Gone Fishing

I've enjoyed fishing in WoW for a long time, and that is the case in Classic too. Knowing that, you may or may not be surprised to hear that I never took part in the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza before. It just wasn't really on my radar as something I had reason to care about.

That changed a bit over a month ago, when I was trying to fish in the Bay of Storms and found that while it was technically possible, every single fish I hooked at the time instantly got away. Now to be fair, I had somewhat foolishly only brought mid-level lures with me, but even so I was annoyed and started thinking about how else I could raise my fishing skill.

While Horde gets a pretty good fishing pole from a simple quest in the Hinterlands, it turns out that the Alliance has no equivalent to this, so that the best way to upgrade my measly +3 fishing pole was to win the fishing tournament.

I'll give you a spoiler right here: I haven't won it so far. But it's been interesting to try.

I started off by not researching the whole thing very well. I ended up watching a video about the tournament by a YouTuber I follow, but it was about the retail version, and while the basic idea is still to be the first person to catch forty Tastyfish and deliver them to Booty Bay, some things have changed. For example the retail video showed the guy fishing in Lake Nazferiti and saying that this was in fact a great spot for pools.

In my first tournament in Classic I therefore started by the riverside, just to discover that in Classic, schools of Tastyfish don't spawn in-land, only on the coast. This meant that I lost the first five minutes or so of that first contest to just running along the river and lakeside, looking for pools that weren't there. Despite of this, that first attempt was actually the closest I've come to winning ever since, as I was on 36 Tastyfish myself when the yell about someone else having won went out.

The next week I decided to start near Booty Bay, but this was a bad idea, as it was insanely crowded in that area. Specifically there was a group of Hordies who I believe were working together, trying to boost one person's score by having the others act as spotters and such. One of them got very annoyed with my presence and kept spamming me with duelling requests, which I found easy enough to ignore, but ultimately the number of people in the area meant that I had only caught less than twenty fish by the time the contest ended.

The week after that, I decided to go for the opposite approach and started at the very northern end of the zone. That went a bit better in terms of competition, but there was still some, and the pools seemed to be more spread out, meaning that I was once again only on a measly 25 fish by the time the competition ended. On the plus side, I caught one of the special fish for the first time and was able to trade it in for a Lucky Fishing Hat.

After that I missed a week because I forgot to log on at the right time, but last week I once again started up north. This time it went even better, because I was completely on my own in the area for quite a while, but unfortunately I got super unlucky with my pools. One thing people rarely seem to mention is that beside the randomness of the pool spawns and of how many people are in the same area as you, what you get from the pools themselves also has a degree of randomness to it, as it's possible for them to give you things other than Tastyfish. That week I just had the worst luck and all those schools that I had to myself kept spitting out things like Oily Blackmouths.

I was on thirty Tastyfish and competing with a gnome mage for a pool when both of our bobbers bounced at the same time, and we both reeled in at the same time as well. Then I saw her hit her hearthstone, and a few seconds later the yell went out announcing that this very same gnome had won the tournament. Hopefully that's one more person who won't feel the need to come back next week.

I'll just keep at it, because even when it goes badly, it's only twenty minutes out of my Sunday and the little goblin lady in Booty Bay pays good silver for the Tastyfish either way. I just remain kind of surprised by how competitive it is, considering that this is Classic, a medium-pop server, and that fishing's never had a reputation for being a sport for the masses.


  1. I'm kind of surprised that Ancient from Tome of the Ancient hasn't popped in to discuss fishing.

    I haven't tried the Extravaganze yet, but right now when I fish or farm I'm really trying not to think about much of anything. And to be fair, if you want to win you have to think strategy.

  2. I entered the Fishing tournament for the first time a couple of weekends ago, and really enjoyed it, even though I didn't get close to the 40 fish required. If you haven't already had a look, the tips and strategies listed on the Wowhead Classic pages are actually pretty helpful: https://classic.wowhead.com/guides/wow-classic-stranglethorn-vale-fishing-extravaganza