produced by Squids and Midnight Squids in Fish Ponds or found in the Mines. It also requires the Midnight Carp, a fish found in the Mountains during Fall and Winter after 10 pm. Finally, you need the Flounder. You can find this fish in the ocean during Spring and Summer.

4. Craft Wild Bait

After you obtain a Fiberglass Rod you can start putting bait on your fishing poles. Initially, your only bait option is Bait – purchased for 5g from Willy or crafting from Bug Meat. However, you should really try to snag Wild Bait as soon as possible, and use this type of bait instead.

You obtain the Wild Bait recipe by doing Linus’ 4 Heart Event. After that, you can craft this bait by combining Fiber, Slime, and Bug Meat. Fiber can easily be found in the Cindersap Forest or on your farm, and Slime and Bug Meat is plentiful in the mines.

When you fish using Wild Bait, there’s a chance you’ll catch two fish at the same time. The chance you get double fish increases with your Daily Luck, so if you don’t have a lot of Wild Bait, save it for your luckier days. You can check your daily luck by watching the Fortune Teller on TV each morning.

Two Pikes for the price of one!

5. Choose the right professions

At level five, you should choose whether you want to focus on Fishing or Crab Pots. Your choice of level five profession is either Fisher or Trapper, respectively. Both have their merits, but for maximum profit, you should focus more on Fishing and select Fisher.

At level ten after having selected this profession, you can now choose to either become an Angler or a Pirate. A pirate’s chance of finding treasure while fishing is doubled. An Angler’s fish are now worth 50% more. Again, for maximum profits, you’re better off choosing Angler. Even with the Pirate profession, the treasure is not guaranteed, and treasure is not always useful or lucrative.

Is the Riverland Farm Good?

The Riverland Farm is probably not the most popular choice among players. Its main focus is fishing, but fishing can be feasibly done with any farm map by traveling to the various fishing spots in Pelican Town. The Riverland Farm allows you to catch River fish at home, but that still leaves you needing Ocean and Mountain fish. Therefore, the Riverland Farm doesn’t fulfill your full needs when it comes to fishing.

The real drawback is, of course, the lack of space. If you’re the type of player who wants to maximize profits, this farm is probably not the right choice for you.

All that said, it’s a beautiful farm map with a unique look, that encourages fishing and removes some reliability on farming. It’s definitely worth a shot, so we recommend you try it out!

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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