Azshara's Bay of Storms (including Scalebeard's Cave and Hetaera's Clutch) has been used for all tests. I have the greatest control over my effective fishing skill at this location: Personal skill will never rise over the 300 I have at the start, and there is plenty of scope to add/remove different items of fishing gear, and apply different types of lure to create a range of effective fishing skills.
I have verified that the Bay of Storms cannot be fished with an effective skill of 327, but can be fished at 330. Kalra writes: "When I was at 299 (effectively 329) I had to use a lure to prevent the 'your fishing skill is too low' message. After reaching fishing skill 300 (effectively 330) I no longer got the error message." So the base skill requirement is 330.
All tests have been made between 21:00 and 03:00, with a more-or-less even balance either side of midnight. I fished for a series of 20 minute periods, typically fishing at three different skill levels within each hour. I don't think time is relevant to this test, but have attempted to even out any time-related biases just in case. ((All tests were done using patch 1.10. No fast-casting or auto-looting was used. Actual catch rates per hour are therefore slightly lower than you might achieve.))
Each cast was logged as one of:
- Catch - I got a fish (or some other item such as a box).
- Got away - the bobber splashed, but the fish escaped.
- No bite - the bobber faded without splashing.
The average results at each skill level tested are shown in the table below. I have included a lot of extra data at skill 410: This should mainly serve to improve the accuracy of the 410 results, not skew results at other skill levels.
|Skill||Minutes Fished||Total Casts||Casts per Minute||% Casts that Don't Bite||% Casts that Got Away||% Casts that Catch|
This is not statistically very robust: Do not read too much into the precise numbers. However, there are a couple of patterns worth noting:
- The average number of casts per minute is constant at 2.5 (+/-0.1): Skill does not affect the speed of fishing.
- The proportion of casts that don't bite is reasonably steady at around 6% across all skill levels, with no biases towards higher or lower skill levels: Skill does not affect the proportion of casts that don't bite.
Get-Aways by Skill Level
Skill certainly does affect the proportion of that get away. Plot the percentage of bites that get away (ignoring casts that don't bite, which appear to be constant), against the amount of skill above the base requirement, and the pattern is quite clear. The graph below is a "scatter-plot" of all the results from all 25 20-minute periods. Each of the 25 points are shown as a cross.
I have drawn on a straight (what Gnomish statisticians call "linear") trend line through the data points. The general pattern is about right. When fishing at precisely base skill it is possible to catch something, but 90-95% will get away. The theoretical point at which fish stop getting away is about 95 above the base skill. So to fish reliably in the Bay of Storms you need an effective skill of 425 (330+95).
My gut feeling is there is no difference in the type of fish caught at different skill levels. However the type of fish caught is so variable that vastly more data is needed to be certain.
Some time after I first drafted this topic, Kahless quoted an example from Deadwind Pass. He reaches precisely the same "95" conclusion as I did:
"Minimum Skill Required: 330
Miss Rate at 330 is ~95%
Miss Rate at 420 is ~5%
Miss rate at 425 is 0%"
So, we can be fairly sure that the same pattern applies to other areas with 330 base skill requirement.
To test whether it can be applied to lower-skilled areas, I hired a dwarf. I trained him to be an Apprentice, so that his skill would not exceed 75. Once his skill had reached 75, I equipped him with various poles and lures, and sent him down to Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands.
The base skill requirement for the Wetlands is 55 (see the Zone Base Fishing Skill topic). Three test skill levels were used: 75, 105 and 135. Two 20 minute periods were fished at each skill level. Catches, "get aways" and "no bites" were recorded as before. A total of 305 casts were made - approximately 100 at each skill level.
The graph below shows a simple scatter-plot of results for each 20 minute period: The percentage of bites that get away, against the amount of skill above the base requirement.
The pattern is almost identical to that found in Azshara. We can safely assume that the "95" value applies to all areas.
- The Role of Skill (Revised) - Considers the role skill plays in fishing, including how skill changes the proportion of junk items caught.
- Fishing Skill - Introduces the concept of fishing skill, and explains how your skill will increase with successful catches.
- Zone Base Fishing Skill - Detailed analysis that attempts to answer the question, what fishing skill will I need to fish in a certain zone?