This page summarises how to catch Spinefish Alpha.

Spinefish Alpha

About Spinefish Alpha

  • "Careful of the spines, they look like they could do some damage." Binds when caught. Unique.
  • Use: Quest: Starts Spinefish Alpha (Quest) - bring the fish to Nat Pagle at the Anglers Wharf in Krasarang Wilds. See Nat Pagle's Friendship. Nat Pagle says, "Oh wow, a Spinefish Alpha, one of Pandaria's deadliest predators. Spinefish are malformed abominations created by the sha presence, and these big ones are simply terrifying. An alpha will often eat other Spinefish, even though there isn't a single part of them that's edible. Luckily for both [of] us, they are very interesting to alchemists."

Catching Spinefish Alpha

Where to Catch Spinefish Alpha
WaterAreasNo-Junk SkillCatch RateCommon Catch
% of CatchSample
Large Pool of Sha-Touched SpinefishFish of the Day: Kun-Lai Summit (Sha-Touched) (Binan Village Coast)14% [1]
2328Spinefish
Open Water6254% [1]
1316Scoured Fishbones
Sha-Touched SpinefishFish of the Day: Kun-Lai Summit (Sha-Touched) (Binan Village Coast)14% [1]
2328Spinefish
Spinefish SchoolInland: Dread Wastes (Inland), Kun-Lai Summit (Sha-Touched), Townlong Steppes (Niuzao)14% [1]
2328Spinefish

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Comments about Spinefish Alpha

Below are readers' comments about "Spinefish Alpha":

Spinefish Alpha

  1. Marlburo, September 2012:

    Caught in Kun-Lai Summit (Inkgill Mere):

    Scoured Fishbones: 72 (37%)
    Spinefish: 62 (32%)
    Golden Carp: 46 (23%)
    Desecrated Carcass: 11 (5%)
    Sealed Crate: 1 (0%)
    SPINEFISH ALPHA: 1 (0%)

    Total: 193

  2. Amyhousewine, October 2012:

    Just spent a solid hour fishing at Inkgill Mere and didn't get it, so definitely seems a lower chance than the other two rares, which I have picked up 3 times each in the last few days without trying. Fishing skill 635.

  3. Marlburo, October 2012:

    No doubt about it, it usually takes longer than the other two. I've caught 10 with 1456 casts, and although the other fish are harder to track because I fish pools in the same areas, I average about 50 unless I'm fishing in the Jade Forest (Mimic Octopus it always seems to come REALLY quick).

  1. Amyhousewine, October 2012:

    Just got it at Lake of Stars in the Dread Wastes, took about 45 mins:

    Scoured Fishbones: 27 (32%)
    Spinefish: 23 (27%)
    Golden Carp: 20 (24%)
    Desecrated Carcass: 13 (15%)
    Sealed Crate: 1 (1%)
    SPINEFISH ALPHA: 1 (1%)

    Total: 85

  2. Averiy, October 2012:

    I picked up two of these yesterday, standing on the water in the middle of Ingkill Mere, while in queue for randoms.

    The first was on my 75th cast total, my 13th on that session (after returning from a random).
    I immediately flew down and turned that one in.
    The second was on my 165th cast total, my 47th on that session (after returning from a random).

  3. Averiy, October 2012:

    Just want to add to my previous comment. After my first two listed above, I caught two more Spinefish Alpha standing in the same spot as before. My #3 and #4 came fairly quickly, with #4 coming on successful cast #228, yielding to that point a 1.8% drop rate.

    Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung WAY in the other direction for me. I have not caught another Alpha. I'm now up to 815 successful casts, with 225 in my most recent session. 4/815 = 0.5% total drop rate to this point.

    My fishing spot hasn't changed within 10 yards, standing on the water surface right in the middle of Ingkill Mere. I'm not one to scream "broken" or "nerfed," I just feel extraordinarily unlucky. My catch rates on the other two specials have maintained at somewhere around 1.5%.

  4. Averiy, October 2012:

    OK, so this will be the last time I shamelessly bump my own reply.

    Finally caught my 5th Spinefish Alpha, in the same spot I caught my first four. Cast #47 of that session, cast #923 overall. 695 casts since my #4 Alpha.

