How to Fish in RUST

A practical guide to fishing in RUST

Fishing is becoming ever more popular in RUST these days. Some RUST streamers are taking to the actual sandy shores to film themselves fishing with GoPro’s. Who would have guessed?

The people wanted it, and Facepunch delivered 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 a good bit of fishing, especially if you come prepared.

And who said another minigame to pass the time in RUST was a bad thing? Players that 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

It only costs 200 wood and 2ft of rope to craft the rod. However, to find the rope, you will have to open some crates and barrels. 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 quite fast via fishing.

If you don’t feel like paying Stinky Pete, you can always craft the rod yourself and find worms whenever 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 some worms or bait the hook with any food you already have.

You can also 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 and ratings

  • 0.5 Bait Rating – All berry colors
  • 1.0 Bait Rating – All Fruit and Vegetables, minnows, and human meat
  • 2.5 Bait Rating – Worm
  • 3.0 Bait Rating – Small Fish: Sardine, Herring, Anchovy
  • 3.5 Bait Rating – Grub
  • 5.0 Bait Rating – All uncooked meats
  • 10 Bait Rating – All large Fish

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

You can load a stack of the bait if you want so that you don’t have to stop fishing too often. If your bait rating isn’t above 2.5, you’re more likely to catch some junk from the sea. However, any bait rating between 0.5 and 5 gives you the chance of catching small fish.

For the mid-size fish, the yellow perch, and small trout, you need to equip a bait rating of at least 3. For the giant catfish, roughy, salmon, or shark, you’ll need a rating of 5-10.

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.  And 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 on the hook. 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 either use LMB or S to reel in the rod. When the water is splashing 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, tired 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, as well as 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 DepthBait Level
SardineAllx0.5 – 2.5
Herring Allx0.5 – 2.5
AnchovyAllx0.5 – 2.5
Yellow PerchRivers & Swampsx3-10
Small TroutOcean & Underwater Labsx3-10
Small SharkOcean & Underwater Labs4.5m5-10
Orange RoughyUnderwater Labsx5-10
CatfishRivers & Swampsx5-10

As long as there is water, you can fish, making fishing inside safe zones entirely possible. Both the fishing village and bandit camp have places you can fish without other players bothering you.

What to do with fish in RUST

Once you’ve caught some fish, you have to decide what to do with them. You can either trade in 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 of most fish containing miscellaneous items. However, the items don’t have a lot of value, except for the blue keycard.

The best practice is to gut all smaller fish until you are regularly catching the larger fish. Then, starting with worms, catch small fish and gut them for raw fish, use the raw fish to catch the moderate fish, and then use those fish as a 5-10 level bait, at which point you will either get the same level of bait back or a better fish.

Take your larger fish to any fish exchange shops, and trade them in for substantial chunks of scrap.

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

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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