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ACNH: Prepare bait today so you’re ready for Saturday’s Fishing Tourney

Come on and get in the boat. Fish, fish!

If you’ve been playing Animal Crossing for a while, you might have come across a little beaver named C.J. This guy is obsessed with both fish and live streaming and will often issue you challenges for catching specific water dwellers. If you complete his challenges, you can sell fish to him for 150% of the Bells you’d get from Nook’s Cranny. But that’s not all he does.

C.J. hosts Fishing Tourneys on your island multiple times throughout the year. You can earn awesome Fish Swag and even some trophies for participating. Here’s everything you need to know about these special competitions, along with how to catch the most fish while participating in them. Learn more and see why this is one of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time.

NOTE: If the Fishing Tourney happens during the Bunny Day event, then using fish bait ensures that you catch a fish and not a Water egg.

When is the next Fishing Tourney?

The Fishing Tourney occurs on your island multiple times each year. Here are the dates for all 2021 Fishing Tourneys.

Tourney Date Time
Winter Fishing Tourney January 9, 2021 9 AM – 6 PM
Spring Fishing Tourney April 10, 2021 9 AM – 6 PM
Summer Fishing Tourney July 10, 2021 9 AM – 6 PM
Fall Fishing Tourney October 9, 2021 9 AM – 6 PM

What to do for the Fishing Tourney

On Fishing Tourney days, C.J. will set up a stand in front of Resident Services. All you have to do is talk to C.J. and tell him you want to participate in the Fish Tourney. The first time you participate in the Fishing Tourney, you’ll be able to do so for free. However, every time after that, you’ll need to pay 500 Bells to participate.

Fishing Tourney Rules

  • You must catch as many fish as possible within a three-minute window.
  • You’ll receive points for each fish you catch during this time. You get one point per fish. Once you’ve caught a total of three fish, two additional bonus points get added to your total.
  • You use the points to purchase special merchandise from C.J’s stand in front of Resident Services.

Fish caught Points earned
1 fish 1 points
2 fish 2 points
3 fish 5 points
4 fish 6 points
5 fish 7 points
6 fish 8 points
7 fish 9 points
8 fish 10 points
9 fish 11 points
10 fish 12 points

The consensus is that it’s tough to catch more than 10 fish during a Fishing Tourney session. As such, you’re likely to make 12 points or less in one go.

How to catch the most fish

There are basically two different things you can do to increase the amount of fish you catch and thus increase the number of points you earn:

  1. Craft a ton of fish bait before entering the Fishing Tourney
  2. Participate in the Fishing Tourney with friends

1. Craft a lot of bait

If you want to earn the most points during the Fishing Tourney, then you’re going to need to catch a bunch of fish. Here’s how to do that. And yes, it’s going to take some jigs and lures. You’re going to want to use fish bait because it guarantees that you’ll get a fish and not a tire, can, or other non-fish items.

  1. Gather manila clams: Before going up to C.J. and initiating the competition, you need to craft a bunch of bait. Run around the beaches and look for holes in the sand where water comes shooting out. When you find one, use your shovel to dig at that spot, and you’ll acquire a manila clam. Continue to collect until you have at least 10 manila clams. Manila clams don’t stack, so make sure you have plenty of room in your inventory for them.
  2. Craft some bait and a rod: Next, run to a DIY workbench and start crafting. One clam can be crafted into one piece of bait. Unfortunately, you cannot craft multiple things at once, so you’ll need to craft them one at a time. We recommend having at least 10 pieces of bait in your inventory each time you participate in the Tourney. You should also have an extra rod on you in case the one you have breaks.
  3. Start the Tourney: Run up to C.J. and tell him you want to participate in the Fishing Tourney.
  4. Run to the nearest body of water: Now run to the beach or the closest river or pond you can find. Don’t waste time looking for a fish. Immediately toss your bait into the water to make a fish appear if one isn’t already at your closest location.

