How to unlock the fishing rod and fish in Atlas

Learn how to craft your own fishing rod and catch fish in Atlas.


Fish are just one of many food sources that players will need to become accustomed to finding as they explore the world in Atlas. Not only are they a great source of restoration for your Hunger status, but players will also need to eat fish in order to restore their Vitamin D, which is essentially to surviving long-term in Atlas. Thankfully, there are a couple of different ways you can fish, one of which will require you to unlock the fishing rod.

How to Fish

There are two primary ways that players can fish while playing Atlas. First, the easiest method, is going to require you to craft a spear and then simply jump into the water and start hunting for fish. Lower level fish shouldn’t be much of an issue, as one or two hits of the spear should kill them. Then you can grab the fish’s body by pressing E, and carry it to shore, where you can use your Pickaxe or Axe (depending on which resources you need more of) to harvest it.

Atlas advanced tools skill unlocks
Unlocking Advanced Tools in the skill tree will allow you to craft several key items.

If you want to fish using the fishing rod, though, you’re going to need to unlock it first. You can do this by unlocking the Advanced Tools skill. You’ll also need this skill if you’re looking to build your first ship, as it unlocks your ability to build the Smithy. This will allow you to craft the fishing rod, which can be crafted from your inventory so long as you have all of the required materials. In order to craft the fishing rod you’re going to need to gather the following items:

  • 50 x Fibers
  • 24 x Thatch
  • 16 x Wood
Atlas fishing rod recipe
You can craft the Fishing Rod from your inventory.

When you’ve gathered the items, you can then craft the fishing rod. The bad news, though, is that you aren’t quite done preparing to fish. In fact, you won’t even be able to use the fishing rod just yet. First you will need to craft some bait—which can be done by using Sap or Sugar, which is pretty easy to find on most starter islands in the game. Finally, you’re going to need to craft yourself a Wooden Chair. Unfortunately, you can’t just fish from anywhere. Instead, you’re going to need to place down a Wooden Chair and sit in it. You can then use the fishing rod from your hotbar to fish.

Sadly, though, the fishing is a bit bugged right now, and the mini-game actually trigger all that often to let you know when you’ve got a fish. This can often lead to you missing out on the fish, and at this point in time, fishing with a spear is probably going to be the easiest option that you have.

Make sure you head back over to our Atlas guides for more help learning the game.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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