Stranglethorn Extravaganza Preparation - El's Extreme Anglin' - WoW Fishing Guide

About You

There is no minimum character level to take part in the event. However:

  • Level 10 is required to train fishing high enough to fish effectively (see below).
  • Level 30-45 is required to be able to defend yourself against the creatures found along the coast. Between levels 30 and 45, consider fishing in the north of Stranglethorn Vale. Below 30 you will either need a higher-level guard/escort, or you will be restricted to a small proportion of Schools of Tastyfish (see Strategy).
  • Level 30 is required for a regular land mount, level 60 for an epic land mount. If you plan to win, not being mounted is a serious disadvantage, since you will spend longer than other anglers moving between pools. It is technically possible to win without a mount, particularly with a class ability, such as a rogue's sprint.
  • Level 70 will improve your chances of survival where the factions are at war ((PvP realms)).

You do not need a good reputation with Booty Bay to talk to the event organisers - although taking part will be difficult if the Steamwheedle Cartel dislike you. You will have neutral reputation (or better) unless you have been killing members of the Steamwheedle Cartel to impress the Bloodsail Pirates.

Fishing Skill and Gear

Tracking School of Tastyfish

To cast in Stranglethorn Vale you will need an effective fishing skill of 130. To fish without get-aways, you will need 225. You should aim for an effective skill of 225 or higher, since every fish that gets away wastes time and reduces the chance of winning. If your effective skill is above 225, there is no advantage to raising it further - you will not fish any faster.

You can use lures, but it is best not to: You will waste about 30 seconds during the contest just applying lures. That's time that competitors will use to fish, and increases the chance of them beating you. If you are not planning to win, then +100 Aquadynamic Fish Attractor or Sharpened Fish Hook allow no get-aways if your trained skill is 125 or above.

Gear with an equipped bonus to fishing (such as the +5 Strong Fishing Pole) can be used, since no time is lost gaining the bonus. Captain Rumsey's Lager (+10) is an instant drink, so can be used if you need a little extra skill boost.

There is no reason (except time) not to train you own person fishing skill up to 225. This can be done as low as level 10 ((patch 2.4 removed the previous level requirement)). Battleground "twinks" (perfectly gear low-level fighters) are advised to train fishing in Ironforge or Orgrimmar, for a chance to catch Old Ironjaw or Old Crafty (which are good off-hand weapons at low level).

Learn the ability Find Fish from a Weather-Beaten Journal. You can find pools visually, but tracking them on the minimap (pictured left) makes finding fresh pools much faster. ((From patch 2.4 School of Tastyfish can be tracked.))

Any other equipment that gives a movement speed advantage (either mounted or when swimming) is worth equipping.

Pool Knowledge

You will get to know the precise location of pools in Stranglethorn Vale during the contest. However, that doesn't mean you have to wait for the contest to learn. Spending some time fishing regular pools in Stranglethorn Vale will help you learn:

  • Where to stand to reduce the number of casts it takes before the bobber lands correctly.
  • Where pools are likely to appear. Important if your strategy is more complex than riding up and down the beach.
  • Which pools are too hard to fish due to location: A few pools are only partly in fishable water. Often only half the circle of the pool will be seen. These are best avoided during the contest, because successful casting takes much longer.


Twink with Escort Fishing

The fishing contest itself is a solitary activity: Only one person can win. Speckled Tastyfish and rare fish cannot be shared. But there are some advantages to convincing or paying a non-competing companion to help you:

  • Use a second mounted scout to locate the next pool. The scout clears any nearby monsters and "deters" anyone else from fishing the pool verbally.
  • Kera writes: "Have a buddy 'pretend' to fish next to you" - it makes the pool you are fishing look over-used, and so encourages others to walk past in search of another.
  • Another more exploitative tactic, reported by Brisby: "One person kept jumping up and down in front of my bobber, making it difficult to reel in when I had a bite".
  • Hy writes, "Gather people who are interested in winning, and form a group. Draw lots for the order of 'winning'. The goal of the non-winners in any given week is to slow down other anglers by fishing out of their holes or killing them, or providing protection to the winner. This requires trust."

Where the faction are at war ((PvP realms)) friends are a lot more useful. As discussed in the strategy section, the angler should always try to avoid combat themselves, but friends are not restricted:

  • An escort discourages "random" attacks.
  • Large groups of "supporters" can cause havoc for the opposing faction, unless the opposing faction also has a large group of supporters, at which point Stranglethorn Vale can start to resemble the battlegrounds of Alterac Valley.
  • The most effective way to slow down the opposition I call "DoT and run". Attack the angler with a single DoT at maximum range, and then immediately retreat out of range. The angler remains "in combat", which means they cannot cast their line. Druids, with their fast-moving Aquatic Form, are annoyingly good at this.

To slow down anglers from your own faction, "hire people of the other faction to harass everybody but you and your escort" (from Hy).

Macros and Utilities

Some anglers use macros and addons to save time and keep track of their catches. These are not essential.

Consider an addon that swaps equipment or weapons, so you can switch from fishing to combat gear if needed. Fishing Buddy (see Addons) contains an "OutfitDisplayFrame" utility, but there are others.

You can also keep track of the number of contest fish caught using a macro. Put this macro on your toolbar (from Therax):

#showtooltip Speckled Tastyfish

Especially useful for dwarves who have trouble with the contest, even with their boots off.

Before the Start

Riggle Bassbait in Booty Bay.
  • Decide which reward you will claim if you win: If you are the first to reach Riggle Bassbait (pictured right) with 40 Speckled Tastyfish, you may only be a few seconds in front of a competitor, which won't give you time to think about your choice. ((In theory if you claim your prize at precisely the same time as a competitor, both of you can win (thanks Brian Westley and others), but this has never been conclusively proven, and probably depends on lag/latency.))
  • Turn auto-loot on. This will save a second between reeling in and re-casting. ((Via the options screen.))
  • Ensure you have enough bag space: At least 10 slots free. Speckled Tastyfish stack in 20s, but you will catch many other types of fish. You should not need to waste time emptying your bags mid-contest.
  • Stock up on consumables: Where the factions are at war ((PvP realms)) items like healing potions are useful. Some class abilities (such as Water Walking) require reagents.
  • Swap glyphs for those with a speed advantage: For example, rogues might consider Glyph of Blurred Speed (thanks Gummo).
  • Visit Booty Bay before the contest starts to set your hearthstone at the inn. Riggle Bassbait is close to the inn, so hearthing back to Booty Bay will always be quicker than running/riding. Make sure you have not used your hearthstone for at least 45 minutes before the start of the contest (since it can only be used once every hour, and catching 40 Speckled Tastyfish will take at least 15 minutes).
  • Do not start in Booty Bay itself. There will be no Schools of Tastyfish there. Instead be ready somewhere along the coast. Try and get there a few minutes before the contest is due to start, since it is often announced very slightly before 14:00. Precise starting locations are discussed in strategy section.
  • Don't be late! Sounds obvious, but if you miss the start (for any reason), you at a serious disadvantage. Leave plenty of time to get into position.
You are ready for the contest to begin! But with so much competition, how are you going to win?

Learn More