  5. Cast your line: Once the shadow of a fish appears, cast your fishing pole line into the water. The bobber needs to land in front of the fish to catch its attention.
  6. Catch that fish: Press A as soon as the bobber goes down to reel the fish back in.
    • Tip: The visual of the fish biting at the bobber tends to make me a little trigger happy. I find I catch fish a lot more efficiently when I rely solely on sound while fishing. Turn the volume way up, look away from the screen, and then immediately press A when you hear the bobber get pulled under.
  7. Throw more bait in and continue catching fish: Once again, don’t waste your time running up and down the river banks or shores looking for fish shadows. Stay in one location and continue to toss bait into the water. Each time a fish shadow appears, throw your line in front of it.
  8. Head back to C.J. when time is up: When the countdown finishes, it’s time to head back to that silly little beaver. He’ll tally up your catches and will let you know how many points you’ve received. Now you can turn them in for some Fish Swag.

I’m a very visual learner, so here’s a video for all you other visual learners that shows you the fastest way to catch fish:

2. Fish with friends

If you want to make things easier for yourself, invite a friend to your island during the Fishing Tourney. It turns out that C.J. counts all of the fish your friends catch during the countdown and combines them with your own catches to create a larger total. This makes it a lot easier for both of you to earn points during the Tourney and win those trophies.

The same fishing rules apply as if you were fishing on your own: You’ll get bonus points for catching more than three fish in the countdown and additional points if you and your friend catch 5 fish or more together. To get your rewards, you and your friend will need to talk to C.J. separately after the countdown completes.

Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney C.J.’s Cooler

Just underneath C.J.’s stand, you’ll see a large blue cooler. This cooler can hold up to 20 of the fish you’ve caught at a time. Make sure you cash in your catches for Bells before it gets filled up. Additionally, if you catch something rare that you want to take to Blathers or use to decorate your home, you can retrieve it by going up to the cooler, selecting the fish, and then putting it in your inventory.

Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney All Fish Swag rewards

Once you return to C.J., he’ll give you points based on the number of fish you’ve caught. You can then trade 10 points back to C.J. for a random Fish Swag item, or you can sell the fish you’ve caught to him, and he’ll pay 150% of the price that you’d receive from Timmy and Tommy Nook. Here are all the things you might receive for trading in Fishing Tourney points:

Anchor Statue

A sturdy decoration perfect for your beach or pier.

Fish Doorplate

A reddish-orange plaque that you can hang on your front door.

Fish Drying Rack

A grate with 15 drying squid on it. Place it somewhere on your island for the perfect fishing scene.

Fish Ponchette

This cute fish-shaped bag wraps around your body and completes your fishing gear ensemble.

Fish Print

With its beautiful ink on paper design, this Fish Print makes for a gorgeous piece of art in your home.

Fish Print Tee

Show off your love of fishing with this green top.

Fish Rug

With its bright blue coloring and cute design, the Fish Rug makes for a perfect bathroom floor decoration.

Fish Umbrella

In my opinion, this turquoise accessory is by far the best umbrella you can get in the game.

Fish Wand

If you haven’t seen any shooting stars, then this is an especially nice reward. You can assign up to seven outfits to it and change what you’re wearing simply by using the wand.

Fishing Rod Stand

Place this fishing rod on the sand or in the fishing room of your home for the perfect effect.

Fresh Cooler

This cooler actually functions like a wardrobe. You can use it to change clothes or to assign different wand outfits.

Marine Pop Wallpaper

Add a fun splash of blues, pinks, and purples to your walls with this cute pattern.

Tackle Bag

No fisher is complete without their fishing gear. Wear this around during the Tourney to complete your look.

How to get the Gold Trophy

There are three trophies you can earn while participating in the Fishing Tourney. The Bronze Trophy is rewarded to you when you earn a total of 100 points. The Silver Trophy is rewarded to you when you earn a total of 200 points. And finally, the Gold Trophy is rewarded to you if you earn a total of 300 points.

Points Trophy
100 Points Bronze Fish Trophy
200 Points Silver Fish Trophy
300 Points Gold Fish Trophy

Considering that it costs 500 Bells per session and at the most, you’re likely to only make 12 points or less in one go, it’s going to take a lot of time and thousands of Bells to reach that Gold Fish Trophy. But it sure will look good displayed in your house or somewhere else on your island.

Just make sure to sell all of the fish you catch back to C.J., and he’ll give you 150% of the Bells that Nook’s Cranny gives you. That way, you’re sure to be able to afford the fee each time.

Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney

That’s everything you need to know about C.J.’s Fishing Tourneys. Make sure to craft up a bunch of bait before entering the competition. That way, you’re sure to nab a bunch of fish within the three-minute time limit. I hope you can catch some awesome fish in the process!

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