Fishing and Cooking: Two Hours To "Expert" (150) Skill

by Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle

Players have long avoided the Cooking profession, not necessarily because of a lack of materials, but moreso because of the preponderance of different materials. Whereas blacksmiths can go off mining for a few days and cart their accumulated bronze, iron, and whatnot to the forge, working with a narrow but deep pool of materials, cooks are forced to buy recipes that incorporate hog haunches, spider legs, stringy wolf meat, boar intestines and whatever other animal parts. A cook's gamut of materials is incredibly wide, but shallow. Since a recipe for hot dogs is not yet in the game, this approach doesn't make for good skill grind sessions, unless you have a lot of spare cash and can buy inflated stacks of wolf's meat when they appear on the auction from time to time.

Quite simply, I'll give you a method for raising your cooking skills from 0 to 150 by fishing for recipe ingredients, thus raising your fishing skill from 0 to 150 at the same time. While it will be a productive two hours, I don't promise a fun two hours; your eyes must be on the screen most of the time. For those of you not cut from the traditional MMOG cloth, this might be your first experience at true skill grinding. There is a method to the madness, and the best part is: when you're done, you'll be able to feed yourself well into your 30s!

A note to Alliance players -- though the method below will certainly work for you, the locations will obviously be different. I'm doing this from a Horde perspective, but I'll do my best to localize the method for folks on your side of the fence in a note at the end. Any feedback you could give would be appreciated!

So, you know those two albums from iTunes you've been wanting? Download 'em, hit play, and let's get started!

What You Need...

Besides the obvious (patched WoW account in good standing, duh), you need 12 inventory slots, 20 spare silver (you should recoup more than half if you sell back your components at the end), and a low-latency connection (fishing while lagging will fray your nerves faster than a 4am phone call). You should be at least level 10-- you won't be in any real danger, but level 10 is required for Journeyman Cooking and Fishing - and have "opened' the flight path between Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff. Also, make sure you've learned fishing and cooking from the appropriate trainers. You should also know how to fish- there's a tad bit of skill to it. If you need help on this, check out our Fishing FAQ and Cooking FAQ.

Finally, you'll need about 2 hours, but it needn't be a marathon session - split it up however you like!

Some people think it's relaxing...

Getting Started

Head to Orgrimmar's Valley of Honor. I like this "newbie pond" because it offers a fairly decent split of 3 different fish and a trainer and supplier are within arm's reach (literally) of where we're going to be fishing. Fish which just happen to work with three different Cooking recipes which will push your skill all the way to 150+ later on. Buy 4 "shiny baubbles" from the fishing supplier on the dock- this will get you to Fishing skill 50, and any additional money spent on lures and bait is a waste for what we're fishing for. Cast a "shiny baubble" on your basic fishing rod, find a comfortable spot on the dock, and start fishing. Any success will result in a skill raise and a fish - don't worry about the types of fish right now. Just keep fishing --renewing the "shiny bauble" as appropriate -- until you hit Fishing skill 50. It took me about 30 minutes.

At Fishing (50) hand Lumak, the fishing trainer the requisite 5 silver to learn Journeyman Fishing. This raises your skill cap to 150. Go back to fishing, except no shiny baubles now. Keep fishing until you hit 100, another 35 minutes for me. Catch a wind rider to Thunder Bluff and take heart, we're more than halfway there!

In Thunder Bluff

When you arrive , go one level down from the landing area in the central totem. The first building on the right is the cooking trainer and supplier; pick up the recipes for "Bristle Whisker Catfish" and "Longjaw Mud Snapper" from the Cooking supplier. Behind you and a little ways to the right is the Fishing trainer; grab the "Brilliant Smallfish" recipe from the Fishing supplier.

Stonebull Lake

Our next destination is Stonebull Lake in Mulgore; go another level down in Thunder Bluff through the central totem and take the southeast elevators down to ground level. When you leave Thunder Bluff via these elevators, Stonebull Lake is directly south. If this area is still unsafe for your level, stick to the road and patiently avoid wandering mobs to avoid aggro. Follow the road across the bridge and situate yourself on the little sandbar in front of the town- this location is close to both a cooking fire and a vendor. Time to fish!