  5. ScoobyDew79, October 2012:

    I really don't think this is a 2% drop rate. I'm fairly certain that it's a 1% drop rate, like the rest. I've done the vast majority of my Spinefish Alpha fishing at Firebough Nook, and here's the stats from it:

    Total: 1551
    Scoured Fishbones: 590 38.0%
    Spinefish: 469 30.2%
    Golden Carp: 291 18.8%
    Desecrated Carcass: 163 10.5%
    Sealed Crate: 29 1.9%
    Spinefish Alpha: 10 .6%

    I only fished this location for them when I didn't already have one, and it was all open water (except for 2 pools I caught 9 Tiger Gourami out of and exlcuded from the above). Yes, it could be bad luck, but the sample size is fairly large (larger than what's listed on the site above). I'd love to see other people's stats to compare.

  6. el, October 2012:

    I'm keeping an open mind on the catch rate for Spinefish Alpha, ScoobyDew79, so thanks for posting a large set of data. In defence of my sample size, the sample of 1,316 was the number of catches it took to gain 25 Spinefish Alpha. That's directly comparable to Mimic Octopus, where 25 took 2,059 catches. For context, the Flying Tiger Gourami sample was larger - 35 over 3,686 - because of the wider range of potential catch locations.

  7. ScoobyDew79, October 2012:

    Thanks for the reply El. Do you recall at what location data was recorded? Was it across all the Spinefish locations? Was it done on Beta or Live? I wonder (though doubt) if location makes a difference.

    Also, I think I have around 10 more to catch (thank you Unburdened buff). I'll continue at the same spot, and post the updated data then.

  8. el, October 2012:

    17/934 catches in Kun-Lai Summit, 8/382 in the Dread Wastes. Each sample was spread across various locations within each zone, although there aren't many options here. Catches in the other small areas of sha-touched water that most anglers won't ever fish (Widow's Wail and the quirky Nizuao Temple) are inferred. Tested on beta, in July and August - The Dread Wastes catch wasn't correct until August, one of the reasons for the smaller sample.

    Late changes between beta and live are always possible, although history suggests such changes are very rare. Equally it is just about possible I was very lucky. A quick back-of-the-envelope re-working of the data collected on WOWDB suggests 1% is what others are seeing - although that's not terribly reliable either: Catches are only quoted to 0.1%, and a chuck of each zone's catches are not in open sha-touched water, so lots of rounding errors creep in.

  9. Marlburo, October 2012:

    Final stats in Inkgill Mere:

    Scoured Fishbones: 962 (38%)
    Spinefish: 710 (28%)
    Golden Carp: 502 (20%)
    Desecrated Carcass: 225 (9%)
    Sealed Crate: 42 (1%)
    SPINEFISH ALPHA: 29 (1%)

    TOTAL: 2470 (virtually no pool fishing to skew stats)

    Interesting to note that despite all the complaining about this fish (from me included) the total number of casts was nearly identical to all other rare fish.

  10. el, October 2012:

    Your numbers are adrift, Marlburo: I've summed the catches listed to 1,462, not 2,404. You've missed Spinefish from the list, but I'd only expect about 500 Spinefish based on the other catches, so we'd still be missing almost 500 catches. As things stand, your Spinefish Alpha catch could be anywhere between 1 and 2%...

    I suspect the "complaining" is somewhat psychological: A mix of lack of valuable fish caught and a less variety of locations (compared to other Pagle fish). Perhaps there are other factors? I didn't comment on it initially, precisely because I'd been through the same mental cycle during the beta, and knew how it felt was rather different from how the catches actually were.

  11. Marlburo, October 2012:

    Not sure what I was looking at, looked to be a transposition error with golden carp. The catch rate remains the same as the total did not change (even with an extra fish for my bank!).

  12. shaostormstout, October 2012:

    I went to the Lake of Stars out in Dread Waste and caught Spinefish Alpha on my 3rd cast. A few hours before that, I caught mimic octopus after what seems like 100 cast. Afterward, I went to fish near Nat Pagle and caught the octopus off my fourth cast (out of the 100 cast I've made)

  13. Dethwolf, October 2012:

    Is there any correlation between skill and catch rate?

    I haven't had a ton of time to spend on these but the ones I've caught were all under 250 catches at inkgill mere at 788 skill

    600 skill
    150 lure
    30 pole
    5 hat
    3 line

    Now that I've run out of the 150 lures, Ive been fishing with 738 skill and over last 3 nights at Inkgill Ive thrown 900 catches and no spinefish alpha.

    I also had another 200 catches looking for the flying tiger since Ive run out and no catch there either.

    So am I just having a horrible patch of RNG?

