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  • 32 colored fish cards
  • 8 river rubbish cards
  • 20 colored lure cards
  • 5 rainbow "Lunker" lure cards

Object of the Game

Cast lures into the river to catch high scoring fish. Avoid catching river rubbish. The first player to catch 10 points worth of fish (2-4 players) or 7 points worth (5-6 players) wins.


Separate the River cards from the Tackle Box cards. Shuffle each deck separately and then deal out the following combination of cards, depending on the number of players:

PlayersRiver CardsTackle Box Cards
3 - 443
5 - 632

Stack the remaining cards in separate face down piles in the middle of the playing area. Hold your cards in your hands, secret from opponents.

Game Play

The last player to catch a live fish starts the game. On your turn, choose one of your lure cards and i 'cast' it into the river by placing it face up on a discard pile next to the Tackle Box pile in the middle.

All opponents must now check their hands and play face down in front of them either:

  1. a fish card that matches in color to the lure card played, or
  2. a riverrubbish card (boot, tire, can, or trombone).

Opponents must play cards according to the following guidelines:

  1. If a player has exactly one matching colored fish card, he must play that card face down.

  2. If a player has more than one matching colored fish, he must choose and play one of the matching cards face down.

  3. If a player has both a matching colored fish card and a river rubbish card, he may choose to play either card face down (but must play one).

  4. If a player does not have a matching colored fish but has a river rubbish card, he may choose to either play that card face down or pass by saying, "No Catch!"

  5. If a player does not have any matching colored fish cards nor river rubbish cards he simply passes by saying, "No Catch!"

Note: If no player is able to play either a matching fish card or a river rubbish card, your turn ends immediately. Draw a new lure card from the Tackle Box and play passes to the left.

Once all opponents have either played a face down card or said, "No Catch!", you must now blindly pick one of the cards and reveal it to the group.

If your chosen card is a fish, take the card and place it face up in front of you to form your "bucket". Fish in your bucket count towards your score at the end of the game.

If the chosen card is a piece of river rubbish, you got caught with some junk! Place it in a discard pile next to the River stack.

End your turn by drawing a card from the Tackle Box pile to replace your lure. The player whose card you chose must restock his hand by drawing a new card from the River pile. All other face down cards that were not chosen should be retrieved by their respective players, without revealing their values.

Play continues to the left with the next player casting a lure according to the above rules.

Lunker Lures

Lunker lures catch the biggest fish in the river! If you play a Lunker lure (rainbow), all opponents must select and play (face down) the largest number fish card from their hands, regardless of color. (If a player has more than one of the same largest number fish card, she may choose which card to play). You must still select from among the face down cards, but chances are good you'll catch a big fish!


  • If the Tackle Box pile runs out of cards, shuffle the discard pile and lay it face down to create a new stack.

  • If the River pile runs out of cards, players no longer restock their hands but play out what they have in hand.

End of the Game

Play rounds until one player has caught enough fish to add up to 10 or more points in a 3-4 player game, or 7 or more points in a 5-6 player game.

In the rare case that all players run out of River cards before this happens, then the player with the most points wins.

For a longer game, raise the point total to a higher number before playing.

2-player Rules

Play according to the standard rules with these changes: After you cast a lure, your opponent must play one or two River cards from her hand according to the following guidelines:

  • If your opponent has more than one matching colored fish card, she must play two of them face down for you to choose.

  • If she has both a matching colored fish card and a River Rubbish card, she must play both cards face down for you to choose.

  • You must always play down a single matching fish card if you have one but never ONLY a single River Rubbish card.

When your opponent plays more than one card, you must choose which one you want to catch. (Your opponent gets to take back the other card). Play then switches to your opponent.

First player to 10 points worth of fish wins.

Advanced Rules

For a more challenging game, add in one or more of the following rules:

  1. River Rubbish cards are worth -1 point. If you catch river rubbish, add it to your bucket instead of placing it in the discard pile. These cards count against your total at the end of the game.

  2. When one player reaches 7 points worth of fish, all players add the fish left in their hands to their buckets. (Add in River Rubbish cards too, if playing by the above rule). The player with highest total wins.

  3. After selecting a card from the face down options, all other players reveal their "uncaught" cards for all to see before taking them back into their hands.

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