We came to Stonebull Lake because of its abundance of "Raw Brilliant Smallfish;" you should already have 20 or so in your pack (if you have less, no worries, that's why we're here!). These buggers will level your Cooking from 1 to 70ish so we'll need lots of them... 110, give or take. Fish away! All the while, you'll get Fishing skill increases.

Now we're cookin'

When you hit 100 or so (or your packs start to burst, either way) turn around and snuggle up to that bonfire. Make sure you right-clicked that "Brilliant Smallfish" recipe to memorize it, and click "Cooking" in the "General" tab of your spellbook. Select "Brilliant Smallfish," click "Create All," and go take a well-deserved break. Ah, the power ot stacked components.

Repeat this process until you've reached a Cooking skill of 50 to 75; then speak to the cooking trainer in Bloodhoof Village to pick up the Journeyman Cooking skill! Note that you must train in Journeyman Cooking to raise your Cooking skill cap from 75 to 150, otherwise you'll waste skill points when you hit the apprentice skill cap at 75 (thanks Bill!).

You'll notice the color of the recipe turns from orange to yellow (at Cooking skill 50) to green (Cooking skill 65) to grey. Orange means you'll raise your skill on almost every success, yellow with 75% of successes, green with 25% of your successes, and grey with around 0%. Quit when you hit grey if not before. Sell off the finished stacks if you wish, but make sure not to sell any of your unprocessed fish!

Your Fishing skill should start to slowly peak around 150 as you mass-produce the cooked Brilliant Smallfish. When you've finished, memorize the "Longjaw Mud Snapper" recipe and start churning out cooked Snappers. When you run out (this takes a while), memorize your last recipe and cook up some "Bristle Whisker Catfish." I hit Cooking skill 128 when I exhausted my Snappers and 153 when I'd run out of Catfish.

Whew! 300 points between a gathering and production profession, in about 2 hours no less, is nothing to sneeze at! Sell off what you can't use to the NPC vendors. Don't plan on selling too much of this fish at the Auction House. You might catch a few folks unawares, but these three types of cooked fish are available from NPC "superior fishermen" vendors in Booty Bay.

If you want to level Fishing and Cooking past 150, you'll need the appropriate Masters books. Masters books for Fishing are available for both factions from Old Man Heming (no joke, but I'm sure Ernest is turning in his grave) in Booty Bay. Cooking Master Books are available in Shadowprey Village (Desolace) for the Horde and, for the Alliance, the Outpost near Talondeep Path in Ashenvale Forest.

Other Alliance notes - Alliance players might want to hop a griffon or ship to Auberdine in Darkshore (check out the TTH Travel Guide if you're unsure how to get there). There's a nice fishing quest beneath the docks here, and plenty of "Slitherskin Mackerel" (the coastal equivalent of "Brilliant Smallfish") to boot. Other than this, I'm clueless. Thankfully, your fellow readers have come through!

From Basilicus (Earthen Ring Alliance) / Dreadmon (Emerald Dream Horde), Alliance players finally have a complete strategy for increasing fishing skill. Thanks to Basilicus too for hints for the Horde and general fishing strategies:

For everyone except Night Elves, the equivalent to Stonebull Lake is the lake behind (just East of) Goldshire (the level 6-12 town just South of Stormwind City).  I believe most of the fish-cooking recipes are available from the fishing supplier next to the fishing trainer on a dock in Stormwind City.  After you’ve caught and cooked enough Brilliant Smallfish and Longjaw Mud Snappers from Goldshire, head back North up the road to Stormwind City to fish in the canals for Bristle Whisker Catfish.

Dwarves and Gnomes can get there easily by travelling to Ironforge, finding the tram station in Tinkertown, and taking it to Stormwind City (free trip).  Don’t forget to visit the flightmaster in Stormwind to pick up the flight point for later.  It’s easy to get lost in Stormwind City.  You can ask a guard for directions to the guildmaster – His office is just inside the main gates.  Then head South down the road to Goldshire and East behind the inn to the lake.

