Sims 3 fishing skills

Firstly I will start this guide off with all things fishing, because fishing IS fun! I was pleasantly surprised by all the various things you can do in the SIMS 3, and fishing is definitely a productive and useful trait for your sims.

Choosing Traits

First things first. You will want to choose the Angler trait when creating or growing your sim. The benefits are as follows:

  • catch fish faster
  • have fun while fishing
  • your sim will want to go on fishing trips
  • sim can fish even when stressed

Improving Fishing Skill

Firstly you can improve fishing skill by fishing, but I suggest buying every fishing book at the book store. These are awesome because they tell you what “perfect bait” to use while fishing! Once your fishing skill has improved the more you fish, the bigger and better each fish you catch will be. For example when you first start fishing, you will be lucky to catch anything. Then as you improve it will go from good to great to exellent, and eventually you will reach perfect fish.

note: I had my sim through 2 careers already before I started fishing and was still able to max fishing skill just by reading and fishing. It didn’t take very long, if I had been able to obtain the Angler trait, it would have been much easier. Just wanted to let you know it is possible to fish without it.*


  1. use overhead map and look for the fishing hook, click to visit that area.
  2. look for groups of fish in the water, these are the best spots
  3. click on the group of fish and select “inspect water”
  4. fish in spots that are “Active”, fish will flop in the water. “Decent” areas will get much less bites.
  5. Each skill level you go up, you’ll be able to catch additional fish.
  6. The ability to use bait will catch mostly a specific fish. see “perfect bait list” below.


  • Amateur Ichthyologist – Catch every type of fish – roll over fish in your journal to see if you have caught them.

Reward: Catch bigger fish

  • catching bigger fish fulfills more of your lifetime happiness goals
  • larger fish also can be sold for more money or mounted in your house
  • Commercial Fisherman – Catch 350 total fish

Reward: Catch fish faster

PERFECT BAIT LIST (All fish listed from highest level to lowest)

skill level: goal fish -> bait -> bait

  1. Level 10. Deathfish -> Angelfish -> Alley Catfish -> Cheese
  2. Level 9. Lobster -> Tuna -> Onion
  3. Level 9. Robotfish -> Piranha -> Minnow -> Apple
  4. Level 8. Vampirefish -> Garlic
  5. Level 8. Angelfish -> Alley Catfish -> Cheese
  6. Level 7. Swordfish -> Anchovy -> Tomato
  7. Level 7. Shark -> Red Herring -> Sausage Links
  8. Level 6. Black Goldfish -> Goldfish -> Lettuce
  9. Level 6. Salmon -> Lime
  10. Level 5. Blowfish -> Potato
  11. Level 5. Tragic Clownfish -> Watermelon
  12. Level 4. Piranha -> Minnow -> Apple
  13. Level 4. Siamese Catfish -> Bell Pepper
  14. Level 3. Tuna -> Onion
  15. Level 3. Red Herring -> Sausage Links
  16. Level 2. Jellyfish -> Grape
  17. Level 2. Rainbow Trout -> Egg
  18. Level 1. Alley Catfish -> Cheese
  19. Level 1. Goldfish ->Lettuce
  20. Level 0. Anchovy -> Tomato
  21. Level 0. Minnow -> Apple

Useful Traits

Loves Outdoors

  • better mood when outdoors
  • can fish and garden better than other sims

Other (possibly useful)

    • Loner (not around people when fishing) – negative for when around people
    • Greenthumb (can use fish as fertilizer, also helps grow better food for cooking)
    • Cooking (can cook what you catch)
    • Bookworm (read fishing books faster) not a priority, but can be used for other skills as well

Useful Lifetime Purchases

  • Collector (40,000)- easily find the best fishing spots in map view
  • Vacationer (15,000)- take a day off from work, no one will notice
  • Dirt Defiant (15,000)hygiene decreases slower
  • Steel Bladder/Hardly Hungry/Etc. (see my defaults)

Other Tips I’ve found

  • Stock Pond – put fish you have caught into a pond you build.

Basically stock pond allows you to have all the best fish nearby. You can stock a pond with every fish you catch, but you MUST have 10 of each kind of fish or you will not be able to stock it. I have also heard you can add fish to a fishbowl, but I have been to busy to try it 🙂

  • when stocking the pond, fish are stocked from lowest quality – it has no effect when you catch them from the pond. Stocking only 10 of a fish seems to have minimal effects (…still testing…) update: through my tests I’ve found that a stocked pond doesn’t become “active” it will only be “a decent place to fish” so use at your discretion – stocking more than 10 and multiple varieites has no effect.
stocking different varieties doesnt lead to an active pond unfortunately

stocking different varieties doesn't lead to an active pond unfortunately

  • Deathfish

Secondly the hardest fish to catch is the deathfish, which is an ingredient in ambrosia – the highest level recipe available. The reason it is hard to catch is because it can only be found in one area in the town, and it also only comes out in the morning hours between 12 and 5 am. I have tested this many times and it’s impossible to catch it at an any other hours. I am not sure about midnight, but I know for a fact you will stop catching them at 5 am everytime. Hint: deathfish like to be near graveyards.

