Reeling in Rewards: A Guide to the Stardew Valley Trout Derby

For Stardew Valley farmers seeking a break from the daily grind of crops and animals, the Trout Derby offers a refreshing change of pace. This summertime fishing competition throws a spotlight on the humble rainbow trout,  transforming the serene Cindersap Forest into a lively hub of friendly competition.  

This guide dives into the world of the Stardew Valley Trout Derby,  providing essential information,  strategies for success,  and fun facts to make you a Trout Derby champion.

A Splash of Summer Fun: When and Where Does the Trout Derby Take Place?

The Trout Derby is a seasonal event exclusive to summer.  It unfolds over two days,  starting at 6:10 AM on Summer 20th and running all the way through 2:00 AM on Summer 21st.  The competition takes place at the designated fishing spot by the lake near Marnie’s Ranch in the Cindersap Forest.  Don’t worry about missing it;  a festive archway marks the location,  and the lively music and excited chatter will surely draw you in.

The Name of the Game: Catching Golden Tags and Winning Prizes

Unlike regular fishing,  the Trout Derby focuses on catching rainbow trout with a special twist.  These trout have a chance of being adorned with a golden tag,  the festival’s currency.  The more golden tags you catch and turn in at the Derby Booth before the timer runs out,  the better your rewards will be.  Here’s a breakdown of the prize system:

Participation Trophy:  Simply participating by catching at least one fish earns you this bronze trophy,  a small token of participation.

10 Golden Tags:  This nets you a spiffy new Tin Bucket,  a handy tool for carrying extra bait or other essentials.

20 Golden Tags:  This unlocks the coveted Wooden Spoon,  a unique piece of furniture for your Stardew Valley abode.

30 Golden Tags:  This prestigious reward grants you the prestigious  “Champion”  title and the impressive Mounted Trout,  a magnificent trophy to proudly display in your farmhouse.

Hook, Line, and Sinker: Essential Tips for Trout Derby Success

While luck plays a role,  there are strategies to increase your chances of catching those precious golden trout during the Stardew Valley Trout Derby.  Here are some helpful tips:

Upgrade Your Fishing Rod:  Investing in a better fishing rod,  like the Iridium Rod,  increases your base fishing level,  making it easier to catch fish in general,  including those with golden tags.

Bait Matters:  While bait isn’t strictly necessary for catching fish during the Derby,  using bait like  “Bug Bait”  or  “Worm Bait”  can increase your bite rate,  giving you more opportunities to snag a golden trout.

Patience is Key:  Don’t get discouraged if golden trout aren’t biting immediately.  Keep casting your line,  reeling patiently,  and eventually,  your persistence will be rewarded.

Food Buffs:  Consuming food that grants fishing buffs,  like  “Lobster Bisque”  or  “Seaweed Soup,”  can temporarily increase your fishing level,  making it slightly easier to catch fish during the Derby.

The Early Bird Gets the Trout:  The Derby starts fairly early in the morning (6:10 AM).  By arriving early,  you have more time to fish and potentially catch more golden trout before the competition ends. 

The Angler’s Advantage: Conclusion and a Call to Action

The Stardew Valley Trout Derby offers a delightful break from the farm routine.  With a little preparation,  patience,  and the knowledge from this guide,  you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Trout Derby champion and securing those coveted prizes.  So,  grab your fishing rod,  stock up on bait,  and head down to the Cindersap Forest during the next summer season.  Who knows,  you might just be the next Stardew Valley angler to reel in the ultimate catch – the prestigious title of Champion and the magnificent Mounted Trout!

Bonus Tip: Embrace the Festival Spirit!  While winning is fun,  don’t forget to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Trout Derby.  Chat with fellow villagers,  listen to the lively music,  and soak in the summer ambiance.  The Stardew Valley experience goes beyond competition – it’s about community and celebrating the simple joys of country life.  So,  cast your line,  have fun,  and  reel  in some summer memories alongside those golden trout!


The Stardew Valley Trout Derby is a beloved event for players looking to test their fishing skills and score some unique rewards. This FAQ dives into everything you need to know to reel in success at the derby!

What is the Trout Derby?

The Trout Derby is a two-day fishing competition held in Cindersap Forest during Summer, specifically on Summer 20 and 21. From 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM, you’ll have the chance to catch Rainbow Trout and compete for bragging rights (and some sweet prizes!).

How do I participate in the Trout Derby?

There’s no official signup needed! Simply head to Cindersap Forest during the designated dates and times. You’ll find fellow fishers and Willy, the owner of the Fishing Shop, who runs the derby.

What kind of fish do I need to catch?

Your target fish is the Rainbow Trout, a river fish readily available throughout the day during the derby (even in bad weather!). Look for the familiar rippling shadows in the water to cast your line.

What’s the trick to catching Rainbow Trout?

Here are some tips to maximize your trout-catching potential:

Use the right bait: Rainbow Trout Bait (crafted with a regular Rainbow Trout in a Bait Maker) is most effective. You can also buy this bait from Willy’s Fish Shop during the derby.

Upgrade your rod: A higher-quality rod (like the Iridium Rod) increases your chances of catching Rainbow Trout and landing them successfully.

Master the art of fishing: Utilizing the perfect catch bar size with Cork Bobbers or Fishing Buffs can significantly improve your catch rate.

How do I win the Trout Derby?

There’s no official leaderboard, but the goal is to catch as many Rainbow Trout as possible during the derby. The more you catch, the more Golden Tags you’ll potentially earn.

What are Golden Tags?

These are the real treasures of the Trout Derby!  Golden Tags have a chance of being attached to any Rainbow Trout you catch. You might also find them in Fishing Treasure Chests during the derby.

What can I do with Golden Tags?

Head to Willy at his green tent and trade your Golden Tags for exciting prizes! The rewards range from useful items like Crab Pots and Deluxe Speed-Gro to fun decorations like a Mounted Trout and a Bucket Hat.

Are there any other things to keep in mind for the Trout Derby?

The rest of Cindersap Forest remains accessible during the derby, so feel free to explore or gather resources in between fishing sessions.

Most villagers stick to their usual schedules, except for Willy who participates in the derby.

Consider sleeping in a tent near the fishing spot the night before to maximize your fishing time.

Where can I find more information about the Trout Derby?

The Stardew Valley Wiki offers a detailed guide on the Trout Derby:

YouTube might have some Stardew Valley gameplay videos featuring the Trout Derby, offering a visual experience of the event. However, prioritize reliable sources like the Wiki for accurate information.

Remember: The Trout Derby is a fun competition to test your fishing skills and score some unique rewards. So grab your rod, cast your line, and see how many Rainbow Trout you can reel in!  Good luck, Stardew Valley angler!

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