How to Fish in RUST

A practical guide to fishing in RUST

Fishing has become more popular and lucrative in RUST, with some RUST streamers even taking to the sandy shores to film themselves fishing with a GoPro. Who would have guessed?

The people wanted it, and Facepunch delivered it in August’s “Going Deep” update. With eight new types of fish and various rewards, fishing fits well into RUST’s early wipe gameplay and is an enjoyable and profitable minigame.

Why go fishing in RUST

Fishing in RUST may seem like another way to pass the time, but it is a viable option to standard early wipe play. Instead of running the roads and monuments for barrels and boxes, you will get better scrap rewards from some fishing, especially if you come prepared.

And who said another minigame to pass the time in RUST was bad? Players who prefer base-building, farming, or providing services for other players have long wanted more downtime activities to keep them busy during the nights and quiet periods.

Above all else, fishing at the start of a RUST wipe is safe, at least as safe as any activity in RUST can be. Suppose you start your fishing adventure at the fishing village. The village secures people with its zealous turrets and similar looting rules to the Outpost and Bandit Camp.

How to start fishing in RUST

Craft or purchase a rod

Unlike the Fishing Traps in RUST, the fishing rods are much more engaging. Players will start a wipe with the generic blueprint for crafting a Fishing Rod

Crafting the Fishing Rod only costs 200 Wood and 2ft of Rope. However, to find the rope, you must open some crates and barrels found along roadsides or in monuments. Alternatively, you can head on down to Stinky Pete’s Fishing Shop. Attached to the fishing village is the newly opened Stinky Pete’s.

The RUST Fishing vendor Stink Pete's shop
Buy fishing and diving gear at Stinky Pete’s

Pete will sell you a brand new Fishing Rod for 80 scrap and some Worms to get you started at 50 Scrap for 5.

While it seems like a considerable Scrap cost, 130 all up front, you can make that same volume of Scrap back quickly via fishing.

If you don’t feel like paying Stinky Pete, you can always craft the rod and find worms when you harvest plant materials, such as hemp, berries, mushrooms, and vegetables.

How to find and use bait

You can loot bait worms in RUST from all-grown food sources. Stinky Pete does sell them for 50 Scrap for five. But it’s just as easy to find worms or bait the hook with any food you already have.

You can hook just about any food to a rod as bait, but all foods have a different bait rating, which will catch various fish. 

Bait types, ratings, and bait stack size multipliers

Bait TypeRatingBait Stack Size MultiplierMaximum Bait RatingUsable in Survival Fishing Traps
Anchovy224No
Any Berry155Yes
Apple1NA1Yes
Black Raspberry15 but NA1Yes
Blueberries1NA1Yes
Catfish10110No
Corn1NA1Yes
Grub4312Yes
Herring224No
Orange Roughy10110No
Potato1NA1Yes
Pumpkin1NA1Yes
Raw Bear Meat10NA10Yes
Raw Chicken Breast5NA5Yes
Raw Deer Meat5NA5Yes
Raw Horse Meat5NA5Yes
Raw Human Meat3NA3Yes
Raw Pork5NA5Yes
Raw Wolf Meat10NA10Yes
Salmon10110No
Sardine224No
Small Shark10110No
Small Trout5210No
Worm339Yes
Yellow Perch5210No

Open your inventory and select the fishing rod. Once you choose the rod, you should see a slot on the UI to drag in your preferred bait.

Fishing for Tarp in RUST
Using bait with a low rating will often yield garbage and other non-fish items.

If you want, you can load a stack of the bait, so you don’t have to stop fishing too often. If your bait rating isn’t above 2, you’ll likely catch some junk from the sea. However, any bait rating between 1 and 5 has the chance of catching small fish.

For the mid-size fish, the yellow perch, and small trout, you must equip a bait rating of at least 3. For the Catfish, Orange Roughy, Salmon, or Small Shark, you’ll need a rating of 5-10.

What is the bait stack size multiplier?

Incorporated in June of 2024, the bait stack size multiplier is a new feature to use more bait per cast (or per baiting of a Survival Fish Trap) to achieve a higher Bait score. As illustrated by the above table, bait types with a stack size multiplier take the original bait rating and multiply it at the cost of using more bait. 

  • If a bait stack size is 3, you can use up to 3 of that bait type in a single cast, resulting in a higher bait rating with the chance of losing more bait faster per cast. 
  • If you put more than a single bait in a Fishing Rod or Survival Fish Trap, the device will attempt to use the maximum number allowed by the bait stack multiplier. Use a single bait at a time to lower your bait rating value and use less bait at once.