  • Fishing Locations

Deathfish can always be found near graveyards, even in Riverview. The same goes for Robot Fish, they are always found near the science building in both towns. The other good spots are blatantly laid out in the overhead map view with a big hook 🙂

  • Job Situation

While a fisherman’s job is full time fun, you may find some rewards in the science field. The problem with the Science industry is that your performance is based on about 3 different skills comprised of gardening, handiness, and fishing. While fishing will be the easiest to maximize, it is also time consuming to juggle those three characteristics on a highly skilled level. So while it may be a good fit, you may want to max out a few other categories, then use Lifetime Purchase of Mid-Life Crisis to change your traits to something else (for example, handy to loves outdoors, or bookworm to loves outdoors)

Honestly when it comes down to it, you can make plenty of money just fishing and gardening, you would actually make LESS money by working. But the real benefit of having a job is earning the lifetime rewards.

with all the fish youll be raking in, theres really no need for a job
with all the fish you’ll be raking in, there’s really no need for a job

If you would like to append this with any information you have acquired or find any incorrect info, just leave a remark in the comments and I will add it to the post, giving you credit for the info.


52 Responses to “Sims 3 fishing skills”

  1. aleera Says:

    Where can you fish for the piranha??

    • libby Says:

      i caught like 4 piranhas near the cottoneye house in riverview… i dont know about sunset valley though but the stream is behind hunter cottoneyes bunker on the edge of town…….

  2. wiremanart Says:

    First, make sure you have leveled up to skill level 4 and the bait is watermelon. Piranha’s live in lakes, so you’ll want to go to fresh water fishing areas. In Riverview they should be found at the fish brewery. Let me know if you still need help.

  3. michaelchan Says:

    I got the game a little while ago and finished playing the Steel family with some help from the info you give here. Thanks! But I just want to know where the Riverview is? It seems I have no way to find it!

  4. wiremanart Says:

    hey michaelchan

    First, glad my guide was helpful. Second, Riverview is a free town download you get from the Sims store. Open up the “launcher” and you should be able download it and other things as well 🙂

  5. Erica S. Says:

    Ok, so does anyone know how to maximize skills on sims 3 yet?!?!?

  6. galexygod Says:

    where is the best placed to fish for anchovy’s? thats the only one that i’m having a problem getting

  7. wiremanart Says:

    Erica – I’m working on it 😛 For now get the “fast learner” upgrade (and see my defaults) Always keep delivering your sim life points by completing their wishes. Even small tasks add up, but I try to focus on a few big ones. See “My Defaults” where I outline some good tips on getting skills up faster.

  8. wiremanart Says:


    Look for anchovys in the ocean 🙂

    I’m compiling a list, but it’s hard to do because there are so many areas. I’ll add it to the fishing guide when it’s complete.

  9. galexygod Says:

    thanks so much i found one right after i posted which i figured would happen i did find alot of the stuff on here very helpful and thanks you guys

  10. Lori Says:

    Hi. I made fishing my sims life aspiration and the goal is to put 13 perfect but different fish in bowls. (It’s pretty fun) To put a fish in a bowl you simply buy fishbowls. (It’s listed under buy mode, study, under hobbies and interests.) When you click the bowl it allows you to stock it with a fish. I’ve been feeding them everyday (I think if you don’t they will most likely starve to death.) So far I have six perfect fish. Thank you for the hints here.. I am totally going to copy that bait list you made that should really come in handy!! Nice work!

  11. wiremanart Says:

    Thanks Lori – Yes the fish will die if you don’t feed them. I need to add that to fishing guide 🙂

  12. Greg Says:

    how do u cook a goldfish???

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi Greg
      Whenever your sim wants to cook a meal with a certain ingredient in it, all you have to do is go do “recipes” in your cooking journal. If you haven’t cooked much you will not have a journal and will have to cook until you’ve learned the skill.

      I’ll be adding a cooking guide next, I think you read my mind. Great question, feel free to ask them in the Question and Answer section if you like 🙂

  13. jamie Says:

    how do i use bait?
    i have apples and stuff, but i dont know how to make my person use them as bait.
    Also, i dont have the option of “inspect the water” if i click where fish are jumping out of the water.

