Catching Furious Crawdad and Mr. Pinchy - El's Extreme Anglin' - WoW Fishing Guide
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This topic explains how to catch Furious Crawdad, and Mr. Pinchy, who may grant you a rare Magical Crawdad pet. ((This is based on The Burning Crusade beta, but I have not seen any changes in the retail version.)) On this page:

"I heard a story about a golden fish, and if you caught it you would get three wishes!" - Billy to Adam, the fishing children in Stormwind

Introduction and Requirements

Furious Crawdad can be cooked to make Spicy Crawdad. This gives a +30 Stamina and +20 Spirit buff (for 30 minutes), arguably making it the best buff food available for many classes. It is already regarded as an essential buff for "tanks" during raids. I believe these fish will be quite popular, but are not easy to catch.

Before attempting to fish Furious Crawdad, you will need the following:

  • A flying mount or (Druid) flight ability. For non-Druids, this means you must have attained level 70. There is no need for an epic flying mount, but this will help when fishing in competition with others.
  • Fishing skill, poles, gear, and lures to reach at least an effective skill of 405 ((with patch 2.3)), although 500 would be needed to stop fish getting away. I recommend at least 475.
  • Patience (but with over 300 fishing skill, you probably have this already).
Fishing for Furious Crawdad and Mr. Pinchy does not absolutely require flying. You can be summoned to each lake. Gummo (Noor) has also made a video showing how reach Lake Ere'Noru using only an engineers' Parachute Cloak and Rocket Boots Xtreme. To fish pools sustainably, you will need to be continually re-summoned to different lakes, or ensure other anglers fish all the pools in the lakes you cannot reach. Mr. Pinchy is theoretically possible to catch as low as level 35, but requires level 55 to use. Catching Mr. Pinchy below level 70 is not recommended and not covered by this guide. See comments in this discussion »

Highland Mixed Schools

Map of lakes containing Highland Mixed Schools.

Furious Crawdad are caught from pools called "Highland Mixed School". These pools are found in three elevated lakes in Terokkar Forest, Outland:

  1. Blackwind Lake (near Skettis) - 10 confirmed pool spawning locations (2 on the western side of the island in the lake, 8 around the edge of the lake).
  2. Lake Ere'Noru (above Allerian Stronghold) - 4 confirmed pool spawning locations.
  3. Lake Jorune (above Stonebreaker Hold) - 3 confirmed pool spawning locations.

The locations of the pools are shown by yellow pins on the map, right. It is possible that other pool locations exist. Due to the way they spawn, most of the time lakes with a small number of pools will appear to have no pools.

All three lakes require a flying mount to reach. All three have a base fishing skill requirement of 405 to cast a line, and fish will "get away" if your skill is less than 500 (see The Role of Skill topic). ((Patch 2.3 reduced these skills by 25 from 430/525.)) The surrounding areas have a base fishing skill below 375, probably 355.

The open water in these areas contains the same fish as other parts of Terokkar Forest - Barbed Gill Trout, Golden Darter and Spotted Feltail. The only reason to fish in the area is to fish the Highland Mixed Schools.

For a basic introduction to pool fishing, read the Pools and Wreckage chapter - I won't explain basic pool fishing techniques here.

Pool Catches

Highland Mixed Schools contain Furious Crawdad, Golden Darter, and a range of other less common items:

I caught 1,060 fish across 347 different Highland Mixed Schools ((all with beta version 2.0.2)). The table below shows the average catch per pool:

Average Contents of one Highland Mixed School
ItemAverage quantity gained from fishing one Highland Mixed School
Furious Crawdad2.0
Golden Darter0.6
Other items0.5

Each pool gave 2, 3, or 4 catches. The average number of catches per pool was 3.05. Golden Darter, the main "bonus" fish, cook up as Golden Fish Sticks - these give a +44 Healing Power buff, so should be useful. Mr. Pinchy was only caught once in over a thousand catches - either I was unlucky, or it is extremely rare. I have caught a few more Mr. Pinchys since. I now estimate the catch rate is slightly better - about one for every five hundred catches.

Subsequently the number of catches per pool seems to have been raised, to 3, 4, or 5. Presumably the average number of catches per pool is now 4.

Pool Appearance

In the original Pool Appearance topic I presented several half-baked theories about how pools in Azeroth spawn. Highland Mixed Schools are not dissimilar. There are a few basic rules. Knowledge of these will help optimise Furious Crawdad fishing, but won't entirely automate it:

  • There are 17 pools in the set, any of which may spawn. These pools are spread across 3 different lakes, so don't expect to continually fish from one lake.
  • Each pool will typically respawn 60-65 minutes after it was last fished (emptied). It is very unlikely to respawn in less than 40 minutes, but will sometimes take as long as 90 minutes.
  • There is a maximum number of pools that will be visible at one time across the set, regardless of time since last catch. This number increases slowly with time when no fishing occurs, up to six. If you fish pools in quick succession the number tends to decline, until you are searching for just one pool.

