This is an overall guide on how to use bait in Stardew Valley. Fishing in Stardew Valley is not the easiest skill to level-up. Compared to the other skills, you truly have to go out of your way to become a master fisherman, and it’s pretty common to get impatient and bored while waiting for a bite on the line.
Fortunately, after gaining a few levels, you can speed up the process with crafted tools like bait and crab-pots.
Crab-pots (learned at level 3 fishing) are traps that you can place in the water. After filling them with bait, and leaving them alone for a few days, you can come back to harvest crabs or lobsters (and sometimes trash). They’re a great way to passively gain fishing experience without having to leave the farm to go fishing every day.
You learn the Bait crafting recipe at level 2 fishing, and it’s exactly what you would expect it to be. You can craft 5 Bait from bug meat (found by killing bugs in the mines) or you can buy some from Willy for 5g each. At level 8, you’ll learn the crafting recipe for a worm bin, which creates 2-5 bait for fishing every day.
Now, the real question… how do we use bait?
There are two main uses for bait. We’ve already talked about using it in crab-pots, but now let’s talk about actually fishing with bait.
Unfortunately, the Bamboo Pole that Willy gave you at the beginning of the game isn’t able to use bait. When you reach level 2 fishing, you’ll receive a letter in the mail from Willy saying that he has a new kind of fishing rod available at his shop: the Fiberglass Rod. The Fiberglass Rod costs 1800g (so save up!), but is easier to use, as the catching bar is a little bit larger. The third and final rod that comes much later, the Iridium Rod, is also compatible with bait.
To use bait with your new rod, select bait while in your inventory screen, then right-click on the Fiberglass Rod (see the video below). Now, the bait should be “equipped” to the rod. While it’s equipped, you’ll be using one piece of bait to speed up the wait every time you cast your line into a body of water. An added benefit of using bait is an increase in the likelihood of catching better quality (such as silver, gold, or iridium) fish.
Using bait definitely makes fishing a lot easier, at little-to-no cost. Once you hit level 2, you should definitely see the benefits for yourself.
To read more about fishing and bait, check out the Stardew Valley Wiki! It’s a useful and helpful resource with incredible detail.
If you have any questions on the basics of fishing and how to get your first fishing rod, check out How to Fish in Stardew Valley: The Absolute Basics – Mr.GG.