There are several rare fish to find in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the Golden Trout is certainly one of them. It's only available for six months of the year (that's two three-month spells) and then only in one very specific location on your island. If you're wondering how, when and where to catch the Golden Trout, just follow the steps below and you'll soon have it hooked.
If you're after information about every fish in New Horizons and general tips on how to hook them, check out our Animal Crossing: New Horizons fish guide and list for all the fishy facts you could want.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Catch the Golden Trout
When can you catch the Golden Trout?
The Golden Trout is only available at the following times of the day/year:
- Time: 4pm - 9am
- Months: Mar-May, Sep-Nov
Where is the Golden Trout?
The Golden Trout can only be found in elevated streams or the highest point on your island. We initially caught it in our highest clifftop pool (the one with a waterfall), although we also had success in rivers on the first 'elevated' level, too.
There's no point trying to catch the Golden Trout in any sea-level river location - as Blathers in the Museum will later inform you if you choose to listen to his fishy facts (and you should), this trout only likes high mountain streams.
How do you catch the Golden Trout?
The trick to joining the Golden Trout club is to craft fish bait using the squirting Manila Clams you dig up on the beach in order to have the rare fish spawn. Each clam can be crafted into a single helping of fish bait which you can sprinkle in any body of water for the shadow of a fish to appear.
To catch the Golden Trout we dug up Manila Clams from the beach using our shovel and crafted them all into fish bait.
We then went to the highest cliff on our island and threw the fish bait in the water there. After catching multiple Loaches and a Cherry Salmon, a medium-sized fish shadow appeared on our seventh or eighth attempt, and when we hooked it and pulled it out - lo and behold - we had joined Club Golden Trout!
It should be noted that we were very lucky to catch this fish so quickly and other players report that it took them significantly longer. However, using the above technique will have you hooking a Golden Trout eventually, even if it takes you longer.
Of course, the fish will still spawn in the spot without the use of bait, but the chances of a fish being present in the appropriate river and it being a Golden Trout are far slimmer than if you use bait to repeatedly spawn fish in the correct location.
It should be noted that the above method and location is exactly the same one we used to catch the rare Stringfish, too. However, we exhausted all our good luck with the Golden Trout - the slightly rarer Stringfish took us much longer to hook (upwards of 100 bait over several nights).
How much is the Golden Trout worth?
The rare Golden Trout is worth 15,000 Bells if you sell it to Timmy and Tommy (or 12,000 Bells if you leave it in the Nook's Cranny Drop Box). Make sure you donate one to the Museum, though!
If you catch and keep three Golden Trout, speak to C.J. when he visits, give him the fish and he'll send you a Golden Trout statue (as he will for any three identical fish specimens you give him). Is it worth the many hours of bait-crafting and fishing for the rather disappointing Golden Trout collectible you get?
Of course it is! Probably.
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bug, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of Critters leaving at the end of the month. We've also compiled a Complete Villager List and a Complete List of K.K. Slider Songs, as well as the Best Custom Design Codes and Islands we've found so far, and the best islands to visit using Dream Address Codes.
We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.
And finally Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game.