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Fishing Icon World of Warcraft Fishing (Profession)
Equipment · Skill Required · Items · Fish · Locations · Schools · Quests · Trainers · Vendors


Fishing is a secondary profession which allows players to fish various objects, primarily fish, from surfaces of water or, in rare cases, lava.

Most fish are edible directly or can be cooked to improve their regenerative qualities. Raising Fishing and Cooking skills together provides excellent synergy. Fish also have value on the Auction House. Though at lower levels, the money made might be a pittance, those who work at their skills will catch rare and fascinating breeds of fish.

A handful of types are also used as reagents in Alchemy; there is often a steady demand for fish of this kind. Occasionally, the fishing skill may also yield lower-level equipment, fish-related offhand items, locked chests, gems and herbs. Sadly, this profession is often neglected, as work at it does not reflect in a character's stats in battle.

Occasionally, you might run into fishing that does not use the Fishing profession. For instance, the quest A [6] Red Snapper - Very Tasty! has you fish with a net. These exceptions will be limited in scope; that net only catches quest fish and only from those quest pools.

How to fish

Wait patiently for up to 17 seconds before clicking the bobber to find out whether the fish got away.

Fishing requires the Fishing skill, taught by fishing trainers. Prior to Patch 5.0.4, a fishing pole (sold by a general trade goods or fishing supplies vendors) was required,[1] but now only needed if you want any Fishing bonus it confers.[2] Fishing trainers and fishing supply vendors are often in the vicinity of fishable waters. Consider using a fishing lure, available from the same vendor that sold you the pole. A few quests are available that have improved fishing poles as a reward, such as [Seth's Graphite Fishing Pole]​​, which is a reward from Rather Be Fishin'.

After procuring both the fishing skill and the optional fishing pole, find a body of water; a pond, a lake, a river, a section of coast, a dock or pier, a moat, or something similar. To be fishable, a body of water has to be sufficiently deep - if it is not, you will get a warning that the water is not sufficiently deep and will be unable to fish at that location. Most bodies of water in Azeroth are deep enough, but some minor pools are not. The small ponds in the Valley of Trials in Durotar do not support fishing, for example. If a fishing trainer is standing nearby, you can be sure the water is deep enough. If you are in a river and get the message, try moving up or down stream. If in a lake, try moving a bit into the lake.

Also, you can now stand, sit, or even lie down while fishing. The [Fishing Chair] is unnecessary, but a nice touch. You can be on land or in the water and fish, but you can not be swimming.

Optionally equip a fishing pole, and, while facing the water, use Fishing Skill (found in the general tab of your spellbook) to cast the fishing line. Your character will cast the fishing line in the direction he is facing, with minor random deviations in length and angle of the cast. If you miss the body of water ("Your cast did not land in fishable water"), you may wish to adjust the direction your character is facing and/or simply cast Fishing again.

The bobber splash effect may be hard to notice. Rely on your ears instead.


Fishing is like channeling a spell, counting down from 17 seconds to 0 seconds. A fishing bobber will appear somewhere in the water in front of you, and you'll notice that your character will start channeling the Fishing spell. Move your cursor over the bobber and it will turn into a special fishing cursorPointer fishinghook 32x32.png Special fishing cursor/pointer.[3]. Wait for your bobber to splash, then click it (within 3–4 seconds) to draw the fishing line in. Depending on the area you're fishing and your fishing skill, you may either catch something useful, or you will catch a junk item like Driftwood. You can then repeat the whole process by using the Fishing skill again.

The items you can fish up depend on the region you are in; the different sub-zones within any given region will usually yield the same fish. There are a few exception to this: for example bodies of fresh water (lakes or streams) will yield different fish from sea water. Schools of fish also have their own distinct contents. Some locations have distinctive items that you might occasionally fish up. In addition, if your skill level is too low for an area you will receive junk items rather than fish (see Fishing level requirements below). These junk items are the same for different regions; you will catch the same junk in Feralas that you caught behind the Inn in Goldshire when your skill is too low.

Technical Information

It helps to have a bar add-on that has a casting bar that shows the actual seconds as a number, such as Bongos2. It also helps to move the casting bar to the center of the screen right above the water line so it is easy to see with the bobber. You should move your character so that they are mostly submerged in the water (but not swimming) and angled so that no casts will go onto land or shallow water. If you are having trouble seeing the bobber bob when a fish is on your line, you may want to zoom in so you are looking 1st person. If you are fishing alone, you can hear your bobber splash; in a group, all of the bobbers sound the same.

