So you want to be a fisherman? Fishing is a skill that, as you would expect, allows you to catch fish, which can be used with the cooking secondary skill. You can also catch fish that cannot be eaten but are instead useful for other Professions. You can even catch equipment, funny items, and valuable gems such as pearls. Fishing isn't for everyone. You'll discover that it requires a lot of patience and time to build your skill level up to the maximum level. While you're fishing you won't be gaining experience, so this development can put your leveling behind, unlike some other Professions. Fishing is great for people who just want to relax and chat while playing. For those who enjoy a calm, relaxing way to play the game while finding useful items, fishing is the cat's meow.
Fishing is a Secondary Profession, which means that it does not count towards your two Profession limit.
How to use Fishing
Next, find a body of water. Low level areas tend to be easy to fish from, so it's recommended that you start fishing somewhere in a newbie area, since skillups seem far more likely if you actually manage to catch something. Equip the fishing pole in your main weapon hand. It will require both hands empty to wield. Open your abilities menu and you will find Fishing listed. Drag the fishing icon to a slot on your action bar and use this newly created button to cast your line.
A fishing bobber will appear somewhere in the water in front of you, and you'll notice a timer. Move your cursor over the bobber and it will turn into the standard interaction cursor. Wait for the bobber to splash, then click it as soon as possible. Depending on your fishing skill, you will either catch something (which will appear in a standard loot box) or the fish/item will get away. You then have to cast again if you wish to continue fishing. It's possible the fishing timer may expire before the bobber splashes, in which case you'll also have to cast again if you wish to continue.
If you continually see "Your fish has got away!" messages, it indicates your level of fishing is not optimum for the location. The best solution for this problem is to buy a better lure, or switch to an easier zone. This message does not mean you didn't click the bobber fast enough.
The higher your fishing skill, the higher the chance that you'll manage to hook a fish/item, rather than it getting away. Higher fishing skill does not improve the quality or type of items you receive, however. In some areas you may find that you can't even cast your line due to insufficient skill.
What type of items you can possibly fish up depends on the region you are in, but different areas within a region will not yield different items or different probabilities that a certain item will be reeled in. There are a few exception to this; for example bodies of fresh water (lakes or streams) will yield different fish from sea water. Schools of fish also spawn in specific types and in specific areas.
In earlier patches, the number of high-value items obtainable from fishing had been reduced, as was the vendor sale price of items obtained through fishing. With the introduction of schools of fish in Patch 1.9, fishing up valuable items is once again more likely, for fishermen who seek out these nodes.
None but a basic fishing pole, which costs less than a silver and is readily available. There are three readily available improved fishing poles in the game: A "Strong Fishing Pole" which gives you +5 fishing, a +3 fishing pole that is available by quest in Auberdine, and a +25 fishing pole that is available only to Horde characters via a level 50 quest in Raventusk Village. The +5 fishing pole is available in limited quantities from fishing supply vendors.
Fishing is considered a great way for a Hunter to obtain food to feed to their fish-eating pets to maintain/increase their happiness level. Cooking which raises the minimum level requirement to eat the food increases its effectiveness in this role. Large quantities of fish can be obtained quickly and cheaply by a dedicated fisherman.
Fishing is also necessary to find certain components required for Alchemy.
Fishing, coupled with some decent Cooking recipies, is a good, cheap way to get your Cooking levels up as well.
Starting a Fisherman
Fish in a low level area (6-10) until your skill is up to around 40 or 50. This should take you 10 or 20 minutes. Be sure to use a Shiny Bauble to buff your skill. Cook the Raw Brilliant Smallfish and Raw Slitherskin Mackerel you catch to start your cooking skill. You can find the recipes at most fishing suppliers. Then proceed to Darkshore and speak with Gubber Blump, on the beach just below the flight master, and Wizbang Cranktoggle who is upstairs at the inn. They will both give you fishing quests so you can gain some experience while fishing. Gubber Blump will also give you a decent fishing pole.