  14. Stash, October 2012:

    I'd have to guess it's just horrible luck. I fish Inkgill Mere with just my arcanite pole, so 640 skill (100% skill is listed at 625), and the longest it's taken me to catch the spinefish alpha has been about 135 casts. I've also caught it within the first 15 casts a couple of times. This is over 14 total catches. I've had similar results with the flying tiger, which I always fish for at the Arboretum. I use my hat and gloves there to get 650 skill, which is exactly the 100% skill in that area.

  15. Dethwolf, October 2012:

    it prob doesnt matter, but do you fish inkgill out on the lake, or from the shore?

  16. Stash, October 2012:

    I fish on the lake, directly across from the village. I can see the tiger schools on the other shore on my minimap from where I fish.

  17. ScoobyDew79, October 2012:

    Just caught my 18th (and my final) Spinefish Alpha at Firebough Nook. Here's my updated stats.

    Scoured Fishbones: 841 37.7%
    Spinefish: 679 30.5%
    Golden Carp: 425 19.1%
    Desecrated Carcass: 226 10.1%
    Sealed Crate: 40 1.8%
    Spinefish Alpha: 18 .8%

    Total: 2229

    Personal experience, plus the data from wowhead, has convinced me that this is a 1% catch rate, just like the other two. I think this just may be an extremely rare case where El got something related to fishing slightly wrong. <3

Spinefish Alpha and perhaps the other Nat Pagle fish droprate at Fish of the Day

  1. Moustachy, March 2013:

    Hello there.

    At the start of MoP, I gave up early on the Nat Pagle rep. I simply did not have the time to fish every day for hundreds of fish for the reputation fish. Although it was the last Fishing achievement I needed, it was not worth it for me.

    I havent really looked into fishing for a while, but when I saw the 5.2 patch notes, it gave me another boost to start going for it again. Chance on pets while fishing for those quests, and a droprate I can live with. So for the last 7 days, I started fishing up the quests. Every day between 40-80 fish until I had all the 3 quests.

    But today it was a whole other story. The Mimic Octupus already took longer then normal, something around 30 catches, ok, maybe bad RNG, dont worry (the last few days I always had it within 10-15 casts). Then Flying Tyger Gourami, again about 30 casts until I got it, a little above average, but not to bad. But then, Spinefish Alpha. I always fish at the same spot on Inkgill Mere. I took me over 240 casts to finally get one. It has never cost me more then 30 casts to get it. Does anyone else have the same problem? It was going so well, but I dont wanna fish for an hour again to get one fish a day.

    Could it be because of the "daily fish"? Today it was Spinefish, in the same lake. I went for open water though, because I was sure that spot dropped the fish rather fast normally. I also had a lot more percentage of the poor quality fishbones.

    I have the feeling that if you are fishing in water that contains the fish of the day, has the droprate reduced to 5.0 standards (for the Spinefish Alpha). I'm not sure if that counts for every Sha touched pool when fish of the day is Spinefish. But I doubt that with a 5% droprate you can have a bad RNG like I had.

    Anyways, now I am finished typing this, and while typing came to the conclusion above, I'm not sure if I want to warn people or ask a question :p.

    I'll keep it with a warning. Fellow anglers, do NOT fish for the Nat Pagle friendship fish quests in water that has "Fish of the Day" pools. 1% is not fun, not fun at all!

  2. Moustachy, March 2013:

    Ok, today's numbers are in, and I am now 99,99% sure it is fish of the day that reduces the chance on a catch to 5.0 percentages.

    Mimic Octopus, same spot as yesterday (At the Anglers Warf), 34 casts
    Flying Tiger Gourami, a Jewel Danio fishing pool near shrine, 3 casts
    Alpha Spinefish, today Spinefish was again Fish of the Day, so I went for another spot, Firebough Nook Open Water, West in Kun-Lai. It took me 4 casts.

    I continued fishing here to see the rate of normal fish. after 20 fish, I had 4 poor quality fish.

    Then I went to Inkgill mere, also 20 fish, I had 13 poor quality bones.

    Its either very poor RNG or Fish of the Day that is causing it. My money is on the last one.

  3. el, March 2013:

    One bad day does not a theory prove...

    I'm sceptical, because a proportion of my (45/1,050) open water Spinefish Alpha sample was taken from Inkgill Mere with a Fish of the Day pool migration active there, and I did not see the same pattern. I did have "bad" streaks of luck during testing, although not merely as bad as 240 without a catch - that's certainly exceptional, unless you were fishing at low skill. But anything is possible when each cast is an independent roll of the dice.

    (Blizzard have been talking about implementing their progressive quest drop programming for other items, which would make this outcome a lot less likely.)

