Fishing Leveling Guide 1-525

fishing featured image cataclysm by lava j

Fishing is without a doubt the most relaxing profession in World of Warcraft, and that hasn’t changed in Cataclysm. In this comprehensive Fishing guide for Cataclysm Classic, we’ll cover absolutely everything you might want to know about fishing, including how to fish, where to fish, and why you should fish! We’ll also cover the daily quests, and how fishing competitions work. You can use the menu above to navigate to a specific section of the guide, or read on to learn more about fishing, where to find trainers, and other essential information.

Why Fish?

While one of the main benefits of fishing is that you get to take a break from the hard work of questing to gaze out over a placid body of water, there are also a lot of practical, min-max advantages of fishing as well. Here are some of the reasons you might want to start casting that line:

  • Fishing is a secondary profession, which means you don’t have to give up another profession to pick it up
  • Thanks to how simple and easy fishing is, you can generate gold while listening to a podcast, daydreaming, or watching your favorite Netflix show
  • You can get exclusive mounts and pets, such as the Sea Turtle and Giant Sewer Rat, only through fishing
  • If you like achievement hunting, there are lots of fishing achievements you can snag, including one that also earns you the “Salty” title (Accomplished Angler).
  • Fishing Tournaments can be a lot of fun, and are a great way to earn valuable rewards including the Dread Pirate Ring

Additionally, it’s incredibly easy to get started with fishing. Get yourself a Fishing Pole, and you can fish in any body of water — although you won’t always catch stuff (see below for details).

Why Level Fishing?

While you need fishing skill to successfully fish in open water, you don’t need fishing skill to fish in pools. Because of this, you may not actually need to level fishing, depending on what your fishing and fishing-related goals are. Below is a list of reasons you might want to level fishing:

  • Laziness – Open water fishing doesn’t require moving, whereas fishing in pools means you must move on after depleting a pool
  • Daily Quests – If you plan on doing the fishing daily quests, you’ll need to level fishing — All of the Outland Dailies and 2 of the Northrend dailies must be done in open water
  • Rat Pet – The Giant Sewer Rat pet can only be fished from open water in the Dalaran sewers
  • Achievements – A handful of achievements require open water fishing
  • Specific Fish – While most high-end buff food requires fish that can be caught from pools, there are a few that can only be caught in open water:
  • Leveling Cooking (300) – If you’re leveling cooking, you can use raw fish from open water to do so, although after Cooking (300), TBC, WotLK, and Cata pools all have fish that can be used to level cooking

If none of these things apply to you, you can stick to fishing in pools and not worry about leveling fishing.

Training Fishing & Fishing Trainers

To learn Fishing, you’ll need to go to a trainer, just like any other profession. Also like with other professions, there is a 25 skill gap between the maximum skill of each rank and the minimum skill necessary to train the next rank — this means you can rank up before capping your fishing skill. All levels of fishing now require Character Level 5, which is new to Cataclysm. Previously, you needed character level 10 for Journeyman and higher. Also new to Cataclysm, you no longer need to go to specific trainers to train higher ranks, as all trainers can train you from Apprentice to Illustrious Grand Master.

Character Level
Fishing Skill
Fishing Skill
Grand Master
Illustrious Grand Master

Below are all the Fishing Trainers you can use to train Apprentice Fishing, and every rank beyond.

Click a trainer’s name to see their exact location.

Eastern Kingdoms (Up to Artisan)

  • Lee Brown, Elwynn Forest (47.6, 62.3)
  • Matthew Hooper, Redridge Mountains (27.0, 51.1)
  • Paxton Ganter, Dun Morogh (35.5. 40.2)
  • Warg Deepwater, Loch Modan (40.6, 39.7)
  • Donald Rabonne, Hillsbrad Foothills (50.8, 61.0)
  • Arnold Leland, Stormwind City, Elwynn Forest (55.0, 69.6)
  • Grimnur Stonebrand, Ironforge, Dun Morogh (48.1, 6.9)

Kalimdor (Up to Artisan)

  • Diktynna, Azuremyst Isle (61.0, 64.2)
  • Erett, The Exodar, Azuremyst Isle (61.0, 54.2)
  • Astaia, Darnassus, Teldrassil (47.9, 56.7)
  • Androl Oakhand, Teldrassil (55.9, 93.5)
  • Brannock, Feralas (32.3, 41.6)

Northrend (Up to Grand Master)

  • Byron Welwick, Howling Fjord (60.4, 64.1)
  • Old Man Robert, Borean Tundra (57.9, 71.6)

In addition to the trainers listed above, Alliance players can also learn Fishing for free by completing the quest The Family and the Fishing Pole in Auberdine, Darkshore. After turning in the quest, speak with the quest giver Gubber Blump (36.1, 44.9) and he’ll teach you Fishing.

Click a trainer’s name to see their exact location.

