Stardew Valley Fishing: How to Find Gold-Star Spots

Hello, friends! In Stardew Valley, fish and other products come in four qualities: regular, silver, gold, and iridium. The higher the quality, the more valuable the item. Catching higher quality fish also grants more experience points. So, how can we catch higher quality fish? In this tutorial, we’ll attempt to answer that question. The issue can be broken down into five parts: 1) casting distance and water depth, 2) gold star fishing spots and their levels, 3) main map fishing spots, 4) gold star rate for fish, and 5) collecting iridium star fish.

Casting Distance and Water Depth

Casting your fishing line into deeper waters increases the chance of catching a higher quality fish. Thus, it’s crucial to know how far you can cast and where the water is deeper. Casting distance is determined by the direction of your cast and your fishing level. At level zero, you can cast three tiles upward or downward and four tiles left or right. Each time you level up at levels 1, 4, 8, and 15, your casting distance increases by one tile. At level 15, you can cast up to eight tiles horizontally.

Water depth is the distance from the shoreline, and there are five levels of depth in the game. We’ll use numbers 1 through 5 to represent them. The deeper the water, the fewer pieces of trash and the higher the gold star rate for fish. Rare fish are also more likely to be found in deeper waters. Additionally, water depth affects the contents of fishing treasure chests.

To determine water depth, note that any body of water is surrounded by the shoreline. Each tile away from the shoreline represents a level of depth. For example, one tile away from the shoreline is level 1, and two tiles away is level 2. This pattern continues up to level 5.

Gold Star Fishing Spots and Their Levels

Gold star fishing spots are locations where the gold star rate is highest, meaning you can cast your line into the deepest waters. As your fishing level changes, so does your casting distance. Therefore, gold star fishing spots must be divided according to your fishing level.

For example, at fishing level 1, your horizontal casting distance is four tiles. With a fishing level of 1, you can cast your line five tiles away from Willy’s house to the right of the pier. This location is called a level 1 fishing spot. If you move downward and cast your line vertically, your base casting distance is three tiles, requiring a level 4 fishing skill to reach the level 5 water depth. This spot is called a level 4 fishing spot.

As you can see, level 1 fishing spots are better than level 4 fishing spots because they require a lower fishing level. Even at level 4, you can save time by not fully charging your cast at a level 1 spot. There is no in-game reward for achieving a “max” cast.

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There are also two special level 0 fishing spots. One is on a wooden bridge that doesn’t count as a shoreline, and the other is in the shallow waters of the beach where you can stand. At these locations, you can cast horizontally and reach level 5 water depth even at fishing level 0.

Main Map Fishing Spots

Starting with the beach, as you first receive your fishing rod near Willy’s house, the level 1 fishing spot at the far right of the pier is the most advantageous. You can usually fish here until level 2. Moving downward, you’ll find a level 4 fishing spot, which is less optimal. The left side of Willy’s fish shop also has a level 1 fishing spot.

The area below the bonfire on the beach is another level 1 fishing spot, even though you cast downward since you can stand in the shallow water. When you return to the beach for fishing, you can choose this spot.

One common misconception is that the large rock on the far left of the beach provides some sort of bonus due to the deeper water color. However, this is not the case, and there is no added benefit from fishing there.

Next, let’s discuss the town river fishing spots, primarily for catching catfish. In this area, level 5 deep water zones only exist below Sam’s house. There are three main spots to consider:

  1. The small corner directly below Sam’s house entrance: The straight-line distance to the deep water zone is six tiles. From this position, you need a level 8 fishing skill to cast straight down into the deep water zone. At level 4, you can cast to the left to enter the deep water zone, but it’s more challenging.
  2. The right side of the bushes: This spot follows the same logic as the first, requiring a “swing cast” technique to reach the deep water zone. Swing casting is performed by holding the direction(WASD) key while the bobber flies out.

The second location, the corner on the right, is a level 4 fishing spot. It’s usually suitable for catching catfish for the first time. However, once you reach level 8, you need to reduce the casting power by one notch, as a full cast will land in the deep water zone. The third location, on the left side of the bushes, is also a level 4 fishing spot without the level 8 consideration. However, the visibility is not as good, so the highest catfish spot is limited to level 4. To catch catfish at level 3, you should prepare fish stew, which will significantly increase the gold-star rate.

As for the mine lake, the central protrusion is a level 4 fishing spot. This spot is not recommended due to its distance. The first wooden bridge tile and the area below the railing are level 1 fishing spots. The first wooden bridge tile is more recommended, as it’s easier to place a chest and provides better visibility. Make sure to position yourself accurately, as standing one tile up or down is not a level 1 spot. The protrusion at the mine entrance is also a level 4 spot, similar to the lake center. It can occasionally be used for fishing, but the first wooden bridge tile is recommended for longer fishing sessions.

