WoW Classic Fishing Guide - Make Some Money With This Relaxing Profession!
WoW Classic Fishing Guide
Fishing is one of the secondary professions in World of Warcraft. With enough time and patience, as well as the right selection of bait and fishing spots, you can get a lot value from Fishing in Vanilla. This profession is fairly easy to level and it can start making you some money relatively early on.
The two primary professions that synergize well with Fishing are Cooking and to lesser extent, Alchemy. A lot of fish that you can catch are used as ingredients in numerous recipes used by these two disciplines. That being said, they’re not necessary to earn gold by catching fish, however processing some of your fish might be more profitable than simply selling them through the Auction House.
In this WoW Classic Fishing guide, we’re going to cover the 1-300 leveling process as well as some of the best ways of making money. That includes the fish that will always reach good prices on the market and the best locations to catch them.
If you want to ensure a strong start economy-wise when Classic launches, Fishing might be a great idea. You will be able to start catching valuable fish really fast and it actually doesn’t require a lot of initial investment.
There are four ranks of professions in Classic WoW: Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert and Artisan. You’ll need higher ranks in order to advance your Fishing Skill to a higher level. The maximum base skill level that your character can achieve is 300. It can be further exceeded by gear, bait and consumables, but we’re going to talk about that later.
You can advance your skill simply by fishing, until you reach your rank’s limit. Then, you have to unlock higher rank and you can go back to leveling. The level caps for respective ranks are: Apprentice – 75, Journeyman – 150, Expert – 225 and Artisan – 300.
To start your adventure with this profession, you have to just approach a Fishing Trainer and get the Apprentice rank as well as the first Fishing Pole. The combined cost of these things equals 1 silver and 23 copper coins. Additionally you might want to stock up with fishing lure. Even Shiny Bauble, which is the lowest level one, increases your effective Fishing Skill by 25. It can be really helpful with getting a few of first levels under your belt.
How does fishing work in WoW Classic?
The mechanics of Fishing are really simple. All that you really need is: unlocking the profession at a Fishing Trainer and having a pole (the bait is optional, but recommended). When you equip the rod in a weapon slot, you will get access to a new active skill, simply called Fishing. Place it on your action bar to make long sessions more convenient and fish away!
When your fishing line lands inside the water, you should keep your eyes on the floating bobber. When it starts moving and splashing around, you can simply right-click on it to see what you caught. Every successful attempt will net you some leveling progress (if you still have room to grow inside your rank of course).
Getting the Apprentice rank costs 1 silver piece and to become a Journeyman you have to pay 5 silver coins. To get to the Expert rank you have to buy a handbook called “Expert Fishing – The Bass and You” from Old Man Heming for 1 gold piece. The Artisan rank is unlocked only by completing the quest Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme given by Nat Pagle.
Fishing Leveling Guide 1-300
Let’s start by saying that the process is not really that complicated. There are plenty of good spots for different level Fishers, so even if one of them is overcrowded you can always try another one. Some of the options might vary, depending on the main level of your character. In general you shouldn’t try going for fishing endeavors to locations where mobs can kill you.
Furthermore, the recommended spots for Alliance and Horde are for the most part different to avoid the danger of getting ganked by an opposite faction member. However this won’t be true till the end. On higher skill levels members of both factions will have to compete against each other in the contested zones.
Buy some Shiny Baubles to ensure your success early on (actually, you should keep some in your inventory for the whole leveling process, just in case) and find any body of water in your starting zone (for example Elwynn Forest). Just remember not to use lures when you already have 100% chance in the fishing spot that you’re at. There’s no reason to overkill and being smart with your gold is a crucial skill in Vanilla.
You’re not going to catch anything worthy placing in the Auction House yet, but at least you’ll be able to get through the first levels safely and relatively quickly. If at any point you want to fish in a location that requires higher Fishing Skill than you have, remember that you can always use a higher quality lure. Of course it’s a gold sink and you probably won’t have gold to spend on such luxury in early Classic WoW, but it’s always an option.
