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Fishing Icon World of Warcraft Fishing (Profession)
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Required fishing skill

Each zone has an associated level of fishing that defines the difficulty of catching a fish. The higher your fishing skill is in relation to the level that a zone requires, the easier it will be to catch fish. If your skill is below the zone's requirement, you will catch junk items rather than fish. As of Patch 3.1, there is no longer a minimum skill level required to fish in a zone, and the former 100% catch rate (no get-aways) level is now the 100% fish (no junk) level.

The skill required to guarantee catching fish in a zone is usually about 5 times the average level of monsters in the zone, although some zones vary considerably from this rule of thumb.

Based upon data collected by El's Extreme Angling fishing guide, these are the approximate fishing skill levels required:

Tier Zone Skill for 100% fish (no junk) catch rate
1 Level 1-10 zones: Racial starting zones, outside of cities: Azuremyst Isle, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Elwynn Forest, Eversong Woods, Mulgore, Teldrassil, and Tirisfal Glades 25
2 Level 11-20 zones: The Barrens (including The Wailing Caverns), Ashenvale (Blackfathom Deeps), Bloodmyst Isle, Darkshore, Ghostlands, Loch Modan, Silverpine Forest, and Westfall (including The Deadmines)

Racial Capital Cities: Darnassus, Ironforge, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, Undercity

3 Level 21-30 zones: Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Redridge Mountains, Stonetalon Mountains, and Wetlands 150
4 Level 31-40 zones: Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows, Thousand Needles, and Tirisfal Glades (Scarlet Monastery) 225
5 Level 40-55 zones: Azshara (outer coastline, Lake Mennar), Desolace (Maraudon), Felwood, Feralas, The Hinterlands, Moonglade, Stranglethorn Vale (Jaguero Isle only), Swamp of Sorrows (The Temple of Atal'Hakkar), Tanaris, Un'Goro Crater, and Western Plaguelands 300
6 Outland: Hellfire Peninsula 375
7 Outland: Zangarmarsh east of Serpent Lake, and The Lagoon 400
8 Level 55-60 zones and other difficult-to-fish areas: Azshara (Bay of Storms, Hetaera's Clutch and Scalebeard's Cave only), Burning Steppes, Deadwind Pass, Eastern Plaguelands (including Stratholme), Feralas (Jademir Lake only), Ghostlands (Zul'Aman), Silithus, Stranglethorn Vale (Zul'Gurub), Western Plaguelands (Scholomance), and Winterspring 425
9 Azeroth: Isle of Quel'Danas

Outland: Serpent Lake and West in Zangarmarsh, Ground level in Terokkar Forest

10 Outland: Nagrand east of Halaa including Elemental Plateau, Eco-Dome Midrealm in Netherstorm

Northrend: Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord

11 Outland: Nagrand: Lake Sunspring and Skysong Lake 490
12 Outland: Terokkar Forest: Silmyr Lake, Blackwind Lake, Lake Ere'Noru and Lake Jorune

Northrend: Crystalsong Forest

13 Northrend: Dalaran[1], Sholazar Basin, and Wintergrasp 525
14+ Northrend: The Frozen Sea 575

Silmyr Lake was raised in to the highest fishing tier in patch 2.4. With the addition of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Northrend now has many zones which exceed this tier.

The lowest fishing skill, trained as an apprentice with no experience, is 1. Training is required in order to use a fishing pole to fish, so the lowest skill required is 1.

According to El's Extreme Angling, the chance of catching a fish (rather than junk) in a given zone is: {your skill level} / {zone's 100% catch rate level}^2.

Note that the highest unaided fishing skill that a character can have is 450. Ensuring a catch in the upper tiers (up to 575) requires gear with bonuses to fishing skill. The bonuses to fishing skill from equipped items stack.

Fishing skill above the skill required for 100% catch rate is wasted, so you do not always need to equip a lure. For example, fishing in tier 1, the +25 fishing skill Shiny Bauble lure would be helpful when you are first starting out, but once you've caught around 30 fish, it would be superfluous to use a lure in the starting area.

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