Fishing Competitions

competitions fishing 1 450 featured image

While fishing is mostly a solo activity (at least when you aren’t fishing in a PvP server), there are two server-wide Fishing Competitions every week: The Kalu’ak Fishing Derby and The Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Both factions can compete in these as the hand-ins are at neutral locations (Dalaran and Booty Bay, respectively), and competition is often fierce. The rewards for these are among some of the best Fishing gear players can acquire, and winning either contest is a huge honor. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of how the two fishing competitions work, and offer tips and strategies for how to come out on top!

In addition to the rewards listed below, winning either of the two competitions will earn you the Master Angler of Azeroth achievement.

IMPORTANT: Note that each competition takes place at a set time based on the server’s clock. When planning to compete in these, make sure to figure out any differences between your own time zone and your server’s time beforehand.

General Fishing Competition Strategy

There are some fundamentals that apply to both the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby and the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza; specific strategies for the two contests can be found in the following sections.

  • Since fishing from pools is unaffected by Fishing skill level, you’re better off equipping items that grant move speed (or equipping PvP gear if you’re on a PvP server). Depending on your character level and where you’re fishing, you may also want to equip gear that makes it easier to fight mobs.
  • Unless you have a class ability that lets you walk on water, you’ll want to purchase an Elixir of Water Walking from the Auction House — this makes it much easier to get from pool to pool. Also make sure you have reagents for class abilities.
  • Being faster is better, so train Cold Weather Flying if possible, and equip movement speed glyphs if your class has them. The Swiftness can also help you move from pool to pool quicker; so can Nitro Boosts.
  • Make sure you have bag space! In both contests, your bags will fill either with quest fish or catches that aren’t what you want, and you don’t want to waste time with inventory management.
  • Make sure you have Find Fish learned and activated, as it makes finding pools significantly easier (see the specific section of our general fishing guide for details on acquiring this ability).
  • Don’t hesitate to recast if your bobber lands outside the pool you’re fishing.
  • If you’re on a PvP server, you may want to bring a friend or two to act as a bodyguard.
  • Finally, decide what prize you want ahead of time — you don’t want to end up losing the derby because you hesitated!

The Kalu’ak Fishing Derby

Every Saturday from 14:00 – 15:00 server time, the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby takes place in Northrend. It begins when Elder Clearwater, who appears by the fountain in Dalaran an hour before the event starts, makes the server-wide announcement (note that you won’t see this announcement if you’re in The Frozen Sea). The contest is a race to see who will be the first player to bring him 1x Blacktip Shark. These sharks can only be caught during the Derby itself and are found in pools throughout Northrend where Pygmy Suckerfish can also be caught. You only need Fishing skill 1 to participate, but you’ll also need to be able to get to Dalaran in order to bring Elder Clearwater your shark.


While the derby is, frankly, a raffle more than a fishing contest, there are still things you can do to improve your chances!

There is no quest to pick up, and you do not have to be in Dalaran to participate in the fishing derby. However, it is a good idea to set your Hearthstone to Dalaran, or else bring along a friendly mage who is willing to create a portal. You can also use one of the Kirin Tor Rings (like this one), but make sure you don’t use it within the 30-minute window before the derby begins. Elder Clearwater is found near the fountain in Dalaran — make sure you know where it is so you’re ready to rush there after returning to Dalaran.

elder clearwater location
Elder Clearwater’s location

Make sure you’re next to a pool when the competition begins. Areas that have lots of other pools are best, since you’ll want to minimize the time you spend moving between pools after you’ve fished one out. Because every server is different, and you don’t want to be where it’s crowded, you may have to experiment to see what the optimal spot to fish for the shark is on your server. Generally, areas with lots of schools in close proximity to each other are best. Here are the recommended zones to fish in, with particularly pool-rich areas listed noted:

many fishing pools
What you hope to see at your chosen spot
  • Grizzly Hills
    • The Blue Sky Logging Grounds
  • Sholazar Basin
    • The River’s Heart
  • Howling Fjord
    • Winter’s Breath Lake
    • Eastern side of Cauldros Isle (just north of Utgarde Keep)
    • Daggercap Bay, especially by the Valgarde pier

In addition to the specifically mentioned areas, these zones all have rivers that can spawn schools. Of course, the areas with the densest pool spawns will tend to have lots of players, so don’t be surprised if the “best” spots are all taken. While you can technically catch the shark in any pool, it appears that inland pools have a better drop rate, so stick to the three zones listed above. On PvP servers, making sure you’re not in a crowded area becomes even more important.

