There are 3 ways to gain fishing skill:
- Catch something: Every catch contributes to improving your fishing skill, even junk.
- Complete quests: Old Azeroth and Anglers daily quests each award at least a point of fishing skill. The monthly Darkmoon quest Spoilin' for Salty Sea Dogs also awards 5 skill points.
- Read Nat's Fishing Journal: Each book grants 50 skill points, repeatable up to 600.
The most common method of improving skill is simply to fish. It doesn't matter where you fish or what you catch, so long as you successfully catch something. You can even catch junk items. In the next section we will discuss why you might want to do more than "just catch fish" to skill-up fishing.
The table below shows the approximate number of catches to increase your fishing skill by a point. Since patch 4.3 this process is very variable, especially at higher skill levels. Below 300 fishing skill, it never seems to take more than 2 catches per skill point. Between 300 and 450, one skill point can require as many as 8 catches, although the average is much lower. Above 450 the maximum rises even higher.
|Current Fishing Skill||Average Catches per Skill Point Gain|
About 1800 successful catches are required to train from fishing skill 1 to 600.
Quests are described in the Quests chapter. Old Azeroth dailies can be started as low as (personal) level 10. Pandaria's Anglers dailies need level 90. Outland and Northrend dailies do not award skill points.
Nat's Fishing Journal is the most rapid method of leveling fishing from 1 to 600 - simply read 12 Journals, breaking only to train new Ranks.
- Nat's Fishing Journal
- "Reading this book will permanently increase your skill in Fishing by 50, up to a maximum of 600."
- Binds to Battle.net account (can be used to teach your employees (alts) to fish).
- Minimum fishing skill required: 1
- Sold at "Revered" with Nat Pagle for 1,000g, or rarely from Krakkanon (see below).
Nat's Fishing Journal is Battle.net account-bound, so can be mailed to your employees ("alts"). The item starts "An Anglers Quest", which awards 50 fishing skill points. This quest can be completed once for each Journal purchased, but the quest itself is repeatable, allowing a new angler to level to 600 fishing skill by reading 12 Journals (pausing in between Journals to train new fishing ranks). The Journal is not automatically the best option to level fishing, but it may be useful for wealthy anglers with many employees, because:
- At up to 1,000 gold (800 with Anglers Exalted) per 50 skill points, this is an expensive method of leveling fishing.
- Gaining sufficient friendship with Nat Pagle itself involves catching more fish than would be required to level fishing to 600 as an employee.
Nat's friendship is similar reputation, except with one individual person. For a guide, read Nat Pagle's Friendship.
The only other way to gain Nat's Fishing Journal is to loot it from the corpse of a dead Krakkanon. Krakkanon are summoned by fishing empty "Large"-named pools at Fish of the Day migrations. The creatures are soloable at level 90, although the fight will take about 10 minutes, so you may need a method of healing yourself. Dead Krakkanon have a modest chance of yielding a single Nat's Fishing Journal. The Journal may drop for anyone, including anglers that do not have the sufficient friendship with Nat Pagle to purchase it themselves.
Why Improving Fishing Skill?
Fishing skill is only needed to fish effectively (without catching junk) in open water. The main reasons to fish open water are:
- Complete certain daily fishing quests: All 5 of the Outland Daily Fishing Quests require fishing in open water. Several Northrend and Anglers Fishing Quests cannot be easily completed at fishing skill 1.
- Complete some Achievements, including The Coin Master, The Limnologist or The Oceanographer. Most fishing achievements can be completed with fishing skill 1.
- Gain the Giant Sewer Rat minipet. Other rare catches, such as Mr. Pinchy or the Sea Turtle are fished from pools.
- At low level or without Mists of Pandaria: Catch raw fish to improve cooking skills up to 300. (After cooking skill 300, Outland, Northrend and Cataclysm pools contain fish that can be cooked to level cooking, if required.)
- You don't like to keep moving while you fish!
Leveling fishing skill is far less critical than it used to be. This is important for 2 reasons:
- Most professions have a 500+ skill point grind before anything valuable (to someone at maximum level) can be made. Fishing is different: Many catches only require fishing skill 1 - including most Valuable Fish. Before deciding to "level fishing", ask whether you need to actively level fishing? You probably do not.
- If you do decide to level fishing skill, there is no need to catch worthless fish for hours: Instead, fish for something you actually want! There are plenty of suggestions listed below. Each catch will contribute towards leveling your fishing skill - you will eventually reach 600. Why try harder?
Strategies for Improving Skill
Want to earn some gold, start working on achievements, or win fishing contests? Start fishing pools. You only need fishing skill 1 to fish pools, but catching fish from pools still improves your skill:
- Pandaria's pools contain many Valuable Fish. The Fishing 1-600 with Gold guide gives some suggestions.
- Fish of the Day pools are especially quick to fish due to their density and respawn rate. Consider summoning Krakkanon (via "Large"-named pools), for a chance to find Nat's Fishing Journal.
- Time-consuming Achievements, like catching Mr. Pinchy or the Sea Turtle, require pool fishing. Alternatively, start fishing easy (low skill) open water for catches like Old Crafty, Old Ironjaw, or the One That Didn't Get Away.
- The Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza is won by fishing pools.
Are you below level 90? Try gradually improving you fishing skill while you level:
- The "low-level" fish caught in areas with low base skill requirements are genuinely useful at low-level. Cook them and use them to recover between combat.
- There are plenty of casual opportunities to fish during downtime. For example, while waiting to be called up to battlegrounds or raids.
- Fishing in capital cities allows you to "rest", so you will gain experience from quests faster.
- Daily quests can be completed as low as level 10.
Just want to reach maximum level fishing? If you don't care what you catch, fish anywhere! The fastest method is described in Fishing 1-600 Fast. However, reaching 600 skill is only part of the challenge. To cast in the hardest open water, you will also need some Fishing Gear and/or a good pole. Some suggestions:
- At mid-levels, complete the quest Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme for the +25 bonus Nat's Lucky Fishing Pole.
- Complete daily (Old Azeroth, Outland or Northrend) quests for a chance to gain a Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat (+5 bonus, with a "free" +75 lure). The Northrend Daily Fishing Quests may also rewards fishing poles and line.
- Compete in the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. If you don't win the Arcanite Fishing Pole or Boots of the Bay, there is a chance of gaining High Test Eternium Fishing Line, a Lucky Fishing Hat, or Nat Pagle's Extreme Anglin' Boots.
Just want to kill stuff? Try fishing "Large"-named pools at Fish of the Day migrations in Pandaria. The Krakkanon summoned has a chance of dropping Nat's Fishing Journal, which grants 50 skill points when read. For optimum leveling efficiency, save Journals until at least 300 or 450 skill. Read the box below for further discussion of the efficiency of leveling fishing this way.
1-600 at Level 90
For those who are already level 90, there are many different ways to get fishing skill to 600 quickly. It depends on what else you want to gain. What suits you?
The final sections of this chapter contain suggested approaches for level 90s. There is no "standard" method to level fishing. You may mix different methods to suit your personal style. Most suggestions will also be useful for those at lower level, but the text assumes level 90.
- 3.3 - no trash in fishing pools? - So we level fishing now for... what purpose exactly? Forum discussion.
- Equipment - Describes gear, consumables and enhancements that can be used to bolster your fishing skills, or help you fish.
- Contests - Describes Azeroth's fishing contests: What you need to do, what you can win, and how to win.
- Quests - Describes quests for anglers.
- Also in Training: Ranks, Fishing 1-600 Fast, Fishing 1-600 with Gold, Cooking 1-600, and Fishing and Cooking 1-525.