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Stardew Valley is the quintessential rainy day comfort game. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better form of self-care than making a cup of your favorite tea and sitting down to farm turnips and make friends with the townsfolk.
One of my favorite parts of the game (and usually the one I beeline to, no matter the theme of playthrough I’m attempting) is fishing. One of the more valuable fish that you can obtain in the game is Sturgeon, but not for its sell price: it’s valuable because it’s the only way to make Caviar. It also has the reputation of being one of the hardest fish to catch in Stardew.
Here’s how to get it.
Key Details Up Front
Item Location: Mountain Lake
Item Cost: 200g-1000g (Krobus’ Shop on Wednesdays or the Traveling Cart respectively)
Key Features: Needed for making Caviar
Related Quests/characters: Every Stardew Valley villager likes Caviar as a gift (except Jas, Sebastian, and Vincent.) The Missing Bundle, and can be used in the spool of Emily’s sewing machine with some cloth to make the Fashion Hat.
Rarity: “Sturgeon are most common on rainy summer days, comprising from 11% to 16% of all items caught.”
Sturgeon is one of the rarer fish that you can catch in Stardew and is necessary for the crafting of Caviar. It can only be fished from the Mountain Lake (outside of the Mine) during the Summer and Winter seasons unless the player uses Magic Bait on a Fiberglass or Iridium Rod. Rainy weather will also increase the chances of getting the Sturgeon.
After the Sturgeon is caught, the player can place it into a Fish Pond in order to breed more Sturgeon and also unlock Caviar as a byproduct of Sturgeon fish farm. While all other fish roe when placed into Preserves Jars turns into Aged Roe, Sturgeon Roe turns into Caviar.
Can buy Sturgeon for:
- 200g at Krobus’ Shop on Wednesdays (Random Appearance)
- 600g-1000g at the Traveling Cart
Can buy Caviar for:
- 1500g-2500g at the Traveling Cart
Can sell Sturgeon for:
- 200g/250g/300g/400g Base Price (varies on quality)
- 250g/312g/375g/500g with Level 5 Fishing (varies on quality)
- 300g/375g/450g/600g with Level 10 Fishing (varies on quality)
Can sell Caviar for:
- 500g on the market
- 700g with the Artisan Profession
- Neither Sturgeon nor Caviar is used in any quests.
Related Perks, Special Abilities
- Sturgeon can heal for 25/35/45/65 Energy and 11/15/20/39 Health varying on quality.
- Caviar can heal for 175 Energy and 78 Health.
How to Find
Sturgeon can only be found in the northern part of Stardew Valley in the mountain lake just outside of the mines. If you want a specific spot to go to, players seem to have the best luck in front of the Adventurer’s Guild in the corner.
If you happen to be in the wrong season (as they are only found in Summer or Winter), or simply don’t want to hike up a mountain to spend hours hunting down an elusive fish until you relate a little too heavily to a sailor who lost his leg and swore vengeance against a dangerous and battle-scarred white whale resulting in the death of his entire crew and himself (Moby Dick was published in 1851 and if you get mad at me for spoilers, that’s on you), I completely understand.
Using Magic Bait on a Fiberglass Rod or Iridium Rod allows you to catch Sturgeon at any time of year, regardless of the weather conditions.
Before you go up to the lake, it’s a good idea to get the best rod possible and level up your Fishing skill to increase your chances of getting a Sturgeon sooner rather than later. The Fiberglass Rod costs 1800g from the shop after attaining level 3 Fishing, and opens up the use of Bait. Sturgeon cannot be caught with a Training Rod, but I appreciate the enthusiasm.
With your Fiberglass Rod in hand, start leveling up your Fishing skill to level 8. This will make it easier to catch the Sturgeon, and you can make a bit of money from selling the fish to fund some other materials you might need.
If you’re planning on fishing during winter, you’ll need a Rain Totem. You can make a Rain Totem with:
- Level 9 Foraging Skill
- 1 Hardwood
- 1 Truffle Oil
- 1 Pine Tar
Activate the rain totem to draw out the Sturgeon in the lake and increase your odds of catching one.
On the off-chance you’re a fishing aficionado like me and have an Iridium Rod, you can also make use of the different kinds of Tackle in the game. The Trap Bobber or Cork Bobber work well in this case; reducing the time for fish to escape or increasing the size of the fishing bar for an easier catch respectively.
You can purchase the Trap Bobber from the shop for 500g when you reach level 6 in Fishing, or craft them using:
- 1 Copper Bar
- 10 Sap.
- The Cork Bobber costs 750g from the shop, or craft it with:
- 10 Wood
- 5 Hardwood
- 10 Slime
Your Luck on the day and the mood of the spirits also become factors to look out for to truly maximize your chances of catching the Sturgeon. If the spirits are in a good mood, the Fishing slider will move slower.
You can also eat a Dish O’ the Sea to buff your Fishing skill by +3 levels for 5 minutes and 35 seconds to even further increase your chances.
Once you’re set up on the beach of the mountain lake with some dad-style sunglasses on and kitted with all the gear you could possibly need, checking the wind with a wet finger and making sure it’s between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., cast your line as far as possible.
It might take a few tries, but assuming you’ve bent the odds in your favor, it shouldn’t take too long to nab your very first Sturgeon.
