Minecraft Fishing: Everything You Need to Know

Minecraft’s Update Aquatic in mid-2018 introduced more advanced fishing mechanics to the once-bland rivers, lakes, and seas of Minecraft. In this guide, I’ll break down everything you need to know about Minecraft fishing.

The Basics

Just like you might go fishing in real life, fishing in Minecraft starts with an essential tool: a fishing rod.

Minecraft fishing rod recipe
Fishing rod recipe.

In order to craft a fishing rod, you’ll need some basic materials: three sticks and two pieces of string. Once you’ve crafted your very own fishing rod, you’re ready to start reeling in fish! (And a pair of worn leather boots every once in a while.)

Catching a Fish

Casting your line into the water is quite a simple process. First, find a body of water; any river, lake, or ocean will do. This also includes player-made bodies of water! Second, right click while holding the rod to release your line into the water. That’s it!

In order to catch a fish, watch the red and white bobber closely. You’ll have to wait anywhere from five to forty-five seconds before you get a bite. Higher levels of the Lure enchantment reduce this wait time – we’ll get to that later.

A bobber.

After a few seconds, you’ll see splashes heading toward the bobber. This means a fish is coming!

Notice the splashes to the right of the bobber.

Take note of those splashes in the picture. When they reach the bobber, the bobber will bounce up and down for a second or two. This is your chance! Right click to reel in your fishing line and collect your catch. You’ll also be rewarded with an experience orb worth one to six XP points.

The Update Aquatic introduced four different types of fish. Cod (previously raw fish) and salmon are the two main types, and can be cooked and eaten. They are found in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Pufferfish and tropical fish can be found in oceans. Tropical fish come in more than 3,000 colors!

Image result for tropical fish minecraft
Lots of fish.

Fishing with a Bucket

In addition to using your fishing rod, you can also catch fish with a bucket! All you need is a bucket of water (right click a water source with an empty bucket). Find your nearest body of water, and right click any fish with the bucket of water. The fish will be added to the bucket and becomes a new item called a Bucket of Fish. You can empty the bucket by right clicking a block; this places both the water and the fish, which makes building display items such as aquariums simple and easy.

The Tactical Fishing advancement.
A Bucket of Salmon.

Other Types of Catches

In addition to catching fish, you can also reel in two more types of items: treasure and junk.

Treasure is rarer because it consists of valuable items that can be put to practical use, such as bows, enchanted books, fishing rods, name tags, nautilus shells, saddles, and lily pads. You have a 5% chance of catching any one of these treasure items while fishing with no enchantments on your fishing rod.

Minecraft Enchanted Book
Enchanted book.

On the other hand, junk consists of the less desirable catches you may make while fishing. Junk includes bamboo, bowls, damaged fishing rods, leather, leather boots, rotten flesh, sticks, string, water bottles, bones, ink sacs and tripwire hooks. You have a 15% chance of catching any of these junk items while fishing with no enchantments on your fishing rod.

Minecraft Rotten Flesh
Rotten flesh.

Enchanting Your Minecraft Fishing Rod

You can enchant the fishing rod itself in a variety of ways to improve your chances of catching fish and treasure, and lessen your chances of catching junk.

You can enchant fishing rods with five different enchantments, each of which serves a different purpose. Unbreaking, Mending and Curse of Vanishing enchantments are well-known because you can apply them to other gear as well. For now, let’s get into the two that affect your Minecraft fishing: Lure and Luck of the Sea.


The Lure enchantment decreases the time you have to wait to get a bite; each enchantment level takes five seconds off your wait time. There are three levels of Lure. This means that if you have Lure III on your fishing rod, the time it takes to catch a bite is reduced by fifteen seconds!

The tooltip for a fishing rod enchanted with Lure.

Luck of the Sea

Luck of the Sea is the second unique enchantment and it does three things: Increases your chance of catching treasure, decreases your chance of catching junk, and decreases your chance of catching fish. Like Lure, this enchantment has three levels. If you have Luck of the Sea III on your fishing rod, your chance of catching treasure is increased by 3%, your chance of catching junk is decreased by 7.5%, and your chance of catching fish is decreased by .45%. This enchantment is very useful for obtaining rare items like saddles and enchanted books!

The tooltip for a fishing rod enchanted with Luck of the Sea.

On Empire Minecraft servers, some custom items – such as the Lucky Rabbit’s Foot – carry the Luck attribute. These improve your chances of obtaining higher quality loot when held or consumed.

The More You Know

With the basics out of the way, let me go over three useful facts that will help you take your fishing to the next level.

Like all tools, fishing rods are affected by durability. A regular fishing rod has 65 durability, which can be used in two ways:

  • Catching something
  • Reeling in your line while hooked to the ground

Catching any item, whether it be a fish, treasure or junk will use one durability point. However, reeling in your line while it’s hooked to the ground will use two durability points, so make sure to keep your line in the water!

A damaged fishing rod.

Additionally, you can only cast your line up to thirty-three blocks away. This means if you cast your line and walk more than thirty-three blocks, the line will be automatically reeled back in.

Finally, don’t forget that you can use your fishing rod in your off-hand!

Using a fishing rod in your off hand.

Now that you’re up to speed on all things Minecraft fishing, you’re all set to start reeling in catches of your own! So grab your fishing rod, pay a visit to your enchanting table, and hit the beach! The unforgiving depths and wonders of Minecraft’s waters await you.

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