The Oceanographer

Guide to completing The Oceanographer fishing achievement, which requires 33 different saltwater (coastal) fish to be caught. On this page:

Introduction and Requirements

The Oceanographer is an achievement which requires 31 different saltwater (coastal) fish to be caught. The achievement was added with the Cataclysm, which means catches before Cataclysm will not count towards the achievement. The Oceanographer is not required to become Salty.

While high level and fishing skill are helpful to complete the achievement, you can start working on The Oceanographer at level 5 with fishing skill 1:

Since all the fish are coastal, an adventurous level 5 (required to train fishing ranks) should be able to swim to most of the locations. Higher level simply makes travel far easier. There are 2 exceptions for low levels:

650 effective fishing skill is recommended to fish the hardest waters. Fortunately even high-skill zones can be fished at lower skill - you will just waste more time catching junk. Many Oceanographer catches can easily be caught with fishing skill 1, especially fish that can be caught from pools (which never contain junk).

The Oceanographer requires both seasonal fish (Raw Summer Bass and Winter Squid), so cannot be completed solely in either Winter or Summer.

General Tips

Old Azeroth

Each of Old Azeroth's fish is commonly caught from several different zones, so you will not need to fish in every zone. There are many variations by time of day (plus season), so pay careful attention to the footnotes.

There are zones containing several achievement fish in their open water. Easy location groupings to consider:

The highest catches rate for Firefin Snapper, Oily Blackmouth and Stonescale Eel are from pools. However you are also highly likely to catch them from open water while fishing for other fish.

Before the Cataclysm, Old Azeroth's Salmon (Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Whitescale Salmon) and Raw Redgill were primarily inland fish. The Cataclysm has not changed where these fish are caught - they are still primarily found inland. Fortunately adventurous low-level anglers can trade one bug for another: The coasts of Silithus and Winterspring contain inland catches, and can be safely reached from neighboring coastlines (Uldum or Feralas for Silithus, Azshara and Darkshore for Winterspring).

The Oceanographer - Old Azeroth (Commonest Catch Locations)
CatchWaterAreasNo-Junk Skill% of Catch
Big-mouth ClamOpen WaterCoastal: The Cape of Stranglethorn (Jaguero Isle)2250-12% [1]
Open Water3000-12% [1]
Open WaterCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows4256-12% [2]
Darkclaw LobsterOpen WaterCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows42545%
Darkshore GrouperOpen WaterCoastal and Inland: Darkshore (General)7530%
Firefin SnapperFirefin Snapper School180%
Giant SunfishOpen WaterCoastal: Isle of Quel'Danas45078%
Jaggal ClamOpen WaterCoastal: Isle of Quel'Danas45015%
Large Raw MightfishOpen WaterCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows4255-10% [2]
Oily BlackmouthOily Blackmouth School180%
Raw Glossy MightfishOpen WaterCoastal: The Cape of Stranglethorn (Jaguero Isle)2254-18% [2]
Open Water3004-18% [2]
Raw Rainbow Fin AlbacoreOpen WaterCoastal: Arathi Highlands (General), Ashenvale, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Stranglethorn (General), Stonetalon Mountains (West), Wetlands15060%
Raw RedgillOpen Water30040-50% [3]
Raw Rockscale CodOpen WaterCoastal: Arathi Highlands (Forbidding Sea), The Cape of Stranglethorn (General), Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas (General), The Forbidding Sea, The Great Sea, The Hinterlands, Southern Barrens (General)22555%
Raw Slitherskin MackerelOpen Water2598%
Raw Spotted YellowtailOpen WaterCoastal: The Cape of Stranglethorn (Jaguero Isle)22540%
Open Water30040%
Raw Summer BassOpen WaterCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows42510-30% [4]
Raw Sunscale SalmonOpen WaterInland: Blasted Lands (Tainted Forest)250-35% [1]
Open WaterInland: Un'Goro Crater (General)3750-35% [1]
Open Water4250-35% [1]
Raw Whitescale SalmonOpen WaterInland: Blasted Lands (Tainted Forest)2540%
Open WaterInland: Un'Goro Crater (General)37540%
Open Water42540%
Stonescale EelStonescale Eel SwarmCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, Thousand Needles180%
Winter SquidOpen WaterCoastal: Blasted Lands (Coastal), Swamp of Sorrows42510-30% [5]


Tol Barad is only available to level 85s, but does not contain any unique fish: Lower-level anglers can visit Uldum instead.

