The Long Dark Wiki

Ice fishing

Ice Fishing is a survival skill that is used to catch fish. There are four types of fish obtainable by ice fishing in The Long Dark, two species in salt water and two in fresh water. Fishing requires a fishing tackle and is only possible after breaking open an ice fishing hole inside a fishing hut. Caught fish can be eaten raw at the player's own risk, or fish can be cooked to procure a small amount of lantern fuel and food with a lower risk of afflicting the player with food poisoning. Higher levels in the Ice Fishing skill reduce the amount of time required to catch a fish and the chance of a line break while fishing.

How to fish[]

Fishing hut outside.jpg

Players can only fish in a fishing hut on a body of water within a region. Each hut has a hole pre-drilled immediately inside its door to the left. The hole is frozen over until the player breaks through the ice. Clearing the hole takes time and requires a tool that can break up the ice. Players can select the frozen hole to bring up a work interface to clear it. A cleared hole will begin to slowly refreeze, if left alone for even a few minutes, regardless of temperature.

To actually fish, players have to "use" an ice hole with a fishing tackle in their inventory after the hole has been cleared, and select the Fish menu option. Players can specify the amount of time to spend fishing, and are notified of the number of calories that will be spent while fishing. After selecting the amount of time, players will fish, with any caught fish interrupting the period of time spent fishing. Players can choose to stop fishing early if desired.

As fish are caught, they will pop up as selected items, displaying their type and weight and pausing the fishing session. Players can take or release the fish, after which they continue fishing. At any point during a fishing session, there is a chance that the line will break, ending the fishing session.


Players need a few pieces of equipment before they can start fishing.

Fishing tackle[]

Fishing tackle can be found or is crafted from Hook and Line. Tackle does not degrade from fishing but does have a chance to break. The chance to break is not dependent on the condition of the tackle. Typically, players bring multiple tackle while fishing to prevent fishing from being cut short by broken lines. Breaking a fishing tackle does not mean a fish was caught; tackles can be broken during a fishing session and result in no fish.

Ice breaker[]

Ice breakers are any specific tool that can be used to clear ice holes. Bladed tools take more damage than blunt tools; however, hatchets break the ice twice as fast as any other implements. Tools that can be used to clear ice holes are listed below.

Tool Type
Prybar icon.png Prybar Blunt
Heavy Hammer icon.png Heavy Hammer Blunt
Hatchet icon.png Hatchet Bladed
Hunting Knife icon.png Hunting Knife Bladed
Improvised Hatchet icon.png Improvised Hatchet Bladed
Improvised Knife icon.png Improvised Knife Bladed

Fishing spots[]

There are two types of fishing locations in The Long Dark: salt water and fresh water. Each location can catch the following fish:

Region Location Water type Possible fish
Mystery Lake Mystery Lake Fresh water Lake Whitefish
Smallmouth Bass
Coastal Highway Fishing Camp
Log Sort
Quonset Gas Station
Salt water Rainbow Trout
Coho Salmon
Pleasant Valley Pensive Pond Fresh water Lake Whitefish
Smallmouth Bass
Bleak Inlet Cannery Worker Residences Salt water Rainbow Trout
Coho Salmon
Timberwolf Mountain

Crystal Lake

Fresh water Lake Whitefish
Smallmouth Bass
Ash Canyon Bitter Marsh Fresh water Lake Whitefish
Smallmouth Bass

Types of fish[]

Image Name Type Minimum weight Maximum weight Raw caloric density
Lake Whitefish (Raw) icon.png Lake Whitefish Fresh water 1.5 kg
(3.3 lbs)
2.3 kg
(5.1 lbs)
250 cal/kg
Rainbow Trout (Raw) icon.png Rainbow Trout Salt water 0.5 kg
(1.1 lbs)
2.3 kg
(5.1 lbs)
250 cal/kg
Coho Salmon (Raw) icon.png Coho Salmon Salt water 2.8 kg
(6.2 lbs)
5.5 kg
(12.0 lbs)
300 cal/kg
Smallmouth Bass (Raw) icon.png Smallmouth Bass Fresh water 1.8 kg
(2.6 lbs)
5.0 kg
(11.0 lbs)
300 cal/kg

Skill levels[]

Players can increase their ice fishing skill by catching any fish.

A limited increase can be obtained from the research book The Frozen Angler, which allows players to increase their ice fishing by 10 skill points with 5 hours of research. This means that you can reach level 2 directly by reading the book.

Once players have reached a new skill level, they unlock the effects described in the table below.

Level Skill points Effects
1 0
2 10
  • Fishing time reduced by 5%
  • 8% chance of line break on catch
3 50
  • Fishing time reduced by 10%
  • 5% chance of line break on catch
4 150
  • 10% to average fish weight
  • Fishing time reduced by 20%
  • 3% chance of line break on catch
5 250
  • 25% to average fish weight
  • Fishing time reduced by 30%
  • 1% chance of line break on catch


  • All fishing huts are equipped with a pot belly stove. It can be beneficial to bring fire supplies out onto the ice to help stay warm while waiting for a nibble. The stoves are useful for immediately cooking caught fish, if desired.
  • Each fishing session is treated individually, so longer sessions will typically catch more fish than two or more shorter sessions.
  • Fish are not very calorically dense compared to some other foods, but they are the only renewable source of lantern fuel: Each fish cooked will yield approximately .01 to .03 liters of fuel, which will appear as a new bottle of lantern fuel in the inventory. If the player is carrying a jerry can that is not full the fuel will be collected there instead.