What's not in the Fish Finder
Can't find what you're looking for? These "fish" are not included:
- Random loot (armor and weapons).
- Fish that can't be caught by fishing.
- Skill: The skill required to fish without junk. See The Role of Skill (Revised) topic for detailed explanation.
- Areas: Areas are summarised as concisely as possible. Where fish can be caught across the zone (as is common), just the zone name will be shown. Where the zone contains areas with different skill or catch rates, details are shown in brackets.
- Time: Some fish (mostly those in level 45-60 zones) are easier to catch at certain times of day. Some fish can only be caught at certain times of day.
- Quest: Some fish can only be caught when the angler has a specific quest on their log.
- Commentary and guides: Where fish are commonly sought, I have included recommendations on how to catch them. In some cases full guides are provided.
- Value: Approximate auction house prices are listed for commonly sold items. The market prices shown here are based on a sample of data from The Undermine Journal - an average of 10 random US realms. These prices do vary, so use them as a guide only.
Why Azeroth needs another list of fresh fish
When the Fish Finder was originally created, there were 3 popular sources of information about fish (and other items, quests, people, and so on): The Book of Thott, Allakhazam's Magical Guide and Wow... a Head. All these suffered from three and two half limitations:
- The difference between pools and open water: None records whether a fish was caught from open water or a pool. Where fish can be caught from both in the same area, the catch rates listed become wildly inaccurate. Where they can be caught from only one, the angler has no way to know where to fish.
- Not stating what fishing skill is required: Knowing that one zone has a slightly better catch rate than another is often less important than knowing that half your catches will be junk in one, but not the other.
- Variation by time of day: Even now, nobody is entirely sure which fish vary by time of day and which do not. Catches from hour to hour are so variable, that a huge amount of experimentation is needed to be sure. Yet those that do vary greatly are important to know: How many people have cursed the moonlit skies after failing to catch a single Raw Sunscale Salmon with the words "but it says 12%"?
- Listing of catches by zone or local area:
- Thott favours detail, and lists every named location in every zone. The result is that some lists run to 3 or more pages, which are very hard to digest.
- Allakhazam favours listing just the name of the location, without the zone. It fits neatly on the page, but most places won't be known to most citizens of Azeroth, so how helpful really is it?
- Wowhead simplifies things by only listing zones, and instead provides maps to show areas within zones where catches have occurred. This appears to work well, but doesn't give accurate catch rates: Both inland and coastal areas are treated as the same location (when they almost always have completely different fish). A good example of this is Dustwallow Marsh. The 2% figure shown for Raw Mithril Head Trout will be read by most as "2% of your catches in this zone will be Raw Mithril Head Trout". Yet this will only be the case if you spend 95% of your time fishing the salt water where Raw Mithril Head Trout can't be caught (like their data collectors have). And finer detail, like differences in catch rate for Stonescale Eel between different parts of Azshara, are completely lost. Of course sources such as Thott also contain inaccurate catch rates, particularly where catches vary by time of day or water type. However Thott remains a lot more accurate.
- Comments: As informative as some comments are, most commented information isn't well structured, or easy to find and compare.
By the end of 2010 both Thott and Allakhazam were using data from Wowhead.
The Fish Finder doesn't have the breath of coverage of those three sources, nor their constant updating of information from many different anglers. But I hope it addresses most of the issues listed above:
- Entries are clearly listed by pool or water type, so you can immediately see what you need to fish.
- Entries are further split by skill, so those with weaker skills can select easier waters.
- Where I know the catch rate varies dramatically by time of day, this is stated.
- Locations are listed as concisely as possible: At zone level where catches are the same throughout, or at more detailed level if appropriate. In addition, locations are shown on a world map, so you can see at a glance where in the world fish can be caught.
- Comment-type information has been summarised near the top of the page. Comments by other anglers can be found below.
Approximate catch rates are now listed for all fish, for each location and water type. The catch rate is the percentage of all successful casts at the location/water type that will be the named fish. For example, a catch rate of 50% for Raw Brilliant Smallfish would mean that, on average, half of all catches would be Smallfish.
Quest-only fish are not included in the catch percentages. Since the Fish Finder does not include all items (for example, random loot gained from inland fishing in Azeroth), the total percentages rarely sum to 100%. The aim is to give an approximate indication of the catch rate in different areas, not a mathematically perfect summary.
Catch rates are drawn from several sources:
- Direct samples, often explained by articles elsewhere on El's Extreme Anglin'. Samples are typically drawn from one zone and applied directly to zones known to contain similar catches. It is common for a single sample to be applied across many zones.
- Intelligent analysis of the Book of Thott (before it disappeared into Wowhead). Data was not copied directly. Adjustments were made to remove the influence of quest-only catches and catches from pools on Thott's catch rates.
I believe the catch rates in the Fish Finder provide a better summary than sources that capture information from many anglers automatically. It is notoriously difficult for automated data gathering tools to record whether a catch came from a pool or open water, or indeed what location the catch came from ((the relevant area is where the bobber lands, not where the angler is standing)). These tools gather information about a lot more catches, but cannot organise it in any meaningful way.
The main sources for locations and skill are:
- Gazetteer - This topic develops a simple gazetteer that shows which fish may be caught in which zones.
- Zone Base Fishing Skill - Detailed analysis that attempts to answer the question, what fishing skill will I need to fish in a certain zone?
Information has also been collected from databases and documents listed towards the bottom of each entry. Some of the catch rate and time-of-day information is taken from my unpublished experiments.
Comment on Pages
The comments shown about each fish are taken from El's Fishing Forum. To create a comment, post in the Fishing Forum with either the fish name as the title of the post, or tag the post with the fish name, or post a reply to an existing topic about the fish. To edit or delete a comment, alter the relevant topic in the Fishing Forum. The Fish Finder page may take a few minutes to update.