Since patch 4.3, fishing and cooking now level well together. Fishing will skill-up slightly faster than cooking at the start, but you should reach 525 skill in both professions at about the same time (unless you opt to fish pools in the second part, which will speed up cooking leveling, and slow down fishing).
Leveling fishing skill is variable: Each skill-up will require between 1 and a random number of successful catches. At the start that random number is always 1 (every catch raises skill), then rises to between 1 and 2 catches per skill-up. After 300 fishing skill, the range increases, from 1 to about 8. And after 450 skill, up as high as 13. Over the whole leveling process, your "luck" should average out. But at each individual suggested location and skill bracket, you may skill-up faster or slower than the guide estimates.
This means your aim is primarily to catch enough of the recommended fish to level cooking. If you find yourself skilling-up fishing faster than expected in one location, you may need to fish in that location to a slightly higher skill level, to ensure you catch enough fish to cook. Alternatively, if points of fishing skill are taking longer than expected to gain, you can move onto the next location once the cooking requirements have been met. You will simply catch more junk at the next location, and so will probably spend longer fishing there instead.
Personal level 5 is required to train higher Fishing ranks. At least level 10 is required to level cooking above about 425 (for Old Azeroth daily cooking quests). I highly recommend you gain at least personal level 20: A mount makes traveling much faster, and improves your chance of escaping hostile creatures in higher-level zones. If you are below level 85, read the tips and alternative locations suggested in the "at low level" boxes.
The guide assumes Lures and Fishing Gear are not used. However, the guide often assumes a proportion of catches will be junk. By using lures and/or gear, you can avoid junk catches. This option would allow you to level cooking to 525 faster than fishing. If you plan to continue fishing after leveling cooking to 525, consider using lures and/or fishing gear at certain points in the leveling process. These optional points are shown in the text below.
Leveling from 1 to 525 requires all expansions, up to Cataclysm. Anglers without later expansions can still follow the guide, but you will not be able to progress beyond a certain skill level (see Ranks).
Preparation: Daily Cooking Quests
Each day "Old Azeroth" cooking quests are available from:
- Alegorn, the cooking trainer on Craftmen's Terrace in Darnassus.
- Daryl Riknussun, the cooking trainer on north-east side of The Great Forge, Ironforge.
- Robby Flay, outside the Stockades in Stormwind City.
These quests are available at level 10 and cooking skill 1. Only one quest can be completed each day. Each quest rewards 1-2 Epicurean's Awards, which are required to purchase recipes between cooking skill 425 and 525. Since these quests can be completed at cooking skill 1, you should start working on these as soon as possible.
At cooking skill 350 (and at least level 65) you will also be able to complete Dalaran Cooking Quests, which provide a second source of Epicurean's Awards. At level 70 you may also gain Epicurean's Awards via a Waterlogged Recipe, a rare reward from Northrend Daily Fishing Quests.
Recipes cost 3 Epicurean's Award each and 6 recipes are assumed by this guide to level from 425 to 525. There is an option to use just 4 recipes, but you will need to catch a lot more fish. If you intend to use only 4 recipes, I recommend following the optional luring/gear tips, otherwise your fishing skill will reach 525 before your cooking skill. Recipes are sold by Bario Matalli, Emrul Riknussun and Fyldan, found next to the daily quest-givers. Fishing and Cooking 1-525 Part 2 recommends the precise recipes to buy.
Preparation: Buy Recipes
Buy these cooking recipes. You may be able to buy them at the auction house. If not, you will need to travel:
- Recipe: Baked Salmon - sold by Vivianna in Feathermoon Stronghold, Feralas.
- Recipe: Mithril Head Trout and Recipe: Filet of Redgill - sold by Kelsey Yance ("Cook"), in The Old Port Authority building, Booty Bay, The Cape of Stranglethorn. Recipe: Mithril Head Trout is sold by several other vendors, including Tansy Puddlefizz in Ironforge's Forlorn Cavern.
- Location: Goldshire, Elwynn Forest recommended. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: Azuremyst Isle, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Elwynn Forest, Eversong Woods, Mulgore and Teldrassil. Recipes and trainers may not be available in those zones.
- Training: Lee Brown (Fishing Trainer) is by the lake east of Goldshire (pictured right). Tomas (Cooking Trainer) in the inn's kitchen. Tharynn Bouden (Trade Supplies) in the centre of Goldshire, sells Recipe: Brilliant Smallfish, Recipe: Longjaw Mud Snapper, and a Fishing Pole. Train Apprentice Fishing and Cooking at the start, and Journeyman Fishing by skill 75. Buy the recipes for Brilliant Smallfish and Longjaw Mud Snapper, plus a Fishing Pole and lures if required.
- Catch: Fish inland open water from fishing skill 1 to 75. Catch 35 Raw Brilliant Smallfish and 20 Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper. Don't worry about the precise number of each, because more of these fish will be caught at the next stage.
- Cook: Don't cook anything yet. Keep the Raw Brilliant Smallfish and Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper. Junk and other (rare) catches can be discarded or vendored.
- Luring Options: 25 fishing skill is required to stop catching junk here, so a single Shiny Bauble can be applied at the start to avoid junk catches.