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Gold-Star Rate of Fish

level&depth 1 & 2 3 4 5
0–1 0% 0% 1% 41%
2–3 0% 0% 1% 51%
4–5 0% 0% 2% 68%
6–7 0% 0% 2% 100%
8–9 0% 0% 5% 100%
10–11 0% 0% 90% 100%
12–13 0% 0% 100% 100%
14–15 0% 33% 100% 100%
16 0% 90% 100% 100%

The quality of fish affects their price and experience points, so fishing at gold-star spots will help you earn money and level up faster. The gold-star rate is related to water depth, fishing level, and perfect catches. Perfect catches and perfect floats will increase fish quality, while fishing rod and luck do not impact it. It’s worth noting that fishing bubbles do not increase fish quality, but they do increase the chances of catching rare fish, reduce trash, and quadruple the fish-catching speed.

A simple gold-star rate chart can be created with water depth (1-5) on the horizontal axis and fishing level (1-16) on the vertical axis. Gold-star fish are not found in level 1 and 2 water depths. Level 16 fishing requires eating gold-star Seafoam Pudding, using a level 5 fishing rod with a Fishing Mastery enchantment, and an additional level.

To be more specific, when you first obtain a fishing rod, casting horizontally to the right at the dock has a level 0 fishing level. With a full cast, the water depth is 4, with a gold-star rate of 1%. With level 1 fishing, a full cast reaches a water depth of 5, resulting in a 41% gold-star rate. The difference in gold-star rates between water depths is significant. When casting downward, the gold-star rate is only 1% before reaching level 4 fishing.

For mine lake fishing, the gold-star rate at the first wooden bridge tile and the railing area is 41% at level 1 and 68% at level 4. To reiterate, do not cast downward in the middle of the island before reaching level 4 fishing, as the gold-star rate is only 1%. In the town’s catfish spots, the gold-star rate is also 1% before level 4. At level 5, eating Trout Soup can increase the gold-star rate from 68% to 100%. By level 6, Trout Soup is no longer necessary.

Collecting Iridium-Star Fish

Using the gold-star rate chart, it is clear that level 6 fishing combined with level 5 water depth guarantees 100% gold-star fish. Gold-star fish can be turned into iridium-star fish through perfect catches or using quality floats. All locations with level 5 water depth  are suitable for easily obtaining iridium-star fish. With level 4 water depth, there is a 90% chance of catching gold-star fish at level 10 fishing, which is still quite good.

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Now let’s discuss special map fishing spots, starting with the Autumn Legendary Fish. Only the top five tiles have a level 4 water depth. To catch the fish, you need level 15 fishing when standing on the bridge and casting upward, but casting from the left or right bank is easier. At level 10 fishing, there’s a 10% chance of getting silver-star fish, so it’s better to increase your fishing level to 12. It’s worth mentioning that due to the simplicity of catching the Autumn Legendary Fish, using a cork bobber makes it easy to get a perfect catch, and you may not even need a quality float.

In the Secret Woods, the maximum water depth is 4. At level 10 fishing, the gold-star rate is 90%, so you might still catch silver-star fish, but the Woodskip fish is easy to catch with a perfect rating, making collection simple.

In the desert pond, the maximum water depth is 3. At level 15 fishing, the gold-star rate is 33%, while at level 16, it is 90%. To catch the iridium-star Scorpion Carp, you need at least level 15 fishing. The easiest spot to find is one tile down from the right bank, with three tiles of level 3 water depth.

For fishing iridium-star Octopus, Ghostfish, and Midnight Squid in the submarine, level 16 fishing is also best. The fishing spot is parallel to the Octopus Captain, casting to the right. Due to the viewing angle, the middle-upper area is often the best spot.

Most farm maps have a high trash rate, making them unsuitable for fishing. Only the Riverland Farm map has no trash rate. The area to the bottom right of the farmhouse has a level 4 fishing spot, and the small dock to the right is a level 1 fishing spot. Both are suitable for fishing.

To catch the iridium-star Blue Discus in Ginger Island’s freshwater, you can fish in the lake to the left of the island farm. This lake has a level 4 water depth, making it easy to catch the fish.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning Pirate Cove. The wooden planks in the cove are not considered shorelines. To catch the iridium-star Yellow Perch, cast to the right and avoid going too far. The water may look abundant when looking downward, but it is not a deep water zone.

That’s all for gold-star spots. If there’s anything else you’d like to discuss, feel free to leave comments.

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