Because you must right-click on the fishing bobber, care must be taken if you have the option "click-to-move" enabled. If you miss the bobber by just a little bit, your character will start running towards the water (not to mention you will lose the fish). This can be especially troublesome if you are fishing off a dock because you will fall in and have to spend time swimming back to shore. It is recommended that "click-to-move" be disabled while fishing.

Fishing pools

Fishing pools are location objects found in bodies of water in WoW. A higher portion of more desirable items can be fished within a fishing pool. Fishing pool is a general term; a School of Fish is a fishing pool that contains (primarily) fish, floating debris contains primarily chests and container objects, and so on. Fishing pools can be found in Azeroth, Outland and Northrend so presumably will also be found in new areas in future releases.

Fishing pools, as gathering nodes, appear at set locations along coastlines and rivers. Similar to the schools of fish particular to the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, characters can catch specific fish and valuable items when their cast lands in the pool. Pools despawn after several item are caught, only to spawn again over time, much like mineral nodes.

Inv misc book 09.png [Weather-Beaten Journal] is a book that can be found in crates that are fished from fishing pools. It teaches Find Fish, which shows fishing pool locations on the mini-map (all types, not just schools of fish). Though BoP, the book can be sold while still in the crate. If you open such a crate with less than 100 fishing skill or after having learned fish finding already, you won't see the book, but the crate won't destroy itself - you can store it for later, or mail it to someone else.

Time of day / seasons

Some fish may only be caught during specific times of day or season. Nocturnal fish can be caught from 6 PM to 12 AM (18:00 - 0:00), diurnal fish from 6 AM to 12 PM (6:00 - 12:00).

Nocturnal (Night) Diurnal (Day)
[Raw Nightfin Snapper]
[Raw Sunscale Salmon]

Other fish such as [Stonescale Eel], [Plated Armorfish] have been rumored to only appear during certain times of the day - however all of these can be caught 24 hours a day.

It is known that Winter Squid and Summer Bass appear during their respective seasons. During Autumn and Spring, they can both apparently be caught, although the frequency of each might scale throughout the season.

Edit: Time of day / seasons}
Given examples ( Nightfin vs. Sunscale) can be caught as follows: }
12.00 till 18.00 99,x% Sunscale
18.00 till 24.00 50% both (*1
24.00 till 06.00 99,x% Nightfin
06.00 till 12.00 50% both (*2
(*1 in earlier hours this will lean more toward Sunscale and later hours more toward Nightfin)
(*2 the opposite of (*1 of course

Fishing level requirements

The mechanics of fishing skill level were changed significantly in Patch 3.1. Prior to 3.1, each zone had a minimum skill requirement to be able to cast in that zone, and a cap where you achieved a 100% catch rate in that zone. In between there was a chance your fish could "get away"; you would catch nothing and receive no skill-up for that cast.

As of 3.1, there is no longer a minimum skill requirement to fish in any zone, and all casts will catch something and award a chance for a skill-up. However, if your skill level is too low for a zone, you will catch mostly vendor trash items. The skill level required to guarantee "no junk" catches is equivalent to the old "no get away" level.

The easiest areas (any designed for characters level 20 and below) have very low skill level caps, allowing you higher success initially. You will need to have one point of fishing skill (apprentice level fishing training) to fish these.

However, if you have a brand new character with no financial resources on the server, the vendor trash items are not a bad catch, and you may want to maximize these catches. To do this, fish in a harder fishing area, such as in one of the cities. If you are on a trial account, this is probably your best bet.

For information on fishing locations and fishing skill requirements, see Fishing skill requirements by zone.

Proficiencies and training

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date. Reason: Trainer info changed with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm?

Fishing training follows the gathering profession training model. There are no individual skills to learn, only the proficiency levels. As of Patch 3.1, all skill levels of fishing are taught by fishing trainers; the Expert and Master books and the Artisan quest are no longer necessary. Levels up to Artisan (max 300) can be learned from any fishing trainer. Master fishing (max 375) is taught by trainers in Outland and Northrend. Grand Master fishing (max 450) is taught by trainers in Northrend.

The former quest to attain Artisan fishing, N [45] Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme, has been reworked and offers [Nat's Lucky Fishing Pole]​​ as a reward. Players that completed the quest prior to 3.1 can return to Nat Pagle to receive this item.

Proficiency Level Skill
Apprentice 5 1 - 75
Journeyman 5 50 - 150
Expert 10 125 - 225
Artisan 25 200 - 300
Master 40 275 - 375 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Grand Master 55 350 - 450 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Illustrious 75 425 - 525 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Zen Master 80 500 - 600 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Draenor Master 90 600 - 700 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

eGrand Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King.

