The Burning Crusade

Fishing changes in the first expansion to the World of Warcraft. The information here should still be correct, however some more recent features have been described on separate patch pages - 2.3 Changes and 2.4 Changes. On this page:

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau


When Blizzard started revealing details of the expansion, they promised some fresh fish:

"We're still evaluating some ideas for fishing that we're not ready to share yet, but I can tell you that there will definitely be new high-level fish for our anglers to catch in the expansion." - Frank Pearce, Executive Producer, July 2006.

And not much more has been known until now...

Master Fishing

Juno Duffrain
Juno Duffrain

The Burning Crusade raises the maximum possible fishing skill to 375. Master rank is now trained from fishing trainers (the book, "Master Fishing - The Art of Angling", was removed by patch 3.1).

Skill increases are still somewhat random. The average number of catches per point of skill gained was:

Increasing skill from 300 to 375 takes about 700 successful catches. There is no need to fish in Outland - skill can be gained in Azeroth too.

Draenei and Red Snappah

Azuremyst Isle and Bloodmyst Isle, the two new Draenei zones, contain the same fish as other level 1-10 and 10-20 zones. Only Raw Slitherskin Mackerel can be caught from the coast of Azuremyst Isle. The coast of Bloodmyst Isle contains Raw Rainbow Fin Albacore, Raw Slitherskin Mackerel and Oily Blackmouth. Named inland areas of Azuremyst Isle (such as Silverline Lake) have Raw Brilliant Smallfish and Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper. There is a quirk in other inland areas - they contain the zone's coastal fish.

School of Red Snapper can be found close to the Draenai starting area, near Ammen Ford. These pools cannot be fished conventionally with a fishing pool. They can only be fished as part of the quest, "Red Snapper - Very Tasty!" from Diktynna, in Azuremyst Isle. The quest involves swimming close to schools and using the Draenei Fishing Net (provided) to catch ten Red Snapper. Some schools spawn an Angry Murloc. The reward for the quest is a basic Fishing Pole and a Shiny Bauble.

Red Snappers featured in the movie Red Snappah! - a parody of the Ahn'Qiraj war effort in which stacks of fished Red Snappers were continually requested. The movie was an entry for the Xfire Machinima competition. Minako Aino tells me the quest is instead (or perhaps also) a reference to 'Weird Al' Yankovic's 1989 film, UHF, which features a game called "Wheel of Fish". The film includes the line, "Ahhh, a red snapper. Mmmmm, very tasty. Okay, Weaver, listen carefully. You can hold on to your red snapper...". Very tasty, indeed.

Blood Elf

The two new Blood Elf zones are similar to the Draenei zones, and so similar to other level 1-10 and 10-20 zones. Raw Slitherskin Mackerel can be caught from the coast of Eversong Woods, Raw Brilliant Smallfish and Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper from named inland areas. The coast of the Ghostlands contains Raw Rainbow Fin Albacore, Raw Slitherskin Mackerel and Oily Blackmouth. From inland areas of the Ghostlands can be caught Raw Brilliant Smallfish, Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish and Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper.

Fish-based Food

Cooked fish from Outland are a lot tastier than pre-expansion food.

Outland Cooked Catches
FishFoodBuffsDuration (min)Level (to eat)Recipe SourceCatching
Barbed Gill TroutBlackened Trout--55Recipe: Blackened Trout [1]Where to catch »
Stewed Trout--65Cooking trainers outside Pandaria.
Enormous Barbed Gill TroutHot Buttered Trout--65Cooking trainers outside Pandaria.Where to catch »
Figluster's MudfishGrilled Mudfish13 Agility, 13 Spirit3055Recipe: Grilled Mudfish [2]Where to catch »
Furious CrawdadSpicy Crawdad13 Spirit, 20 Stamina3055Recipe: Spicy Crawdad [3]Where to catch »
Golden DarterGolden Fish Sticks15 Spell Power, 13 Spirit3055Recipe: Golden Fish Sticks [3]Where to catch »
Huge Spotted FeltailFisherman's Feast13 Spirit, 20 Stamina3065Cooking trainers outside Pandaria.Where to catch »
Icefin BluefishPoached Bluefish15 Spell Power, 13 Spirit3055Recipe: Poached Bluefish [2]Where to catch »
Raw Greater SagefishSagefish Delight7 MP51530Recipe: Sagefish Delight [4]Where to catch »
Spotted FeltailFeltail Delight18 Spirit, 18 Stamina3055Recipe: Feltail Delight [5]Where to catch »
Zangarian SporefishBlackened Sporefish9 MP5, 18 Stamina3055Recipe: Blackened Sporefish [6]Where to catch »

Raw Greater Sagefish is not unique to Outland, and is easier to catch in Old Azeroth.

No-Junk Fishing Skill

The table below shows the fishing skill required to fish without junk, in different areas of Outland.

