Learning how to fish in Red Dead Redemption 2 can lead to some fun adventures out in the wilderness. Not only can you use fish as a great source of food, but they can also be sold for a tidy profit. Below we’ll show you when you get the fishing pole in RDR2, how to fish, a list of the best bait and lures in the game, and the bait shop location where you need to go to buy them.
How to Get a Fishing Pole in Red Dead Redemption 2
Initially, you won’t have access to the fishing pole in RDR2. You don’t have to worry about buying it anywhere, though. You’ll get it as part of the story.
Shortly after getting to the second gang hideout, you’ll go on a mission in which you take the young boy, Jack, fishing. After this mission, you’ll get permanent use of the fishing pole.
How to Fish in Red Dead Redemption 2
To equip your fishing pole, you just need to open your item wheel with L1 or LB, switch to the “Items” category, and equip it by pointing the left stick at the 5 o’clock position on the item wheel.
Once you have the fishing pole equipped, the controls are as follows:
- L1/LB: Hold to display bait wheel.
- L2/LT: Hold to grip the rod.
- L2/LT+R2/RT: Hold to determine cast strength. Let go to cast.
- R2/RT: Tap to flick the bait, hold to hook a fish.
- Left Stick: Move the rod.
- Right Stick: Rotate clockwise to reel.
- Triangle/Y: Quick equip bait. (Will equip the last bait you used.)
- Circle/B: Reset your cast or cut the line.
Keep a close eye on the prompts in the lower right corner of the screen to see what each button does at a particular time.
Before you cast, you need to pick your bait by opening the item wheel by pressing L1 or LB. There are two types of bait, which will affect how you fish. We’ll put a list of the baits below, including a list of the best bait to use in a particular situation. For now, though, we’ll cover how to use the two types.
How to Fish With Bait
Perishable bait requires more precision when casting, and is used when trying to hook small and medium-sized fish. When using this bait, you’re going to want to look for rings of water and bubbling on the surface which will indicate where fish are.
The goal when fishing with bait is to land the hook almost directly on the fish you’re trying to catch. You can affect how far you cast by holding your rod and using the pressure-sensitive triggers. The more pressure you use, the further you’ll cast.
Once your hook has landed in the vicinity of a fish, you’ll want to use R2/RT to flick the rod. This will attract nearby fish and cause them to take the bait, but if you do it too often, you’ll scare the fish away. Often, fish will nibble at bait before taking to hook, but some will bite immediately. Each species has a different biting pattern, so make sure to keep an eye on the button prompt in the lower right corner of the screen. When “Hook Fish” lights up, hit R2/RT to set the hook.
Most fish that take the bait are smaller, so you don’t have to worry about them putting up much of a struggle. Just rotate the right trigger clockwise until the fish is reeled in and you can see what you’ve caught.
Bait fish are easier to catch but reap smaller rewards than the larger ones you can catch with lures.
How to Fish With Lures
Lure fishing is how you’ll get the biggest catches in the game. With lures, casting is the same, but the approach to fishing is different. Instead of casting near a fish you want to catch, you’re going to want to cast over them. Once the lure is in the water, you need to slowly reel it in to attract fish. You can flick the lure with R2/RB, just like with bait, to attract fish, but again, if you do it too often, you will spook them off.
When lure fishing, you’re likely to attract medium-to-large-sized fish. These will put up a struggle, and you’ll need to be careful, lest you break your line. When you’ve got a fish hooked, and it’s struggling, push the rod in any direction to prevent it from pulling out more line. Be aware though, that if you hold it in one direction too far, the line may snap. When a fish is struggling, you’ll also want to make sure you don’t reel the line. With bigger fish, you only want to reel when they’re tired out.
Depending on the size of the fish, it can be a struggle to reel one in. There are some giant creatures in the waterways of Red Dead Redemption 2, and each fish species has a legendary variant that is aggressive and much harder to catch than the regular type.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Bait and Lure List and Where to Buy Bait and Lures
You can buy bait at any general store, but the selection is somewhat limited. To get access to all the bait in the game, you’ll want to head to the one bait shop we’ve found so far in the game. The bait shop is located northwest of Saint Denis at Lagras in Bluewater Marsh. Here you can stock up on all kinds of bait.
The best bait in the game depends on where you’re trying to fish. There are three types of water in Red Dead Redemption 2, lake, river, and swamp, and you’ll need to pick the right bait for each of them. Below we’ve listed each bait, and what they’re best used for.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Bait List
- Bread Bait: Attracts smaller fish like Perch and Redfin Pickerel.
- Corn Bait: Can catch smaller fish like Chain Pickerel and Bullhead Catfish.
- Cheese Bait: Favorite of smaller fish like Bluegill and Rock Bass.
- Cricket Bait: Attracts medium-sized river fish.
- Worm Bait: Good for medium-sized lake fish.
- Crayfish Bait: Medium-sized swamp fish like this.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Lure List
- Lake Lure: Attracts all medium and large-sized lake fish.
- River Lure: Attracts all medium and large-sized river fish.
- Swamp Lure: Attracts all medium and large-sized swamp fish.