- Location: Inland Stormwind City recommended. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: Azshara (General), Bloodmyst Isle (General), Darkshore (Freshwater), Darnassus, The Deadmines, Ghostlands, Ironforge, Northern Barrens (General), Orgrimmar, Redridge Mountains (General), Stormwind City, Thunder Bluff and Westfall. Recipes and trainers may not be available in those zones.
- Training: Arnold Leland (Fishing Trainer) is on a pier in the canals, on the west side of the Trade District. Stephen Ryback (Cooking Trainer), in the Old Town "Pig and Whistle Tavern" inn. Catherine Leland (Fishing Supplies), next to Arnold, sells Recipe: Bristle Whisker Catfish. Train Expert Fishing by skill 150. Train Journeyman Cooking between skill 50 and 75. Buy the recipe for Bristle Whisker Catfish.
- Catch: Fish inland open water from fishing skill 75 to 150. Catch 20 Raw Brilliant Smallfish, 50 Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper, and 20 Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish.
- Cook: Learn Recipe: Brilliant Smallfish, and cook Brilliant Smallfish. Your cooking skill must reach at least 50 - if it does not, catch more Smallfish. Learn Recipe: Longjaw Mud Snapper and cook Longjaw Mud Snapper. Your cooking skill will rise to about 100 (the precise number is not important).
- Luring Options: None.
- Location: Inland Wetlands recommended. If you arrive in Menethil Harbor, travel inland until you reach non-coastal swamp waters. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: Arathi Highlands (General), Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Stranglethorn (General), Redridge Mountains (Lake Everstill), Stonetalon Mountains (West) and Wetlands. Trainers may not be available in those zones.
- Training: Harold Riggs (Fishing Trainer), on the docks in Menethil Harbor. No local cooking trainer, the closest are Craig Nollward in Dustwallow Marsh or Daryl Riknussun in Ironforge. Train Artisan Fishing after skill 200 (probably when about to leave the zone for Dustwallow Marsh).
- Catch: Fish inland open water from fishing skill 150 to 215. Catch 35 Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper and 70 Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish.
- Cook: Cook Longjaw Mud Snapper. Your cooking skill will rise to about 115. Learn Recipe: Bristle Whisker Catfish and cook Bristle Whisker Catfish until cooking skill 150. Stop at 150 skill, and keep the remaining Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish.
- Luring Options: None.
- Location: Witch Hill, Dustwallow Marsh recommended (travel north from Theramore Isle). First stop to train Cooking in Theramore Isle. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: The Cape of Stranglethorn (General), Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas (General), The Hinterlands, Scarlet Monastery, Southern Barrens (General) and Western Plaguelands. Trainers may not be available in those zones.
- Training: Craig Nollward (Cooking Trainer), in the Theramore Isle inn. Dirty Michael Crowe (Fishing Trainer & Supplies) in Theramore Isle's port. Train Expert Cooking at the start, and Artisan Cooking by cooking skill 225. Train Master Fishing before travelling to the next stage. If Theramore Isle has been destroyed, talk to Zidormi to travel back in time (thanks Juke).
- Catch: Fish inland open water from fishing skill 215 to 275. Catch 40 Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish and 70 Raw Mithril Head Trout.
- Cook: Cook Bristle Whisker Catfish. Your cooking skill must reach at least 175, but the recipe will be "green", so skills-up very slowly and unreliably. Learn Recipe: Mithril Head Trout and cook Mithril Head Trout until cooking skill 225.
- Luring Options: 225 fishing skill is required to stop catching junk here, so a Shiny Bauble can be applied at the start to avoid junk catches.
- Location: Inland Eastern Plaguelands recommended, because inland water is easy to find here. Train Master Fishing and Artisan Cooking before travelling. A convenient location to fish is the lake just outside Light's Hope Chapel. Fishing in the Badlands involves less travel, but anglers must fish from "unnamed" (zone name displayed only) coastal areas of the Badlands, which can be tricky to locate. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: Badlands, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Feralas (Verdantis River), Maraudon, Moonglade, Tanaris and The Temple of Atal'Hakkar.
- Training: No nearby trainers. The closest fishing trainer is Harold Riggs in Wetlands. The closest cooking trainer is Daryl Riknussun in Ironforge. Fortunately no training should be required during this stage. Remember to train Master Fishing and Artisan Cooking before travelling. After completing this stage visit a Cooking trainer to learn the recipes for Nightfin Soup and Poached Sunscale Salmon.
- Catch: Fish inland open water from fishing skill 275 to 310. Catch a few Raw Mithril Head Trout (optional), 30 Raw Redgill, and 25 combined total of Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Nightfin Snapper. The precise fish caught depends on the time of day - don't worry if you only catch one type, or you have an equal mix of both Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Nightfin Snapper.
- Cook: Cook any Mithril Head Trout. Learn Recipe: Filet of Redgill and cook Filet of Redgill. Your cooking skill must reach at least 250. Keep your Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Nightfin Snapper.
- Luring Options: 300 fishing skill is required to stop catching junk here, so Shiny Baubles can be applied to avoid junk catches until skill 300.