Zone Fishing Skill - Outland
No-Junk SkillZones and Areas
375Hellfire Peninsula, Nagrand (Outland) (Forge Camp Hate) and Shadowmoon Valley (Outland)
400Coilfang Reservoir and Zangarmarsh (East)
450Terokkar Forest (Rivers) and Zangarmarsh (West)
475Nagrand (Outland) (General) and Netherstorm
490Nagrand (Outland) (Lakes)
500Terokkar Forest (Lakes)

Some of the named areas around the edges of Serpent Lake in Zangarmarsh have a no-junk skill of 400, so it is possible to fish certain pools within the lake at this lower skill level. Blackwind Lake, Lake Ere'Noru, Lake Jorune and the Elemental Plateau can only be reached with a flying mount. Blackwind Valley and Skettis, also in the same area as Blackwind Lake, has a no-junk skill of 450, like the rest of Terokkar Forest.

Shadowmoon Valley (Outland) and other areas in which Felblood Snapper are caught have a lower skill requirement - 375 to fish without junk.

Many areas of water cannot be fished. Some are too shallow. Others warn that no fish are there when you try and fish. No dungeon instances are known to contain fishable water.

Fishing Equipment

One new fishing pole has been added - Seth's Graphite Fishing Pole. The pole gives a +20 bonus to fishing, but requires 200 fishing skill. It also has a huge (+52) stamina bonus, which should help fishing folk survive a few seconds longer. The pole has the same bonus as the Big Iron Fishing Pole, but is easier to gain at high level. Seth's pole is a quest reward for Rather Be Fishin' from Seth in refuge area of Shattrath City. The Pristine Shimmerscale Eels required for the quest can't be caught - they are dropped by the Shimmerscale Eels in Silmyr Lake.

Outland Open-Water Fishing

The following table lists fish caught in open water. Outland has no sea - only inland water.

Outland Fish
FishWhere to Catch
Barbed Gill TroutTerokkar Forest, Nagrand (Outland), Netherstorm, Zangarmarsh.
Felblood SnapperHellfire Peninsula, Nagrand (Outland) (Forge Camp: Hate), Shadowmoon Valley (Outland).
Figluster's MudfishNagrand (Outland), Netherstorm.
Golden DarterTerokkar Forest.
Icefin BluefishNagrand (Outland), Netherstorm.
Spotted FeltailTerokkar Forest, Zangarmarsh.
Zangarian SporefishZangarmarsh.

Furious Crawdad cannot be caught in open water, only Highland Mixed School - see the Catching Mr. Pinchy topic.

In addition to fish, other items are rarely caught from open-water fishing:

Open Water Catch Rates

I have sampled catches across five locations, (one for each zone/skill combination). Each location was fished for at least two hours:

I found no significant variation between places within the same zone. I also fished across a range of time periods, but found no significant variation by time. I cannot be certain that these variations do not exist, but if they do exist they are minor (a few percent difference) or use entirely unexpected patterns.

The average catch rate per minute was 2.1, which is lower than the 2.5 previously recorded in Azeroth. I subsequently compared the average catch rate over an hour of continuous fishing in Stormwind and Zangarmarsh, and both were the same at 2.4 catches per minute (fishing has since been made faster by patches 2.1 and 3.1).

The table below shows the percentage of all catches in each zone for each fish type.

Outland Open Water Catch Rates
ZoneCatchesBarbed Gill TroutGolden DarterFigluster's MudfishIcefin BluefishSpotted FeltailZangarian SporefishOther
Nagrand (Outland)51956%-21%22%--1%
Terokkar Forest38164%22%--15%-0%

Barbed Gill Trout offer no buff when cooked, so are of little use. However, they are the majority of all fish caught. So how can you catch the fish you want more than about 20% of the time? The answer is, of course, pools.

Outland Pool Fishing

Pools of fish called schools are common in Outland. They behave in the same way as pools in Azeroth - after catching 2-8 fish, each pool disappears. Pools then reappear over time.

Known named fish pools are:

Outland Schools
Pool (School)Common CatchZones and Areas
Bluefish SchoolIcefin BluefishInland: Nagrand (Outland) (except Forge Camp Hate)
Brackish Mixed SchoolInland: Terokkar Forest (Rivers), Zangarmarsh
Highland Mixed SchoolFurious CrawdadInland: Terokkar Forest (Lakes) (lakes Blackwind, Ere'Noru and Jorune)
Mudfish SchoolFigluster's MudfishInland: Nagrand (Outland) (except Forge Camp Hate)
Pure WaterMote of WaterInland: Nagrand (Outland) (except Forge Camp Hate)
School of DarterGolden DarterInland: Terokkar Forest (Rivers)
Sporefish SchoolZangarian SporefishInland: Zangarmarsh
Steam Pump FlotsamInland: Zangarmarsh
Pool of Pure Water Catch
Pool of Pure Water Catch - Showing a Mote of Water catch.