Illustrious Grand Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm.

Zen Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria.

Draenor Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor.

Legion Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Legion Legion.

Increasing fishing skill

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date.

You will loathe staring at this eventually.

Unlike most professions, increasing your fishing skill is completely unrelated to the difficulty of the task. Every time you catch something (even junk) you gain fishing experience towards your next skill level. It works similarly to xp and leveling. The first 75 or so fish caught will be enough fishing experience to gain a skill up every time. The next 75 or so fish caught will give enough fishing experience to gain half of a skill point, etc. It's very standard and you can count the fish between skill ups with extreme accuracy. Knowing this can help alleviate some of the grind. A partial exception is that at some levels you will need a fraction of a fish to level; you might gain the skill point on the 11th fish in one instance, and on the 10th the next (while in reality you needed about 10.5 caught fish to increase). It appears that there might be a random factor of whether a particular fish increments the skill counter, leading to slightly different numbers of fish required from character to character (see El's mentioned in next paragraph).

Note that if you catch multiple items on one cast (which is most likely while on a fishing quest), it counts as only one successful "catch". However, each individual fish counts towards the numbered fish achievements (i.e., it's possible to get the achievement Money achievement.png 50 fish before you reach 50 skill level if you catch more than one fish at a time).

The best resource outside of Blizzard for detailed information on how this works is El's Extreme Anglin'. El's has results of empirical trials by an active community of experienced WoW fishermen and women, and is updated expediently as new patches change the fishing environment.

Skill ups are based on the number of fish (or junk items) caught and nothing else! Because of this it is possible to grind every fishing skill point without ever leaving the village level fishing pond or coastal waters or a racial city such as Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, Ironforge, or Stormwind. However, many people level fishing in more difficult areas, as this allows them to catch better fish to level Cooking with or to sell for higher amounts.

Per El's Extreme Anglin' Guide webpage, the closest mathematical formula for determining the number of fish you need to catch to gain skill beyond 75 is:

( {Current Skill Level} - 75 ) / 25 = Approximate number of fish you need to catch to gain one fishing skill point.

For example, if your skill level is 250, it would take you approximately 7 casts to gain 1 skill point.

Approximate skill up table

Questionmark-medium.png This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate.
Level Skill Point Span Fish Needed Per Skill Point Total Fish to skill up Approx. Time Needed (assuming 3 fish per minute)
1-75: 74 1 74 25 minutes
76-145: 70 2 140 47 minutes
146-190: 45 3 135 45 minutes
191-225: 35 4 140 47 minutes
226-265: 40 5 200 67 minutes
266-300: 35 6 210 70 minutes
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 301-340: 40 8.5 240 140 minutes
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King 341-400: 60 9.5 570 190 minutes
401-450: 50 12.5 625 208 minutes
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 450-495: 45 13 585 120 minutes
495-525: 30 14 300 100 minutes
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria ?-?: ? ? ? ? minutes
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor ?-?: ? ? ? ? minutes
Totals: 399 82.5 3219 1073/1059 minutes

Partial fish new in Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Starting with the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor expansion, nearly all Draenor fish can be gathered with Fishing skill of 1, but the full fish will only drop if the character has the appropriate minimum skill to catch the fish. If the skill is below the minimum, a partial fish will drop that requires 20 to create the full fish. Partial fish will have the prefixes like "Small" preceding the names of the full fish to distinguish them as partial fish.

Herbalism [Herbalism] and Mining [Mining] also have a similar mechanism when trying to gather ore with a minimum required skill above current skill points, but applies more broadly to most herbs or ores.

Items that increase fishing skill

Some items that increase fishing skill are:

Fishing poles

Fishing poles replace the basic [Fishing Pole] and provide a fishing skill bonus when wielded.

Fishing line

Fishing lines are a consumable that create a permanent enchantment on a fishing pole. These can only be applied to a fishing pole in your own inventory. You can not put a line on someone else's soulbound fishing pole.

Fishing lures

Fishing lures are a consumables that create a temporary (10 minute) enchantment. Prior to Patch 5.0.4, it was applied to a fishing pole.

Enchantments for apparel items

Enchantments for apparel items create a permanent fishing skill bonus on an item, which is then worn to apply the fishing skill bonus.


Consumable items provide a temporary fishing skill bonus when consumed by the character.