- Location: The Tainted Forest by Surwich, Blasted Lands. First visit a Cooking trainer to learn recipes for Nightfin Soup and Poached Sunscale Salmon. The same catches can be caught from inland open water in these zones: Blasted Lands (Tainted Forest), Dire Maul, Feralas (Jademir Lake), Scholomance, Silithus, Stratholme, Un'Goro Crater (General) and Winterspring. However the no-junk skill is far higher in these zones, so many more catches will be required. Inland Blasted Lands' water has a no-junk skill of just 25: 400 points lower than zones with similar catches.
- Training: No nearby trainers. The closest fishing trainer is Myizz Luckycatch in The Cape of Stranglethorn, or Matthew Hooper in Redridge Mountains. The closest cooking trainer is Mrs. Gant in The Cape of Stranglethorn, or Crystal Boughman in Redridge Mountains. Fortunately no training should be required during this stage. However, before travelling to the Blasted Lands, visit a Cooking trainer to learn the recipes for Nightfin Soup and Poached Sunscale Salmon.
- Catch: Fish inland open water of The Tainted Forest from fishing skill 310 to 330. Catch a few Raw Redgill (optional), 25 combined total of Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Nightfin Snapper, and 30 Raw Whitescale Salmon.
- Cook: Cook any remaining Filet of Redgill. Cook Nightfin Soup and Poached Sunscale Salmon. Your cooking skill should rise to about 285. Learn Recipe: Baked Salmon and cook Baked Salmon until cooking skill 300. Keep the remaining Raw Whitescale Salmon (you should have about 15 spare).
- Luring Options: None currently.
The cooking recipes used are listed below for quick reference. The vendor shown is the one recommended in the guide above. Some recipes are sold by several other vendors.
The cooking skill each recipe "changes color" is shown. Recipes are normally orange when learned. Orange recipes will always grant a skill point when you cook the dish. Yellow recipes have a high chance of a skill-up, green a low chance. Once the recipe has "turned grey", there is no chance of gaining skill from cooking it.
|Recipe||Recommended Vendor/Trainer||Cooking Skill|
|Recipe: Brilliant Smallfish||Tharynn Bouden (Goldshire, Elwynn Forest)||1||45||65||85|
|Recipe: Longjaw Mud Snapper||Tharynn Bouden (Goldshire, Elwynn Forest)||50||90||110||130|
|Recipe: Bristle Whisker Catfish||Catherine Leland (Canals, Stormwind City)||100||140||160||180|
|Recipe: Mithril Head Trout||Kelsey Yance (Booty Bay, The Cape of Stranglethorn)||175||215||235||255|
|Recipe: Filet of Redgill||Kelsey Yance (Booty Bay, The Cape of Stranglethorn)||225||250||263||275|
|Nightfin Soup||Daryl Riknussun (Bronze Kettle, Ironforge)||250||275||285||295|
|Poached Sunscale Salmon||Daryl Riknussun (Bronze Kettle, Ironforge)||250||275||285||295|
|Recipe: Baked Salmon||Vivianna (Feathermoon Stronghold, Feralas)||275||300||313||325|
- Getting Started - Contains information for the beginner. If you've never picked up a fishing pole in your life, or have only just started fishing, this chapter is for you.
- Equipment - Describes gear, consumables and enhancements that can be used to bolster your fishing skills, or help you fish.
- Cooking Skill - List of cooked fish foods by cooking skill.
- Cooking Trainers - Full list on the official site.
- Fishing Trainers - Full list on the official site.
Comments about Fishing and Cooking 1-525 Alliance
Below are readers' comments about "Fishing and Cooking 1-525 Alliance":
el, April 2012:
Thanks. Not sure how I missed that trainer. I've updated the text.
Astragal, April 2012:
Thanks. Not sure how I missed that trainer. I've updated the text.
I think probably because he didn't used to be a trainer. Previously when doing the quest he gives as part of a chain, his title was <Fish Merchant> and he only sold fish. Not clear from wowhead just when he also became a Trainer but from memory he was still a vendor 12-18 months ago. Probably with 4.0.3a.
He is still noted as a fish vendor on wowpedia;
Just a sneaky change to keep us on our toes ;)
Hexxis, November 2012:
With Theramore Isle being destroyed, where is the best place to go for the Dustwallow Marsh section of this guide now?
el, November 2012:
The catches from Dustwallow Marsh haven't changed, so at worst you'll just need to train somewhere else.
Juke, April 2013:
Dustwallow Marsh: Update needed.
"If Theramore Isle has been destroyed, you will need to train elsewhere (see Wetlands above)" is incorrect.
You can now revert Theramore Isle back to its original state, by talking to NPC "Zidormi" located at Coords: 55.9,49.5
She's at the end of the main bridge West of Theramore on the edge of the mainland, just off to the right, standing in a bright shaft of light.
She lets you switch back and forth between destroyed and undestroyed Theramore.
As you run up to her position it may take a moment for her to become visible as you pass into or exit out of the phased location.
BTW, Thank you very much for this wonderful guide :)
el, April 2013:
Updated - thanks.