Nier Replicant Fishing: controls, tips, fish locations & bait list

Nier Replicant is a game featuring a lot of smaller activities - something which is a bit of a series staple in Nier and Drakengard. And what game packed with mini-games wouldn’t have Fishing? There’s one thing about it in Nier, though… catching fish can be pretty difficult.

Mainly, to be honest, the fish catching mini-game can be fairly difficult because it’s a pretty poorly explained little mini-game. It's mercifully been improved a little in the new remastered version of the game, but some still might be mildly confused. With that said, you will want to fish throughout the game at least a couple of times - it’s required for one quest in the main storyline that you have to do, plus it’s the backbone of an entire series of nine side quests. 

Fish are a vital material, too - they’re occasionally objective items for side quests, and are even used in some upgrades for Nier Replicant’s many weapons. Finally, there’s achievements and trophies tied to fishing. So you’ll want to learn to do it right. This page will help with that:


Fishing Controls & How to Fish in Nier Replicant

So, the big, painful thing that a lot of people ran into with Nier Replicant and Gestalt back in 2010 is… fishing wasn’t very well explained, and so a lot of people ended up confused and unsure on how to do it properly. Things aren’t massively improved in the remaster, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139, either. We can hopefully explain things a little better. Step-by-step:

  • Once you’re at the correct fishing spot, press Circle/B and select your bait of choice. Certain fish can only be caught with certain bait - more on that below. Once selected, you’ll cast a line automatically.

  • Wait for a bite. You’ll get some smaller nibbles, but hold firm. When the rod bends significantly, you’ll want to pull back on the left analog stick. This timing can be hard to judge at first, but as you practice, you’ll get a hang of it.

  • This is where most people get lost. The tutorial tells you to “move the line in the opposite direction of the fish”. So when the fish starts moving, you’ll want to keep the analog stick held back, but rotate it in the opposite direction the fish is swimming.

  • This doesn’t mean just left or right, but also diagonally. Look at the fish’s position, and look at your analog stick: you’ll want to try to keep the stick always directly opposite where the fish is. The movement of the pole and protagonist can also clue you in here. So if the fish is swimming off to the protagonist’s top-left, you’ll want to pull back and to the bottom-right, and so on.

  • Once you get a bite, during all this there’ll be a life/energy bar at the bottom of the screen, depleting as the fish spends its energy trying to get away. Keep that analog stick opposite, and watch the health bar. If you’re doing it right, the life bar will be depleting more quickly. If the bar isn’t moving, adjust stick position.

  • Once the energy bar is depleted, the fish will be caught automatically. 

  • You can also press the action button [Cross/A] to reel a fish in sooner once its stamina gets sufficiently low (say, to 25% or lower). Generally speaking, we recommend just waiting for the bar to deplete fully, but for late-game, more escape-prone fish, you might want to attempt to grab it sooner by pressing the action button when its stamina is low.

  • Finally, the ‘Fisherman’s Gambit’ side quest series offers the protagonist improvement to their fishing skills. If you’re struggling to catch a specific quest, go complete more of those quests to improve your skills, then try again.


Fish Locations & Bait Requirements

There are 16 total species of fish in Nier Replicant and Gestalt - and each of them can be caught in a different location, with different bait. Most bait can be purchased from shops, and there’s an actual Bait/Fishing Shop in Seafront, and the listed locations will unlock as you advance the story.

Anyway - to catch something specific as many side quests ask you to do, you’ll need to make sure you’re fishing in the right place but also with the right bait. Here’s a list to help with this, detailing fish, their locations, favored bait, and sale values - as fishing is a great way to make money in Nier:

