An introduction to skill ranks and training, from Apprentice to Illustrious. On this page:

"Now, I'm not saying you need to fish for 30 years or catch every fish in the sea to become a master fisherman. I reckon you just need to be determined - determined enough to sit on your duff for hours at a time, doin' nothin'." - Nat Pagle


There is a maximum skill level that you may achieve at each profession rank. You will need to improve your professional rank to advance beyond each maximum skill level. The highest rank you can ultimately train depends on your expansion. All ranks, except Draenor Master (see below), can be trained at character level 5 or above. The table below summarises the requirements of each rank.

Fishing Rank and Skill Levels
RankMinimum fishing skillMaximum fishing skillCostHow to train
Apprentice-751sAny Fishing Trainer
Journeyman501505sAny Fishing Trainer
Expert1252251gAny Fishing Trainer
Artisan2003002g 50sAny Fishing Trainer
Master27537510gAny Fishing Trainer (requires The Burning Crusade)
Grand Master35045015gAny Fishing Trainer (requires Wrath of the Lich King)
Illustrious42552525gAny Fishing Trainer (requires Cataclysm)
Zen Master50060030gAny Fishing Trainer (requires Mists of Pandaria)
Draenor Master-700-Fishing Guide to Draenor (see below, requires Warlords of Draenor)

Costs assume no reputation-related reductions. Fishing trainers can be found in all capital cities and starting zones (except The Wandering Isle) - just ask a guard for directions. There are also some fishing trainers in other zones, but do not expect to find a trainer in every zone. Profession trainers can be marked on your minimap.

Since patch 4.0.1, all fishing trainers know all (pre-Draenor) ranks - there is no need to travel to learn higher ranks. Patch 3.1 removed Expert and Master rank books. Artisan fishing is no longer taught by a quest (the old artisan quest now rewards Nat's Lucky Fishing Pole).


The Dreanor Master rank is not taught by Fishing Trainers. Instead it is learned from a scroll called Fishing Guide to Draenor:

Fishing Guide to Draenor
  • Use: Teaches Draenor Master Fishing rank
  • Requires level 90
  • Unique, Binds when Picked Up
  • "Outlines the fish of Draenor and how to catch them"

The scroll does not require any prior Fishing ranks to be learnt. It does require level 90 and cannot be traded. The scroll is a guaranteed first catch from most open water in Draenor (to catch it you will need at least Apprentice rank trained). In addition, there is a small chance of looting the scroll from creatures in Draenor.

Gaining rank simply means catching a lot of fish, right? Yes, but there are many different strategies you can use to level fishing.

Learn More

Comments about Ranks

Below are readers' comments about "Ranks":

Realmfirst illustious fisherman - possible?

  • Daggor, July 2010


    Im thinking of going for the realmfirst illustious angler achivement.
    How is this best achived? Well i guess no one really knows for sure but im thinking of doing it this way:

    The day cataclysm hits, login and go to the nearst fishing trainer and just start fishing until i, hopefullt, get the achivement.

    any other throughs/ideas concerning this?

    Best regards

  • el, July 2010

    As far as I know, there are no Cataclysm "realm first" achievements yet. Indeed, Illustious angler rank can't even be trained.

    In WotLK, a lot depended on timezones and how you purchased the expansion. If the expansion was (somehow) mailed to you a day early, installed and ready, you stood a reasonable chance. If you visited a store in a country 2 or 3 hours (timezones) behind other parts of your realm's region, you might get online just in time to see someone else had reached the maximum skill. Perhaps there were realms with fewer anglers, where a late starter might be lucky. But since the achievement could be completed almost immediately, it generally was!

    Some WotLK strategies were discussed here.

  • Hazmat9000, July 2010

    Being that I am in AZ and wont be getting the expansion for several hours after everyone else in the entire world *huff* I don't have any dreams of becoming the first illustrious angler on my server. That being said, I do have a question. What is the purpose of achieving such things first? Aside from pure bragging rights? Is there something that denotes your account? Is it a Feats of Strength achievement? Or is it simply like the fishing contest and your name gets yelled across the server? Any of those would be cool.

  • Expand 2 more comments

    from "Realmfirst illustious fisherman - possible?".
  • el, July 2010

    It was a Feat of Strength. Like the other realm firsts, it was yelled across the realm and also appeared on the Armory realm first list. There were no special items, titles, or anything like that.

  • Xellros, July 2010

    Well, those of us who downloaded our games, instead of purchasing a physical game itself, are pretty much screwed then. T.T Surly people will be getting the games before they release the game on the site.

  • Reply

    to "Realmfirst illustious fisherman - possible?".

Cata needed to _train_ 525?

  • annieb, December 2010

    I am assuming the answer is yes. Amazon messed up and my collector edition boxes are floating around somewhere in space. I'm actually contemplating buying a digital upgrade for one of my accounts, then calling CSR to upgrade the upgrade when the CE boxes finally arrive.

    I would rather not pay the extra for useless upgrade that's going to be upgraded when the CE boxes get here...

    The problem is that I'd really like to try for the realm first fishing achievement of strength.

    So, the question is: Do I need Cata upgrade to train my fishing to be able to fish to 525?

    I'm so annoyed at Amazon... SOOOO annoyed.

  • Trokair, December 2010

    Yes, you have to have the Cataclysm expansion installed and live (12:01 PST tonight) before you can train the next level of fishing past 450.

  • Reply

    to "Cata needed to _train_ 525?".

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