Alternatively, if you’re a Horde player and you picked up Fishing after your main level is relatively high (20-25 or higher) you can instantly go to Barrens, enter the Wailing Caverns and fish there. This location is worthwhile, because you can catch Deviate Fish there. It’s necessary for Elixir of Giant Growth (Alchemy) and Savory Deviate Delight (Cooking). If you fish there from the start, you’ll be able to make some gold even during the lowest skill levels. That being said, Deviate Fish require 75 Fishing Skill for 100% catch, so you might want to train a bit in a starting zone regardless.
Alliance – you can either stay in the starting zones, or move to slightly higher level areas like Darkshore, Loch Modan or Westfall. Make sure to complete the Electropellers quest given by Wizbang Cranktoggle in Auberdine inside Darkshore. You can get some nice lures as the reward.
Horde – Wailing Caverns are still really good at this point. You can also go with other spots in Barrens (including the Sludge Fen) or move to Silverpine Forest instead.
Alliance – some of the recommended spots are: Duskwood, Redridge Mountains, Wetlands, Hillsbrad Foothills and Ashenvale. Hillsbrad Foothills and Wetlands can provide you with some valuable catches, like Oily Blackmouth and Firefin Snapper.
Horde – Stonetalon Mountains, Ashenvale and Wetlands are some of the options to consider. We recommend Stonetalon Mountains as the first choice here, because you can catch Firefin Snappers while leveling.
At this point there is no more division between Horde spots and Alliance spots. All players compete for the same locations, trying to catch as much valuable fish as possible on their road to the Skill Level cap.
The best zones for this Skill Level tier are: Alterac Mountains, Arathi Highlands, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Stranglethorn Vale, Swamp of Sorrows and Thousand Needles. While catching fish in these spots, look for: Raw Greater Sagefish, Firefin Snapper, Oily Blackmouth and if possible – Stonescale Eels. All these specimens can be found in Stranglethorn Vale, so this is the place that we recommend the most.
If you’re a Horde character with level 44 or higher, make sure to take and complete the quest called Snapjaws, Mon! It’s given by Katoom the Angler at Revantusk Village in Hinterlands. It requires you to kill 15 Saltwater Snapjaws. The reward for this quest (alongside some experience and money) is a Nat Pagle’s Extreme Angler FC-5000. It’s a unique, bind on pick up fishing pole that grants +25 Fishing Skill. Alliance players have no way of getting this item. It’s also the reason why Horde characters have an easy way of getting 20 Fishing Skill advantage. It allows them to spend a bit less on the expensive lures.
Once again, members of both factions have to compete for the same fishing spots. The fish that you want to catch are pretty much the same as in the previous tier. The difference is, now you have more options of catching Stonescale Eels. The locations that we recommend the most are Tanaris and The Hinterlands, but if they’re too contested you can go Felwood, Feralas, Moonglade, Un’Goro Crater or Western Plaguelands.
Getting Artisan Rank
Previous ranks required you to pay some gold in order to get them. With Artisan, the situation is a bit different. You’re going to have to go to Dustwallow Marsh and find Nat Pagle nearby the Theramore Isle. He will give you the quest called Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme. Completing it requires catching four unique fish. They can only be found when you have this quest active and catching them is impossible while you’re a member of a raid group.
This quest will force you to travel a bit. The first fish – Feralas Ahi can be caught in Feralas. Then, Misty Red Mahi Mahi requires going to Swamp of Sorrows. To catch the third one – Sar’Theris Striker, you’re going to have to go to the coastal area of Desolace. Finally, Savage Coast Blue Sailfin can be found in Stranglethorn Vale. After you catch them all, return to Nat Pagle and accept the reward. Now you can max out your Fishing Skill straight to 300!
How to increase Fishing Skill
Besides the aforementioned leveling, there are a few different options of increasing your effective Fishing Skill. They can come from gear or the consumable baits.