The Underlight Angler

The Underlight Angler is an artifact fishing rod introduced in Legion. It is acquired through completion of the Bigger Fish to Fry achievement and requires the player to have a fishing skill of 800 and requires the player to be level 110. The Underlight Angler is the only fishing pole that has an artifact power system similar to that of the artifact weapons with power being gained from fishing up rare fish and throwing them back into the water rather than from items. The main benefits of the Underlight Angler is the Undercurrent ability which allows you to teleport to a nearby fish pool, Underlight Blessing which allows the user to transform into a fish underwater, drastically increasing movement speed, Way of the Flounder which reduces enemy detection, and Surface Tension which allows for water walking.

Maximum effective fishing skill

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date. Reason: Needs update for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria and later.

The maximum fishing skill is 755, acquired with: 525 Skill + 100 (Lure) + 40 (Arcanite Fishing Pole) + 5 (Eternium Line) + 15 (Boots) + 5 (Hat) + 10 (Captain Rumsey's Lager) + 5 (Glove Enchant) + 50 (Hungry Tuskarr)

It should be noted, however, that the maximum useful fishing skill is 575, since that is what is required to never fish up junk. This means you must come up with 125 fishing skill from items to never miss. That's simple. Just grab [Nat's Lucky Fishing Pole]​​ and pop a [Sharpened Fish Hook] on it. You're in business.

Effective fishing skill for cooking

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date. Reason: Needs update for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclsym and later.

If you are fishing for cooking, you only need fish that only require 525 skill to never miss in zones besides World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm zones and those in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Pandaria which require 600 or more. So you only need 450 (Skill) + 75 (Lure) + a fishing pole (+5) without bonus and you are more that fine with 530 skill total. See also Fishing skill requirements by zone or Fishing Locations and Levels.

Fish used with cooking, 525 Skill for 100% catch:

Items you can fish up

If you appear to have caught this fish, run for your life.

The following general classes of items can be obtained through Fishing:


Daily fishing quests

  • At level 70, you can obtain daily fishing quests. Those quests do not have any explicit fishing skill requirement, but the areas which must be fished for the quests do (note with patch 3.1 these requirements have changed). In practice most of them require a high fishing skill (approx 250 minimum, 300+ recommended) and additional fishing skill buffs from fishing equipment, especially fishing lures. These quests often reward the character with fishing equipment, most often (approx. 75% chance) with a small stack (4 to 6) of [Sharpened Fish Hook]s, a +100 fishing skill fishing lure, so the fishing skill buffs become somewhat self sustaining. The recipe for [Captain Rumsey's Lager]​​, a consumable which provides a +10 fishing skill buff, has a just under 10% chance to be awarded. These buffs will help you level your fishing, but become vital when you want to fish the most difficult areas.
  • One daily fishing quest, N [70] Crocolisks in the City requires only fishing skill 1 (but the cities are tier 2 fishing zones so a [Shiny Bauble] fishing lure will be helpful if you are just starting out fishing).
  • Fishing quests can not be completed while in a raid group. Instead you will receive 'empty' loot (you can still gain fishing skill points though).
  • The quest fish is believed never to drop in a pool of fish. As a result, you must fish outside a pool of fish (anywhere in the water, just not in a pool) in order to complete the quest. This does not encourage good fishing practices.
  • Although not numerically verified, it is believed that a higher fishing skill will result in a (much) better catch rate. Basically, in Outland you will always want to use a fishing lure; the only place this isn't necessary would be in Stormwind or Orgrimmar because your fishing skill will probably already be capped.


  • As of patch 2.2, each cast of fishing will result in a bobber splash; the splash can occur when there are approximately 17, 13, 7, or 3 seconds left of the Fishing channeled spell.
  • Turn up the sound — if you are in a quiet area, it is often easier to listen for the fishing bobber effect than to stare at it as you wait for it to splash.
  • You can right click the fishing bobber to auto-loot anything caught. Turning on auto-loot will allow you to not have to worry about pressing Shift on each right click.
  • If you have auto-loot turned on and your inventory is full when you click, the loot window will stay open, allowing you to make room and manually click.
  • Cooking certain fish results in some unique food buffs.
  • Having a macro to equip your weapons or using the Gear manager can be handy if you get attacked while fishing.
  • Fishing-related addons, such as "Fishing Buddy" and "Autobar", can be of help.
  • Zooming all the way to first person perspective keeps the bobber from ever leaving your field of view, giving you some control over where a cast will go.
  • When aggroed by a mob, it is possible to finish your current fishing cast. Damage taken and even stun effects won't break the cast. Most mobs will hit you with little enough damage that you can easily get another fish first.
  • Good food buffs sell well on the auction house. Don't be scared to ask a fair price (1-3g) for them and put them in convenient (5/10/20) stacks. Raiders (without time to grind) will love you for the trouble. Requires cooking.
  • When fishing from a school for the specific type of fish contained in that school, here are a few tips: A) If you have a good fishing level relative to the area being fished, you can catch fish of that type from that school on about 90% of the casts when the bobber lands in or at the edge of the school, and the other 10% will be loot crates (where available) not fish of other types. B) Therefore, always cast into the circle of the the school or at it's edge. C) You can re-cast your line at any time by using the fish command again, so just continually re-cast whenever your bobber lands outside and away from the circle. D) Find an area where there are many pools of the type of fish you seek, and run up and down the coastline fishing only from the pools. E) Mobs along the beach can sometimes be avoided more easily by swimming than by running, so it may help to bring water breathing and swim speed potions. F) This technique is easiest to implement with a hunter.