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi jamie,

      When you first start out, you will only be able to use a hook, but after you learn the “fishing skill” you will get your journal and abilities like inspect water and bait.

      You can fish, watch fishing on tv, take the fishing class at the supermarket, or read books about fishing offered at the bookstore to improve your skill 🙂

  14. ? Says:

    hi one of my sims wishes is too catch every single fish. I’ve already caught all the ones on the bait list you gave, and it still says I’ve only caught 94% of fish. Is there some secret fish?

    • wiremanart Says:

      Did you roll over each one in the skill journal? – it will pop up how many you have caught for each fish. You may be missing a small fish like minnow or anchovy. It’s easy to miss one, so double check.

  15. buzzaroo Says:

    Excellent guide – thanks so much!

    Just wondering, is it possible to stock a pond at a sim’s house? I have not been able to and it would be so convenient to have a sim fish at their house.

    • wiremanart Says:

      buzzaroo, yes you can – I’ve included the details in the “Other Tips I’ve found” section in the guide 🙂

      • Mae Says:

        i think i’m missing something. How do you stock a pond. You just said that we can. You can’t click on it or drag fish in like a fishbowl!

        • wiremanart Says:

          Hi Mae, In order to stock a pond you just have to click on it and the option to stock will come up. I think I mentioned you need to have 10 of the type of fish you want to stock though or the option probably won’t be there.

  16. trevor Says:

    ur still missing a fish and i am still trying to find it due to i have caught every fish but my life time wish for getting all types of fish is not complete its like a fish thats hidden in the game

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi trevor,

      For your lifetime wish, you not only have to catch them, but put them in fishbowls and they must be “perfect” fish, lesser valued fish do not count towards the total. I recently did this and can be confusing because you need 13 different fish. Also make sure you Feed them, or you could possibly… ehem, lose some.

      check for vampire fish and make sure you have the Ichthyologist achievement in your journal. If you do, it’s simply a matter of getting 13 “perfect” fish. I assure you I am not missing any fish in my guide 🙂

  17. Tinynikky Says:

    Can anyone tell me the break down of the quality level.

    • wiremanart Says:

      Sup Tinynikky,
      I believe it’s the same as gardening/cooking:
      normal, nice, very nice, great, excellent, outstanding, perfect

      There is also bad, terrible, putrid, and horrible but I’ve yet to see a fish with that.

  18. Erica C Says:

    Thank you for the helpful website! I am having trouble completing the amateur ich. challenge. I cannot catch the lobster of tragic clown fish. My sims is maxed on fishing and fishing in an area with fish. I”m in salt water and using watermelon for clown and tuna for lobster (this is what my fishing guide says to use) and fishing for hours with no results. Do these fish take a long time to catch, or need to be caught at a specific location?

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hey Erica C
      That’s really weird, are the spots you are fishing at “active” ? that can make a big difference. I’m sure you’ve already checked that there are lobster available, so I’m a little stumped. Please update me, because if it’s a bug I’d like to know.

      • Erica C Says:

        Well, I found that could finally catch lobster and tuna in sunnyside strand, and caught the clownfish in the other (3rd)beach. I was fishing in areas that had jumping fish(active). I don’t know why but I can’t seem to catch them anywhere else! But I ended up being able to get all of the fish by fishing at different beaches. If others are catching these fish in multiple places, maybe it is a bug???

  19. Duncan Says:

    Hi guys great guide! I was on my quest to make Ambrosia after my Sims character died and left my partner stranded hahaha. This guide helped me find my missing fish which was the robot fish!
    OK i’m not sure if you have mentioned it but here are a few tips for fishing
    get the “collectors” skill with lifetime rewards! that really helps u locate fishing spots on ur map for where they are active then u can easily check whether the fish you want is there or not.
    For the deathfish in riverview i find that it actually starts at 12:00 am for me and basically only allows me to catch 6 Deathfish and it will basically end there. so if i catch 6 by 2am (which now happens quite often, it would turn to just Red Herring and Vampire fish. so don’t waste ur time trying to fish more, u will see the smoke disappear.

    Now i catch an average deathfish for 1200 simoleans every time with my highest being 1450 =) pretty sweet job ey? haha
    Take care!
    ohh and basically i wrote down all the fish I have in my inventory and compared it to the fish chart to find which fish i am missing.
    I mastered the Gardening, Handiness, Cooking, Mechanical and Painting skills already. havent started with the rest! just trying to make some moolah!

  20. S Says:

    Ok my sim has the catch every fish wish and i’ve caught everything and scrolled over the journal and i’ve caught at least one of every fish however i noticed jellyfish was on your list and not on that one so is that what i’m missing and also in riverview where do you find jellyfish??