If you find an area that isn’t popular, you can spend some time prepping the area. The way pool spawns work, there are more spawn locations than there are pools in a given area. Therefore, if you fish out a pool, it will likely respawn at a different location. This means that you can clear pools that are on the outskirts of your chosen fishing area, with the goal of creating a more compact series of pools.

If you’re on a crowded server, it can be pretty tough to win the derby, but don’t give up! Just because you didn’t win your first time doesn’t mean that you can’t win in the future. Additionally, catching a Shark can still net you prizes after someone has already come in first.


If you’re the first player to turn a shark into Elder Clearwater, you’ll have the choice of:

If you’re not first, but still catch a Shark before the hour is up, you can turn it in to complete Better Luck Next Time. This will get you a Bag of Fishing Treasures, which might even help you to win your next Derby. It also earns you 75 Kalu’ak reputation, which doesn’t hurt either!

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza

The Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza is a weekly, server-wide event that takes place in Stranglethorn Vale. Every Sunday from 14:00 – 16:00 server time, School of Tastyfish will appear along the coast of Stranglethorn Vale. The first person to bring 40x Speckled Tastyfish to Riggle Bassbait will be the winner of the fishing extravaganza.


There is no quest to pick up, but you should still go to Booty Bay early and set your Hearthstone to the inn there, since you’ll turn your fish in to Riggle Bassbait, who’ll be nearby the inn. Make sure your hearthstone won’t be on cooldown during the contest! Also note the small wooden box just outside the inn, by the edge of the dock — this is where Riggle Bassbait will be.

riggle bassbait's location v2
Riggle Bassbait as seen from the inn’s exit

You should also turn auto-loot on, and prepare the folowing macro. Place it in your action bar, and it will display the current number of Tastyfish in your inventory.

#showtooltip Speckled Tastyfish

Once you’ve set your hearthstone and prepped your consumables, you’ll want to head to the coast. Since you’re going to hearthstone back to the inn, you can go as far up or down the coast as you like; most people are lazy, so the further away from Booty Bay you get, the less crowded it will be. Of course, it all depends on the culture of your server, and you may find that certain areas are surprisingly crowded. Most of the pools are on the southern half of the coast, so that will also attract more players.

map for stranglethorn vale fishing derby v2

There are sometimes pools that spawn around the islands off the northern part of the coast, and this area is much less crowded. If you choose to fish these, consider using consumables and/or wearing gear that improves your swim speed (as opposed to focusing on regular move speed). Murliver Oil and Potion of Swim Speed are options, as is the Azure Silk Belt. This strategy can be particularly effective for certain classes: Warlocks can use Glyph of Unending Breath, and Druids can use Aquatic Form (although it doesn’t stack with the aforementioned belt).

If it’s not very crowded at the pools you’re fishing, you can happily fish each pool until it’s gone before moving to the next one. If, however, you find yourself frequently fishing the same pool as another player, you’ll want to attempt to track how many times the pool has been fished. The pools of Tastyfish generally contain 4 or 5 fish, so if you’ve already fished 3 fish out of a pool and another player runs up and casts their line, you’re probably better off hurrying to the next pool.

On PvP servers, it can be very difficult to win the contest if you’re playing solo. Try to get some friends (or hire an escort if you must), and/or fish near a graveyard (see map above).


If you’re the first to bring Riggle Bassbait 40 Speckled Tastyfish, you can receive either:

There are also alternative prizes for the Stranglethorn Extravaganza, but instead of bringing in Tastyfish, they require you to collect certain rare fish that only appear during this time period. There’s no limit on the number of players that can complete these quests or how many of them you can complete per Extravaganza, so you can fish for the entire two hours the contest runs. The rewards are:

One more rare catch — the Rockhide Strongfish — is available during the Extravaganza, but that’s only necessary to complete the One That Didn’t Get Away achievement.


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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