One of the most relaxing and underappreciated activities in Red Dead Online is the age-old art of fishing. This open-world activity provides players with a way to chill out and make some decent money while doing it. But if you’ve never fished before, you may be confused on how to do it properly.
In today’s article, we’re giving you 10 fishing tips for Red Dead Online! We’ll be covering all the essentials, from finding the right fishing spots to tips on how to catch the biggest fish. We’ll be going over everything you need to know and much, much more!
RDR2 Online Fishing Guide
With that intro done and out of the way, let’s get into our RDR2 Online fishing tips!
Cast Your Line Near Ripples in the Water
When you’re near a body of water in Red Dead Redemption 2, you may notice some ripples breaking the stillness. This usually means a fish at that particular spot! It is very beneficial to pay attention to these ripples when you are fishing in RDR2. If you cast your line near one of these ripples instead of just at any part of the water, you are more likely to catch a fish.
These ripples are fairly common, you just need to make sure you keep your eye out for them. When you first arrive to a lake or pond, get out your rod and wait. Once you see movement near you in the water, cast your line and place it near or even right on top of the ripple. Before you know it, you’ll get a bite and you can reel in a big catch!
Learn Where Each Fish Spawns & Where the Best Spots Are
It should be no surprise that different fish spawn in different parts of the map. If you are trying to catch a particular fish — maybe one you haven’t caught before, or one that pays a larger sum of money when you sell it — this is useful information for you to know. If you want to catch bigger fish, you are more likely to find them in bigger bodies of water, for example.
Lake Sturgeon can be found in certain lakes. More specifically, lakes on the southern part of the map. Bullhead Catfish can only ever be found in the swampy waters of the State of Lemoyne. For a full list of all the fish in the game, check out the fishing page of the Red Dead Wiki. Click on a fish to see where they spawn on the map.
In addition to knowing where each of the fish spawns in the game, you should also know where the best spots are to fish overall. For example, the Flat Iron Lake is located south of the map. This is a massive body of water that is a great location for catching deep-water fish. Another great spot is the Dakota River, which has several NPCs near it that you can sell your catch to if you want to make a quick buck.
Do the Fishing-Related Daily Challenges
One thing that I often see overlooked by Red Dead Online players are daily challenges for fishing. Whenever you open up the interaction menu, you can scroll down to an option that says “Daily Challenges.” Clicking this will bring up a list of activities you can perform to earn XP and gold nuggets. Sometimes, you will find fishing-related daily challenges in this section.
I highly recommend doing these whenever you can. Not only are fishing daily challenges usually easy to do, but they’re a great way to get some gold! This is a very valuable currency, especially for new players. Gold allows you to purchase the other roles in the game. By completing fishing-related daily challenges, you can make some money selling your fish and get gold on top of it! If you develop a daily challenge streak, you will earn more gold for each challenge that you do.
Start Fishing Early in the Morning or during Rainstorms
One thing that I didn’t know until just recently is that you are more likely to catch fish in RDR2 if you do it during the early morning, or during rainstorms/overcast weather. That’s how it work in real life as well, so it’s really cool to see such a realistic detail in Red Dead Online. Getting up early to fish or doing it in rainy weather is great for getting lots and lots of fish to sell off for money.
It’s especially handy if you are trying to catch rare fish. Several different types of fish will spawn noticeably more often if you try to catch them in the early hours of the morning or when there is overcast. Fishing early in the morning is great in Red Dead Online. Not only because you can catch more fish, but because you won’t feel the exhaustion of doing it in real life!
Sell Fish in Different Regions for More Money
When it comes to selling your fish, you are going to want to make sure you do it properly in order to get the most bang for your buck. One thing many players are not aware of is the fact that certain kinds of types of fish will sell for higher prices if they are sold in their non-native region. For example, the Northern Pike is commonly found in West Elizabeth and New Hanover.
