There are a number of reasons for why you may need to acquire tadpole in New World.
The first time I needed to find where to get tadpoles in New World was so I could complete my first town mission; to acquire 7 tadpole — or tadpoles, and yes, it does annoy me way too much that the game uses the singular version of the word despite being plural.
It took me a long time to figure out where to find tadpoles and how to fish them (yes, you need to fish them) but after 2-3 hours of trying, I eventually figured everything out and had 7 tadpoles to show for it.
Where to Find Tadpoles
The first thing you need to know is that you have to fish tadpoles from fresh water using a fishing rod. Yes, this is a weird way to catch something you’d probably be better off catching using a bucket, but who am I to judge?
In theory, you should be able to find tadpoles in any source of fresh water. However, I didn’t find that to be true — more on that in the ‘Tips You Need to Know’ section shortly.
As a tadpole is ‘uncommon’ on the rarity stage, it means you won’t be able to fish them extremely frequently, but they also won’t be that rare either.
Best Place to Find Tadpoles
I managed to fish all of my New World tadpoles from the Broad Fishing Hotspot in Windsward, which is conveniently located on the map.
The Broad Fishing Hotspot is extremely close to Cooper’s Ranch, which is handy if you also need to find Gemstone Rough.
Tips You Need to Know
It took me around 2-3 hours to catch the 7 x tadpole that I needed, but it doesn’t need to take you so long. The reason for this is that I hopefully went through the trial and error so that you don’t need to.
So, here’s what you need to know:
Don’t Cast into Very Shallow Water
Of the 125 times I cast my line and landed it in ‘very shallow’ water, I caught just one tadpole and this was when using bait.
In fact, very shallow water appears to have lots of drawbacks according to data I compiled in my guide to level up fishing fast in New World.
Use Firefly Bait in Deep Water
I’ve now cast my fishing line over 200 times into deep water, half with bait and half without. My rate of catching rare fish was pretty even overall, but I caught more tadpoles more frequently with the bait than without.
That said, my most successful method was using the next tip:
Land Your Line in a Hotspot
This is a little confusing as the New World tadpole location I recommend is the Broad Fishing Hotspot, but within the Broad Fishing Hotspot is a specific hotspot in the lake where more fish are gathered and you’ll catch a bite more quickly.
The only hotspot I’ve found here is pictured above, next to the little wooden pier. It appears to occasionally disappear but does come back, and to my knowledge, it doesn’t move elsewhere at this location.
The interesting part about the hotspot I used is that it’s ‘shallow’ water — but not ‘very shallow’, and certainly not deep.
I tried New World tadpole fishing in regular shallow water and whilst you can catch them, I caught at a more frequent rate when landing on the hotspot.
However, even whilst using the hotspot it still took plenty of attempts and I fished lots of other stuff too, but you pick up plenty of XP and eventually you should have your tadpoles. I estimate this will take you around 30-60 minutes to catch 7 of them.
Consider Using Bait
I didn’t use bait for this because I wanted to see how long it would take doing it in the most basic form, and honestly I think you don’t need bait if you only fish at the hotspot I mentioned.
That said, because a tadpole is an uncommon fish, using bait should raise your chances of catching one when you consider there are lots of common fish in the lake and in the hotspot too.
As you will likely need more than one tadpole, bait could reduce the amount of time you spend doing this, though I think you should still expect it to take a reasonable amount of time. Good job fishing is fun in this game!
Update: I tested in-depth using bait and without bait, and whilst bait didn’t raise my overall chances of catching rare fish, it did increase the number of tadpoles that I caught.