The Oceanographer also requires Abyssal Clam to be "caught". At the time of writing these cannot be gained by fishing. They can be looted from creatures - many such (level 80) creatures are found in Vashj'ir.

The Oceanographer - Cataclysm (Commonest Catch Locations)
CatchWaterAreasNo-Junk Skill% of Catch
Algaefin RockfishOpen WaterCoastal: Twilight Highlands (General)65015%
Open WaterCoastal: Tol Barad67515%
Deepsea SagefishDeepsea Sagefish SchoolCoastal: Twilight Highlands (General)190%
Fathom EelFathom Eel SwarmCoastal: Tol Barad, Uldum190%
MurglesnoutOpen WaterCoastal: Vashj'ir (General)57590%


The table below will be useful if you only need to catch a few specific fish. If you are starting the achievement with no Northrend coastal catches, then fish:

The Oceanographer - Northrend (Commonest Catch Locations)
CatchWaterAreasNo-Junk Skill% of Catch
Borean Man O' WarBorean Man O' War SchoolCoastal: Borean Tundra190%
Darkwater ClamOpen WaterNamed Coastal: Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord47510%
Open Water55010%
Deep Sea MonsterbellyDeep Sea Monsterbelly SchoolCoastal: The Frozen Sea190%
Imperial Manta RayImperial Manta Ray SchoolCoastal: Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord190%
Moonglow CuttlefishMoonglow Cuttlefish SchoolCoastal: The Frozen Sea190%
Pygmy SuckerfishBorean Man O' War SchoolCoastal: Borean Tundra165% [1]
Deep Sea Monsterbelly SchoolCoastal: The Frozen Sea165% [1]
Dragonfin Angelfish SchoolInland: Dragonblight165% [1]
Fangtooth Herring SchoolInland and Brackish: Howling Fjord165% [1]
Glacial Salmon SchoolInland: Grizzly Hills165% [1]
Imperial Manta Ray SchoolCoastal: Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord165% [1]
Moonglow Cuttlefish SchoolCoastal: The Frozen Sea165% [1]
Musselback Sculpin SchoolInland: Borean Tundra165% [1]
Nettlefish SchoolInland: Sholazar Basin165% [1]
Rockfin GrouperOpen WaterCoastal: The Frozen Sea57560%
One That Didn't Get Away requires just one fish to be caught from a set of 10 named fish. The catch? All ten are very rare!

Learn More

Completing achievements? These guides will help complete individual Achievements:

Comments about The Oceanographer

Below are readers' comments about "The Oceanographer":

The Limnologist/The Oceanographer

  • Kiingy, November 2010

    Enarka wrote:


    Summer Bass can only be caught from 20th of March till the 22nd of September.

    So your going to have to wait a few months yet.

  • el, November 2010

    Raw Summer Bass is a seasonal fish. It replaces Winter Squid at the Spring equinox, so cannot be caught before then - see Catching Winter Squid. [Edit - Kiingy beat me to it :-) ]

    For general guides on these achievements, read The Limnologist and The Oceanographer.

  • tokugawa98, November 2010

    Maybe I am missing something but since Northrend Angler and Outland Angler mention that "a fish" has to be caught in those pools, those can be checked against for Limnologist/Oceanographer.

    So if one has the former two achievements, are they filled in for the Cata ones?

  • narvil, November 2010

    tokugawa98 wrote:

    Maybe I am missing something but since Northrend Angler and Outland Angler mention that "a fish" has to be caught in those pools, those can be checked against for Limnologist/Oceanographer.
    So if one has the former two achievements, are they filled in for the Cata ones?


  • Sigtyr, November 2010

    Felblood Snapper
    Lightning Eel
    Enourmous Barbed Gill Trout

    these aren't in either of the achievements

  • Shadygrove, November 2010

    First thing both my husband and I are doing is working on these fishing achievements! We've made a lot of progress.

  • marmotrider, November 2010

    I'm not seeing Nightfin Snapper on your list...

    oops, nevermind. Missed the Raw part... :D

  • el, November 2010

    Both Raw Nightfin Snapper and Felblood Snapper are part of The Limnologist.

