Animal Crossing New Horizons - How to Catch a Tuna

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Although it's a fairly common fish in real life, it can be quite tricky to come across in this game! We take a look at the best methods for catching a tuna in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you're someone who wants to tick off all parts of your Critterpedia, then you're going to need to know how to catch that big fish.

How to catch a tuna

First, we're going to take a look at the Critterpedia information for tuna, because it's essential to know when you can actually catch this thing. It only appears at certain times of the year, so don't go fishing unless you fall in the specific months when it's available.



  • Northern Hemisphere: January – April
  • Southern Hemisphere: May – November
  • Active hours: all day
  • Shade: the largest (?)
  • Location: Pier

The shade is a bit larger than your typical Sea Bass shade, but it can be hard to tell them apart. I would just throw it away if it's large so you don't miss one. Tuna can only be found off a pier, which can be found near the airport or at the other dock area on your island. One can also be located near the plane when you arrive at a mysterious island.

There are a few methods I use to catch rare fish, so you can choose which one to take advantage of:

Mystery Island Method

Fish spawn a little faster on a mystery island, so scaring the ones you don't want will spawn more fish. You can run back and forth on the river and the ocean to scare the fishes. Once you've scared a bunch of them, head back to the pier and look for a spawn of fish. If it's not a big shadow, scare it away and repeat the process. You'll want to do this until you encounter the tuna. Here are ways to scare fish:



  • Sprint (hold button B) and run along the river to scare them away
  • Pole vault across the river near the fish
  • Launch yourself towards a fish, make it bite and reel it in without catching the fish. It scares away the fish you need to bite and other fish nearby!

There's also a mystery island that only spawns big fish, so if you come across this one, it's wise to try and catch some of those rarer fish like tuna and sturgeon.

Fish bait / hard resets

If you don't want to spend Nook Miles, you can always prepare Fish bait. This can be obtained by running around your beaches and looking for dark holes that sprout from the water. Use your shovel on one of these locations to get a Manila Clam. Gather a bunch of them and head to the crafting table. You can use them to create fish bait. Once you have the bait, head to the pier and scatter it in the water. You'll get a guaranteed fish spawn, however, it won't always be the fish you want. So if the shadow isn't the right size, just add more bait. Repeat until you get the one you want!


If you don't want to continue breeding Fish bait, you can use the reset method to make things easier. What you need to do is collect around 10 fish bait and then save your game with the minus (-) button. Return to the game and run to the pier and use your bait. If you don't catch the fish, press the Home button on your controller and completely close Animal Crossing. This will take you back to where you saved earlier and you'll have all your bait. Repeat this method until you catch the tuna!


Audio Video Animal Crossing New Horizons - How to Catch a Tuna
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