How to Fish in Rust – Fishing Guide (2021)

In Rust, you’ll often find yourself fighting for survival and just trying to get by. In a recent update to this open world survival game the ability to catch fish was added. Through the use of a fishing pole and some bait it is possible to take a break from all the PvP carnage the game has to offer and go on a nice fishing trip. We previously covered how to fish in Project Zomboid and now it’s Rust’s turn!

This guide will show you what you need in order to fish in Rust, how to catch fish and what you can actually do with the fish once you have caught them. You should be an expert angler by the end of this guide!
You can use the contents section below to skip straight to any relevant part of the page so you can find the part you’re looking for right away.


What You Need to Fish
– Acquiring Fishing Rod
– Acquiring Bait
– The Easiest Way to Get a Rod and Bait

How to Fish in Rust
– Fishing Controls
– Good Fishing Spots

What to Do With Caught Fish
– Cooking Fish in Rust
– Selling Fish For Profit

Equipment for Fishing in Rust

Before you can go off and fish in your game of Rust, you’re going to have to acquire some tools. Luckily, the tools you will need for fishing in the game are very easy to get. There are multiple ways to get the items you will need. The two items that you will need are the fishing pole and some bait.

Getting a Fishing Rod

The fishing rod is fairly easy to get even for new players to the game. It is the tool that is obviously used for catching the fish. You will not need to search specifically for line every time it breaks on the pole, you can just use it until the durability is finished.

The handmade fishing rod in a player's inventory in Rust

The handmade fishing rod can be purchased in vending machines within monuments in the game. The easiest for new players to find and get to would be the Small Fishing Villages around the map. You can craft your own fishing rod by using 2ft of rope and 200 units of wood. You don’t need to find a blueprint for this, you will know it automatically.

The handmade fishing rod can also be bought from the shop keeper at the fishing village for 80 scrap.

How to Get Fishing Bait in Rust

Now that you have a rod all you need is some bait to start fishing! One of the best things about bait in Rust is that you can use a large range of items as bait. You don’t just have to find worms or purchase a specific type of bait to catch fish. Almost every food you forage can be used to catch fish. Even fish themselves can be gutted and used as bait. The best part is, you have a chance at catching rarer fish if you use smaller fish as bait. ‘There’s always a bigger fish…’

You can also use berries and meat collected from animals as fishing bait. Just drag the item onto your handmade fishing rod to see if it can be used as bait. There is a great guide to what can be used as bait found here.

The Best Way to Get Bait and a Fishing Rod in One Hit

While collecting everything may seem daunting at first you will be glad to know there is an extremely easy way to get your first fishing rod. That is through a specific mission. In all fishing villages in Rust you can find an NPC that will give you a rod and some bait for helping them out. Approach the NPC with a fishing rod and tell them you need a fishing rod. This NPC will give you a mission to retrieve items from a box left on the beach. A box will spawn not too far away and you can go and retrieve the items.

Getting a fishing rod easy in Rust by doing a Quest at a fishing village

Once you have collected and returned the items to this NPC you will be rewarded with your very first fishing rod and 15 pieces of bait! Not bad at all for a very easy task. Now that you have the equipment, you are ready to get started fishing!

How to Fish in Rust – Catching Fish

Now that you have everything, it’s time to find a Boonie hat and some water. Equip the fishing rod to your hotbar by opening your inventory and dragging it down to the one of the bottom slots. Now, drag some bait onto the fishing rod. This is important as you won’t even be able to cast out your line if you don’t have any bait on the rod. Now it’s time to find yourself some water.

Casting a line in Rust to catch some fish

Controls and Line-Breaking

Once you are standing at the water’s edge you can cast out the line. Hold down the Right-mouse button to get your fishing rod pulled back. (This works similar to shooting a bow). Now, move your cursor around in the water until the float icon turns blue. You won’t be able to cast out if you aren’t standing close enough to the water or, trying to cast too close to yourself.

Once the float is blue you are able to cast your line to that area. To do this, press the Left-Mouse button. Now all you have to do is wait for a bite. Don’t worry, you don’t have to time anything now, the fish will be hooked on automatically.

Once there is a fish on the line you can use the S key or right-mouse button to reel the line back in towards yourself. You can also use the A and D keys to move the rod left and right. This will help to wear out the fish and position your rod so the line does not snap. If the fish is pulling too hard against you there is a possibility the fishing line will snap. Then you will get no fish.

If the rod starts to shake violently, let go of the S key and allow the fish to swim around. Once the rod is no longer shaking you can start to reel it back in again. Remember fishing is about patience! Once the fish is reeled in close enough it will automatically be placed into your inventory. Make sure you have some free space in your inventory for your fresh catch!

A player managing to catch a fish with a handmade fishing rod in Rust at a fishing village

Where to Catch Fish

You can technically catch fish in any body of water in Rust. As long as you can see the little guys swimming around you can get them. This can be in lakes, rivers and of course the ocean. There are chances to get better fish though depending on your location. If you’re interested in scrap you best bet is to fish in the waters in Bandit Camp. Here you can catch decent fish like salmon and sell them for scrap directly. You can also cut up the fish that you find in bandit camp for a chance to get a blue keycard. This also sells for a good amount of scrap.

Fishing in Moonpools

If you’ve been away from Rust for a while you may have missed the underwater update. No longer are you restricted to exploring on land, you can also use diving equipment and a submarine to explore the oceans too. One of the locations you can find underwater is an Underwater Lab. Here you can find some pretty good fish. Get down to an underwater lab and start fishing in the Moonpool. This is the area where you come in.

As this area is technically deep ocean you will be able to catch a lot of different types of rare fish here. Better yet, you can use the smaller fish you don’t want as bait as well. Technically you can fish down there for as long as you want. There’s a great Reddit post which can be found here that goes into more detail on Moonpool fishing.

What to do With Fish in Rust

So now you know how to get a rod and fish in Rust. You should be out there fishing like a pro! But what will you do with all of that caught fish? Well there are a few options you can take. If you’re interested in a meal you can process this fish into something to eat for your character. Fish is a great source of food. If you’re more of a scrap investor, that is also an option.

How to Cook Fish

Now that you have some fish in your inventory all of the hard work is done. Still you will need to prepare something to cook with. You can craft a campfire or a grill to start cooking up your fresh catch. Once you have these, it is just a means of getting some wood for the fire. Find the fish in your inventory, select it and choose the option to Gut the fish. This will give you some fish that can be cooked. Now, open up the campfire or grill, whatever you placed down.

To cook the fish, place some wood to use as fuel and the raw fish in the grill. Now, turn the grill on by selecting the option at the bottom right. Wait a little while for the fish to be cooked. Make sure you don’t wait too long otherwise the fish will burn. Once the fish is cooked you will see it in the grill under a different icon. (Check the photo below). Simply drag this finished food into your inventory and voila, you have cooked your fish!

Cooking fish in a grill in rust
You can gut and cook fish for eating

Trading Fish for Scrap

If you don’t fancy a meal or already have a reliable source of food you can trade the fish in for scrap at fishing villages. This is pretty straightforward so I won’t go into too much information. Simply go to the shopkeeper in a fishing village and sell your fish to them. The rarer the fish that you are selling, the more scraps you can expect to make. That being said, most fisherman like to use the smaller fish as bait to catch bigger ones, so it might be in your best interest to gut them and only sell the really high value fish.


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