K. S. Lane is a certified "Minecraft" Veteran and has been playing the addictive game for over seven years.
Fishing is a game feature that was added to Minecraft years ago, but despite this even many experienced players haven't actually ever tried using a fishing rod. This article explains how to fish in Minecraft, teaching you how to craft a fishing rod, what items to can expect to get from fishing, what the best enchantments to put on your fishing rod are and how to apply them, and how to repair your fishing rod.
How to Fish in Minecraft
Fishing in Minecraft is one of the easiest ways to get a reliable and consistent supply of food and to do it you only need one tool; a fishing rod. To learn how to craft a fishing rod, keep scrolling!
Equip your fishing rod and then find a body of water. This might include a river, lake, or the ocean. Once you're standing on the edge of the water, right-click to throw your fishing rod. After a short wait, you'll notice a trail of bubbles coming towards the end of your fishing line. Once the trail reaches your lure, the red and white floating box at the end of your line, the lure will bob under the water. Click again to pull your line back in and you'll receive an item!
How to Craft a Fishing Rod in Minecraft
To craft a fishing rod, you'll need three wooden sticks and two pieces of string. As far as items go, these are extremely basic and simple to collect. Sticks can be crafted from wooden planks, which are obtained by cutting down trees or can be dropped as leaves degrade, which is a side-effect of cutting down trees. Basically, cut down a few trees and you'll have all the wooden sticks you could possibly want.
Collecting string is a little more difficult, as it requires killing spiders. Spiders can drop from 0-2 string, which means that you might get lucky and get all the resources you need after killing only one spider. However, you may need to kill more spiders until you get the string that you need.
Spiders are one of the more tricky mobs to kill, as they are fast and can climb trees. However, if you go spider hunting during the day then you have a distinct advantage as spiders don't attack you until you're aggressive towards them if the light level is high enough. This means that you can simply go up behind them and hit them a few times to kill them. Using a sword will decrease the number of hits that you need to kill the spider, but if you're only taking on one at a time then it isn't really necessary to use a weapon to kill a spider.
If for some reason you don't like crafting (Minecraft may not be the game for you if this is true!) then fishing rods can also be found in chests in underwater ruins or can be traded for using emeralds and a fisherman villager. These ways are all much harder to do, and therefore crafting a rod is really your best option if you want to start fishing as soon as possible.
Items Obtained Through Fishing
The main items that can be received from fishing in Minecraft are, obviously, fish. These come in two main types; codfish and salmon. If you're fishing in a river or lake you'll get salmon, whereas if you're fishing in an ocean you'll get mostly codfish with a few salmon mixed in.
Fish can be eaten raw to relieve a small amount of hunger, but the better thing to do is cook them. This is done in a furnace and converts the raw fish to a cooked fish, which recovers more hunger bars when eaten. Cooked fish is a great source of food and, provided that you have a fishing rod, is extremely easy to obtain in large amounts. Ten minutes of fishing can give you dozens and dozens of fish.
You can also obtain fish other than cod or salmon, though these are much rarer. Pufferfish, which can be used in water-breathing potions, can be found. Tropical fish are even rarer and come in over three thousand different varieties. They have some basic uses, including in trading with fishermen villagers, but the most exciting thing to do with them is to create your own tropical fish aquarium using glass panes and water!
When fishing, occasionally you'll get a tug on your line that isn't a fish at all. Fishing rods can be obtained from fishing, both unenchanted and enchanted. Enchanted fishing rods will be discussed more later, but for now just know that they're very useful and if you get one while fishing you should be excited!
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Occasionally you'll receive a bow or enchanted bow from fishing. Bows make useful weapons, but unfortunately, you can't receive arrows from fishing, so you'll need to craft your own before you can actually use your bow.
It's sometimes possible to reel in enchanted books while fishing, but this is very rare. Enchanted books can be used to enchant items without the need of an enchantment table. If you have an anvil you can use enchanted books to add enchantments to your weapons, tools and armour. This is extremely useful if you're enchanting while on the go and don't have access to your enchantment table, or if your world is still relatively new and you haven't managed to find the diamonds that you need to craft an enchantment table yet.
If you're lucky, you might reel in a saddle while fishing. As saddles aren't craftable, this is extremely useful if you want to start taming horses. However, if you already have enough horses then pulling in a saddle can be a little bit tedious, as they have no other uses.
Name tags can be used to name any pets you might tame over the course of your game, including but not limited to birds, horses, cats, and dogs. Once an animal is named it won't de-spawn. If you're someone who gets attached to your Minecraft animals then name tags are great for personalising them.