    While some quirk of the programming is always possible, there is generally no inter-relationship between pool spawning/catches and open water catches. And as far as I understand it, both Sha-touched waters in Kun-Lai Summit are "the same" - akin to looting the same type of creature - and so a different pattern occurring in Inkgill Mere and Firebough Nook would be similarly unexpected.

    The acid test is, after a 240-cast catch, to throw the fish back in, and repeat the test, then repeat it again, and again... and if each Pagle fish continues to take hundreds of casts, then we're onto something. Otherwise I'm inclined to put it down to bad luck.

  1. e2thex, March 2013:

    I haven't paid enough attention since I'm already Best Friends with Nat, but I've caught 3 alphas fishing at the Fish of the Day Inkgill Mere. With my Ancient Pandaran Fishing Charm, I'm at 47 catches, three alphas.

  2. Jaghine, March 2013:

    Well... all I know is that 'Fish of the Day' zones now guarantee one 'Pagle Fish' a day so the grind is less tedious - still gonna take 50-some days to get to 42999 rep., but now that I know I can definitely get one a day 'the grind is on'

  3. Moustachy, March 2013:

    So, I did a little more fishing the last days.

    Yesterday, Jewel Danio was Fish of the Day. I decided to get my Flying Tiger Gourami in those pools. This time, it only took me 29 catches to get it.
    The Alpha Spinefish I got in 1 cast, and the Mimic Octupus in 9.

    Today, Reef Octopus is Fish of the Day. I decided not to go to the pools in Jade Forest, but just as normal, fish at Nat Pagle's warf. With 785 fishing skill, it cost me 124 casts to catch it. In all fairness, this seems odd.

    It seems (and again, its hard to proof ofcourse) that since a recent small patch, that if you fish in the same water as the Fish of the Day pools of Reef Octopus and Spinefish, there is a significant droprate of the Nat Pagle fish. Flying Tiger Gourami seemed fine in Jewel Danio fish of the day pools, although I only tested it once.

  4. pinktoque, April 2013:

    I know this may sound completely crazy, like I need a tinfoil hat or something, but after fishing for over an hour for the Spinefish Alpha today, (and I'd caught the other two within 20 casts) I took a moment to click on the Flying Tiger Gourami and Mimic Octopus quest items in my inventory to activate them in my quest log, and I swear I caught a Spinefish Alpha on the VERY NEXT CAST. I know, totally crazy, but in my experience, I've caught the Spinefish Alpha on the next immediate catch after doing something like attaching a lure, equipping a better pole with +fishing, or accepting the other two rare fish as quests to add them to my quest log. I don't know if it was coincidence or not, (seems like it's happened to me several times now) but if you're feeling like being a conspiracy-theorist, give it a try and see if it helps on days when you're about to give up fishing for this one. Who knows?

  5. bcimhe, May 2013:

    The little pond in Paoquan Hollow, 19, 32, yields both the Flying Tiger Gourami and Mimic Octopus. Alas, I discovered this long after I became best friends with Nat.

  6. el, May 2013:

    Interesting, bcimhe. Originally Paoquan Hollow yielded entirely coastal fish, thus only Mimic Octopus. Both Pagle fish would be a bug in my opinion, but probably not one anyone will be hurrying to fix.

  7. el, May 2013:

    Tested this, and I'm only seeing Mimic Octopus from open water at Paoquan Hollow. There are inland pools at Paoquan Hollow, which of course contain Flying Tiger Gourami... I don't know if that's what you meant. There are only a couple of pool spawning points in Paoquan Hollow, so you'd need to be lucky to gain both Pagle fish without fishing somewhere else.

Spinefish Alpha

  1. LordStreetguru, December 2013:

    In a small lake just north of the shado-pan fallback I seem to be able to always get one within 5 casts, if someone else could test that would be great, the lake may have a higher catch rate, or I'm just getting really lucky. but its been going for a few days now.

  2. Christhina, December 2013:

    Be delighted to test this, would you happen to have coordinates of the spot you're fishing at (Tom Tom), so we make sure we're testing the same spot please?

  3. LordStreetguru, December 2013:

    Its the small lake just north of the flight path to shado-pan fallback, south west corner of kun-lai sumit.

    I went to fish there today and basically no pools but one were spawning and I've been here at least 30 minutes, maybe blizzard ruined my spot. I should mention that I was fishing from pools those few days. I miss the spot already, I flew to the other side and was getting nothing. more pools spawned but I haven't gotten it in 5, might have just been a fluke, I gave up after almost an hour of straight fishing spinefish pools.

    And now the lake has suddenly been replaced with Tiger Gourami pools...

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