Why Can’t I Use Bait in Stardew Valley?

Stardew Valley is a great game, but there’s no question that the fishing aspect of the game can be challenging for newbies, especially from fans who wouldn’t consider themselves traditional gamers. And in the beginning, fishing is hard, especially at lower levels. Sometimes this is due to the challenges of the mechanics, but what happens when you can’t figure out how to use bait in Stardew Valley?

The good news is that 99.9% of the time if you run into this issue there are a few simple causes and that means some simple fixes that should take care of you so you can get your hooks baited and get to catching fish in earnest.

The most reliable way to bait your hook in Stardew Valley is to left click on the bait, then right click on the fishing rod. If you keep switching between the fishing rod and the bait that means you’re left clicking twice, and that is why you’re having trouble baiting the fishing rod.

Let’s dive into this topic in more depth to avoid the common trip ups with using bait while fishing in Stardew Valley and get you pulling in loads of fish, regardless of the in-game season.

Having plenty of bait on hand is always a good idea…but it doesn’t do much good if you struggle to get it on the fishing rod.

How To Bait Your Hook In Stardew Valley

Most of my experience playing Stardew Valley is on PC, which is where the majority of the playing base is and why I tend to focus on PC-based solutions to problems Stardew players might be having first, but I want to make sure we cover this problem for everyone!

We’re going to break this down now by platform since the controls to a PC version of Stardew Valley are obviously different from an Xbox or Switch.

So to add bait to your fishing rod in Stardew Valley…

  • Left click on the bait, then right click on the fishing rod for PC
  • Press A on the bait and then X on the rod for an Xbox Controller
  • Press X on the bait and then the Square button on a PS4 Controller
  • Press A on the bait and then Y on a Nintendo Switch
  • Open the inventory, then drag the bait, and drop it on top of the fishing rod for the Mobile Version

This is how to add bait to the fishing rod for every single one of the game systems that Stardew Valley currently appears on.

Related Article: Stardew Valley Void Salmon

What If I Can’t Bait My Hook?

There are usually only a few issues going on so make sure to check on these things first before assuming it’s a glitch. Chances are that one of these three situations are causing all your problems with baiting the fishing rod in Stardew Valley and taking care of them can

Problem 1: You have the wrong type of fishing rod

Training Rods and Bamboo Fishing Rods can’t use bait. If you have either one of these fishing rods equipped, then that’s the problem right there. The lowest level fishing rod that you can bait the hook on is the fiberglass fishing rod.

If you’re not using that or the iridium fishing rod, then it’s long past time to upgrade!

Related Article: Stardew Valley Tool Upgrade Guide

Problem 2: Right click bait, left click fishing rod

Double clicking with the right mouse button or the left one is a common mistake that causes all kinds of frustration. I get it – switching from one to the other is a bit counter-intuitive and it’s easy for wires in your brain to get crossed while trying to make it work, but being careful to make sure you’re duo clicking in the right sequence is crucial to avoid common problems.

Problem 3: Trying to drag the bait directly to its slot

This can feel like the right move, but you actually can’t since when you drag the cursor, with or without the bait, away from the fishing rod the drop down of it disappears. The bait needs to be dropped directly on the fishing rod, not trying to drag it to the open hook display from the pop out window when hovering over the fishing rod.

Related Article: Stardew Valley Lingcod Guide

Only Fiberglass Fishing Rods and Iridium Fishing Rods Can Use Bait

Simple mistake to make, but you need an upgraded fishing rod in order to use bait. The bamboo fishing rod you get for free from Willy can’t use any add-ons, and neither can the training fishing rod.

The fishing rods available in Stardew Valley

  • Training Fishing Rod (available to make fishing easier)
  • Bamboo Fishing Rod (Basic starting rod)
  • Fiberglass Fishing Rod
  • Iridium Fishing Rod

Understanding this is really important so you’re not wasting time and getting frustrated trying to add bait to a fishing rod that simply won’t accept it.

Wild bait recipe stardew Valley
The baited fishing rod promises plenty of success pulling them out of the water…once you get out of the mines, of course.

Bait That Fishing Rod in Stardew Valley!

Having even basic bait makes a huge difference in Stardew Valley and drastically increases the number of fish you catch, how quickly you level up, and therefore how quickly fishing gets easier and easier. It’s a winning way to speed up the process, and now you have every solution to why you can’t bait your fishing rod in Stardew Valley.

This is one of those things where it’s an easy fix, but in the spur of the moment it’s easy to get a little confused, a little frustrated, and it’s important to get over that to make sure you’re crushing the fishing aspect of SV, which is a major way to make money, get special artifacts/items, and really enjoy the fullness of what the game has to offer!

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