Garreg Mach Monastery is home to the brightest upcoming minds in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’s also a great place to catch some fish! Each day that you choose to explore the monastery, you’re allowed to plumb the depths for tasty smackerals of mackerels — and rank up your professor level in the process. But like a lot of things in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, fishing isn’t the most clear-cut process. It seems simple at first, but there’s a surprising amount of complexity that the game just doesn’t make clear — not without hours of practice. That’s why we’re here to help with our Fire Emblem: Three Houses fishing guide!
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The first thing you need to know about fish and fishing in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is where to find them. The only fishing spot in town is at the very south of the estate itself — dead in the center of the lowest area. From there, you actually need to speak to the NPC next to the dock, rather than just go up to the water itself. You also need bait. That’s not too hard to find, though. Just look around! You probably already found some just laying around on the ground.
Next comes the actual fishing part. It’s pretty simple, and even this game does an okay job of explaining your basic technique. It’s not until you actually start fishing that the game fails to mention some key elements… If it wasn’t clear, though, you want to press A on your Switch controller when you get a bite from the fish you want. Then you play a rhythm-like mini-game where you continue to press A as on-screen rings closes in towards the center of a circle. If you line up the rings just right, you drain bonus stamina from the fish. If you mess up, your avatar loses more stamina instead.
Here’s the first major thing the game doesn’t tell you off the bat, though: You don’t have to grab the first fish that swims along. In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, fish also come in threes. You have three chances to catch three different fish each time you expend one bait! What’s so important about that? Well, it means you can skip a small fry if you get one, and wait for a larger, more valuable fish instead.
Unfortunately, Fire Emblem also doesn’t do a great job of telling you which fish is which. But it’s a pretty simple breakdown. There are small fish, large fish, giant fish, and glimmering fish — and they ascend in order of rarity just like that. You want to avoid catching a small fish if you can, while shooting for giant and very rarely glimmering fish as much as possible. That’s the real key to fishing in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Not only will landing rarer specimens earn you more professor experience, you can also haul off your haul to cook and buff your units in battle.
Fishing Tips & Fish Sizes – Fire Emblem: Three Houses Fishing Guide
Admittedly, the difference between a small fish and a large fish is tricky to discern. They’re both blue, nearly identical icons. Once you spot the difference, though, it’s pretty clear. The small fish icon is, obviously, smaller as well as just a bit darker compared to its larger cousin. Meanwhile, the gigantic fish icon is always red. And a glimmering fish shadow is always yellow.
Here are a couple fishing tips for Fire Emblem: Three Houses to follow once you master the basics:
- A little late beats a little early. For whatever reason, the game seems to register a slightly-too-late press of the A button during the fishing quick-time event better than a slightly-too-early one. The shrinking ring can be halfway outside its target and still count as excellent. The same rarely happens if you’re too quick.
- Just grab the large fish. This is the rule of thumb for most kinds of bait. If you see the larger, lighter icon that indicates a large fish shadow, take it. Otherwise you’re just as likely to land a small fry on your next bite. Said rule of thumb no longer applies when you’re using rare bait that promises rare fish, though! Bait like Blowfly has a much higher chance of producing gigantic (red) shadows. And if you see a giant, take it. Don’t bother hoping that the next one will be a glimmering (yellow) shadow. Those are exceptionally rare.
- Buy bait from the monthly markets. A few months into your Fire Emblem: Three Houses campaign, you will gain access to limited-time stores. You can only access these when you choose “Explore” on a free day by physically going to the marketplace at the monastery. Your reward? A limited, rotating stock of goods each month. This includes gifts to make your students love you and some guaranteed bait.
- You can get more bait with the use of an Amiibo. Check out our Fire Emblem: Three Houses Amiibo guide for details on that particular trick!
- Perfect fishing increases has better odds. Fish rarity in Fire Emblem doesn’t just break down according to size. Each size category has a number of possible fish it can produce, with larger shadows usually producing fish with higher star ratings. It’s not always a done deal, though! If you get a “perfect” catch, by landing the ring quick-time event just right every time, you increase the odds of pulling even rarer fish.
Fishing Tournament – Fire Emblem: Three Houses Fishing Guide
These are all good skills to master by the time you reach the fishing tournament. This special activity is only available right after you rescue a certain someone from beneath the monastery. After that, you will be given the opportunity to participate in the fishing tournament the next time you hit Explore.
Here are some more important things to note! The fishing tournament does not cost activity points; the fishing tournament gives you 50 pieces of special bait to use; you cannot catch the required fish using normal bait during the fishing tournament; you do not gain professor XP during the fishing tournament.
This whole event is solely to raise your support rank and earn a few, free items. We won’t go into too many details on that front, for fear of spoilers. But the items aren’t tremendously special. It’s a few mid-level weapons and some food for the dining hall. Considering the fishing tournament in Fire Emblem: Three Houses does not progress time, however, you might as well do it! Who doesn’t love free stuff?
The key to winning the tournament is simple: catch a four- or five-star fish. That’s not tremendously hard with the fishing tournament bait they give out. You basically just need to land a halfway decent number of “excellent” quick-time events (the rhythm game with the rings) while fishing for a gigantic fish shadow. As a reminder, that means you want a red icon. And just in our personal experience, those are pretty common in the tournament. We got one on our third try. And you get 50 attempts in total. Although you can always reload a save for more.
Good luck and have fun landing the big one!