The biggest fish of all are only found in the ocean.
Some of the largest, most valuable fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons aren’t easy to come by. If you’re after the oarfish or coelacanth to complete your museum collection or to rake in the bells by selling to C.J. you’ll need to know where and when to go fishing.
The ocean is key, but bring bait
Both fish only appear with giant shadows. A real life oarfish can be up to 8m in length! You’ll know you have the right size shadow if you pull a sea bass. That’s really the bulk of what you can expect to find with those giant shadows — anything else isn’t appropriately large for the fish you’re seeking.
Bait is helpful. You can craft it by digging up manila clams from the beach. You’ll notice little dark spots in the sand that sometimes shoot out water. Get digging but leave room in your inventory! Manila clams don’t stack up like other sea shells; they’re individual items like bugs. Craft away and be ready to use your bait at the best spots.
Wait, are some spots better than others?
Yup. Using your pier is the best option. The extended walkway gives you the best options for angling in your prized catch with room to move around. Try to avoid giant shadows next to your rocky alcoves — those spots are harder to cast your line and increase the odds you’ll accidentally scare off the fish on a poor reel in.
Are there special conditions for catching these fish?
For the coelacanth the Critterpedia indicates you can only find it while it’s raining. If you haven’t had rain on your island you can always hop on to a mystery island with a Nook Miles Ticket until you find a rainy island. Otherwise you can find the 90kg monster fish year round.
The oarfish is limited to half the year, from December through May, and then it moves off rotation.
Does collecting these large fish unlock anything special?
Not really. While both are rare many players will seek to add them to their Museum. Otherwise you’re welcome to turn them into cash with either C.J. (22,500 bells for the coelacanth and 15,000 for the oarfish) or with Timmy & Tommy.