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Short answer: Fisher all the way.
In Stardew Valley, you gain experience in fishing by either fishing -obviously-or collecting anything you can from crab pots. An increase in your fishing skill improves your proficiency. Proficiency will actually increase the minimum size of a fish and decrease the maximum time it takes for a fish to bite on your fishing rod.
Also, the higher the skill you are, the better the chance to find better quality fish. On top of that, levels 1, 2, 4, and 8 of fishing increase the fishing distance by 1 tile. At level 5, you’ll make your first choice in the fishing profession. Do you want to become a Fisher vs Trapper? You now gaze upon a frozen screen, pondering which one would be the best choice.
Trust me: I’ve been there. To make the choice easier for you, let’s break them both, as well as their follow-up choices, down into bits: Fisher makes all fish worth 25% more. Early game fishing is a great money maker; having that 25% additional cash can be excellent.
Let’s see an example:
The average carp has a selling price of 30. With the Fisher profession, you’ll sell it for 37 gold.
If you’re interested in making gold or experience, Fisher is the way to go. Even more so if you actually enjoy fishing! Do you see yourself soon going to a pond, lake, or seashore? Then, you know Fisher is for you.
At the same time, I don’t know many late-game players who feel like even bothering with the crab pot, so I think Fisher should be your level 5 pick.
At level 10, you’ll choose whether you’d like to become an Angler or a Pirate.
The Angler profession increases the selling price of fish by 50%.
Our friendly neighbor, the carp, which initially was sold for 30 gold, will now get an extra 50% selling price with our Angler profession. So, your everyday carp you can catch in every body of water at any time of the day? Now, it has a selling price of 45 gold.
That Booty, Aye!
If you’re not the selling kind, you could pick Pirate at level 10. The Pirate profession doubles your chances of finding treasures. Say goodbye to the days of picking up trash from most bodies of water. You could even catch some Amethyst from the depths of the ocean.
Once you get to level 10 fishing and are further into the game, you’ll benefit more from having the extra treasure chests.
If you enjoy fishing, selling your fish for more money, or possibly having an increased chance for a treasure chance, then you want to go with the Fisher perk.
What If I Chose Trapper?
Just because you chose the alternative option doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the wrong choice. If crab pots are more your thing, go with the trapper perk. For one, the level 10 options are great picks for crab pot users.
To top it all, several fish are exclusive to crab pots. This means you will only get them if you ignore crab pots. If you go with the Trapper route, crab pots will require fewer materials to produce. Crab pots initially require 3 iron bars and 40 planks of wood. Instead, with the Trapper profession, crab pots require only two copper bars and 25 planks of wood. That’s some weight off your shoulders!
This is handy if you’d like to place several crab pots around the nearest body of water and skip the fishing mini-game altogether.
At level 10, you get to make the alternative fishing endgame choice. For example, you could choose Mariner, which makes your crab pots stop producing junk items, or Luremaster, which makes it so that your crab pots don’t require bait.
If you decide to go the Trapper route, Mariner is better than Luremaster. Bait only costs 5 gold, it takes a negligible amount of time to put into the crab pot, and you’ll get better items by avoiding junk. Still, if you chose Trapper in the first place, you’d likely like to get the fishing profits with little effort. In that way, Luremaster makes your job even more accessible. Just place the crab pot, and you are good to go.
Keep in mind that the later you get into the game, the less relevant fishing becomes from a money-making perspective. So, this one is mainly up to personal preference.
Fisher vs Trapper: FAQs
Question: How Do You Put Bait In A Stardew Valley Trap?
Answer: Just like with fishing rods, all you have to do is open your inventory and drag the bait to the trap.
Question: Where To Buy Bait Stardew Valley?
Answer: You can buy bait at the Fish shop. It costs 5g each.
Question: Where Should I Fish In Stardew Valley?
Answer: It widely depends on what fish you’re going for. If you’re just looking for a good catch, you should try Western Pier rock.
Don’t Overthink It
Do you enjoy fishing and will commit to doing it every now and then? Then, the way of the Fisher is for you.
Would you rather entrust the task of clicking like a maniac to the handy, effortless crab pot? Then, Trapper aligns more with your playstyle.