Eastern Kingdoms (Up to Artisan)

  • KTC Train-a-Tron Deluxe, Azshara (57.0, 50.6) and at the Town in a Box on The Lost Isles – only trains Apprentice and Journeyman fishing
  • Drathen, Silvermoon City, Eversong Woods (76.2, 67.8)
  • Clyde Kellen, Tirisfal Glades (67.2, 51.0)
  • Armand Cromwell, Undercity, Tirisfal Glades (80.7, 31.3)
  • Katoom the Angler, The Hinterlands (80.3, 81.5)

Kalimdor (Up to Artisan)

  • Lua’Tiki, Durotar (53.2, 81.6)
  • Uthan Stillwater, Mulgore (44.5, 61.7)
  • Kil’Hiwana, Ashenvale (10.8, 33.7)
  • Lui’Mala, Desolace (22.7, 72.4)
  • Lumak, Orgrimmar, Durotar (69.8, 29.2)
  • Kah Mistrunner, Thunder Bluff (56.1, 46.4)

Outland (Up to Master)

  • Zurjaya, Zangarmarsh (33.2, 49.6)

Northrend (Up to Grand Master)

  • Angelina Soren, Howling Fjord (79.5, 27.1)
  • Fishy Ser’ji, Borean Tundra (41.7, 54.5)

Click a trainer’s name to see their exact location.

Eastern Kingdoms

  • Myizz Luckycatch, Stranglethorn Vale (27.5, 77.1)


  • Fishing, Shattrath City, Terokkar Forest (43.5, 91.3)
    • This is a unique one: There is a library in the Scryer’s Tier of Shattrath, and inside it, you can find a series of bookcases that act as trainers for the various professions, including Fishing. Of course, Aldor-aligned players will find it difficult to study in peace.
  • Juno Dufrain, Zangarmarsh (78.0, 66.1)


  • Marcia Chase, Dalaran, Crystalsong Forest (53.0, 64.9)

How to Fish

Before we dig into the specifics of leveling fishing, let’s make sure we know how to actually cast our line! Once you’ve learned the first rank of fishing, you’ll need a fishing pole. You can buy a basic pole at a fishing supplies vendor, which are generally found near the trainer you learned fishing from. Once you have a pole and train fishing, head to any body of water.

Don’t stand in the water, but stand close to it — try to avoid enemies — and then open your spellbook. Click the Professions tab, then drag the Fishing icon to your hotbar. Now you can click the icon to cast your line into the water. Keep an eye on it, and once it splashes, right-click the bobber to reel in your fish. If you did it correctly, you should have fished something up! You can now move your catch to your bags.

clicking on bobber cataclysm fishing guide
A bobber splashing

How to Level Fishing

Since Wrath, you’ve been able to level fishing anywhere. However, fishing somewhere too difficult for your current fishing level, and when you fail to catch a fish, you’ll instead catch junk. This does still counts a successful catch, and does give you Fishing skill progress — so you can theoretically fish anywhere to level your Fishing skill.

But you might as well catch useful stuff while fishing, and depending on your skill level, there are locations you can fish in and guarantee you won’t catch junk while leveling. Hit the button below to go to our guide that lists zones organized by “no-junk” skill levels.

It is also important to note that if you only plan on fishing pools, you do not need to improve your fishing skill.

Find Fish

If you’re serious about fishing, you’ll want to acquire the Find Fish skill. It works the same way as Find Herbs and Find Minerals, in that it marks fishing nodes on your mini-map (these can be either schools or wreckage pools). However, you cannot learn Find Fish from a trainer. The main way to acquire it is to get the rare Bind-on-Pickup drop Weather-Beaten Journal, which can be fished from anywhere (but shows up more in certain locations). You can also get it from the Bag of Fishing Treasures reward for level 70 fishing dailies, but it’s likely you’ll get it before then simply by fishing.

Theoretically, you can find the Weather-Beaten Journal in any junk container, but it’s pretty rare. Your best bet is to fish for certain containers that can contain the journal in schools and pools at the following locations (Bolded locations are more likely to yield the crate in question):

  • Curious Crate – All Outland (TBC) schools and pools, but Zangarmarsh is the best option
  • Mithril Bound TrunkTanaris, Northern Stranglethorn, Feralas, Azshara
  • Heavy Supply Crate – Zangarmarsh schools and pools
  • Watertight TrunkHillsbrad, Stonetalon, Wetlands, Ashenvale schools and pools
  • Iron Bound TrunkSerpentshrine, Northern Stranglethorn, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Northern Barrens, Arathi Highlands
  • Tightly Sealed TrunkWestfall, Silverpine Forest, Northern Barrens, Darkshore, Loch Modan

Note that you’ll need Fishing (100) to read the journal, but you can fish it up before that.


About the Author


An avid reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and history. Believes disagreement should mean discourse, not flame wars. Still searching for that next game that grabs him the way (those mimics in) Dark Souls did.
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