Tinkertown - Fishing

There really needs to be a universal fishing mechanic for games across the board. I hate whenever I pick up a new game that has a fishing element to it, because I invariably know that a fishing minigame can vacillate wildly on the spectrum, from fun and pleasant to opaque and frustrating.

And, surprise surprise, Tinkertown is no different.

Seemingly believing the wheel needs to be reinvented for the 1,000th time, developer Headup Games tosses their lure-stabbed fisherman hat into the ring with a fishing minigame all their own. Now, I can accept this much, I suppose, but Tinkertown‘s fishing system is completely devoid of clear instruction for successfully landing some seafood dinner.

But rest assured, because Ol’ Julian has you covered with this complete guide to fishing in Tinkertown.

How to craft a shovel and fishing rod

Tinkertown - Workbench

Obviously, you’re going to need a fishing rod, but you’re also going to need a shovel. I’ll walk you through how to craft both in a completely fresh game file.

So first, you need to set up your basic crafting station, which includes a workbench, a furnace, and an anvil. The workbench requires 10 wood, which you can get by punching the logs you find on the ground (if you’ve crafted a stone axe, you can also chop down trees for wood). The furnace requires 10 stone, which you can get from punching the various boulders you’ll find around the world, and 5 wood.

Open up your inventory menu by pressing the Tab button, then you should see your list of crafting options on the right-hand side. With 10 wood in your inventory, click the Workbench option.

The anvil is a little trickier, because it requires 5 copper bars. Copper ore can be mined from deposits that have orange bumps sticking out of them.

Tinkertown - Copper Ore

You’ll also need coal. Coal deposits look roughly the same as copper ore, only the bumps on them will be black instead of orange. Each copper bar costs 1 copper ore and 1 coal.

You can refine copper ore into copper bars by right-clicking on your furnace, then clicking on the Copper Bar option (you can even speed things along using the “Craft All” button if you’d like to).

Of course, you’ll want a stone pickaxe in order to mine the copper and coal. You can craft one of those by pressing tab and using the craft menu. The stone pickaxe requires 5 stone and 5 wood.

Now, here are the ingredients you’ll need for your fishing rod and shovel:


  • 5 wood
  • 5 copper bar

Fishing rod

  • 5 wood
  • 3 string
  • 1 iron bar

Let’s start with the shovel. Once you’re anvil is set up, you can simply right click on the anvil to bring up the anvil crafting menu. If you have the required materials, you can just select the Shovel option and you’re good as gravy.

The fishing rod will be a bit trickier, because you need iron for that. And you can only mine iron if you have a copper pickaxe, which is a higher-tier pickaxe than the basic stone pickaxe you crafted to get the copper. The copper pickaxe requires 10 copper bars and 5 wood, and you’ll need to craft it at the anvil.

Now let’s go get some iron. Iron deposits look similar to copper deposits, except the bumps are blue instead of orange.

Tinkertown - Iron Ore

And in case you still haven’t figured out what coal looks like at this point, it’s the stuff above the iron in the image above.

You will have to refine your iron ore into an iron bar before you can make the fishing rod, but you do that in the furnace the same way you make copper bars.

The other thing you’ll need for your fishing rod is string, which can be made from pant fibre. Plant fibre can be gathered by punching down the small bushes you’ll see scattered around the world. You can craft string from plant fibre using your basic crafting menu (which you access by pressing Tab).

Tinkertown - Small Bush

Once you’ve collected the necessary materials, you can craft the fishing rod at your workbench.

How to get bait

Tinkertown - Worms

Once you’ve crafted your fishing rod and your trusty shovel (that was a lot of work), you’re probably getting antsy to land some lunkers, but you’re not quite ready to fish yet. Now you need some bait, so you’ll need to dig up some ridiculously oversized worms.

If you try to fish without bait, a warning that says “Missing Bait” will pop over your head. And you don’t want that.

So take your shovel and find yourself a plot of land without any grass on it. Or, you can cut grass with a sword to ready a plot of land for shoveling. Now, simply hack away at the ground with your shovel. If you cut grass, the plot of land becomes short grass, so your first shovel attempt will remove the short grass. The second will get you down to the dirt, where the worms lurk.

You won’t find worms in every single patch of land, but they’re also not rare. Just keep trying until you’ve got a couple anaconda-sized worms in your inventory.

Now, you won’t need to actually bait your hook; as long as you have worms in your inventory, you’ll use them automatically.

How to catch fish

Tinkertown - Fishing

Once you have collected your bait, you’ll need to seek out a suitable source of water that’s teeming with fish. If a spot is good for fishing, you will visibly see a fish swimming around in it (as shown above).

Once you’ve eyed your victim, you are going to need to find a good casting location. Casting from the water’s edge works perfectly fine as long as there isn’t any interference. of course, you can always lay down planks over water and create a makeshift pier.

Now you’ll want to tap (not hold) the left mouse button to initiate the casting meter. It will run up and down endlessly — from blue to red and back to blue — so take as much time as you need to gauge how much oomph you want to use to use while casting. I find it also helps to have your cursor pointed at the general vicinity of the fish. Tap the left mouse button again to cast. If you manage to land relatively close to a fish, this should trigger the fish’s interest and goad it into taking the bait.

Upon a successful bite, you will then be treated to Tinkertown‘s fishing minigame, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until you’ve figured out how to use it. When the minigame starts, you will see a pop-up of a mini lake, surrounded by cattail reeds.

Tinkertown - Fishing

There should be a fish in the center of a circle in the water portion of this tiny lake. The fish will move in either direction, and when it approaches the rim of this circle, you’ll see a prompt written within the ring that lets you know it’s time to press the left mouse key to snag that puppy. The goal is to click when the fish is touching that ring.

Tinkertown - Fishing

The ring will turn from a grayish blue color to a vivid green with the word “Nice!” appearing in it. You might have to do this multiple times before you’ve officially snagged the fish, but as long as your timing is halfway decent, you shouldn’t have much trouble snagging your first whopper.

And that is all there is to it. So even though this fishing system seems incredibly unclear about what it’s asking you to do, once you learn to read its signals, you’ll be catching piles of tasty fish in no time.

Now all Tinkertown needs is a recipe for tarter sauce to go with your fish and chips.

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