Congratulations on your very first Sturgeon! So… what now? Well, if you’re aiming for a lucrative Caviar farm (covered in the next part), you’ll need to put the Sturgeon in a Fish Pond. Robin will build you a Fish Pond of your very own if you ask nicely (and also slide her a wad of cash and all the materials she’ll need). It’ll take:
- 200 stone
- 5 seaweed
- 5 green algae
And about 2 days to build. The Fish Pond takes up a 5×5 tile, so it might be good to pick out a spot beforehand if you’re one of the more organized types.
After the Fish Pond is complete, place your Sturgeon inside. Fish inside of the Fish Pond can multiply to a total of 10, so there’ll be no need to go back up the mountain to catch more. However, they will ask for certain materials in order to keep multiplying. These are the milestones and what you’ll need to pay up in order to get more Sturgeon:
- 1+ Sturgeon = 1x Diamond
- 3 Sturgeon = 1x Jelly (any) OR 1x Pickles (Any) OR 2x Maple Syrup
- 5 Sturgeon = 3x Omni Geode
- 7 Sturgeon = 1x Nautilus Shell
You can also place a bred Sturgeon in another Fish Pond in order to exponentially grow your reserve. However, if you’re planning on having multiple different kinds of fish, it might also be helpful to put up signs signifying which kind of fish belong to each pond. You can also change the ornamental details via “change appearance” in the Fish Pond’s menu!
Caviar (and other uses)
You’re well on your way to being the Baron of Fishing in the quaint town of Stardew Valley. Now, it’s time to cash in on all your hard work and investments.
If you place any other type of Fish Roe into a Preserves Jar, it’ll turn into Aged Roe. If you place Sturgeon Roe (automatically made by the Sturgeon in the Fish Pond) into a Preserves Jar, it’ll age beautifully into Caviar in about four in-game days.
Caviar sells for a nice 500g on the market, or with the Artisan Profession, 700g. It also restores 175 energy and 78 health if you decide to take a snack with you into town or while mining. If you’re looking for a more wholesome approach, every villager in Stardew Valley likes Caviar except Jas, Sebastian, and Vincent. It’s also an option for the Missing Bundle which later leads to the Movie Theatre.
Alternatively, Caviar can be used in the spool of Emily’s sewing machine with some cloth to make the Fashion Hat.
If you forgo Caviar altogether, Sturgeon itself can be sold for 200g (or, an Iridium-quality Sturgeon sold by someone with the Fisher and Angler Profession bonuses will net 600g.)
Other Reasons Why The Sturgeon is Important in Stardew Valley
As you can see from what is listed above, the main appeal of this elusive fish is the ability to produce Caviar. However, there are other reasons why you might want to get your hands on a Sturgeon. Check them out below:
While this fish is loved for one’s ability to farm its produce, you will have to give at least one of these fish away if you want to complete the Community Center and restore it to its former glory. Unless you choose remixed bundles, of course. The player will need to donate a Sturgeon to complete the lake fishing bundle along with a Largemouth Bass, a Carp, and a Bullhead.
Then it is also worth noting that without a sturgeon on your farm and in a fish pond, you will not be able to produce Caviar and this may be an issue, as you need Caviar to complete the Missing Bundle and build the Movie Theatre. Sure, you can buy this from the Travelling Merchant now and again, but you don’t want to have to rely on luck here. So catch and raise some Sturgeon to complete this long-term goal.
If the player is looking for a new look in this video game, they might want to take their freshly caught Sturgeon and use it on a Sewing Machine, because if you do, you’ll get your hands on some nice threads. You’ll receive a Fishing Vest, which is a puffy khaki-colored bodywarmer with lots of pockets and an orange underlayer. If you are a keen fisherman this is exactly the kind of get-up you’ll want to be running around in. So double this up with some waders and get out there!
This isn’t something that we would recommend to players unless they have their heart set on befriending Willy very early in the game. This fish makes a poor gift for most Townspeople, but as you would expect, Willy really appreciates the effort one must go to in order to catch a Sturgeon. Willy loves this item and it can be a great way to raise your friendship level with him, especially if you have a pond full of these fish. However, in the late game, Diamonds, Iridium Bars, and Pumpkins in the Fall are much easier to come by and do the same job. So don’t see the Sturgeon as your only option here.
Then while we wouldn’t recommend this, as in most cases when cooking, any fish will do, you can use Sturgeons for recipes. Here is a quick list of all the meals (and craftable items) you can make with a sturgeon:
- Maki Rolls
- Quality Fertilizer
Question: What can Sturgeon be used for in crafting?
Answer: The Fishing Vest (use Sturgeon in the spool of the Sewing Machine to create the Fishing Vest)
• Maki rolls
• Quality fertilizer
Question: Are Sturgeon used in any Bundles?
Answer: Sturgeon are used in the Lake Fish Bundle, gifted to the Junimos via golden scrolls inside the community center.
Question: Can I use it as a gift?
Answer: Sturgeon is Willy’s loved gift and will give 80 friendship points. All other Villagers are either Neutral, Dislike, or Hate Sturgeon. However, Caviar is Liked by all Villagers except Jas, Sebastian, and Vincent.
For any true Angler who retired from the big city to their inherited farm to spend their entire day scouring the beach for shells and casting a line into any body of water possible, the Sturgeon is a must-have. Even more so, if you’re planning on making a significant income off of sea-based resources, Caviar is an indispensable form of income for the Fish Barons of Stardew Valley.