Fishing skill requirements by zone

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Fishing icon WoW Icon 16x16.png Fishing (Profession)

Required fishing skill

Each zone has an associated level of fishing that defines the difficulty of catching a fish. The higher your fishing skill is in relation to the level that a zone requires, the easier it will be to catch fish. If your skill is below the zone's requirement, you will catch junk items rather than fish. As of Patch 3.1, there is no longer a minimum skill level required to fish in a zone, and the former 100% catch rate (no get-aways) level is now the 100% fish (no junk) level.

The skill required to guarantee catching fish in a zone is usually about 5 times the average level of monsters in the zone, although some zones vary considerably from this rule of thumb.

Based upon data collected by El's Extreme Anglin', these are the approximate fishing skill levels required:

Tier Zone Skill for 100% fish (no junk) catch rate
1 Level 1-10 zones: Racial starting zones, outside of cities: Azuremyst Isle, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Elwynn Forest, Eversong Woods, Gilneas, Lost Isles, Mulgore, Teldrassil, and Tirisfal Glades 25
2 Level 11-20 zones: Azshara (General), Blackfathom Deeps, Bloodmyst Isle, Darkshore, The Deadmines, Ghostlands, Ruins of Gilneas, Loch Modan, Northern Barrens (except Oasis), Redridge Mountains (General), Silverpine Forest, Wailing Caverns, and Westfall

Racial Capital Cities: Darnassus, Ironforge, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, Undercity

75
3 Northern Barrens (Oasis) 100
4 Level 21-30 zones: Arathi Highlands (General), Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Stranglethorn (General), Redridge Mountains (Lake Everstill), Stonetalon Mountains, and Wetlands 150
5 Level 31-40 zones: Arathi Highlands (Forbidding Sea), Cape of Stranglethorn, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas (General), Forbidding Sea, Great Sea, Hinterlands, Scarlet Monastery, Southern Barrens, and Western Plaguelands 225
6 Level 40-55 zones: Badlands, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Moonglade, Tanaris, Temple of Atal'Hakkar, and Thousand Needles 300
7 Azeroth: Un'Goro Crater (General)

Outland: Hellfire Peninsula, Nagrand (Forge Camp: Hate), and Shadowmoon Valley

375
8 Outland: Zangarmarsh east of Serpent Lake, and The Lagoon 400
9 Level 55-60 zones and other difficult-to-fish areas: Azshara (Bay of Storms, Hetaera's Clutch and Scalebeard's Cave only), Blasted Lands (Coastal), Deadwind Pass, Dire Maul, Feralas (Jademir Lake), Scholomance, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Stratholme, Swamp of Sorrows, Winterspring, and Zul'Aman 425
10 Azeroth: Isle of Quel'Danas

Outland: Serpent Lake and West in Zangarmarsh, Ground level in Terokkar Forest

450
11 Outland: Nagrand east of Halaa including Elemental Plateau, Eco-Dome Midrealm in Netherstorm

Northrend: Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord

475
12 Outland: Nagrand: Lake Sunspring and Skysong Lake 490
13 Outland: Terokkar Forest: Silmyr Lake, Blackwind Lake, Lake Ere'Noru and Lake Jorune

Northrend: Crystalsong Forest

500
14 Northrend: Dalaran, Sholazar Basin, and Wintergrasp 525
15 The Maelstrom: Deepholm

Northrend: Hrothgar's Landing, Icecrown, The Storm Peaks, and Ulduar

525
16 Northrend: The Frozen Sea

Azeroth: Mount Hyjal (General) and Vashj'ir

575
17 Northrend: The Ruby Sanctum

Azeroth: Twilight Highlands and Uldum

650
18 Azeroth: Tol Barad 675

Silmyr Lake was raised in to the highest fishing tier in patch 2.4. With the addition of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Northrend now has many zones which exceed this tier.

The lowest fishing skill, trained as an apprentice with no experience, is 1. Training is required in order to use a fishing pole to fish, so the lowest skill required is 1.

Note that the highest unaided fishing skill that a character can have is 450. Ensuring a catch in the upper tiers (up to 575) requires gear with bonuses to fishing skill. The bonuses to fishing skill from equipped items stack.

Fishing skill above the skill required for 100% catch rate is wasted, so you do not always need to equip a lure. For example, fishing in tier 1, the +25 fishing skill  [Shiny Bauble] lure would be helpful when you are first starting out, but once you've caught around 30 fish, it would be superfluous to use a lure in the starting area.

See also