Fishing is one of the main elements of a Stardew Valley playthrough, being even more so if you choose to live on the Beach or Riverland Farm.
The Fishing skill is increased by catching fish using a fishing rod or crab pots. Depending on the type of fish, EXP is gained for each catch.
If you are fishing with a fishing rod, you catch fish by playing the mini-game. This mini-game can be notoriously tough at first but very fun with some practice.
Once level 5 is reached in the Fishing skill, the player will be asked to choose between either the Fishing or Trapper profession.
The choice between professions greatly impacts the rest of the game’s playthrough, so you will want to decide with more than just the early game in mind!
Level 5 Fisher or Trapper, Which Should I Choose?
When choosing between Fisher or Trapper, the better profession is Fisher by a landslide.
Players with the Fishing profession can sell fish for 25% more profit than others, which makes fishing a very worthwhile way to spend the game day.
Eventually, Fishing can lead to the Angler or Pirate professions, which are both excellent choices.
Here is an in-depth breakdown of each of the professions for the Fishing skill, with the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Fisher at Level 5
- Fish worth 25% more
The Fisher profession will increase the value of all fish that are caught, including those caught with crab pots.
The increase in profit is extremely useful in the early game when saving up for buildings, animals, and the Community Center vault room!
Once you get a better fishing rod, like the iridium rod, you will start being able to catch more difficult and rarer fish.
These are fish that are usually priced higher so that 25% increase makes a big difference.
Instead of a measly $250 for that rare Super Cucumber, you can earn as much as $625, depending on quality.
The increased profit combined with the access to high-value fish in the later game makes the Fishing profession always a solid choice.
This benefit continues even when your buildings are all standing and are full of happy ducks and pigs!
Fisher Profession Summary
For those who enjoy the fishing mini-game, the Fishing profession makes a fun and challenging aspect of the game even better.
The Fishing profession will also lead to another choice of profession at level 10 between Angler or Pirate.
Both of these late profession options beat out the professions at the end of the Trapper profession, which is another advantage.
Level 10 Angler
- Fish are worth 50% more
Once you have progressed to a level 10 Fishing level, one of the options you are given for a profession is Angler.
This profession increases the value of all fish caught even further, now up to a 50% increase in price.
One important thing to note is that the 50% increase is calculated from the base price, not the price earned with the Fishing profession.
For example, if you sell a standard quality Tuna, this would be valued at 100g for a standard player.
After you have gained levels in Fishing, this would become 125g for the Fishing profession and 150g for the Angler profession.
Level 10 Pirate
- Chance to find treasure doubled
The most obvious benefit to the Pirate profession is that it is the coolest name for a profession in the entire game.
Additionally, the chance you have for a treasure chest to appear in the fishing mini-game is now double what it was before.
That percentage varies depending on things like Daily Luck, some buffs from prepared food, and the type of bait and tackle the player is using.
Some items found in treasure chests include bait, artifacts for the library, lost books, building materials, and gems!
Some of the most likely items are different ores, bait, and geodes. The rarest items include prismatic shards, gemstone rings, and boots.
Angler vs. Pirate
When choosing between Angler or Pirate, the best choice will depend on if you value profit more than collecting items.
If straight profit is what you are after, then Angler is going to be the better choice. The jump of a 50% price increase for fish you sell can very quickly fill up that earnings bar.
Both have excellent benefits and little downsides.
However, if you are okay with the possibility of less profit, enjoy collecting different items, and enjoy the fishing mini-game in its own right, then the Pirate profession is the choice for you.
Nothing beats the thrill of opening up treasure chests and seeing something good!
Trapper at Level 5
- Resources required to craft crab pots reduced
The Trapper profession changes the materials needed to craft crab pots, which can be filled with bait and used to catch certain types of fish.
Before, the materials needed were 40 wood and three iron bars, but that has been reduced to 25 wood and two copper bars.
Since the wood is almost halved and copper is much easier to come by than iron, the player can almost double the number of crab pots they craft and use.
Crab pots require one piece of bait per day to produce either fish or junk the next day. If no bait is inserted, the crab pot will be empty.
Not all fish are catchable with crab pots. In saltwater, such as the beach, there are around seven different fish available such as lobster or oysters.
In freshwater, the options are smaller, with only crayfish, snail, and periwinkle included.
Trapper Profession Summary
Even though reducing the cost of materials for crab pots can be helpful, it does very little in the long run.
The fish that are caught by crab pots are worth very little, plus there is a 38% chance that the crab pot will just yield junk on any given day. This makes the profits for crab pots pretty slim.
Additionally, Willy’s shop will begin to sell them once you reach a level 3 of fishing.
With the increased gold you get from choosing the Fishing profession, you could easily just purchase crab pots and have plenty of gold leftover as profit!
This makes the Fishing profession much better than Trapper for most players.
However, sometimes a playthrough is just about trying something new, so Trapper could be a fun choice for someone who has played through multiple times!
Level 10 Mariner
- Crab pots no longer produce junk items
The Mariner profession stops crab pots from yielding junk and will now always produce fish.
Without the Mariner profession, a crab pot will only catch a fish 62% of the time. There is only junk in the crab pot the rest of the time.
Junk items include broken CDs, broken glasses, driftwood, trash, soggy newspaper, and Joja Cola. None of these are worth much if anything at all.
Without these items showing up in your crab pots, the practice becomes a lot more profitable than it was previously.
Level 10 Luremaster
- Crab pots no longer require bait
Crab pots typically need one piece of bait per day, but no bait is needed for players who select the Luremaster profession at level 10 Fishing.
While bait is not expensive and is easily crafted, filling the crab pots with bait every day is time-consuming and easily forgotten.
A player with this profession will find that crab pots become less time-intensive and more of a way to passively earn gold each day.
Mariner vs. Luremaster
When choosing between Mariner or Luremaster at level 10, the better choice is Luremaster by a slim margin.
The Luremaster profession can make crab pots into an element of your farm that is running in the background.
This will give you time to spend on more profitable and enjoyable pastimes in the game!
While Mariner can increase profit by stopping junk from appearing, the increase is pretty slim and is more so if the player has a few recycling machines.
Junk items are not completely useless since they can be inserted into a recycling machine and turned into useful materials or items.
Additionally, any junk items that are produced can be transformed into wood, coal, torches, refined quartz, stone, and cloth.