WoW -> Info -> Professions -> Fishing World of Warcraft
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As a secondary skill, fishing occupies its own unique space in World of Warcraft. Although it is essentially a gathering skill akin to skinning, herbalism, or mining, the mechanics of the skill make it almost like a mini-game. Just like the real-life equivalent, to become a master fisherman you'll have to spend considerable time standing next to bodies of water while holding a fishing pole. Catching a fish will be a test of your reaction time, as you have to right-click the bobber immediately after you see it dip into the water indicating you've caught something.

Along with the requisite marine life such as fish, eels, and squid, you also might haul up some odds and ends from time to time - including even valuable items, some of which may only be caught by fishing. The fish you catch can be eaten on their own to regain health, or they can be used in cooking recipes. The cooked fish will often provide useful effects when eaten.

And, like any real-life fisherman will tell you, part of the appeal of fishing is its inherent relaxing nature. Finding a perfect fishing spot, secluded from other players and (hopefully) enemies, while surrounded by beautiful scenery - it's a perfect way to take a break from your adventures in the World of Warcraft!

Looking for a massive fishing guide?
Check out EI's Extreme Anglin' Fishing Guide

Looking for Profession Guides?
Click here.

Getting Started

First, you need to find a fishing trainer. Fishing trainers are usually located next to a lake or stream. If you see an NPC standing near the water, he's likely a fishing trainer or merchant. Ask around and people can help lead you to the fishing trainer. Once you have learned fishing, you need to go find yourself a fishing pole! Now it's time to fish.

Head back to a trainer to learn Journeyman, Expert, and Artisan fishing once you've maxed your skill. To reach Master, you'll need to visit a fishing trainer in Outland or Northrend. To become a Grand Master fisherman you'll need to visit a fishing trainer in Northrend.

Raising your fishing skill from 1 to 450 won't be done quickly. You will need multiple successful catches to gain a skill point. It might behoove you to take breaks and spread out your fishing rather than trying to raise it all in one long haul. Make sure you have on your best fishing gear, including the all-important fishing lures.

Fishing Poles

After you have trained in fishing, you need to go buy a fishing pole. Fishing poles can be purchased from merchants who sell items required for Professions ("trade merchants"). Ask other people where to find one, if you need help. After using your initial Fishing Pole, you can find better ones out there in the world. Check the Auction House for poles.

Fishing Poles Fishing Skill
Blump Family Fishing Pole1 +3
Strong Fishing Pole +5
Darkwood Fishing Pole +15
Big Iron Fishing Pole +20
Seth's Graphite Fishing Pole2 +20
Nat Pagle's Extreme Angler FC-50003 +20
Nat's Lucky Fishing Pole4 +25
Bone Fishing Pole5 +30
Jeweled Fishing Pole5 +30
Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole6 +30
Arcanite Fishing Pole7 +40

1 - Alliance only quest. Talk to Gubber Blump in Auberdine (Darkshore).
2 - Quest reward in Terokkar Forest
3 - Horde only quest. Talk to Katoom the Angler at Revantusk Village in the Hinterlands.
4 - Reward for the quest Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme.
5 - Item can be randomly obtained by completeing Northrend Fishing Daily quest in Dalaran.
6 - Can be purchased once you have exalted reputation with The Kalu'ak
7 - Reward for winning the Stranglethorn Fishing Contest.


Find a merchant who sells bait. Typically, this vendor will be a "trade merchant". You can then use this bait to raise your fishing skill so that you have an easier time catching fish. Bait wears off after a period of time, so you must continue to reapply it.

Bait +Fishing
Shiny Bauble +25 for 10 minutes
Nightcrawlers +50 for 10 minutes
Bright Baubles +75 for 10 minutes
Flesh Eating Worm +75 for 10 minutes
Aquadynamic Fish Attractor +100 for 10 minutes
Sharpened Fish Hook +100 for 10 minutes
Glow Worm +100 for 60 minutes

Using the Fishing Pole

You will now need to equip the fishing pole. Place it in your main weapon hand. If you have both a main weapon and a secondary shield, you will need to remove both before equipping the fishing pole.

Equip your fishing pole and open up your abilities menu. You will now find a new icon for fishing (or its associated hot key). Drag it over to your action bar.

Now find somewhere to fish. Find the nearest river or lake, or go to the ocean. Face the water and press the fishing button. Your character will make a cast out into the water. If you are unable to fish, you will be informed via an error message with the specific error. Try fishing in another area. If there is not enough room to cast, such as with a narrow river, you might receive an error. Try repositioning.