Regardless of how fast you can find and fish pools, you won't manage to empty more than 17 or 18 in any one hour. Less than 40 Furious Crawdad.

With a fast flying mount, a good strategy, and a bit of luck, you might be able to fish all 17 pools in the set in about 45 minutes. But only if nobody else is fishing and no pools have been fished for at least an hour before. When no fishing has occurred recently, all the pools will be ready to respawn, and the only thing controlling their respawn is the maximum number of pools visible at one time. As soon as you start emptying pools, fresh ones will respawn. So you should be able to fish through the entire set of pools quite quickly.

However, if you sustain fishing these pools hour after hour, expect to empty no more than 15 pools an hour: You'll be fishing faster than the pools are respawning. If other people are fishing, expect a lot less: I have no evidence that pools spawn any faster simply because more than one person is trying to fish from them.

Strategy

A good search strategy can help. Start in the lake with the most pools (Blackwind Lake) because initially the chance of a pool spawning here is more than twice the other lakes. This is also the only lake surrounded by monsters. The other lakes tend to be "cherry-picked" (fished by people who are unwilling to fish all the pools, only those that they can get to easily). This means that often all the fresh pools are in Blackwind Lake. This is slowly changing, as more people kill the creatures in Blackwind Lake for their Motes of Water, making the pools easier to fish without combat.

Once you have fished a pool empty, you'll know not to check that location for at least another 30-40 minutes, probably longer. That alters the search pattern, since you now have a smaller set of possible spawning locations to watch. In extreme cases, you can sometimes fish all three or four pools in the smaller lakes in quick succession, which removes the need to check that lake completely for a period of time.

Don't worry about some fish getting away. A fish that "got away" was never caught - it doesn't reduce the number of fish in the pool, it just slows down the speed at which you catch them. With 375 fishing skill and all the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza fishing gear, you can safely use +75 lures. These lures can be easily purchased from vendors. Those with less gear or lower skill may find they need to use +100 lures, or accept some fish will get away. That will become a logistical headache: These lures cannot be purchased in bulk from vendors.

Blackwind Lake is surrounded by level 70-ish monsters, so combat may be involved. There are also some elite monsters patrolling the area, which you will need to avoid. Those able to walk on water (Priests and Shamen) can fish while standing in the lake, and so avoid most monsters completely. Group-based fishing may become useful, where one person fishes, and the other clears monsters.

Mr. Pinchy and Magical Crawdad

Magical Crawdad pet.

Mr. Pinchy is an exceptionally rare catch from Highland Mixed Schools, first found by Roopert and confirmed by El. ((Mr. Pinchy is assumed to be a reference to Homer Simpson's pet lobster of the same name in The Simpsons.)) Mr. Pinchy is classified as rare and is bound to you on pickup, so be very careful when using automatic loot/re-cast.

Someone will always manage to cast a line and pull Mr. Pinchy straight out. Or catch two from the same pool. But the overall "catch rate" seems to be in the order of 0.2%: On average, just two out of a thousand catches will be Mr. Pinchy. Since you'll struggle to get more than 50 catches an hour, expect to invest a lot of time to catch this.

Mr. Pinchy will grant three wishes, with a two day "cooldown" between wishes. The description reads:

"Use: Speak with Mr. Pinchy and be granted a Wish! Maybe something good...maybe something bad...Mr. Pinchy does not know!"

Using Mr. Pinchy triggers the spell cast "Make a Wish". The confirmed results of this cast are randomly one of:

  • Benevolent Mr. Pinchy: Summons a non-elite guardian which assists you in battle. 10 minute duration. [Roopert, Nod and El]
  • Gift box with up to 5 Super Healing Potions and 5 Super Mana Potions. [Mazrex]
  • Magical Crawdad Box containing a Magical Crawdad non-combat pet. [Roopert and El]
  • Mr. Pinchy's Blessing: Health increased by 500 [thanks Norid]. This effect persists through death and is considered a flask. 2 hour duration. [El and Mazrex]
  • Furious Mr. Pinchy: Non-elite attacks you and your party. Furious Mr. Pinchy has 5560 HP and is killed quite easily. Corpse cannot be looted. [Nod and El]
Want to know the chance of each wish? Contribute your results to this discussion.

The level of Benevolent or Furious Mr. Pinchy may be the same as the angler's level, as discussed here. This may have since changed to always be level 70.

The Magical Crawdad Box is Soulbound, like Mr. Pinchy. So only the original angler can have a Magical Crawdad pet. It is reported to be not possible to group-loot Mr. Pinchy.

Mr. Pinchy is not unique, so you can have more than one in your inventory at once. However, all Mr. Pinchys share the same cooldown, so only one can be used every two days.

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