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Fishing Icon WoW Icon 16x16.gif Fishing (Profession)
Equipment · Skill Required · Items · Fish · Locations · Schools · Quests · Trainers · Vendors


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 toward your two Profession limit.

See Also:

How to use Fishing

To start fishing, first find a fishing trainer to teach you the Apprentice Fishing skill. Then find a General Trade Goods or Fishing Supplies vendor and purchase a fishing pole. Lures are optional.

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 Spellbook (default key: press "P") 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 five improved fishing poles in the game you can use to boost your skill, but you don't really need these except for the hardest fishing areas. The Blump Family Fishing Pole is an Alliance-only quest reward in Auberdine and gives +3 fishing; a Strong Fishing Pole is available in limited quantities from vendors of either faction and gives +5 fishing; a Big Iron Fishing Pole can be found in the lobster traps Shadowprey Village and yields +20 fishing; Horde players can complete a quest in Revantusk Village to kill a level 50 elite turtle and get Nat Pagle's Extreme Angler FC-5000, a +25 fishing pole with considerable DPS. Last, but not least, any player can win the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza and claim the Template:Lrare or Insignia of the Crusade}}.

Special Items

The following items are only available from fishing, but are very rare. Some can fetch high prices at auction due to their uniqueness.

  • Rockhide Strongfish, a one-handed mace.
  • Steelscale Crushfish, a one-handed mace.
  • The 1 Ring

Trophy Fish

Certain rare fish can be caught of which a select few 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:

  • 10 Pound Mud Snapper
  • 12 Pound Mud Snapper
  • 17 Pound Catfish
  • 19 Pound Catfish
  • 40 Pound Grouper
  • 59 Pound Grouper
  • 34 Pound Redgill
  • 42 Pound Redgill
  • 15 Pound Salmon
  • 22 Pound Salmon

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 or in the waters inside Wailing Caverns)
  • Oily Blackmouth (Darkshore, Menethil Harbor, Baradin Bay, Merchant Coast, Azshara Shore and off the little islands in the Bay of Storms)
  • Firefin Snapper (Southshore, Baradin Bay, Azshara Shore and off the little islands in the Bay of Storms)
  • Sagefish (Ashenvale near town, Hillsbrad Foothills all along the river)
  • Greater Sagefish in the rivers and lakes of Stranglethorn.
  • 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 Black Label
  • Rumsey Rum Dark
  • Rumsey Rum Light
  • Stranglekelp
  • Bloated fish (not found in Floating Wreckage)

Fishing Locations

  • The Barrens
    • All Oases and Wailing Caverns Instance - Deviate Fish
    • Ratchet - Oily Blackmouth, Floating Wreckage
    • Merchant Coast - Oily Blackmouth
  • Stonetalon Mountains
    • Sun Rock Retreat - Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish (66%), Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper (33%)
    • Windshear Crag and Blackwolf River - Oil Slicks (Firefin Snapper), Floating Wreckage
    • Mirkfallon Lake - Sagefish, Floating Wreckage
  • Stranglethorn Vale
    • Rivers and lakes - Schools of Greater Sagefish
  • Tanaris
    • Steamwheedle Port - Popular fishing spot for Stonescale Eel
  • Azshara
    • The Bay of Storms - High level fishing for Stonescale Eel, Darkclaw Lobster and more.
  • Feralas
    • 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
    • Similar rates to Revantusk Village, the second highest drop rate for Stonescale Eel after the bay of storms, and then the safest spot for Alliance.
  • The Hinterlands
    • around the docks in Revantusk Village, Raw Glossy Mightfish, Raw Summer Bass, and the safest spot for Horde to acquire Stonescale Eel. Inland lakes contain Raw Nightfin Snapper as well.

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
1-10 to 50
11-20 to 100
21-30 to 150
31-40 to 200
41-50 to 250
51-60 to 300

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 drop rates 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 drop rate 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
Stonescale 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.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • You can hold shift and right-click the fishing bobber to loot everything automatically, just like a corpse.
  • You can drag the skill from your spellbook onto your hotbar.
  • Having a macro to equip your weapons can be handy if you get attacked while fishing.