Best class for fishing

Characters of any class and any level can successfully fish, but there may be some minor differences between classes, for those considering this choice. There are three factors to consideration, though whatever weight they have is pretty personal and/or dependent on location:

  1. Ease to reach fishing spots, avoiding mobs.
  2. Options when encountering a mob (or the mob encounters you).
  3. Options when encountering an enemy player.

Number 3 deserves particular attention, as you will not have your weapon(s) or shield equipped while fishing, since you need both hands to hold a fishing rod. This issue impacts melee based classes most, but casters are affected as well as they miss important stats (spell damage etc) or protection (shield). While a simple macro or having your weapon/fishing rod placed in action bar fixes this, it is still an extra action to do, and impossible to do while cc'd (sheeped, stunned etc).

Probably no-one will choose their class based on fishing capabilities. Still, some classes offer some unique fishing-friendly abilities, so here we go:

  • Shamans: Advantages: Water Walking makes it easy to reach fishing spots circumventing mobs, to walk from one spot to another, and to mount a flying mount from within the water. Ghost Wolf allows for fast traversing short distances. Disadvantages: Relatively large penalty for not having weapon/shield equipped.
  • Death knights: Path of Frost gives the same benefit as Water Walking for shamans. Chains of Ice can slow the enemy down, allowing escape. (Improved)Unholy Presence can aid in travel times.
  • Hunters: Advantages: Have pet to aggro nearby mobs. Can Track Humanoids to tell if enemies are approaching. They do not rely on melee weapon for their dps or (most) cc, just lack some stats. Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack allows fast moving from spot to spot.
  • Druids: Similar to casters, they need the stats from weapons that aren't equipped (this affects level 70 druids particularly, as a large amount of attack power comes from their weapon). Also druids have a high amount of mobility; the Feral Swiftness talent, Travel Form, and Aquatic Form (Glyph of Aquatic Form allows a total of 135% speed) make it easy for moving from spot to spot. Can also stealth when a player comes near, or can cast Nature's Grasp, rooting any attackers in place and allowing for a quick getaway.
  • Mages / other casters: Do not primary rely on weapon when aggroed, just miss some stats.
  • Priests: Can hover above ('walk on') water.
  • Rogues: Able to stealth past any enemies that may be surrounding the fishing area. Also, inscribing the Glyph of Blurred Speed enables a rogue to sprint on water for the duration of the ability.
  • Race of character has a minor impact on fishing: Taller races are able to wade into deeper water when going after fishing pools than shorter races.
  • Haste does not affect fishing cast time, and the Troll racial trait Berserking also has no effect.


  1. ^ Olivia Grace 2012-09-07. Fishing no longer requires poles. WoW Insider.
  2. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Rygarius 2012-09-08. #48 - RIP. Official Community > General Discussion forum (US).
  3. ^ Added in Patch 4.0.3

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (28-August-2012): Fishing no longer requires a fishing pole.
    * World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (8-Feb-2011): The following special fishing cursor/pointer will appear when pointer moves over fishing bobber:
    Pointer fishinghook 32x32.png
    * World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): The following special fishing cursor/pointer will appear when pointer moves over fishing bobber:
    Pointer fishing 32x32.png
    * World of Warcraft Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): You will now catch ocean fish when fishing from Rut'theran village.
    * World of Warcraft Patch 1.2.0 (18-Dec-2004):
    • Fishing for high-level zones has been restored.
    • Monetary value of fished items sold to vendors has been significantly reduced.
    • Chances of acquiring green weapons and armor from fishing have been reduced.
    • Fishing profession now requires a minimum character level, like the other professions do. Any character who already has a fishing profession past the intended level will not be affected.

See also

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria β News