There are six fishing poles in Classic. The standard Fishing Pole costs 23 coppers and doesn’t provide any bonus stats. Blump Family Fishing Pole provides +3 skill and can be obtained as a reward from Family and the Fishing Pole quest in Darkshore. Strong Fishing Pole gives you +5 skill and you can buy it from Fishing or Trade Supply vendors for 9 silver and one copper piece.
Big Iron fishing Pole provides +20 Fishing Skill and can be found in Shellfish Traps in Desolace – it’s also the best option for Alliance players for quite some time. We already talked about the Horde-exclusive Nat Pagle Extreme Angler PC-5000 that gives +25 skill – you can get it for completing the Snapjaws, Mon! quest.
The best rod in Vanilla is called Arcanite Fishing Pole and it provides +35 Fishing Skill. The only way of getting it, is winning the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza in Booty Bay, but from what we know, this event won’t be live in phase 1 of Classic. However, it’s going to be added in later updates.
The only thing that’s not obtained through the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza is the Gloves Fishing Enchantment that provides +2 fishing level. The remaining items – Lucky Fishing Hat and Nat Pagle’s Extreme Anglin’ Boots provide +5 each, but they’re obtained as rewards in certain parts of the aforementioned event. During the extravaganza you can also get a High Test Eternium Fishing Line that allows you to permanently increase the Fishing Skill of a pole by 5.
The way that lures work in Classic WoW is simple. They are consumable items that you apply to your fishing pole, to temporarily increase the Fishing Skill. The best bait can provide even 100 additional fishing level!
Shiny Bauble – the most basic lure, adds +25 Fishing Skill, can be bought at Fishing Supplies for 50 coppers
Nightcrawler – adds 50 skill level, can be bought from Fishing Supplies or looted from various undeads
Aquadynamic Fish Lense – also provides +50 Fishing Skill, obtained as reward for the Electropellers quest in Auberdine, Darkshore
Bright Baubles – adds 75 skill, bought from Fishing Supplies for 2 silver and 50 copper coins
Flesh Eating Worm – another +75 lure, it can drop from Rotted Ones in Duskwood
Aquadynamic Fish Attractor – the only +100 bait in the game. It has shorter duration time (5 minutes, compared to ten that all the others last). It can be bought from Fishing Supplies for 2 silver and 50 copper pieces or crafted by Engineering.
Fishing Pools and Wreckages
There are two basic kinds of fishing in Classic WoW. There’s the open water fishing that’s really calm and limitless – you can cast your fishing rod again and again till the end of time and you will always have a chance of catching something. All the locations have certain sets fish that can appear in the open waters. Coastal areas often offer different fish than the inland bodies of water. You can look at it as the difference between saltwater and freshwater fishing.
The other, more lucrative kind of fishing is making use of pools and wreckages. They work similarly to conventional gathering nodes that are extracted with the Fishing ability. You just have to land your line inside the circle that appeared on the water and you’ll be able to get your catches. Schools of fish are one of the types of pools. They are limited to one species, so when you cast the line, you know exactly what you’re going to catch. Stonescale Eel Swarms are usually the most contested ones of those.
Besides the Stonescale Eel, the other species that you can find in schools of fish are: Deviate Fish, Firefin Snapper, Sagefish, Greater Sagefish and Oily Blackmouth. We’re going to talk about the specific locations later.
Wreckages allow players to collect some other items through Fishing. The most common type of loot from those places is trunks. There are four kinds of them, depending on the level of the zone that you found them in. From the lowest to highest level, they are:
1. Tightly Sealed Trunk
2. Watertight Trunk
3. Iron Bound Trunk
4. Mithril Bound Trunk
Contents of those trunks often include silver or gold, bags, potions, common and uncommon quality equipment, materials (cloth and leather) and occasionally some other items. They can all be obtained as world drops though.