    • wiremanart Says:

      I think I found the missing link for those of you not finding all the fish – you have to have read ALL the fishing books in order for them to show in your skill book. That’s why people are missing some of the fish. I will add this to the guide as well as where different fish can be found (although riverview has a fishery!).

      S – the jellyfish can be found at the ocean. There are MANY spots, but there are couple that have jellies by the old pier.

  21. Maggie Says:

    Hey, I found all of this really useful, but I’m still having a lot of trouble catching fish in Riverview. To start, I’ve read all of the books, and am more than halfway between levels 9 and 10, but I can’t seem to catch ANY of the salt water only fish in Riverview. They don’t even appear when I “inspect water”. I have all the right bait and everything, but I just can’t find them, and I have the aquarium-wanting thing for a lifetime wish. Is it just my game, or are other people having this problem, or am I just being completely stupid about this?

    I’ve seriously looked everywhere and am not sure what to do.

    Any help you could give would be great.

    • wiremanart Says:

      Maggie – that sounds like a bug to me. If you aren’t seeing them even when you inspect water then you’ve got issues. Riverview even has the fishery to fish at, with both fresh and saltwater fish, so I’m kind of at a loss. The only thing that comes to mind is try to reinstall the sims3. I’ve never heard of anyone having this problem, and I’m not sure if that will work, but it’s worth a shot.

      Don’t worry about your saves if you do reinstall, they are backed up in your documents folder. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but please let me know if that fixes anything or if you figure it out.

  22. Abbey Says:

    Are you checking at the fish hatching place? That place ONLY has salt water fish, whereas to get fresh water fish you need to fish in the river.

  23. Julzz Says:

    Great guide! Just one question left that I can’t find ANYWHERE…what does the vampire fish do, other than being a fertalizer??

    • wiremanart Says:

      thanks Julzz, the vampire fish really doesn’t do much. It’s just a “special” fish that hangs out with the deathfish most of the time. I can’t remember if it is used in any recipes or not- that may be another use 🙂

  24. cristina Says:

    i caught each type of fish but the wish : catch all types of fish isn’t fulfilled.
    they need to be all of perfect quality or sth like this?

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi Christina – likely you have not read all the books yet, or missed one. It’s always the case. I myself even have to double check when starting out with a new fisherman to make sure I get them all. Remember in Riverview you have to fish at both the natural river area as well as the fish hatchery 🙂

  25. elshanator Says:

    I have a SIM who’s lifetime wish is to have 13 perfect fish in fishbowls which I have done and he has read all of the fishing books but he is not getting his wish. Can anybody tell me what is wrong or tell me what I have neglected to do? thanks

  26. elshanator Says:

    Are there any fast ways to catch the other kinds of fish which are not in my 13 bowls?

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi ed, you are definitely missing a fish. I had the same thing happen. Make sure if you are in riverview to fish at both the hatchery And the river. For sunset valley, don’t miss the little ponds, and of course the ocean. The way to check what you have caught is to read ALL the fishing books, if you miss one, the fish will not show up in your skill guide.

      • elshanator Says:

        i have 13 different perfect ones though and have read all the books most of them twice. Does he have to know what bait for every type of fish?

  27. Amina Says:

    hey, I have got many different types of fish, especially jelly fish. How do I cook a Jelly fish?

    • wiremanart Says:

      once the jellyfish in the fridge just prepare the meal that requires it. If it is not required by a meal, but you want to cook it then you have to empty the fridge of all fish that could be used and leave only the jellyfish inside. That’s pretty much the way i do it, but there may be a more efficient one.

  28. Annie Says:

    Hi. My sim has like a level 5 fishing skill so he can inspect the different ponds for certain fish. I’ve been making him to go the Crystal Springs or something and when i click “inspect water” it says there are the smaller fish like minnows and then I’ll click it again and it says bigger fish like the sharks and stuff.. I’m confused. Do I need a boat or something? I’ve been trying to get him to level up but he keeps just catching minnows and red herrings and stuff. Can you help me?

    • wiremanart Says:

      Hi Annie, i seemed to miss your post.

      To catch fish you have to be at that experience level to catch specific ones.

      If you look at the perfect bait list you will see that at level 5 you can’t catch anything above blowfish, because they are at a higher level. Fishing more will raise your experience slowly until you reach the highest level.

      Also some fish only live in fresh water and others in salt water such as sharks. So it’s necessary to fish at the ocean as well as at rivers to catch all the varieties. Then of course vampire fish and deathfish also appear in specific areas as well at certain times of day only.

  29. Darleen Says:

    Anything special about the Vampire fish? Does it have any uses like the death fish/ life fruit, death flower, etc.? There has to be something special about it.

  30. tori Says:

    where should i fish to find a piranha?

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