The Fishing Bobber Game

Once you have made your cast, a fishing bobber will appear. Move your mouse over the fishing bobber, which should reveal the standard loot/interaction icon.

You must now wait until the fishing bobber moves and you see a splash. Fishing requires patience. It's not for everybody. A timer will appear and begin counting down after you cast. The timer indicates the length of your current cast. After the timer is up, you'll have to cast again. Right-click on the bobber as soon as possible after the bobber moves. The game portion involves timing it right so that your right-click will result in the fish being caught and not getting away.

If you are successful, you will receive a loot box and you'll be able to catch the fish. If you are not successful you'll get some junk.

The splash/hook may occur at different times along the timing bar. Sometimes the splash/hook appears right before the time is up, requiring you to click quickly before the fishing operation is canceled. As you fish more, you will likely become better at clicking at the right time.

"No fish are hooked"
This means you clicked on the fishing bobber at the wrong time. Try again.

Junk Items
You will always catch something but you may catch a lot of junk items. You can reduce this from happening by getting a better fishing pole, applying powerful bait, getting a fishing enchant or item, or by raising your skill (which these items do).

Fishing Areas

The area (region) you're in is listed in the top right corner of your screen and will determine what fish are available to be caught. If you're a low level character, the first place you should fish is near the starting area for your race. If you try to start off in a more difficult fishing area, it will take much longer to catch fish and to begin building up your fishing skill level. You cannot determine the difficulty-level of the fishing area except through experience, the type of fish you catch, and how often you catch junk. If you fail a lot, then you're probably in the wrong area. You should try fishing in an easier area. Experiment with different fishing areas. You should figure it out. The level on the items you catch should also let you know how difficult the area is.

Special Fishing Pools

There are special fishing pools located throughout the world that allow you to fish up special fish. To fish them you must continue to cast until your fishing bobber lands inside the animated circle. If it is outside, you will not get the special fish. You can fish the pool 4-6 times before the pool is depleted and disappears.


Oily Blackmouth Shoal
Firefin Snapper Shoal
Sagefish Shoal
Greater Sagefish Shoal
Deviate Fish Shoal
Eel Shoal (Feralas/Tanaris/Azshara/Stranglethorn Vale)
The Burning Crusade
Sporefish School (Zangarmarsh) - Zangarian Sporefish
Bluefish School (Nagrand) - Icefin Bluefish
Feltail School (Terrokkar Forest/Zangarmash) - Spotted Feltail
Highland Mixed School (Terokkar Forest) - Gives Furious Crawdad, Golden Darter, and more.
School of Darter (Terokkar Forest) - Golden Darter
Pure Water (Nagrand) - Gives Mote of Water
Borean Man O' War School (Borean Tundra)
Deep Sea Monsterbelly School (The Frozen Sea)
Dragonfin Angelfish School (Dragonblight)
Fangtooth Herring School (Howling Fjord)
Glacial Salmon School (Grizzly Hills)
Glassfin Minnow School (Crystalsong Forest)
Imperial Manta Ray School
Moonglow Cuttlefish School (The Frozen Sea)
Musselback Sculpin School (Borean Tundra)
Nettlefish School (Sholazar Basin)

Floating Wreckage

There are special floating wreckage areas. You can find some in Stranglethorn Vale. To fish them you must continue to cast until your fishing bobber lands inside the animated circle. If it is outside, you will not get the special items. You can get special lockboxes and chests and sometimes healing and mana potions. The chests sometimes contain valuable items such as green items, runecloth bolts, mageweave bolts, money, leather, and more.

In Zangarmash you can find Steam Pump Flotsam which can give Heavy Supply Crates or Steam Pump Debris.