Patch of Elemental Water
Patches of Elemental water are unique type of pools that can be accessed by fishing. They spawn exclusively in Azshara. Fishing in them can net you Elemental Water, Globe of Water and Essence of Water. All three of those are crafting reagents that are used in numerous recipes. Some of their products are expected to be really valuable in Classic WoW. Of course it also makes the prices of these materials go up.
How to make money by fishing in WoW Classic
There are plenty of options to make some money through fishing. Most of them focus on catching a specific type of fish, but there are a few exceptions to that rule. Some of the methods will work extremely well, when paired with another profession.
Fishing for Stonescale Eels is probably the most efficient money-maker in this profession. You’ve got be prepared for some competition though, because most are going to try and do it. Remember that Stonescale Eels require quite high Fishing Skill. Depending on location, it will be either 205 minimal skill and 300 for 100% success ratio or even 330 minimum and 425 for 100% (Bay of Storms).
Open Water Fishing
The catch ratio for Stonescale Eels in the open water changes, depending on the time of day. They are nocturnal fish and you want to catch them after midnight and before the dawn (midnight to 4 or 6 AM server time is the best time window). The best spots for that are: Bay of Storms in Azshara, Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas and Southbreak Shore in Tanaris.
If you can fish in the right server time, you should be able to catch a lot of Stonescale Eels really quickly. You will also find plenty of other fish – some of them will be more valuable, some will be pretty worthless.
Stonescale Eel Swarm Fishing
The other option for catching Stonescale Eels, is using the pools. While it’s slightly less efficient for long fishing sessions, it’s a great option for players that can’t fish during the optimal time window for open waters. The swarms are not influenced by server time, so you should always be able to find them, if you go the right places.
The ones that we recommend are the coastal area of Stranglethorn Vale and Tanaris Desert (especially the Steamwheedle Port). Just remember that if you cherry pick Stonescale Eel pools, there will be less and less of them, since the ones that will respawn will only have 25% chance of being Stonescale Eel Swarms. This is why pool fishing is great for short sessions. You can also consider using a secondary type of fish school. Steamwheedle Port also features the Oily Blackmouth Pools that can be pretty valuable. Fishing wreckages is also considerable in between the eel pools.
What Makes Stonescale Eels Valuable?
Stonescale Eels can be used by Alchemists to make Stonescale Oil. It’s an extremely valuable reagent that’s used in some endgame recipes. Most importantly – Flask of the Titans. It’s a very powerful consumable, often used during raids.
If you are an Alchemist, just collect the eels, acquire the recipes and stock the Stonescale Oil and later the flasks. Their prices will rise, when more people start raiding and when some new raids are introduced in the later phases. That’s why you might not want to sell all of them as soon as possible. If you’re not leveling Alchemy, just sell the eels through the Auction House. Check the current prices on your server and make some money. You shouldn’t have any problems with selling them.
We already touched upon them earlier. You can catch them in the low level Wailing Caverns dungeon that’s located in The Barrens, making it much easier to access by Horde players. The minimum Fishing Skill level is 1 and for 100% success you’ll need only 75. Deviate Fish is much less valuable, but it still can net you some easy money in Classic WoW.
Alchemists can use it to make Elixir of Giant Growth and Chefs can use it to cook Savory Deviate Delight. If you’re not leveling any of those two professions or simply can’t get the recipes, you can simply sell stacks of Deviate Fish on the Auction House.
Raw Nightfin Snapper
This fish is used by Chefs to cook Nightfin Soup – a consumable that increases the mana regeneration for 10 minutes. It’s really useful for spell caster classes that are often going to want to have a stock of this soup for raids.
The biggest chance to catch Nightfin Snapper is during the nighttime, specifically between midnight and 6 AM server time. It can be caught in Eastern and Western Plaguelands, Hinterlands, Felwood, Feralas and some high level dungeons.