  • Shaman Fish
    • Location: Seafront Beach, near the lighthouse and where Seals are hanging out. When the time comes to catch this, a quest marker should give the exact location.
    • Bait: Lure
    • Sell Value: 60 Gold
    • Quests: 1x for Main Story Progression
  • Carp
    • Location: Your Home Village, by the Waterwheel
    • Bait: Earthworm
    • Sell Value: 100 Gold
  • Sardine
    • Location: Seafront Beach
    • Bait: Lugworm
    • Sell Value: 125 Gold
    • Quests: 10x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit’, 10x for ‘A Signature Dish’
  • Blowfish
    • Location: Seafront Pier area
    • Bait: Lugworm
    • Sell Value: 500 Gold
    • Quests: 7x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 2’
  • Rainbow Trout
    • Location: Seafront Pier area, or the Nothern Plains.
      • Multiple RPG Site staff have caught this fish at the Seafront Pier; but others have struggled to do so, as the probability is seemingly low. If you struggle, try the Northern Plains with an Earthworm.
    • Bait: Lure or Earthworms
    • Sell Value: 600 Gold
    • Quests: 7x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 3’
  • Bream
    • Location: Seafront Pier area
    • Bait: Lure
    • Sell Value: 750 Gold
    • Quests: 5x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 4’
  • Black Bass
    • Location: Your Home Village, by the Waterwheel
    • Bait: Lure
    • Sell Value: 1500 Gold
    • Quests: 5x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 5’
  • Shark
    • Location: Seafront Pier area
    • Bait: Sardine
    • Sell Value: 1250 Gold
    • Quests: 5x for ‘Bon Appetit!’
  • Sandfish
    • Location: Desert, where the Fast Travel boat is
    • Bait: Lure
    • Sell Value: 2500 Gold
    • Quests: 3x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 6’
    • Note: To catch Sandfish, you'll need to hook the fish with the first bob/wiggle of the lure
  • Royal Fish
    • Location: Eastern Road pond
    • Bait: Earthworm
    • Sell Value: 4000 Gold
    • Quests: 3x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 7’
  • Blue Marlin
    • Location: Seafront Pier area
    • Bait: Sardine
    • Sell Value: 1900 Gold
    • Quests: 3x for ‘The Fisherman’s Gambit, Part 8’
    • Note: To catch Blue Marlin, you'll need to hook the fish with the first bob/wiggle of the lure
  • Hyneria
    • Location: Desert, where the Fast Travel boat is
    • Bait: Sardine
    • Sell Value: 6000 Gold
    • Quests: 1x for ‘The Fisherman’s Final Gambit’
  • Giant Catfish
    • Location: Eastern Road pond
    • Bait: Carp
    • Sell Value: 2250 Gold
    • Quests: 10x for ‘Bon Appetit! 2’
    • Note: To catch Giant Catfish, you'll need to hook the fish with the first bob/wiggle of the lure
  • Dunkleosteus
    • Location: Seafront Pier
    • Bait: Sardine
    • Sell Value: 12,500 Gold
  • Rhizodont
    • Location: Desert, where the Fast Travel boat is
    • Bait: Sardine
    • Sell Value: 15,000 Gold

How to catch a Shaman Fish

Look, we know how it goes: a chunk of you playing Nier Replicant have zero interest in the fishing mini-game, and just want to get past the one point in the story where you have to catch a fish. That’s the Shaman Fish, which is a fish used for medicinal purposes, and you’ll be tasked with catching one for Yonah.

When the time comes to catch this fish, go to the town of Seafront. From the main shopping high street where the vendors are, there’s a side street that heads west. This side street leads to the lighthouse, but also spits you out onto a large beach. There’s seals hanging out here. Bluntly, it should also be marked with a nice big red X objective marker, right in the middle of the shoreline.

Now, follow our instructions as in the how to fish guide above. Press Circle/B, and then select the basic lure. When you get a bite and the fishing rod bends, pull back on the left analog stick. Now be sure to hold the analog stick in the opposite direction to where the fish is moving - not just left or right, but diagonally, too. If the fish’s stamina bar on-screen is going down, you’re doing it right.

You can either wait for the stamina bar to deplete completely - at which point the fish is caught automatically - or you can press Cross/A once the fish is at around 10% stamina to try to catch it early. That’s it.


About The Fisherman’s Gambit quest line

As you can see, most of the fish-catching action is tied to one chain of side quests called The Fisherman’s Gambit. We’ve got more information on this quest in our Nier Replicant side quests guide, but here’s the basics you need to know.

For one, The Fisherman’s Gambit is a unique side quest in that it’s available all-game, more or less. After catching the Shaman Fish for Yonah as part of the main quest, the first of this line opens up. After the halfway point of the game the early game quests get locked out except for The Fisherman’s Gambit.

There are nine parts in total. You can access the first five fishing side quests at any time after catching the Shaman Fish, and the latter four only in the second half of the game. The quests trigger sequentially, one after the other.

Each rank of the quest completed offers a generic, overall improvement to your Fishing Skill, which will make it easier for you to catch the higher-end fish - so if you’re using fish to make money, or if you’re on an all-fish completionist run, you’ll want to focus on this quest line.


Fishing up Junk Materials for Upgrades

A couple of junk material items can be fished up in Nier Replicant - pollution in the waters. Most of this stuff is useless and should just be sold to get some extra cash. However, there are two items you should keep your eyes out for when fishing: Rusty Buckets and Rusted Clumps

These two items most commonly crop up in the desert fishing spots, but they’re used as weapon upgrade materials for three different weapons. You’ll need around ten of each to fund those upgrades - so if you fish any of these up, don’t sell them!