Unfortunately there are no low level horde fishing quests. However, Horde fishing areas seem to allow catching non-fish items more often than Alliance areas (see what you can catch in the Undercity's canals of green goo sometime).
Boosting Your Fishing Skill
Unlike the other professions, you can boost your Fishing skill considerably with various items, although some are only temporary.
|Fishing Poles (only one can be equipped at a time)|
|+3||Blump Family Fishing Pole ||Quest (Alliance Only)|
|+5||Strong Fishing Pole ||Vendor (Limited Quantities)|
|+20||Big Iron Fishing Pole ||Drop|
|+25||Nat Pagle's Extreme Angler FC-5000 ||Quest (Horde Only)|
|+35||Arcanite Fishing Pole ||Quest (Fishing Extravaganza Reward)|
|Lures (only one can be used at a time)||Duration|
|+25||Shiny Bauble||Vendor, Quest||10 min|
|+50||Nightcrawlers||Vendor, Drop||10 min|
|+75||Bright Baubles||Vendor||10 min|
|+100||Aquadynamic Fish Attractor||Vendor (Limited), Engineer-Made||5 min|
|Other (Equip as many as you like, though enchants do not stack)|
|+2||Glove Enchant||Drop (recipe)|
|+5||Lucky Fishing Hat||Quest (Rare Fish)|
|+5||Nat Pagle's Extreme Anglin' Boots||Quest (Rare Fish)|
|+5||High Test Eternium Fishing Line||Quest (Rare Fish)|
|+152||Total Possible Fishing Skill Boost|
To increase your fishing skill above 225, you'll need to be level 35 and have 225 fishing skill and visit Lumak, the Horde fishing trainer in Orgrimmar, or Grimnur Stonebrand, the Alliance fishing trainer in Ironforge. Both will direct you to Nat Pagle in Dustwallow Marsh (Sitting on an island in Dustwallow Marsh) who will give you a quest to get your fishing to a 300 ceiling.
Items Obtained by Fishing
Normal fish are the most frequently caught. They are a free source of food and skillups for cooking, although they they do not provide buffs like some other cooked foods. If you're able to heal yourself or have a reliable supply of bandages, you probably won't need to bother keeping the normal fish you catch. However, it is frequently good to go ahead and cook it, whether for skill or not, and then you can generally sell it for a higher price even at the vendor.
|Name||Item Level||Required Level to Use||Found In||Use||Cooked Use||Cooking Skill Needed|
|Brilliant Smallfish||5||0||Fresh water||Restores 30 health over 15 sec.||Restores 61 health over 18 sec.||1|
|Slitherskin Mackerel||5||0||Salt water||Restores 30 health over 15 sec.||Restores 61 health over 18 sec.||1|
|Longjaw Mud Snapper||15||5||Fresh water||Restores 61 health over 18 sec.||Restores 243 health over 21 sec.||50|
|Loch Frenzy||15||5||Loch Modan only||Restores 61 health over 18 sec.||Restores 243 health over 21 sec.||50|
|Rainbow Fin Albacore||15||5||Salt water||Restores 61 health over 18 sec.||Restores 243 health over 21 sec.||50|
|Bristle Whisker Catfish||25||15||Fresh water||Restores 243 health over 21 sec.||Restores 552 health over 24 sec.||100|
|Mithril Head Trout||35||25||Fresh water||Restores 552 health over 24 sec.||Restores 874 health over 27 sec.||175|
|Rockscale Cod||35||25||Salt water||Restores 552 health over 24 sec.||Restores 874 health over 27 sec.||175|
|Redgill||45||35||Fresh water||Restores 874 health over 27 sec.||Restores 1392 health over 30 sec.||225|
|Spotted Yellowtail||45||35||Salt water||Restores 874 health over 27 sec.||Restores 1392 health over 30 sec.||225|
|Whitescale Salmon||55||45||Fresh water||Restores 1392 health over 30 sec.||Restores 2148 health over 30 sec.||275|
|Darkclaw Lobster||55||45||Salt water||Restores 1392 health over 30 sec.||Restores 2148 health over 30 sec.||275|
Some fish are used in Alchemy to create potions and oils.