This is yet another fish that works well with Alchemy. Players who level this profession and have the right recipes can use Firefin Snappers to make Fire Oil. This reagent can be furthered processed into Fire Protection Potion and Elixir of Greater Firepower. The first one can be useful as soon as phase 1 of Classic, the second will come into play pretty late, when Mages start switching to builds based on the Fire talent tree.
Firefin Snappers can be caught in plenty of coastal locations, some of them having the minimum skill level of 55, some others starting from 130. The zones are: Arathi Highlands, Hillsbrad Foothills, Swamp of Sorrows, Stranglethorn Vale, Wetlands, Ashenvale, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Stonetalon Mountains and Tanaris.
Alchemists really can have a lot to gain from Fishing. Oily Blackmouth is just another example of that. The fish is used to make Blackmouth Oil that can be further processed into a few items, but most importantly - Free Action Potion. This consumable gives the user 30 seconds of immunity to crowd control effects. High demand of these potions is pretty much a given throughout all the phases of WoW Classic.
Oily Blackmouths can be caught in tons of different spots, including some of the zones that can be accessed even with Fishing Skill level 1, like Stormwind City canals, Westfall, The Barrens and Darkshore. Higher level Fishers can find better spots like Steamwheedle Port in the Tanaris Desert and the coastal areas in Feralas.
Raw Greater Sagefish
A great option for players who level Cooking. It’s used to make Sagefish Delight – another consumable that increases the mana regeneration. It’s a worthy alternative for the Nightfin soup. These fish can be found in Alterac Mountains, Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale. Fishing Skill requirements in these zones are relatively low, what makes catching Greater Sagefish a worthwhile option, especially in the middle of the leveling process.
Winter Squid and Summer Bass
It’s another ingredient that can be used by Chefs. They can grill it to make Grilled Squid. Eating it provides temporary +10 Agility boost. It’s incredibly useful for Rogues, Hunters and to some extent Fury Warriors. As the name suggests, this squid can only be caught during winter (precisely from September 23th to March 19th). In the remaining months, it’s replaced with Raw Summer Bass that can be used to cook Hot Smoked Bass which gives +10 Spirit. It’s really useful for caster classes.
These fish can be found in a few high level zones: Stranglethorn Vale, Azshara, Feralas and Tanaris. They don’t form pools and can only be found through open water fishing. The best fishing spot is Bay of Storms in Azshara, but some of the slightly lower level places will do too.
Other ways of making gold with fishing
There are two other methods of making some gold with Fishing that are worthy of a notice. Wreckages that we talked about earlier will often contain some valuable supplies and materials. While specifically looking for them might not be the optimal way to get gold, we definitely recommend collecting from them in between your attempts of catching fish. Especially in early Vanilla, these materials and consumables can be quite valuable.
The other source of income is Big-mouth Clams fishing. These sea creatures can be found in multiple high level coastal areas. They provide Zesty Clam Meat, but more importantly they can also contain pearls. The most valuable one is Golden Pearl, because it’s used in some crafting recipes for caster gear. These clams can often be caught in the same locations as the Stonescale Eels what makes it a win-win situation.
Fishing in Classic WoW
As you can see, Fishing in Vanilla provides multiple possibilities. It’s definitely not a must-have profession for any class (though Hunters get some free pet food from it), but it can help with getting your economy up and running.
In early WoW Classic, every method of making gold is extremely important. Fishing is a great option, because the required initial investment is not that high and you can get some returns really quickly. It’s also a great laid back activity to dive into between some more action packed adventures, like dungeons and raids!
If you're keen on joining the oldschool MMORPG community of Classic WoW, make sure to check out some of the other content posted on our site, including class and profession guides. The primary professions in Vanilla WoW are: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, Herbalism, Leatherworking, Mining, Skinning, Tailoring. The secondary ones, besides Fishing, are Cooking and First Aid. Meanwhile the available classes are: Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Hunter, Warlock, Druid, Shaman, Paladin and Priest.