Role of Skill - El's Extreme Anglin' - WoW Fishing Guide

Gaining Skill

Like other professions, your skill in fishing is expressed as a number. Skill is 1 when you first train, but you can improve this to 375. You improve your fishing by successfully catching something.

The only factor that determines skill is the number of successful catches. It doesn't matter where or when or what you fish, so long as you catch something.

For your first catches each catch will increase your skill by one. As you become more advanced it will take more and more catches to advance another point. The table below shows the approximate number of successful catches required to increase your fishing skill by a point, based on information from Binkan, Snuggz and myself. The process is random: The number of catches per skill increase is not constant. Use the table as a guide only.

Catches Required to Gain a Point of Skill
Current Fishing SkillAverage Number of Successful Catches to Gain a Point of Skill

Above 300, each skill gain takes at least 10 catches, but the precise number varies: Between 300 and 340, an average of 10.5 catches per skill point; 340-375 an average of 11.5 catches per skill point.

The number of catches required between 100 and 300 was reduced by patch 2.4, as discussed here. The old "rule of thumb" (subtract 75 from your current skill, and divide the result by 25) no longer applies.

About 1,700 catches are required to train from skill 1 to 375, of which 800 are between 300 and 375. Assuming an average catch rate of 3.5 fish a minute (for the dwarves, that's 7 whole fish every 2 minutes), 1 to 375 will take 8 hours of continuous fishing to learn. But I don't recommend you learn it all at once. For further information and strategies, see the Training chapter.

Some people have told me that the more intelligent the individual, the faster their skill will rise. I have not seen any evidence for this, and I have compared a highly intelligent gnome with a somewhat less intelligent dwarf.

Patch 3.0.2 appears to have "capped" skill-ups at 10 catches: It will not take more than 10 catches per skill-up after skill 300. This has not been confirmed at all skill levels - more details wanted.

Why Improve Skill?

Fishing with bobber.

So why develop your fishing skills? There is one reason: Higher skill is required to fish in areas with "better" fish.

That's all. Higher fishing skill does not specifically:

  • make you fish quicker,
  • reduce the proportion of casts that do not bite,
  • increase the probability of catching "better" fish in a given area - it just allows you to fish in areas where better fish are more likely to be caught.

To quote Tigule and friends ((designers Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton)):

"The Fishing skill only determines whether you catch a fish, it does not determine what the fish is or how fast it is caught."

In case you are wondering why I choose to cite the maker of a leading brand of ice cream as an authority on the subject, I once extracted Tigule's Harpoon from the corpse of Gahz'ranka. He clearly takes his fishing very seriously.

So higher fishing skill allows you to fish in better areas. Training is important, but is not the only way to temporarily raise your effective fishing skill.

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