If you sell the fish to an NPC located in this region, you will earn $4.00 for each fish you sell. Alternatively, if you sell the same fish in any of the other states, you will earn $5.00! This may not seem like a very big price difference, but the profit difference adds up dramatically.
Your Horse Can Only Hold One Big Fish
Whenever you catch a big fish in Red Dead Online — and I mean a really, really big fish — you can hitch it on the back of your hose like you would a deer or pronghorn. If you’ve ever hunted in Red Dead Redemption 2, you should know that you can only hold one large animal carcass on your horse at once. This exact same principle applies to the large fish.
This means that if you get lucky and you catch yourself a massive fish, it’s best to sell that one immediately. You don’t want to catch several big fish, only to realize that you’ll have to leave some of them behind. It makes the most sense to sell your larger fish right away at a nearby merchant. This will maximize the amount of money you bring in and make sure your time is never wasted.
Be Mindful of Unfriendly Wildlife
The next tip on our list of fishing tips for Red Dead Online is to be mindful of any hostile wildlife in the region you’re hunting in. Throughout the map of RDR2, you’ll encounter many hostile animals — wolves, bears, cougars, and many more. Because of this, it’s important to keep an eye out in regions where they are common. Bears are fairly easy to deal with. If you just stand perfectly still when they charge you, they will roar at you before backing down.
Wolves and cougars are a different story, and they can only be handled with a good rifle or some buckshot. If you are hunting in the State of Lemoyne, you’ll need to watch out for alligators. Those things are incredibly abundant, and they don’t mess around. Lastly, in certain parts of the map there are goats — yes, goats — that will knock you into the water if they happen to see you.
You can avoid these wild animals altogether by stealing a boat and riding it out into the water. This will significantly reduce your chances of dying. If you can’t get a boat, you can also spot them by activating Dead Eye and looking around at your environment.
Use the Best Lures for Each Region
If you’re the type of person who likes to fish around in multiple different states across the map, then this next tip is really important. In RDR2, there are several different types of lures that you can pick up from Trappers. There are lake lures, swamp lures, and river lures. Each one will be better for catching larger fish in each of their respective biomes. If you want to make sure you catch large fish regularly, then you should definitely buy these.
All the different lures can be purchased from the Bait & Tackle store located in the State of Lemoyne. It’s a little shack located in the middle of the swamp. After you’ve bought a lure, equip it onto your fishing rod and use your rod like you normally would at any body of water. If you have the right lure equipped for the place you’re fishing in, then you will definitely bring home a big one!
Use the Right Bait for What You’re Trying to Catch
The next best thing to consider besides the lure is the bait you put on the end of your fishing rod. There are several different types of bait found in Red Dead Online. This includes worms, crickets, and even cheese! You will want to make sure that you are using the correct bait for the type of fish that you are trying to catch.
For example, if you want to get big fish, the best bait to use is crayfish. Medium fish prefer live crickets or worms. And if you want to catch small fish, the cheapest and best bait to use is either bread or corn. You can pick most of these items up from any general store found on the map. You can also go to the Bait & Tackle store located in Lemoyne that we mentioned in the last tip.
Know the Best Fish to Catch for Making Money
Last but not least on this list of 10 fishing tips For Red Dead Online, let’s discuss what two of the best fish are for making money. It’s Steelhead Trout and Sockeye Salmon! These two fish both sell for $5.31 if you drop them off with a Trapper in Saint Denis. This is a bit higher than what you would get if you sold them in another part of the map. Because of this, they are a great way to make some good money from spending all day out in the river fishing.
Worms are a great bait for catching Steelhead Trout, which is a fairly cheap bait to pick up. Sockeye Salmon are best caught if you use river lures to bring them in. Both of these fish are fairly common to find and catch in their respective parts of the map that they spawn in. This means that they are a reliable source of income for all prospecting fishers in Red Dead Online.
Join the High Ground!
And with that, our list of Red Dead Online fishing tips has come to its conclusion. Be sure to let us know what your best fishing tips are down in the comments! And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more content. We offer regular guides and rankings on all the best games.