Night Elves have it harder.  They will have to travel to Darnassus to learn how to fish, then return to Dolanaar to catch low-level fish in one of the two lakes.  You can probably buy shiny baubles at the trade vendor upstairs in the northern building in Dolanaar if you forgot to buy them in Darnassus.  The cooking vendor in Dolanaar sells  at least one or two of the fish-cooking recipes.  As mentioned in the article, you can take the boat to Auberdine (after passing through the portal behind the bank in Darnassus) and go under the dock to get a fishing quest, the reward for which a +3 fishing pole and a +25 lure.  You can get two more fishing quests from the Gnome engineer upstairs in the Auberdine Inn.  He rewards you with a stack of 20 +50 fishing lures.  From Auberdine, take the other boat to

Menethil Harbor.  A vendor on the dock sells another fish-cooking recipe.  Menethil is also the best place to fish for Oily Blackmouth, a fish needed by alchemists and worth some money at the auction house.

Horde fishers may want to do some fishing in the pool just South of the Wailing Caverns (South of the Crossroads in the Barrens).  There you can catch Deviate Fish, which are worth some money – especially if you are lucky enough to find the recipe for Deviate Fish Delight.  The recipe frequently drops from the Razormanes (particularly Kreenig Snarlsnout and the other higher-level pig-men).  Each cooked deviate fish is worth at least 10 silver, as much as 50 silver if you sell them to the Alliance at one of the neutral auction houses.

Other ways to make money from fishing:  Fish up Oily Blackmouth and Firefin Snappers on the coasts.  Alchemists need the former to make waterbreathing and swim speed potions and the latter to improve their alchemy skill.  (Firefin Snappers make Fire Oil, which is essentially worthless now that enchanters can make Lesser Wizard Oil.)  Once your skill passes 200 and you’re level 35 or so, you can fish for Stonescale Eel in Feralas and the Hinterlands.  These are used by alchemists to make Elixir of Superior Defense and sell at auction for almost 1 gold each on most servers.  The best time to catch them is at night.  You can also make money by looking for “piles of floating wreckage” and small whirlpools of Sagefish Schools.  If you catch a “bloated” fish of any kind, keep it.  Right-click on it in your bag to get what it swallowed, sometimes very valuable.  You will also occasionally fish up a chest or other random treasure.  Finally, after level 30, you can go to Stranglethorn Vale on Sundays between 2 and 4

p.m. for the fishing extravaganza.  All along the coast, you’ll find whirlpools from which you can catch Tastyfish and other special fish.  Take them to Booty Bay before 5 p.m. to trade for silver or special fishing items.  They will spoil if you keep them longer than that.

General note:  To gain skill past 150 in any skill (including cooking and fishing) you have to be at least level 20.  You also have to buy the appropriate book; each costs 1 gold (90 silver if you are Honored by the seller’s faction, an additional 10 silver off if you are at least Sergeant rank in PvP).  This is a small fortune at that level, especially if you are buying all three books (cooking, fishing, and first aid), so you’ll need to save up for them.  The fishing book is very easy for the Horde to obtain – Just take a boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay.  The safest way for the Alliance to get to Booty Bay is to go to the beach in Westfall and swim all the way South!  It’s a long swim, but you’ll get totally owned if you try to get to Booty Bay by land at level 20.

Thiter of Kirin Tor has some additional comments on how to combine fishing and alchemy, and also turn a tidy profit!

I notice that you didn't mention anything about the schools of oily blackmouth or the floating debris.  I haven't been playing that long, but what I have noticed is that if you fish these, you get trunks, potions, and other interesting items besides just fish.  The schools and debris appear and you can get between 3 and 5 items out of them before they disappear.  There are also schools of sagefish, which can be cooked to produce food that regenerates health and mana, also sells for a good price, and there are schools of firefin fish too which like the oily blackmouth can be used to make potions.  Fishing in this sense is not only connected to cooking, but also to alchemy.  I have used fishing to further both skills, and conveniently, stranglekelp is easy to gather when fishing the oceans because it is also right there.

Thanks to our contributors Basilicus and Thiter, and also to Krimm, who earned his fisherman's and cook's badge recently as well, and helped me fine-tune this article!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.


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