How to use the Fishing Rod in RUST

Once you equip the rod to your hot bar and select a bait, approach the water. Aim at the water and hold RMB. Cast the line with LMB. You will be able to cast once you see the bobber turn blue.

RUST bobber turns blue when safe to cast
When the bobber turns blue, you’re able to cast the line

Note that you can purposefully or accidentally cancel your fishing by looking away or pressing LMB before the fish is hooked. However, canceling will consume whatever bait you have equipped, so don’t do it too often.

Watch the bobber or the rod and wait for the splash sound and visual change of the rod. Don’t worry. You’re not looking for anything subtle, as a fish grabbing on makes a lot of noise.

You can use LMB or S to reel in the rod. When the water splashes around the bobber, that means the fish is fighting. Watch the rod and listen. If it is bent and creaking, it means the line is ready to snap, and you should stop reeling.

To tire out the fish, watch the direction it pulls the line. You can combat it by pulling in the opposite direction with A or D.

Take it in steps: Tire the fish, reel the fish, tire the fish, reel the fish, but don’t be tempted to keep spinning a stressed line. It will snap, and you will lose the fish and all that invested time.

Once the fish is close enough, your character will pull the fish off the line, and it will automatically go into your inventory.

How to find fish in RUST

All-natural bodies of water in RUST can contain fish. However, you can only find certain fish in particular places. To help you locate a fish you may be looking for, we’ve prepared the table below.

FishWater TypeWater Depth
SardineAllx
Herring Allx
AnchovyAllx
Yellow PerchRivers & Swampsx
Small TroutOcean & Underwater Labsx
Small SharkOcean & Underwater Labs5.5m
SalmonAll4.5m
Orange RoughyUnderwater Labsx
CatfishRivers & Swampsx

As long as there is water, you can fish, making fishing inside safe zones entirely possible. The Fishing Village and Bandit Camp monuments have places to fish without other players bothering you.

What to do with fish in RUST

Once you’ve caught some fish, you must decide what to do with them. You can trade the fish for scrap at the fishing village or gut the fish. When you gut the fish, you’ll receive, at a minimum, raw fish, animal fat, and bone fragments. The higher the bait level required, the more fish materials you’ll get for gutting.

There is also a 20% chance that most fish contain miscellaneous items. However, the items don’t have much value, except for the Blue Keycard.

Since the June 2024 update, the best practice has been to start with worms or grubs to catch small fish. Then, utilize lower-quality, smaller fish, particularly with a stack size multiplier of 2 or higher, to catch fish of higher quality until the desired fish is caught.

Take your larger fish to any fish exchange shop and trade them in for substantial chunks of Scrap.

Sell fish for scrap in RUST
Sell your catch for Scrap at the vending machine

Passive Profit?

The Survival Fish Traps

The Survival Fish Traps have historically been a terribly underutilized, often completely overlooked item within the RUST item lexicon. As of June 2024, however, the fish database it pulls from has been matched with that of the Fishing Rod, meaning that placing bait within this trap will occasionally result in catching a fish (or other low-end item).  

The loot or fish retrieved is then deposited within the trap itself, and a splashing animation and sound begin until the trap is checked. Small Sharks and Orange Roughys are excluded from being caught in this manner, as the fishing trap uses an estimated depth of 5 meters as its metric (5.5m minimum for Small Sharks) and doesn’t qualify as a moonpool (required for orange roughy).  

Survival Fishing Traps are a default blueprint and may be crafted with a bit of wood and cloth. They are repaired with the same components. The 100-health trap will suffer a 10% durability loss when successfully catching a fish. There is a 50% chance per catch tick to catch something; otherwise, it will absorb some bait. Using a bait with a multiplier will absorb up to the maximum available at all times.

My big fish must be somewhere.

The waters of RUST are overflowing with sea life that’s yours for the taking. Whether or not you’re going into business with Stinky Pete or sailing alone. How and where you fish is up to you. 

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About Squishface

Squishface is the co-founder and owner of Corrosion Hour; a RUST community and website dedicated to helping server owners with the administration and navigation of the ever-changing landscape of RUST. As a programmer with over a decade in the field and a decades-long love of gaming, she spends much of her time in code researching and developing ways to bring meaningful content to help players and readers.

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