Fish and Fishing Items

Raw Edible Fish - Most fish that you catch can be used as food. Right-click on a fish to eat it.
Cooked Fish - Take raw fish to a cook and have them cooked. Cooked fish will heal a player more than raw fish.
Special Fish - Some special fish, such as a 22-pound catfish, can be held in your off-hand. Place them there to brag about your catch to other people. You may find other non-edible fish that are useful for Professions. Find out what they are for before selling them to a vendor. You can also catch bloated fish which can be opened to contain items.
Clams - Right-click on a clam to open it up. You will either find clam meat, which can be used in cooking recipes, or pearls! Iridescent pearls are very valuable and can be used in blacksmithing, tailoring, and engineering recipes.
Gems - Very rarely will you find gems, such as a lesser moonstone. This item can be used for other Professions.
Weapons and Armor - You may sometimes fish up weapons and armor. Usually these items (gray items) are only good for selling to the vendor for additional cash. You may, however, find some very rare and valuable equipment if you are lucky!
Humorous Items - You may fish up skulls and other items that just exist for flavor. You can sell them to the vendor or brag about your catch with your friends.
Locked Chests - You may fish up locked chests. There may be money and valuable items inside. You will need to have the chest opened by someone with the lockpicking ability. It's often good to combine with fishing so that you can open up your own chests.
Lost Trade Goods - You may find special boxes that contain items for engineering. Save the contents and sell them to an engineer.

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza

    The Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza is a grand event set along the coasts of Stranglethorn Vale. This contest happens every Sunday at 2 p.m. game time. Early in the day, friendly neighborhood goblins will visit Ironforge and Orgrimmar to inform aspiring anglers of the grand tournament and give instructions. At the appropriate time, the shout will ring out across Stranglethorn to bait your hooks and cast your lines!

    Will you be the master fisherman that gathers the necessary amount of tastyfish to win the grand prize? Can you reel in the right fish to receive some of famous Nat Pagle's fabulous fishing equipment? Will the Lucky Fishing Hat make its triumphant return onto the heads of anglers everywhere? You'll soon find out!

Additional Information

Tracking Fishing Nodes
Players can track fishing nodes. This ability is learned from a journal sometimes found in crates obtained through fishing.

+Fishing Skill
Besides fishing poles and bait, there are various items you can collect to add to your fishing skill.

Stranglethorn Vale fishing contest
You can add more to your fishing skill by catching a special fish during the Stranglethorn Vale fishing contest. You can get an enchantment of +5 to your fishing pole as one of the rewards. You can get a Lucky Fishing Hat which is a prize in the Stranglethorn Fishing contest. You can win Nat Pagle's Extreme Angling' Boots which add +5 to fishing. You can get an enchantment to gloves which adds to fishing from an enchanter.

The Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat is a rare reward from the Outland or Northrend Daily Fishing Quests. It gives +5 to fishing and can be used to add a +75 fishing lure every 10 minutes.

The High Test eternium Fishing Line can be used to add +5 to your fishing pole. You can receive one during the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza or Northrend Daily Fishing Quest.

Fishing Outfits
If you want to dress like a fisherman (why wouldn't you!?!?!) you can get a Fishing Hat, Blue Overalls (made by Tailors), and Knitted Sandals (bought/dropped). You can find other cool items to fit the fisherman look.

Fishing Chair
The Fishing Chair is a special item that can be set down outside. You can sit in the chair and fish. This item is only obtainable from the Trading Card Game's "Gone Fishin'" loot card which can only be purchased outside the game. You can see more of the Fishing Chair here.

Random Info

  • Players with 300 or higher cooking have a chance to find a Waterlogged Recipe in the Bag of Fishing Treasures awarded by the Northrend fishing dailies. This item can be traded to other players and rewards several Dalaran Cooking Rewards when turned in.
  • The fishing timer cannot run through its duration without a fish biting.
  • You can fish in The Underbog.
  • You can sell cooked fish to other players. It's better than store-bought food. Fishing is almost always combined with Cooking. You should get cooking if you're going to fish.
  • You can find cooking recipes for fish from certain merchants.
  • Messages in a bottle have a chance of having a recipe in them.
  • Some of the fishing zones are going to be pretty hard to fish in and will require bait and a good fishing pole.
  • Some fish can only be caught at certain times of the day!
  • Northrend has a lot of great fish that can be cooked for powerful buffs. Most raiders use cooked fish or meat to increase their stats.
  • Some fishing areas in Outland can only be reached with a flying mount.

Common Fishing Questions

What does fishing skill do?
Fishing skill determines the amount of junk items you catch. With higher fishing skill you will be able to catch more valuable items and less junk. If you are able to catch fish most of the time or all of the time then your fishing skill is high enough.

Does it matter where I fish? Should I move around?
The region (zone) determines what fish and loot you will be able to find. Besides that difference, it doesn't matter where you fish. If you try fishing on the shore in a certain area and move up the beach within the same region, it will be the same. Moving does not affect your chances except in the case of finding fishing pools vs. no fishing pools.

Fishing Screenshots

We've collected over 50 screenshots from our fans from real-life fisherman. Check them out!

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