Welcome to the new beta.  Found a bug or issue? Report it here.

Red Dead 2 Fishing Guide: How to Get a Fishing Rod, Best Fishing Spots

Fishing in Red Dead Online is a fantastic way to earn money. And you need to rely on a few different methods to earn income if you want to amass a decent cache of… well, cash. Hunting game may be more active, but fishing is quite simple and doesn’t require much movement.

Fishing is just as lucrative as hunting, too, when it comes to earning money in Red Dead 2. It’s extremely simple if you know where to get a fishing rod and how to cast your line. And that’s exactly what we’re here to tell you about. Here’s how you can start fishing in Red Dead Online to make easy money.

How to Get the Fishing Rod in Red Dead Online

First, you need to be Rank 14 to even purchase a fishing rod. So it’s possible that you won’t be able to start fishing right away. Just continue playing the game’s story missions to level up high enough, first.

When you do reach Rank 14, you also get access to Live Worms as bait, but fishing is basically off limits until that point. You can purchase the rod, as well as other baits beyond worms, from your handheld catalog. Different baits also attract different fish in different locations, but this is a good starting point.

If you don’t want to wait to progress through the in-game ranks, you can spend four Gold Bars on the rod to purchase it outright before leveling up. Otherwise, when you reach Rank 14, you can buy it for $32.50 using in-game “Cash.” It’s up to you if you want to spend the premium currency. However, you have several different money-making options until Rank 14 to help tide you over.

How to Fish in Red Dead Online

You can fish in Red Dead Online just like you do in the single-player game. You can even check out the same fishing spots, if you’d like! Once you have your rod in-hand, you need only select it from your inventory. Then hold it with L2/LT and press R2/RT to cast your line. Let go of the button when you’re satisfied with your casting length. Keep holding L2/LT to reel in with your right analog stick and tap R2/RT to give the rod a gentle flick.

The whole process can take some getting used to. Once you have the pattern down, however, you’re basically set. Just know that bait doesn’t need to move in order to be effective. Lures, on the other hand, need to be reeled in very slowly to attract fish. More than that, certain kinds of bait and lures affect different fish. Make sure you use the right types!

You need to play the waiting game from here. Although it doesn’t usually take very long. When a fish comes around for a nibble, the controller will vibrate. If you get a bite, press R2/RT to start reeling in. Slowly rotate the right stick until the controller vibrates again. When it does, that means the fish is trying to get away. Move the left stick left and right — whichever direction pulls against the fish’s movement — to try and tire the critter out. Follow the same procedure with the right stick to start reeling the fish. Eventually you’ll be home free.

Best Fishing Spots in Red Dead Online

As far as where to fish goes, that’s a bit more complicated… Previously, a spot near O’Creagh’s Run let you capture 10 salmon at a time to sell at $4.25 apiece. This is no longer the case after a recent Red Dead Online economy adjustment. There are still some solid spots, however. Specifically, consider fishing at locations as close to towns with butchers as possible. That will cut down on your travel time to sell fish between sessions. Low travel time is the main advantage fishing has over hunting, so anything you can do to increase that edge is a plus.

Rockstar Games continues to overhaul several different aspects of the game every day, too — including the price of fish and how much cash you can make from doing so. Watch for updates that might affect the price of your catch!

Unfortunately, given that fishing is a solitary activity that requires you to stand in place for quite some time, you want to make sure you’re smart about it. Be aware of your surroundings when you take your fishing pole out. That is to say: check your map for nearby players who may or may not be friendly. With all the ne’er-do-wells and killers out there, you’re bound to be an easy target for anyone looking to go griefing. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to have a member of your posse stand guard while you grab salmon. And be sure to check out our guide on PvP and how to parley in Red Dead Online for more on how to protect yourself!

About the Author

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent is the former EIC of G4@Syfygames and has been covering video games and tech for over a decade for publications like G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Empire, Complex, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, Variety, Rolling Stone, Yahoo and more. She's also appeared as a speaker at video game conventions like PAX East and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta.