Notes on how to finish the fishing minigame in Majora’s Mask 3DS

After 90 hours of net gametime I can finally claim the 100% completion of the 3DS version of Majora’s Mask.

Bought this game back when it was released in 2015, put around 25-30 hours into it, then ended up not playing it any more. Things are changing and I’m back in business: this year I picked it up again, played and played until it was all smooth again for my fingers then completed it to the fullest.

This means fishing out the two fishing holes that are exclusive to the 3DS version. Here is my guide that I feel is worth sharing because the available guides don’t really mention these – or parts were news to me.

First, the guides from around the net!

Gamefaqs (mainly used this one)
IGN guide
– Zeldadungeons Swamp and Ocean holes with fish pictures (useful)
Tourian Tourist’s guide (scroll down to 2016)
– Videos: Swamp Fishing Hole Guide, Ocean Fishing Hole Guide

Here are my notes:

– First, I suggest doing the fishing holes last, when you have all the masks. It’s not compulsory, but since you’ll need to use various masks to catch the fish, it’s worth getting the masks, then do the holes in a focused effort.

– Start with the swamp hole which is the smaller of the two. When you enter, just explore the area first from underwater as a Zora, identify the parts and observe the fish in the water.

– The idea of this minigame is to cast your line in the direction of the fish. Let the bait sink or float, reel slowly until the fish notices it. When there is a bite, quickly press “A” and use the analog pad to drag towards you. It requires some effort to reel them in and usually some direction change opposite from where the fish is trying to swim. If you hear the reel clicking sound it means, it’s getting closer to you. Often times the fish jumps and gets further away. Patience.

– By the hole entrance there are 11 drawings of the fish with hints how to catch them. The drawings are not very good and pretty captain lorez, so I suggest using Zeldadungeons excellent PNG’s instead. I also suggest using a spreadsheet with the list of the fish to mark where to focus next.

– By the counter there is a board with all your catch. This is how you can tell what you’d achieved. (If only Nintendo would’ve put a completion marker on the savegame!)

– Catch the common fish first that don’t require a mask to catch. This is a good warm-up to understand the mechanism.

– Some of the fish require that you wear a certain mask. The idea is that you go relatively close to the fish you want to catch and put the mask on. Of course, the fish needs to have been spawned in the pool, so confirm that first, then wear the mask. You’ll hear a chime which means the fish is now “triggered”. When this occurs there is a splash in the surface vertical to where the fish swims. This way you can identify on the surface in which direction you need to cast your line. Note: some trigger is shorter, some longer. If trigger goes off, you need to take off your mask and put it back on again.

– Workflow is the following: select a fish from the list you want to catch. Enter the hole, switch to Zora Link and try to find the fish underwater. This might seem daunting at first, but after a while it’ll get easier. A new set of fish spawns when you enter the hole. If you can’t find the fish you’re looking for, exit the hole and re-enter. If you see your fish, go and buy the rod and go to a convenient place from where you can cast your line in the direction of the fish. Use the mask, observe the chime, then search for the splashes on the water surface. If you switch to camera mode you can fine tune the direction where you’ll cast your line. If you don’t have the trigger or run out of time, the fish won’t bite. Once you have a catch, exit the hole and save.

– This way each fish will cost 50 rupees. To make money, just collect it outside the hole while you’re working on getting the spawn. For instance, if you exit the Swamp Hole, go to the target shooting next door. Do not enter the room, instead, climb up to the higher ledge where there is two bush. They usually contain 3 x blue and 1 x red rupees. Every time you enter this area you can harvest the money. Very easy to get the 50 rupees for the fishing rod session. Same applies to the ocean, but you need to kill the Like Likes on the beach. Use night time to harvest more.

Tips for fish I found a little harder to catch:

Sweet Ranchfish – short trigger time and always spawns by the waterfall pond. Enter the hole go there, see if there is a fish, if not, repeat. Once you see it, buy the rod, walk there and play Epona’s song. You’ll hear the chime then you can cast the line. Be quick with the cast.

Fragrant Reekfish – wear the Mask of Scents and enter the hole. The purple fog above the surface of the water will tell you where the fish is.

Ferocious Pirarucu – swims around the pillar, easy to notice. Then just have a smaller fish bite your lure and this will trigger the Pirarucu. Similar strategy applies to the fish that bites on smaller fish.

Colossal Catfish – on the final day switch to Deku Link, hop to the pillar, switch to Goron Link and ground pound. If you hear the chime, locate the surface and cast the line. If you don’t, exit the hole and re-enter.

Ninja Flounder – go to one of the left pillars, wear the mask and listen to the chime. If you don’t get the chime, immediately exit, and re-enter the room. Once you get the chime, it will require some patience to locate from above (as it is unseen with the Zora mask).

Nuptuna – hard to spot because it looks like a common fish, wear the Couple’s Mask and listen to the chime.

Great Fairy Fish – this worked for me: have all 11 fish on your roster. Once you do, start a new cycle, slow the time, and catch fish for the first two days. It will be boring and long, but don’t get discouraged. When the third day starts, immediately go out and save. Come back to the hole with the Fairy’s Mask on your head and check if it shimmers when you enter the hole (this is to check if there is a Fairy Fish around). If there isn’t, re-enter. If there is, swim as a Zora to the crystal cave on the top right portion of the area. The Great Fairy Fish will be hard to spot, but from the right hand side there is a little way to look inside. Do this process until you spot the fish and it’s not later than 11:00 PM on the last day. If it is later, reload your savegame and repeat (you’ll need the time for this fish). Once you see the Great Fairy Fish, buy a pass, go to the closest pillar and wait until the Fairy Fish bait swims relatively close to the cave. Put on your Fairy’s Mask to get a fresh chime, cast your lure and try to get it to bite. When there is a bite, let it swim towards the cave. You need to let the reel go and direct the fish by pulling the rod. Eventually the Great Fairy Fish will come out of the lair and eventually it’s going to bite. Patience is needed for this, because it will be a long fight.

I don’t believe it either. Have fun! 🙂