Fishing tournaments are one of the special events that will occur several times during the year in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Similar to the Bug-off event, you need to catch creatures within a limited time frame to earn points, which can be exchanged for a variety of Fishing Tournament prizes.
Below you’ll find everything you need to know about New Horizons fishing tournaments, including the dates for the next tournaments.
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Fishing Tournaments in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained
Fishing Tournaments are one of the special events that happen on your island in New Horizons and Fishing Tournaments happen especially every three months.
When a Fishing Tournament is held, CJ will install a net in the plaza in front of Residential Services. Talking to him will allow you to participate in a fishing tournament, exchange the points you have for prizes and sell the fish you have caught.
You can compete in Fishing Tournaments from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Although CJ won’t be packing up his store until 8pm, giving him more time to spend those points and sell you fish at higher prices than at Nook’s Cranny.
Fishing Tournament Minigame in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained
The Fishing Tournament itself in New Horizons is a short minigame that you can play repeatedly throughout the event.
To start this minigame, you need to talk to CJ at his store in front of Residential Services. You can compete in your first Fishing Tournament minigame for free, but each time after it will cost you 500 bells.
However, don’t worry about this cost; CJ will buy any fish he catches at a higher price than Nook’s Cranny, allowing him to participate in more tournaments without losing much of his winnings.
Once you have paid your entrance fee, you will have approximately five seconds to reach the nearest water source before the timer starts.
You will now have three minutes to catch as many fish as you can.
There is no limit to what fish you catch and where you catch, so feel free to head to your favorite fishing spot or jump between the river and the sea. You can even use fishing bait if you want.
If you currently have visitors on your island or are using Party Play, these players will also be able to participate in your Fishing Tournament, and the fish they catch will be added to the total score.
If you’re the one visiting, you can also start a fishing tournament by talking to CJ. You can even sell the fish you catch and redeem your points for prizes on another player’s island.
Once the three minutes are up, it’s time to go back to CJ and he will add up his points for this round. It will also give you the opportunity to empty the fish cooler or sell the fish to you; remember, you must choose one of these two options, because CJ will not start another Fishing Tournament until the cooler is empty.
Fishing Tournament Point System in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained
How well you do in each New Horizons Fishing Tournament is determined by the number of points you earn.
You receive one point for each fish you catch. If you manage to catch more than three fish, you will receive a bonus of two points.
If you have other players visiting your island and you decide to compete in a Fishing Tournament, then a total of five fish must be caught among all players to unlock this bonus. Due to this increase in fish, the bonus has also been increased to five points, which you can receive even if you did not catch any fish.
If you are the one visiting a friend’s island, you will also discover that you will receive twice as many points for competing in their Fishing Tournament than yours.
The Fishing Tournament Prizes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained
Competing in the Fishing Tournament will earn you a variety of rewards in New Horizons. You can redeem every ten points you earn in tournaments for rewards.
These rewards include:
- Anchor statue
- Fish door plate
- Fish drying rack
- Fish pochette
- Fish print
- Fish print T-shirt
- Fishing rod holder
- Fish carpet
- Fish umbrella
- Fish wand
- Cool refrigerator
- Sea pop wall
- Tackle bag
Several of these rewards are customizable, and you can receive multiple versions by redeeming your points on a friend’s island.
Fishing Tournament Trophy Rewards in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained
Depending on your overall net score from each Fishing Tournament you compete in throughout the day, you can win one of three trophies in New Horizons.
These trophies, including the net score you need to receive each one, are:
- Bronze trophy – 100 net points
- Silver trophy – 200 net points
- Gold Trophy – 300 net points
You will receive the trophy you have won in the mail the day after the Fishing Tournament. Unfortunately, if you did not earn enough points for a trophy, you will not receive anything.
Thanks to Reddit’s Cottonceed for help with this information.
New to Animal Crossing? Our Animal Crossing New Horizons tips can help you with the basics. Right from the start, there are fish and insects to catch, flowers and fruits to grow with Leif selling seeds, villagers to add or remove, and tools like the new ladder and pole to collect. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll want to make as many bells as possible, start collecting KK Slider songs and working on your island’s star rating, increasing your HHA rating, incorporating Feng Shui into your room design, and acquiring Kitchen furniture. You can also buy fake Redd art, use Dream Suite, and the island backup.
Tips for Competing in Fishing Tournaments at Animal Crossing – New Horizons Explained
Here are some tips to help you with any New Horizons Fishing Tournament:
- Bring a second, third, or fourth fishing pole! If you are planning to do your best when it comes to the Fishing Tournament, it is definitely worth bringing several spare fishing rods. This way, you will have a replacement when the one you are using inevitably breaks in the middle of a tournament.
- Check where the fish have spawned before starting a tournament. This will allow you to create a route for your next tournament, preventing you from wasting time running in search of fish. All fish can move, but they will never stray too far from their spawn point, allowing you to find them quickly.
- Walk, Do not Run! If you run near a water source, you run the risk of scaring the fish. Obviously this is the worst case scenario when it comes to a fishing tournament so when looking for potential targets be sure to walk.
- Fishing bait is allowed. CJ will not disqualify you for using fish bait during a Fishing Tournament, which means you can, if you have enough, stand in one spot, use the bait, and catch the fish you attract. To make fishing bait, you need a manila clam, which can be found by digging up the water-spitting spots on the beach.
- Store your reward points. If you accumulate your reward points, CJ will give you multiple rewards at once. This means that if you have 40 points, for example, you will receive four prizes, which will save you a lot of time.
- Sell your fish to CJ You can sell each and every fish you catch in the Fishing Tournament to CJ. We highly recommend doing this as you will be buying them at a slightly higher price than Nook’s Cranny.
- Compete in a fishing tournament on a friend’s island. Doing this will not only increase the amount of bonus points you can receive (although you must catch five fish), but it will also double the points you receive for that tournament.
Explanation of the dates of the fishing tournaments in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A Fishing Tournament will be held on your island in New Horizons every three months on the second Saturday of the current month.
Specifically, the Fishing Tournaments will be held in the following months:
- January (second Saturday)
- April (second Saturday)
- July (second Saturday)
- October (second Saturday)
Good luck with the Fishing Tournaments!