    There's not a lot of logic behind what's included in the achievement and what's not. Plenty of less common catches are missing, yet we have the very rare bloated catches listed.

    And Salmon and Redgill are part of The Oceanographer, even though they are inland fish (in Azeroth, at least).

  • Noodleguitar, November 2010

    I'm a bit stuck on Mithril Head Trout. I'm fishing in Stranglethorn Vale, and the guide says that it can be found in The Cape of Stranglethorn, inland. Though I can't find any inland water in the Cape of Stranglethorn except from maybe the Sundering but there I'm catching Yellowtail which means you can't catch Mithril Head Trout there.

    If there is any, please explain to me which regions are counted as inland for the Cape of Stranglethorn.

  • el, November 2010

    The Cape of Stranglethorn inland is specifically the water on the hill half way between Booty Bay and Hardwrench Hideaway. From memory there's a naga shrine there.

  • Cocosbro, November 2010

    Has anyone caught the bloated fishes after the patch (4.0.3a?) I got the bloated giant sunfish yesterday but other than that nothing so far. I'm just scared that I'll spend too much time on a spot where it later turns out they can't be caught :/

  • Naee, November 2010

    Same here, I've only caught the bloated giant sunfish so far after about 4 hours total only fishing for bloateds. I think I'll hold off on these until someone confirms that they're still catchable in their previous areas.

  • el, November 2010

    The bloated fish are catchable. I have 2 so far (plus the Sunfish). But catch rates are very low. Each has taken me about 1000 catches, but that might be luck: The pre-Cataclysm data (especially gathered during One that did not get away) suggests somewhere between 1/1000 and 1/5000. At those sorts of odds, you can fish all day and not catch any bloated fish.

  • Noodleguitar, November 2010

    el wrote:

    The Cape of Stranglethorn inland is specifically the water on the hill half way between Booty Bay and Hardwrench Hideaway. From memory there's a naga shrine there.

    Thanks alot, this wasn't visible on the map as water, which isn't surprising because it's really a minuscule body of water. I wouldn't have thought to try to cast in it if you hadn't said there is something fishable in this area.

  • Jinxa, November 2010

    Well I have just caught the Bloated Trout in The Cape of Stranglethorn. Put in 1000 casts up at Western P and just moved out of boredom. 95 casts here and it drops. :)

  • Renetta, November 2010

    Seems like Spinefin Halibut is not listed in either achievement.

    EDIT: Looking at wowhead it is not clear I got it from fishing. Seems to be a loot only item. So nevermind.
    EDIT2: Lightning Eel is a catchable fish that isn't part of the achievements though.

  • Klinch, November 2010

    I just caught the Bloated Brilliant Smallfish, but on an ALT :( , while doing the SW fishing daily "Thunder Falls" for violet perch (outside of SW)

  • Read 92 more comments

    or reply to "The Limnologist/The Oceanographer".

Patch 4.1 Changes

  • Thay, February 2011

    Hmm, looks like 4.1 is removing most of the Bloated fish from these 2 achievs.

    The Limnologist: Bloated Catfish, Bloated Mud Snapper, Bloated Redgill Removed
    The Oceanographer: Bloated Giant Sunfish, Bloated Salmon Removed

    Off-Topic: It also adds in achievs for 100 & 125 pets collected. ^_^



  • el, February 2011

    Bloated Smallfish and Bloated Trout are still required for The Limnologist. And this is currently only data-mined information (although it is hard to go wrong with achievement data). But it looks like a dramatic shift in time commitment from the insane towards the trivial.

  • el, February 2011

    As for the rest of the data files: There's an intriguing spell called "Gub Fishing" (97014). Gub is one of the new Zul'Gurub bosses. No sign of Gahz'ranka, but there is a trigger called "Summon Nat Pagle" (96600), so he probably hasn't been entirely forgotten.

    The PTRs aren't playable yet, but thus far 4.1 looks like a dungeon-heavy patch.

  • Expand 3 more comments

    from "Patch 4.1 Changes".
  • el, February 2011

    The only other change I've found so far is that The Steam Pools (just south of Feralas) now contain fish - the same fish as inland Feralas, nothing special. The Goblin resort built there may be still in development.