If you've set up base in a swamp biome then lily pads won't be particularly exciting, but for other players who are far from the nearest swamp then hooking a lily pad with your fishing rod is quite exciting. They can be used for making bridges across water and are quite rare.
Nautilus shells can be used to craft conduits, which are powerful ocean entities that can be used to attack hostile ocean mobs such as guardians. You need eight nautilus shells for every conduit you craft, so being able to obtain them from fishing is very useful.
For some reason, you can get bowls, tripwire hooks, ink sacs, sticks, string, rotten flesh, leather, leather boots and water bottles from fishing. These items are quite basic and therefore mostly useless, but if you're someone who gets a thrill from collecting junk items then you might enjoy reeling in the odd ink sac or bowl.
Minecraft Fishing Rod Enchantments
Fishing with an unenchanted rod in Minecraft can still be productive, but if you manage to get good enchantments and high enchantment levels then fishing with an enchanted rod can be nearly ten times better.
While enchanting other items and tools requires an enchantment table, the great thing about fishing is that you can use your unenchanted rod to find enchanted rods. In this way, even if you've only logged a few hours in your new world you can still find a fully enchanted rod without needing to go mining for diamonds and lapis!
What enchantments can I get on my fishing rod?
There are four enchantments that you can get on your fishing rod. These include:
- Lure: When fishing with an ordinary rod, you'll reel in a fish every 5–45 seconds at random. For every level of lure that your rod is enchanted with, five seconds of this wait time is subtracted. For example, if you have Lure III on your rod and the game dictates that you'll need to wait twenty seconds before you get a bite on your line, you'll only have to wait five seconds. This may not seem like a big difference, but if you're fishing for a long time the shorter wait really is invaluable.
- Mending: The Mending enchantment repairs your fishing rod when you collect experience and have the rod in your hand. This is particularly useful for fishing because you receive experience any time you reel in a fish. This means that if you have mending on your fishing rod it's essentially invincible and you'll never need to repair it with an anvil.
- Luck of the Sea: Luck of the Sea increases your chance of getting treasure items and decreases your chance of junk items. Treasure items include enchanted books, nautilus shells, saddles, name tags, lily pads, and enchanted bows or fishing rods.
- Unbreaking: The unbreaking enchantment decreases the likelihood of your fishing rod taking damage every time you use it. This means that it takes much longer until the rod's durability runs out and it requires repairing with an anvil.
Which enchantments should I aim for?
Ideally, you want all four possible enchantments on your fishing rod. This creates a kind of super fishing rod, which never breaks, provides rare items and works quickly. However, if it's only possible for you to get two enchantments on your fishing rod, then it should be one of the following combinations:
- Lure and Mending: If you simply want to catch a lot of fish, then Lure and Mending are the best enchantments to use. Lure decreases the wait time while fishing and mending allows you to repair your item by collecting experience, which you do when fishing.
- Luck of the Sea and Lure: However, if you want to reel in rare items then pairing Luck of the Sea and Lure is the best combination. You get the increased frequency of the lure enchantment and the better chance of reeling in rare items of Luck of the Sea. Because there's no Mending or Unbreaking your fishing rod will eventually wear out, but repairing it with an unenchanted fishing rod and an anvil is relatively easy so this isn't a big drawback.
How do I enchant my own fishing rod?
I really recommend fishing until you manage to find a properly enchanted rod by yourself because it wastes fewer resources and really doesn't take very long, but if you can't stand waiting then you can enchant your own fishing rod. This can be done with an enchantment table and lapis lazuli or with an anvil and an enchanted book.
How to Repair a Fishing Rod
If you have an unenchanted fishing rod, don't bother repairing it; making a new one uses the same resources and has the same effect. However, if you've found or made a perfect enchanted rod, repairing it is a good idea. To do this, you'll need to craft an anvil using three iron blocks and four iron ingots. These resources take a fair bit of mining and/or iron farming to collect, but having an anvil to repair your tools is essential for any Minecraft survival world.
Once you have your anvil, you'll need to craft a brand new fishing rod. To repair your old fishing rod, simply place it in the first slot and then place the new rod in the second slot, as shown below. This will return your original fishing rod to full durability, leaving you free to keep fishing without fear of your rod breaking.
I hope that this guide has been informative and helped you to start your fishing journey in Minecraft. Fishing is a fairly simple feature of the game, but it's an incredibly useful one, can net you lots of rare and cool items, and can even be fun!
© 2019 K S Lane
Larry Slawson from North Carolina on August 07, 2019:
You have just inspired me to go play Minecraft again haha. Great article!