There’s nothing stopping you from building your perfect Nordic paradise in Valheim (well, technically there are lots of things, but that’s part of the fun), right down to the little details. One of those details allows you to spend all day quietly fishing at a lake or pier, then cook your catch back at your cozy Viking hall. But many players spend dozens of hours in Valheim without even realizing fishing is an option for them.
If you have your eye on some fishy waters, our guide will show you exactly how to start fishing in Valheim and what to know about the process.
Step 1: Start collecting coins. If you’re new to the game or don’t have much money, you’ll need to get some currency in preparation. About 400 to 500 coins should suffice to get equipped for fishing. You can find coins through exploration and trade.
Step 2: Find Haldor the merchant. The one merchant in Valheim that reliably sells fishing rods and bait is Haldor. The problem is that Haldor isn’t easy to find, especially for newcomers. He appears randomly in the Black Forest biomes in Valheim, so the best way to find him is to search every Black Forest you come across.
This part can take some time if you don’t get lucky, so you may need to be patient. Combine searching for Haldor with gathering coins and you’ll easily have enough by the time you find him, as Black Forests are filled with ores to mine, Burial Chambers to explore, and more.
Step 3: Buy your fishing rod and as much bait as you want to get started.
Step 4: Find some water. You can fish any notable body of water, so an ocean or a river will work fine. Ideally, you should be close to the water, not too high above it, as this can interfere with pathing while you’re fishing. Equip your fishing rod and bait.
Step 5: Experiment with casting your line using Left click. The longer you hold down before you click, the longer you’ll cast. You don’t actually need to cast very far to start fishing, but find a length that works for you.
Step 6: Now use your Right click to start slowly reeling in the line. The goal is to keep the line and its bait active without reeling it in too quickly, so Click-pause-click tends to work best.
Step 7: When the water around the line starts splashing and the bobber disappears, you’ve got a bite. Quickly hit Right click again. If you time it right, then you will see a small “hooked” notification. Now comes the tricky part: You have to carefully reel in the fish with Right click, but avoid right-clicking too much when the fish is struggling or you’ll to rip out the hook.
Step 8: Once you’ve landed the fish, you can collect it to receive raw fish in your inventory. Small fish like perch will give you one raw fish. Larger fish will give you two, and the largest fish like tuna will give you four raw fish.
You can collect as much raw fish as you want … but it’s not very useful unless you do some crafting with it. You can find or make a cooking station at a campfire or hearth and cook the fish to produce cooked fish. Don’t let the fish overcook or you’ll just get coal. Around 25 seconds will cook all kinds of meat properly, including fish.
On its own, cooked fish will give you health, stamina, and health regeneration for an extended period of time. But you if also have barley flour and a cauldron for cooking, you can combine four barley flour and two cooked fish to make fish wraps, which are significantly more powerful.
Step 9: Note that if you aren’t getting any bites in a particular body of water, you may have maxed out the number of fish you can catch there. Fish will eventually respawn, but it’s a good idea to rotate your fishing spots if you’re in it for the long haul.