  • whibla, February 2012

    Before the Cataclysm, Old Azeroth's Salmon (Raw Sunscale Salmon and Raw Whitescale Salmon) and Raw Redgill were inland fish. The Cataclysm has not changed where these fish are caught - they are still only found inland.

    This is incorrect, though I'm not sure whether this was a patch change, or one made prior to that. The fish can be caught in the great sea, off the coast of Winterspring. Simply fly east, out of Winterspring, and a long way down...

  • el, February 2012

    Thanks, Whibla. I don't think it changed, rather was forgotten: The area is now just like Silithus - there are not specific coastal fish allocated, so all parts of the zone default to inland fish.

    I'm unsure of the history of Winterspring, but from memory, pre-Cataclysm the coastal area was all zoned as The Great Sea - a separate zone, not part of Winterspring. That's different from now, which zones the water as Winterspring, then a sub-zone called the Great Sea. Without being told otherwise, the sub-zone inherits from Winterspring, and has no connection to the Great Sea parent zone.

    There is still a small part of the original Great Sea zone on the border between Winterspring and Darkshore (roughly north of Moonglade), containing Raw Rockscale Cod and Raw Spotted Yellowtail.

  • Reply

    to "Patch 4.1 Changes".

Stratholme no longer fishable

  • cayleb, August 2012

    Upon attempting to whittle down my lengthy list of fish to catch while simultaneously circuiting the world working on archaeology, I noted that Stratholme was listed as an excellent spot to catch Whitescale Salmon. (Of course with all the plague contamination in there, it's probably a good thing I'm not also working on my cooking!)

    Alas, the green pools of goo inside the ziggurats in Stratholme are no longer fishable! Every cast that didn't result in a "cast did not land in fishable water" instead told me that "there are no fish here." (Does everyone's fishing pole talk or is that just something we draenei came up with?)

    After having tried all three ziggurats from multiple angles with no difference, I left Stratholme and proceeded onwards to one of the ziggurats in Plaguewood, just to see if I was doing it wrong. But no, this ziggy was perfectly castable, and yielded some beautiful (if slightly plagued) Redgill.

    Our days of urban apocalyptical ziggurat oceanography appear to be over, my friends.

  • el, August 2012

    cayleb wrote:

    (Does everyone's fishing pole talk or is that just something we draenei came up with?)

    I think you may have been fishing too long...

    Thanks for the update.

  • donquixote235, October 2013

    Tonight (10/28/2013) I tried throwing my hook in one of the ziggurats inside Stratholme (specifically the sub-zone "The Gauntlet") and I was indeed able to catch something. I did an admittedly small sample of 10 casts, and I got the following:

    1 Lightning Eel
    4 Raw Whitescale Salmon
    2 Raw Nightfin Snapper
    1 Sickly Fish
    2 Tangled Fishing Line

    I was fishing with a 386-388 skill yet I still came out with 3 junk catches, so apparently the "no junk" threshold is higher than that.

  • Reply

    to "Stratholme no longer fishable".

"catching" Abyssal Clam

  • Noor, December 2010

    Hey, back with my 4th pacifist, leveling with gathering this time...

    Anyway, I was wondering what counts as catching Abyssal Clams, since they are looted, and don't appear to be soulbound. This could mean that they can be bought on the AH. Maybe the achievement detects looting the clam itself for credit.

    For that matter, the other non-low-level fishing for the Oceanographer, Isle of Quel'Danas, was (last I heard) warlock-summonable for lowbies (back when herbalism had heals and before gathering added level requirements, there was one mana thistle that was far enough away from mobs for twinks to use to level herbalism).

    If both of these are true, a low level could get Oceanographer.

    Anyone want to get level 5, turn off XP, and go for it?

  • Torture, December 2010

    It will only count if looted, buying on the auction house and then getting it through the mail will not activate the requirement for the achievement. The same rings true with other fish that you get as 'rewards', for example I received a Deviate Fish in a Bag of Fishing Treasures reward from a Dalaran fishing daily, that proc'd the requirement for having caught the Deviate Fish even though I hadn't fished it up. One may then think if they use a Wrapping Paper they can then proc them as well, this would be true however since all the fish are stackable they can't be wrapped.

  • Reply

    to ""catching" Abyssal Clam".

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