Coelacanth Animal Crossing Guide

There is nothing more exciting than venturing forth on a rainy day. Why, you may ask? Well, despite my Animal Crossing island having more than its fair share of gorgeous sunny days, the drizzly ones are what I look forward to because of the possibility of catching my absolute favorite big fish: the coelacanth!

I love fishing (here’s our guide!), but I especially love catching the coelacanth. I’ve caught hundreds, and it never gets old. Our coelacanth Animal Crossing guide can help you, too, achieve expert-level coelacanth greatness.

Bottom Line Up Front

The coelacanth is a huge saltwater fish that is one of the rare fish in Animal Crossing. This guide will cover all you need to know about the coelacanth, including when and where to catch it, how to maximize earnings from selling it, and tips for catching and decorating with it!

All about the Coelacanth

This big fish is based on the real-life coelacanth, which is often called a living fossil due to its prehistoric lineage (some fossils are over 410 million years old!). It is a deep-sea fish, so it is rarely seen in real life. It was thought to be extinct until the 1930s. In game, the coelacanth can be found in the ocean, as it is a saltwater fish.

Fun Fact: Other fish in Animal Crossing are also prehistoric, including the river fish Arapaima, Arowana, and Sturgeon, and the saltwater Sawfish.

What does the Coelacanth Look Like?

coelacanth animal crossing

It’s an odd-looking fish, to be sure, but it has its own beauty. It is a massive black fish, with hints of blue and green around its fins. It also has big black eyes, which can be hard to see with the body being the same color.

The coelacanth also has accents of gray in its scales. It has three fins on each side at its bottom and two dorsal fins atop. There are visible gills on its face, and a wide tail.

How and where to Find the Coelacanth

The coelacanth has a huge shadow! You can spot it by looking anywhere along the coastline of your island, as it is a saltwater fish.

When to Catch the Coelacanth

Theoretically, you can catch the coelacanth all year round. However, it is weather dependent. If it’s a sunny or cloudy day, they will stay away. You can catch this fish at any time of day or night.

The coelacanth will show up when it is raining in these Animal Crossing games:

  • Dōbutsu no Mori+
  • Animal Crossing
  • Dōbutsu no Mori e+
  • New Horizons

The coelacanth can be caught when it is raining OR snowing in these Animal Crossing games:

  • Dōbutsu no Mori
  • Wild World
  • City Folk
  • New Leaf

Yes, You Can!

coelacanth animal crossing

The phrase when you catch a coelacanth is so encouraging. It says,


I caught a coelacanth! Think positive! Be a coela-CAN!

To that, I say, “Just keep fishing!”

Coelacanth Respawns

The coelacanth respawns after every 100 fish you catch. However, as much as I fish, I have found that it is much rarer than that. You can increase your odds of catching a coelacanth when it rains by throwing fish bait in the water. Bait can be crafted by using a manila clam you dig up from the beach—look for the water squirts in the sand, and dig!

Coelacanth: Big Money

coelacanth animal crossing - big money

As with every fish and bug, I recommend donating your first coelacanth to the museum. This will make Blathers so happy. He has a different phrase depending on which Animal Crossing game you’re playing.

They all center around the prehistoric qualities of the coelacanth. You will then see your donated coelacanth at the far end of the aquarium, down some steps, and across from a vintage diving suit that looks pretty prehistoric to me.

At the shop, the boys purchase it from you for 15,000 bells. You can drop it to the dropbox outside for 12,000 bells. If you’re looking for a more significant buyout, CJ will offer you a whopping 22,500 bells!

This puts coelacanths at the top most profitable fish in the game, alongside stringfish, great white shark, barreleye, golden trout, and dorado. In Pocket Camp, you can sell it for 5,000 bells, which seems like a decrease, but it’s big money in Pocket Camp.

If you’re more interested in having Flick create a model for you, save them. Once you have three, give them to his partner, CJ, to pass along. The next day, you’ll have a gorgeous coelacanth model! It is not very large; I put mine on my fireplace mantel and on my Nordic shelves.

If you have enough money in the bank to not worry about selling your coelacanths, you can also decorate your island with them! I scatter their aquarium tanks around my island, so I’m never long without seeing one. It’s constant coelacanth joy and goodness, even on sunny days.


Question: What does it Feel Like to Catch a Coelacanth?

Answer: Now, this is my favorite part! You know how the Switch vibrates when you catch a fish? You get some shark-level goodness when you are lucky enough to catch a coelacanth.
Here’s what it feels like to not catch the coelacanth: distressing. It is a fish that requires a truly quick response time to snag.

Question: Are Coelacanths Worth the Effort?

Answer: Yes! Not only are they cool looking, but along with a few other fish we have listed above already, sell for the highest amount. Sure, if you don’t like fishing, you may not want to put in the effort to get a coelacanth specifically. Still, if you like fishing and are willing to put in the time, it’s more than worth it.

Question: How Do You Use Bait to Catch a Coelacanth?

Answer: Great question, reader. To craft bait, use your shovel to dig up manila clams from the beach, and then head to your crafting station. One clam = one bait. On rainy days, scatter your bait in the ocean along the shore.
If you have a lot of fishing rods in your pocket, catch all the fish (to hasten the respawn rate). Otherwise, if the fish shadow is not huge, scatter more bait until you can catch one!


There is much to love about Animal Crossing, and the thing I love most is fishing. Even better, I love fishing for the extremely rare coelacanth, as catching it is such a thrill! I feel as if I’m not only earning BANK, but having a beautiful fish in my pockets. It gets smelly. It’s worth it.

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