There’s a lot about Monster Hunter: World that doesn’t actually have to do with hunting monsters. There’s always something just around the corner to collect, craft or capture. But not everything is useful. There is, however, one non-monster hunting activity that will help you out quite a bit — fishing.
Why go fishing?
Like the other fauna you can capture in the New World, reeling in a fish will earn you research points. Unlike the other fauna, though, some fish will drop an item when they’re caught. These species-specific scales have a number of uses — you can oven roast (most of) them at the canteen for items, some of them are crafting ingredients and still others are useful as items on their own. Since it’s free and pretty low-risk, this makes fishing a very worthwhile pastime.
There’s also a Commission researcher that will give you critical bounties for fish that will unlock other useful items in Astera. Let’s look at him now.
Your first exposure to fishing will probably come (if and) when you run into the piscine researcher in the Ancient Forest (after you talk to him there, he’ll bounce around all of the areas you’ve unlocked).
Any time you find and talk to him, he’ll give you a critical bounty to complete. Usually, when you catch the fish he’s asking for and turn it in at the Resource Center in Astera, you’ll unlock a new ingredient in the canteen.
You can often find the fish he’s asking for nearby. Other times, finding it will take a bit of work. Be patient with these bounties, and don’t hesitate to look in other areas of the New World to complete them.
What he doesn’t explain to you, though, is how to use your fishing rod. Or, for that matter, that you even have one.
Using your fishing rod
You already have a fishing rod in your item bar (at the bottom right of your screen). When you hit the button to use it, you’ll (unsurprisingly) equip a fishing rod. You’ll see a glowing column where your lure will land. You’ll only be able to cast it when you’re standing next to water that’s deep enough for fish.
For the most part, you’ll be able to see the fish in the water before you cast. If you can’t see anything moving in the water, there probably aren’t fish around. With some practice, you can even start to identify the fish by sight — whetfish have blue eyes and gunpowderfish have orange eyes, for example.
Once you do cast, it’s time to wait for something to take the bait. This usually happens pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t, you can get the fishes’ attention by moving the left thumbstick. Then you just wait until the controller vibrates and the bobber goes underwater. All that’s left is to hit the button to reel in the fish.
As you collect more and more things from the world, you may find things like baitbugs to use as alternate bait. You can also buy species-specific baits from the provisions stockpile in Astera once his inventory starts to expand. Use up and down on the D-pad to cycle through your tackle box.
The best fish in Monster Hunter: World
Fishing is a pretty relaxing way to pass the time in a game that’s full of things that want to eat you, but you do get some real benefits from it. Below, we talk about our three go-to fish and share our favorite fishing holes for them.
Our favorite fish and one you should seek out is the whetfish, which will drop a scale that you can use to sharpen your weapons faster than your whetstone. You can find these fish just about anywhere with water deep enough to fish in, but there’s an easily accessible location in the Ancient Forest that you can find very early in the game. Head to the seashore in the east-southeast (about halfway between the numbers 3 and 4 on your map). You’ll have to clear out some kestodons, but there’s a bountiful fishing hole here. The whetfish are the ones with the glowing blue eyes.
Another relatively common fish is the sushifish. There are several of them in the same area we recommended for whetfish above, and they’re pretty common anywhere else you go as well. When you take a sushifish scale to the canteen and oven roast it, you’ll receive back three rations and two herbal medicines. While that’s not the most impressive haul, it’s a completely free way to earn those items. And getting poisoned sucks, so you’ll be thankful for the herbal medicine.
You won’t hear about goldenfish or be able to find them until you’re deep into Monster Hunter: World’s main story. But once you’re around them, they’re a great way to make money (zenny, as the game calls it). Our favorite place to fish for them is in the Coral Highlands. Just east of the northeast camp, there’s a cave with a shallow pond (that doesn’t look like it should have any fish in it, frankly). It’s in the area labelled 14 on your map.
Goldenfish are skittish, so be patient here. They also don’t take the bait quickly, so if you have any baitbugs, now is the time to use them. Once they do, though, and you collect their scales, you can sell them for 1,000 zenny each. (They’re located in the monster materials tab of your item box.)