These pools appear in zones where the named fish can also be caught by open-water fishing, except for Furious Crawdad, which can only be caught from Highland Mixed Schools. All pools also sometimes contain the same other (non-fish) items caught from open-water fishing, such as Curious Crate and Goldenscale Vendorfish.

In lower parts of Nagrand, Pure Water pools are mixed with Bluefish and Mudfish Schools. However, the Elemental Plateau (above the Throne of the Elements) in Nagrand (Outland) contains a separate set of six pool spawning points where only Pure Water pools appear. This area requires a flying mount or (Druid) flying ability to reach. See the Fishing Pure Water topic for more information about fishing these pools.

For a full explanation of how to fish Highland Mixed Schools in Terokkar Forest, including Mr. Pinchy and its Magical Crawdad pet, see the Catching Mr. Pinchy topic.

Feltail School (Spotted Feltail) were originally found in Terokkar Forest and Zangarmarsh. Patch 2.4 replaced these with Brackish Mixed School (Spotted Feltail and Golden Darter).

Pool Catch Rates

I have fished 30-35 of each pool type, in each zone the pool type is found. All during beta version 2.0.2. This isn't enough to give precise catch rates, but should give a reasonable indication of patterns. The table below summarises the average quantity of fish gained from fishing one pool empty, for each type of pool.

Outland Pool Catch Rates
Pool TypePools SampledCatches per PoolAverage quantity gained from fishing one pool
AverageRangeMain FishSecondary FishMote of WaterOther Items
Bluefish School396.04-8Icefin Bluefish4.7--0.70.9
Highland Mixed School3473.12-4Furious Crawdad2.0Golden Darter0.60.20.4
Mudfish School322.92-4Figluster's Mudfish2.4--0.20.4
Pure Water1243.12-4----4.20.3
School of Darter343.12-4Golden Darter2.2--0.50.6
Sporefish School356.54-8Zangarian Sporefish5.1--0.51.0
Steam Pump Flotsam353.12-4Heavy Supply Crate0.9Steam Pump Debris1.30.50.6

The total number of Mote of Water caught is shown. Since more than one mote can be caught by one catch, the quantity of motes gained by fishing Pure Water pools is greater than the number of catches. Note that the range and average catches per pool for Highland Mixed Schools and School of Darter was subsequently raised, probably to a range of 3-5 and an average of 4 (I have not had the opportunity to check this robustly).

For analysis of Brackish Mixed Schools, see patch 2.4 changes.

It is important to recognise that the size of pools varies by type. Most contain 2-4 catches, while Bluefish and Sporefish Schools contain 4-8. The average number of catches is approximately the mid-point of the range.

All this makes comparing the average catch per pool for motes and other items misleading: The best yield tends to come from the biggest pool. Instead, express the catches of motes and other items as a percentage of the total catch. These are much more consistent. Excluding pools of Pure Water, 5% of catches are Mote of Water - with an equal chance of catching either one or two motes. Over all pool types, around 13% of catches will be "other items", which breaks down as:

Patch 2.3 added the chance of finding a Weather-Beaten Journal in Outland's Curious and Heavy Supply Crates. The journal teaches the "Find Fish" ability. The patch also added a rare catch from Steam Pump Flotsam - Strange Engine Part. Each part starts a quest (level 55+ required). For Alliance, simply deliver the Strange Engine Part to K. Lee Smallfry in Telredor.

Pool Fishing Efficiency

At least two-thirds of the catch from named-fish pools are that single named fish. In contrast, around a fifth of fish caught in relevant open water will be that named fish. So pools are clearly better. Right? Maybe, at least with patch 2.4: The patch introduced Brackish Mixed Schools, which finally made Golden Darter easier to catch from pools.

Some pools are clearly better than open-water fishing. Bluefish Schools contain just under five Icefin Bluefish each, so you only need fish 6 pools an hour to make pool-fishing attractive. There are far more pool spawning points in Nagrand, so sustaining pool fishing hour after hour should be reasonable. Spawning points in Nagrand are shared by three different pool types. Assuming each is equally likely to appear (which seems reasonable), 7 or 8 Bluefish Schools should be fishable each hour, even if all pools have to be fished to sustain it. In addition, one of the other three pools is Pure Water, so vastly more motes will be gained than from the equivalent open-water fishing.

Pure Water pools compare favourably to grinding monsters for Motes of Water: Mob drop rates are around 30%, so you'd need to kill about 14 Lake/Muck Spirit/Surgers to gain the same as fishing one pool of Pure Water. The set of six Pure Water spawning points on the Elemental Plateau take just over an hour to respawn once fished, so fishing them cannot be sustained. But if you are lucky, and fish the area when nobody else has fished it recently, you can gain around 25 motes in about 10 minutes of fishing. Primal Water (made from 10 motes) is an essential building block of many professions, and will always be in demand.

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