- Oily Blackmouth - Blackmouth Oil
- Deviate Fish - Elixir of Giant Growth
- Firefin Snapper - Fire Oil
- Stonescale Eel - Stonescale Oil
Note: Some cooked foods provide the Well Fed effect in various strengths, boosting Stamina and Spirit. The effects of the following fish MAY stack with Well Fed. The pre-1.9 patch notes suggest that this stacking will be "fixed" (removed) in that patch. Also the + Stam and Spirit buffs will stack with the priest buffs.
I am currently testing the recipes I have to see what stacks with what --Dga
- Deviate Fish (cooked into Savory Deviate Delight, causes random transformations)
- Winter Squid (cooked into Grilled Squid, +10 agility)
- Stacks with well fed
- Raw Summer Bass (cooked into Hot Smoked Bass, +10 spirit)
- Raw Nightfin Snapper (cooked into Nightfin Soup, Use: Restores 874 health over 27 seconds. Must remain seated while eating. Also restores 8 Mana every 5 seconds for 10 minutes. )
- Stacks with well fed
- Raw Sunscale Salmon (cooked into Poached Sunscale Salmon, restores 6 health every 5 secs)
- Stacks with well fed
- Large Raw Mightfish (cooked into Mightfish Steak, +10 stamina)
- Raw Glossy Mightfish (cooked into Cooked Glossy Mightfish, +10 stamina)
- Stacks with well fed
- Stacks with Mark of the Wild
- Raw Sagefish (cooked into Smoked Sagefish, Use: Restores 378 health and 567 mana over 21 sec. Must remain seated while eating. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and gain 3 Mana every 5 seconds for 15 min.)
- Raw Greater Sagefish (cooked into Sagefish Deligh], Use: Restores 840 health and 1260 mana over 21 sec. Must remain seated while eating. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and gain 6 Mana every 5 seconds for 15 min.)
Several fish you can catch contain other items, so don't forget to open them when you catch them:
- Bloated Smallfish (level 5)
- Bloated Mud Snapper (level 15)
- Bloated Catfish (level 25)
- Bloated Trout (level 35)
- Bloated Redgill (level 45)
- Bloated Salmon (level 55)
These fish contain gems or, rarely, a valuable ring or necklace.
Venture Company Crates
These infrequently-found chests are locked and can opened by a rogue.
- Small Locked Chest (level 20)
- Sturdy Locked Chest (level 30)
- Ironbound Locked Chest (level 45)
- Reinforced Locked Chest (level 55)
These chests have rather disappointing contents compared to the Trunks routinely fished from Floating Wreckage. They generally only contain bolts of cloth, leather, and (very rarely) uncommon quality gear.
Message in a Bottle
Messages in a Bottle are infrequently found from ocean fishing in zones of level 20-40. Contents may include:
- Scrolls (Scroll of Protection, Scroll of Spirit, etc.)
- Recipes (Plans, Schematics, etc.)
- Damp Diary pages
- Darkshore Grouper - Needed for The Family and the Fishing Pole quest (Alliance-only) in Auberdine that gives Blump Family Fishing Pole (see above).
- Spotted Sunfish - Needed for the Selling Fish quest (Alliance-only) in Redridge Mountains that gives the Murloc Fin Soup Cooking recipe. Note that this fish may also be found as loot when killing the murlocs that live nearby.
- Misty Reed Mahi Mahi, Sar'theris Striker, Feralas Ahi, and Savage Coast Blue Sailfin - Needed for the quest Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme
- Plated Armorfish, Lightning Eel - Each are turn-in items for Argent Dawn Craftsman's Writ quests, with 30 of either tradeable for an Insignia of the Dawn or Insignia of the Crusade.
The following items are only available from fishing, but are very rare. Some can fetch high prices at auction due to their uniqueness.
