If you need a break from the rough and tough cowboy lifestyle in Red Dead Redemption 2, there are many ways to relax: a ride on your horse through the hills, a leisurely stroll through the woods, or, if you’re feeling outdoorsy, a bit of fishing in the nearby lake, river or swamp. In Chapters 2 and 3, you’ll be given some instruction on how to use a fishing pole, how to fish and what bait to use, and across the map are several different types, including Legendary Fish in certain special locations.
The following guide will help you both locate and catch these fish, which can then be cashed in for rewards.
First things first, you need to know the basics of how to catch a fish. The game walks you through it pretty well, but if you forget: select the fishing pole from your inventory wheel, and walk to a suitable fishing spot. If you are too high above the water, or not close enough to the water, an alert will tell you.
Pick a spot where the fish seem to be active; you’ll notice the water is disturbed when they’re biting. Dawn and dusk are said to be best. Cast the line by pressing the left trigger button, then the right trigger button to land it. Continue to hold the left trigger button, and slowly reel the line in using the right analog stick (you can also lightly press the right trigger button to occasionally attract the attention of the fish). The fish will give a few tentative bites to test the line, but once it really clamps down, the line will begin to pull, and you should press the right trigger button to hook it. From there, it’s a back and forth between pulling back the line with the left analog stick, and reeling in with the right analog. If the line is trembling, do NOT reel in with the right analog: continue to use the left analog to pull back. Once the fish is tired, and the line is steady, then you can reel him in.
This process seems easy at first but can be much more difficult and time consuming for the larger fish. Your best bet is to try and get as close to the location of biting fish as possible, in order to reduce the reel-in time. Try fishing off of docks where necessary.
Your head might be swimming at the thought of learning all the different baits and lures and how they can be used with each fish. But don’t worry, it’s actually not that bad. There are only so many things you can use as bait, and they can be purchased at the bait shop in the swamp at Lagras (in the Lemoyne region).
Bread: good for smaller fish.
Corn: good for smaller fish.
Cheese: good for smaller fish.
Worms: excellent for medium sized lake fish.
Crayfish: good for larger size fish in deeper parts of rivers and lakes.
Crickets: excellent for attracting medium-sized river fish.
Lures will greatly assist in catching the larger fish in various bodies of water, and you absolutely will not be able to catch a Legendary fish at all if you do not have the special lures. With a good reputation, you should be able to purchase each for under $20 at the bait shop in Lagras.
River Lure: attracts all small and medium size fish in rivers.
Lake Lure: attracts larger lake dwelling fish.
Swamp Lure: attracts swamp dwelling medium and large size fish.
Special River Lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large river fish.
Special Lake Lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large lake fish.
Special Swamp Lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large swap fish.
Before you can catch any Legendary fish, you first have to meet Jeremy Gill. He can be found once you complete the fishing missions in Chapters 2 and 3, at Gill Landing on the northern shore of the Flat Iron Lake in New Hanover. Jeremy, a world renowned fisherman, offers to pay you for catching thirteen Legendary fish and sending them back through the mail so he can stuff them and sell them. Here are their locations.
Legendary Bluegill (Special Lake Lure): west of Rhodes, on the east bank of Flat Iron Lake just southwest of Radley’s Pasture.
Legendary Bullhead Catfish (Special River Lure): on the far east side of the map, across the water and northeast of Saint Denis, in an inlet dividing Sisika Penitentiary Island.
Legendary Chain Pickerel (Special River Lure): on the Dakota River, just northwest of Flatneck Station, in The Heartlands.
Legendary Largemouth Bass (Special Lake Lure): just southeast of Armadillo on the San Luis River, east of Lake Don Julio.
Legendary Large Sturgeon (Special River Lure): in southeast Rhodes there’s a road leading out to Saint Denis; go to the the shores under the bridge on the west side where the Kamassa River empties into the Lannaheche River.
Legendary Longnose Gar (Special Swamp Lure): in the Bluewater Marsh area of Lemoyne in Lagras, north of Lakay and near the bait shop.
Legendary Muskie (Special River Lure): off a spit on the southern end of Van Horn Trading Post on the Lannaheche River, in east New Hanover.
Legendary Perch (Special Lake Lure): in the Elysian Pool in New Hanover, southwest of Annesburg off the Kamassa River.
Legendary Redfin Pickerel (Special Lake Lure): in Stillwater Creek off the Lower Montana River, west of Thieves Landing in New Austin.
Legendary Rock Bass (Special Lake Lure): west of Blackwater in the Aurora Basin.
Legendary Smallmouth Bass (Special Lake Lure): in West Elizabeth, south of Big Valley in Owanjila, the lake west of Strawberry.
Legendary Sockeye Salmon (Special Lake Lure): in Lake Isabella, north of Mount Hagen in western Ambarino.
Legendary Steelhead Trout (Special River Lure): in the northeastern-most corner of the map, north of Annesburg, through Roanoke Valley and Brandywine Drop.
Legendary Catfish: once the other thirteen Legendary fish have all been caught, Gil will extend an invitation for a fishing trip to Rio Bravo, where they catch the Legendary Catfish.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.