10 tips for catching legendary fish in Red Dead Redemption 2

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If you’re serious about fishing, and want to catch the best fish that Red Dead Redemption 2 has to offer, you’ll need a considerable wealth of knowledge.

From using the correct bait and finding the legendary fishes’ locations, to specific tricks on reeling them in when the blighters start nipping, this fishing tips guide has got you covered.

1. Learn to fish

You aren’t automatically able to fish when you start playing Red Dead Redemption 2, but it won’t be long before you are able to pick up a rod and begin your fishing journey. During Chapter Two, you’ll be given a quest by Abigail Roberts called ‘A Fisher of Men’, where you take John Marston’s son, Jack, out for a spot of fishing. Here, you’ll learn the basics, getting to grips with how to cast you rod, reel in your catch and avoid the fish getting away.

2. Learn the basics

It’s very easy to fish in Red Dead Redemption 2. Select the rod from your items, then press L2/LT to hold it with both hands, and press R2/RT and let go to cast your line; the longer you hold R2/RT, the further you cast. While still holding L2/LT, slowly reel in using the Right Analogue stick to attract the fish’s attention, or tap R2/RT to flick the rod.

When you feel a nip, the controller will vibrate slightly. Once the fish has completely bitten the hook, press R2/RT straight away. When the controller isn’t vibrating and the fish isn’t trying to get away, reel it in by rotating the right analogue stick. If it begins to vibrate, stop straight away and control the fish with the left analogue, moving it left or right. Once the fish calms down again, reel it back in. Follow this simple pattern to catch a fish, but be prepared for a struggle when it comes to the legendary fish.

3. How to hunt for legends

Legendary fish won’t be available as soon as you learn to fish. You have to find a brilliantly named stranger called Jeremy Gill, who is located on a short pier along the northeast shoreline of Flat Iron Lake. He’ll give you the quest ‘Fisher of Fish,’ which includes a map of every location of each of the 13 legendary fish. While it’s not the best of maps – each location isn’t labelled – it shouldn’t take long to work out exactly where they are. For your reference, the locations are:

  • Bluegill: Flat Iron Lake
  • Bullhead Catfish: Sisika Island
  • Chain Pickerel: Dakota River
  • Lake Sturgeon: Saint Denis railroad bridge (south of town)
  • Largemouth Bass: San Luis River
  • Longnose Gar: Lagras
  • Muskie: Van Horn Trading Post
  • Perch: Elysian Pool
  • Redfin Pickerel: Stillwater Creek
  • Rock Bass: Aurora Basin’s Pier
  • Smallmouth Bass: Lake Owanjila
  • Sockeye Salmon: Lake Isabella
  • Steelhead Trout: Willard’s Rest

Once you’ve caught each fish, make sure you post them straight to Jeremy Gill or else it won’t be marked off on the quest.

4. You need a special kind of bait

To be able to catch the legendary fish, you won’t simply be able to use any old bait. There are three types of special bait/lures that you can purchase for $20 each in Lagras. Each one is specific to a type of water; the special river lure, special lake lure, and special swamp lure. Once you’ve purchased the lures, they can be reused for every fish, so you’ll only ever need to buy them once.

5. Use the lures correctly

It’s worth noting that you’re more likely to catch the legendary fish if you’re using the correct lure in the correct place. A special river lure is going to be less effective if you’re using it in the Bayous of Lagras, purely because it’s a much swampier area. Likewise, using a special swamp lure to catch the Lake Sturgeon isn’t going to work. Assess the type of water for the environment, and go from there.

6. Watch out for the notice

Whenever you enter the correct area on the map for the fish you’re trying to catch, a notification will pop up in the top-left corner of the screen alerting you to the fact you’re in the right place for a new legendary fish. This can be incredibly helpful because if you think you’re in the correct area, but haven’t had the notification, it probably that means you’re not where you need to be.

7. Patience is a virtue

Fishing for legendary fish can take much more time than normal, and it’s important to stay patient. If you’ve spent five minutes in one area and nothing has happened, draw the line back and move to a different spot. As long as it’s within the correct area, you’ll be fine. There’s a lot of movement in the water to let you know that there are fish available, so pay attention to the bubbles that appear on the surface. Improve your chances by casting your line right into the centre of a few of them.

8. Advanced techniques

You’ll find the legendary fish are much harder to catch, so knowing a couple of extra techniques really helps to draw them in a bit faster. During the reeling in stage, pull back on the left analogue stick to draw them in a bit faster. Also, when the fish is resisting, click the Right Analogue stick to cause it to stop temporarily. Using both of these techniques as well as what you already know will make it easier to land one of those legendary fishes.

9. Watch the wave

Usually, if the legendary fish is near, you’ll see a big wave of movement within the water. Keep an eye out for them, then once the wave comes to a standstill, cast your line into the place where it stopped. Bigger fish tend to affect the water’s movement, so being alert to these waves can help to locate the fishes you want to catch.

10. The early bird catches the worm

A lot of fish tend to disappear in the night-time, so it’s always best to start bright and breezy at dawn. Camp out and wait for it to get light, as more fish will be swimming about when the sunlight cracks through the clouds.

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