Certain rare fish can be caught which can be wielded in the off hand. These fish serve no purpose other than as trophies to be displayed proudly to other players. These fish include the following:
Schools of Fish
Starting in Patch 1.9, schools of fish or floating debris appear at set locations along coastlines and rivers. Similar to the schools of fish particular to the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, players will be able to catch specific fish and valuable items if their cast lands in the school. After several fish are caught, the school will disappear. Schools seem to respawn in a similar way to mineral nodes or herbs.
Types of schools include:
- Deviate Fish (in the oases in The Barrens)
- Oily Blackmouth (Menethil Harbor, Baradin Bay, Merchant Coast, Azshara Shore and off the little islands in the Bay of Storms)
- Firefin Snapper (Baradin Bay, Azshara Shore and off the little islands in the Bay of Storms)
- Greater Sagefish
- Stonescale Eel - (Feralas, Tanaris, Azshara and southern Stranglethorn)
- Oil Slick (mostly contains Firefin Snapper and Oil Covered Fish)
- Floating Wreckage (all non-fish items, mainly chests of goods)
- Elemental Water (rarely found in Azshara area - gives you Elemental Water, Globe of Water, and Essence of Water)
Schools of fish also contain the following semi-valuable items with high frequency. These same items are also found in Floating Wreckage:
- Rumsey Rum Light
- Rumsey Rum Dark
- Rumsey Rum Black Label
- Bloated fish (not found in Floating Wreckage)
- The Barrens
- Stonetalon Mountains
- Stranglethorn Vale
- Rivers and lakes - Schools of Greater Sagefish
- The Bay of Storms - High level fishing for Stonescale Eel, Darkclaw Lobster and more.
- Verdantis River, Feralas - Redgill (50%), Nightfin Snapper (20%), Mithril Head Trout (14%), Oily Blackmouth (10%), Sunscale Salmon (6%) - caught (using 300+130 skill) on an early morning. During the day, Nightfin Snapper and Sunscale Salmon swap positions.
- Feathermoon Stronghold
- The Hinterlands
Approximate Fishing Levels
Each zone has an associated level of fishing that defines the approximate difficulty of catching a fish. Fishing is different from other skills in that the likelihood of raising your fishing skill is not dependent on the difficulty of area in which you fish. You have a chance of raising your skill every time you successfully catch a fish; this chance is related only to your current fishing skill (the higher your skill, the less often you will get skill increases).
The higher your fishing skill is in relation to the level that a zone requires, the easier it will be to catch fish (you have fewer fish get away). If your skill is too far below the zone's requirement, you will not be able to cast at all.
Zones usually have a fishing level of 5 times the average level of monsters in them, but some zones vary considerably from this rule of thumb.
Approximate fishing levels required to reliably catch fish are:
- Starting Zones: 20
- Secondary Zones: 70
- Thousand Needles: 180
- Feathermoon Stronghold: 180 (Horde players can stay on the NE corner of the southern island)
|Zone Level||Fishing Level|
Effects of Time on Fishing
There are 4 separate intervals of fishing times. These intervals are 6am-12pm, 12pm-6pm, 6pm-12am, and 12am-6am. During this time the droprates of certain fish varies, for example, Sunscale Salmon and Nightfin Snapper. According to experimentation, the cycle appears to be the following:
- 6am-12pm - Nightfin and Sunscale
- 12pm-6pm - Sunscale only
- 6pm-12am - Nightfin and Sunscale
- 12am-6am - Nightfin only
Nightfin Snapper has the highest droprate from 12am-6am, but is never found between 12pm-6pm. On the other hand, Sunscale Salmon is never found between 12am-6am, but drops quite well from 12pm-6pm.
Fish that are apparently nocturnal or diurnal:
|Nocturnal (Night)||Diurnal (Day)|
|Nightfin Snapper||Sunscale Salmon|
|Plated Armorfish||Lightning Eel|
It is known that Winter Squid and Summer Bass appear during their respective seasons. During Autumn and Spring, they can both apparently be caught, although the frequency of each might scale throughout the season.