Animal Crossing: New Horizons — When is the next Fishing Tourney?

Acnh Fishing Tourney Hero
Acnh Fishing Tourney Hero (Image credit: iMore)

Four times in a year, C.J. sets up his stand in your Resident Services plaza and hosts an Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney. During this time, you attempt to catch as many fish as possible within three minutes. You earn points for the number of fish you catch, which can then be used to obtain fish swag from C.J. On top of that, you can also earn a Bronze, Silver, and Gold trophy if you earn enough points in the Tourney. So just when do these four Fishing Tourneys take place in New Horizons? We're glad you asked. Here are the dates and times for each of the four Fishing Tourneys this year.

When is the next Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney?

There are four different Fishing Tourneys throughout the year, one for each season. Here are the dates for 2021.

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Winter Fishing TourneyJanuary 9, 20219 AM - 6 PM
Spring Fishing TourneyApril 10, 20219 AM - 6 PM
Summer Fishing TourneyJuly 10, 20219 AM - 6 PM
Fall Fishing TourneyOctober 9, 20219 AM - 6 PM

Fishing Tourney rules

The Fishing Tourney isn't really a competition against other players, but a competition against yourself. You're trying to see how many fish you can catch within a certain window of time.

  • In addition to entering the Tourney on your own, you can travel to a friend's island or have friends travel to your island and participate together.
  • When playing solo, your first session is free, but you'll have to pay 500 Bells to participate each time after that. However, the Bell fee gets waived when multiple players are participating from the same island.
  • Catch as many fish as possible within three minutes.
  • Get points from C.J. based on the number of fish you've caught. If you play with others, your personal catching score plus your combined catching score will determine how many points you receive. It's a lot easier to earn more points when you're entering the Tourney with others.
  • Turn 10 points in to C.J. for random Fish Swag.

Fishing Tourney points system

You can either enter the tourney alone or can have multiple players on the island participating in it together. We'll go over the points system for solo mode, followed by the multiplayer co-op system.

Solo Mode

You earn a point for each fish you catch. When you catch three fish while participating in solo mode, you'll gain an additional two points to your overall score.

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Fish caughtPoints earned
1 fish1 points
2 fish2 points
3 fish5 points
4 fish6 points
5 fish7 points
6 fish8 points
7 fish9 points
8 fish10 points
9 fish11 points
10 fish12 points

Multiplayer co-op

Acnh Fishing Tourney

Acnh Fishing Tourney (Image credit: iMore)

Co-op is only available to players who have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. We highly encourage that you participate in co-op rather than solo mode during the Fishing Tourney, if possible. You don't have to pay any Bells to participate in the Tourney, and you easily earn more points than you could on your own.

  • You get a point for each fish you collectively catch
  • If you're on your own, you catch three or more fish, you get additional bonus points.
  • If you and your friend catch five or more fish in total, you both get bonus points.

As an example:

My husband and I participated in the Fishing Tourney together on my island. I'm not entirely sure how many points get awarded for multiplayer play, but here are the points we received during one session:

  • I caught 10 fish (I used fishing bait) and my husband caught 5 fish.
  • C.J. counted up our total of 15 fish.
  • Because we had each caught three fish on our own, we were given an extra two points each.
  • Finally, because we collectively caught five or more fish, C.J. gave us each additional points.
  • I ended up with a total of 22 points while my husband ended up with 19 points.

Time for the Animal Crossing Fishing Tourney

If you love fishing in Animal Crossing, then you probably live for the Fishing Tourneys. Lucky for you, there are four of them each year. Whether you participate in them on your own or gather together with friends, it's a fun way to pass the time in New Horizons.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.