As an avid Animal Crossing player with over 500 hours logged across New Leaf and New Horizons, I’ve had my fair share of experience catching sharks. Filling up your Critterpedia with these elusive creatures can be tricky, but is very rewarding. In this article, I’ll share my tips and strategies for reliably catching sharks in any Animal Crossing game.
Table of Contents
When and Where to Catch Sharks
The first step is knowing when and where to look for sharks.
- Sharks spawn in the ocean around your island from June to September in the Northern Hemisphere and December to March in the Southern Hemisphere
- Great White and Saw Sharks spawn from 4PM – 9AM
- Hammerhead and Whale Sharks spawn all day
- Sharks spawn more frequently on the east and west coasts of your island
Pro Tip: Clear your island’s coastline of flowers, trees, and debris to maximize potential shark spawns. Running along the beach can also scare sharks away, so walk carefully!
Sharks are the only fish that have a dorsal fin poking out of the water. When you see a fin, you know it’s a shark! Their shadows are also longer and faster than those of regular fish. With some practice, you’ll be able to spot sharks from a distance.
The four shark species in Animal Crossing are:
- Great White Shark
- Saw Shark
- Hammerhead Shark
- Whale Shark
Catching sharks takes quick reflexes. Unlike regular fish, you need to react quickly when the bobber goes under to hook a shark before it gets away.
Here are some tips for catching sharks:
- Fish on the east or west coasts during shark spawn times
- Equip your best fishing rod
- Listen for the “plunk” sound when a shark bites
- Keep your eyes on the bobber and be ready to react
- Pull the rod back as soon as the bobber goes under
- Practice and don’t get discouraged! Sharks can be tricky
I’ve found closing my eyes and listening for the “plunk” sound helps me react faster to catch sharks. Give it a try!
Filling Your Critterpedia
To fully complete your Critterpedia fish collection, you’ll need to catch one of each shark species and donate them to the museum. Remember to check what you still need in your Critterpedia.
You can also catch extra sharks to sell for bells or display around your island. Sharks are very valuable, with Great Whites selling for 15,000 bells each at Nook’s Cranny!
Mystery Island Tours
For the best shark catching results, go on Mystery Island Tours during shark season. Very rarely, you may encounter the super rare “Shark Island” which only spawns finned fish like sharks! This is the best way to quickly fill your pockets with sharks.
Even if you don’t get Shark Island, Mystery Islands provide more coastline to fish from and less distractions than your home island.
Tools and Bait
Make sure to use Fish Bait, which you can craft from clams. The bait attracts fish to your line for an almost guaranteed catch. I like to craft 20-30 bait before going shark hunting.
Also equip your best Fishing Rod. The stronger the rod, the less likely the line will break if a shark fights you.
- Sharks scare easier than regular fish. Walk slowly on the beach and pier when hunting them.
- Track shark spawn times in your hemisphere if struggling to find them.
- Persistence pays off! It can take over 50 casts before hooking a shark sometimes.
Follow these tips and with some patience, you’ll be catching sharks in Animal Crossing in no time! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments. Tight lines!