How to Efficiently Auto Fish in Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online Auto Fishing Guide

Auto fishing in Black Desert Online is one of the more lucrative activities to do while AFK. To be able to auto fish you only need a fishing rod and access to water with fish, but to maximize earnings while auto fishing requires some thought and character skills. If you are more interested in actively fishing, then please check out my other fishing guide. Otherwise read on through my auto fishing guide.

To start fishing you need to find a body of water, equip the fishing rod you have in your inventory and press space. Congrats you are now fishing. To auto fish, you now only need to leave the controls alone and the game will take care of the rest. What happens is that after a fish bites, instead of you pressing space and playing the mini-game a three minute timer counts down, after which you automatically reel in the fish and throw again.

You do have one parameter that you can affect during auto fishing which is whether you wish to keep junk catches or not, where junk is everything that is below green in value. There is a small box near the top of the screen which you tick to decide this.

The Fishing Rod

For auto fishing, the most important thing is your fishing rod. In Black Desert Online there are a few different tiers of fishing rods. The first rod you will likely get is the Old Fishing Rod. That rod is surpassed by the Fishing Rod, followed by the Thick Fishing Rod, Steel Fishing Rod, Golden Fishing Rod, and finally the Artisan Fishing Rods which are generally considered best. Each fishing rod tier has a certain level requirement, varying durability, and different special effects.

The old fishing rod you start with is no good when it comes to afk fishing. What you want is a fishing rod with enough durability that you can fill your inventory with valuable fish and is repairable. The only fishing rods that fit that category are the artisan fishing rods.

Artisan Fishing Rods

The artisan fishing rods, named after ports in Black Desert Online, can usually be bought from the marketplace. What is most important about those rods is that they can be enhanced and repaired while the others are ruined once their durability runs out. Looking at the Epheria Fishing rod, you will see that its durability is increased by ten for each level of enhancement. There is also no skill required to use this rod, so this is the fishing rod you should strive to get as soon as possible, enhance to +3 or +4 and restore to full durability.

Alternatively, we have the Balenos Fishing Rod. Its special effect is to reduce auto fishing times which is the time that passes from the point where the fish is hooked until your character reels it automatically in. This reduction starts at 10% and reaches 25% reduction at +10 enhancement, with each level of enhancement also giving an extra 5 to durability. If you have the means to enhance the Balenos rod to +6 or +7, restore it to full durability and have gotten decent fishing skills then it will eventually become a better rod for auto fishing, at the very least if you intend to auto-fish for a shorter duration or check on your character regularly.

The importance of the fishing skill when comparing the Balenos to the Epheria lies in the fact that at higher fishing levels you have an increased chance of conserving the durability of your fishing rod. Meaning that at fishing level beginner 1 you would get at most 90 throws out of a +4 Epheria rod, while at master 1 you could get 130-140 throws.

Now because of the fishing skill level effect, the usefulness of the Balenos rod increases exponentially as your fishing level increases, reaching a point where a decently enhanced rod could fill a sizable inventory in a reasonably short time. While at the same skill level, a +7 Epheria rod might fill your inventory long before losing its durability, making it less useful in comparison.

Auto fishing in Calpheon at the harbor where most players auto fish.
Fishing in Calpheon while it is snowing, trying to get those crystal shards

The bottom line is that if you are just starting to fish and purchased an Epherian fishing rod you should enhance it to a level where you are somewhat confident that your inventory will fill up before its durability runs out. If you go for the Balenos rod you should enhance it as much as you can to get the best time reduction and increased durability. Getting the Balenos to +10 is, however, no easy task and you should study enhancing guides before you start.

As your fishing skill increases you will start getting better fish and at fishing level Artisan 1 you will gain access to the Mediah Fishing Rod. The unique ability of this rod is to increase the chance of catching rare fish. At that point, you need to consider if you wish to keep your previous rod or change it to a Mediah one.

Now, remember that you can choose to discard junk fish. If you decide to do so the Mediah rod might be the best auto-fishing rod as its increased ability to catch rare fish is a counterpoint to the “lost” durability when you catch low-rank fish with the Epheria or Balenos rod. However, you do not get any extra durability from enhancing the Mediah rod (or the Calpheon one) so this is something to consider.

Finally, there is a special item that reduces the durability loss of items by 50% called a brand spell stone. The brand spell stone can be acquired through events so that’s something to keep an eye out for or purchased in the Pearl store.

Auto Fishing Bonuses from Penguins

The tier 1 penguin pet reduces your auto-fishing time by 10% (+1%/level) up to a max of 20%. To get that bonus you need to have your penguin out and fed, but at the moment you can only have a single penguin pet out at any time.

Penguins are only given as an event reward so if you are doing auto fishing keep your eyes peeled for the next penguin award. If you already have multiple penguins you can level each to level 10 and then combine them to get a higher tiered pet. The higher tier penguins give a greater reduction on the auto-fishing timer.

Having a penguin and a Balenos rod makes for a powerful combo. The auto fishing time reductions add together so having a +10 Balenos with a level ten tier 1 penguin will give a total reduction of 45%. Meaning that the usual 3-minute timer becomes only 99 seconds or one minute 39 seconds, resulting in way faster fishing.

Inventory Size, Trade Profit and How to Sell your Fish

While the fishing rod is the most crucial piece it is not the only thing you need to consider. Your inventory is also pretty significant. A larger inventory means that you can spend a greater time auto fishing before you need to sell your fish to make space for more. The size of your inventory, therefore, has a bearing on which fishing rod is better for you to use.

On top of that, you must consider that the value of fish starts to reduce after 2 hours and 40 minutes and will steadily decrease as time goes by until they become ruined after 24 hours. This, however, does not seem to matter if you sell your blue and golden fish to the imperial fishing traders, meaning that blue and golden fish can be 23 hours and 59 minutes old and still retain their full value if sold to an imperial fishing trader. On top of that, the imperial fishing traders give you a 250% price for your fish. However, you do not get the distance bonus even if it’s shown with the trader like in the image below. You can read more about how to sell fish here.

Since the main profit from fishing is from those blue and golden fish as well as the ancient crystal shards, larger inventory size = more money in the long run. To increase your inventory slots you can complete special quests as well as purchasing slot expansions with loyalty points or pearls.

Value of Arowana fish at an imperial fishing trader - The Arowana is one of the better fish
Despite the distance bonus being shown to work, you will only get the lower value in silver for the fish. So an Arowana will get you 24.480 silver and not 28.513.

Fishing Location

The location where you auto fish is somewhat less important than active fishing. I would, however, recommend fishing more near the end game locations, so Calpheon docks, Mediah and Valencia would be preferred in my opinion. But for some reason, the most popular place to fish is the river at Heidel. I should also mention that at Altinova and presumably Valencia you do not get any trash while fishing and if you auto fish at sea you have a higher chance of getting blue and gold fish at the cost of fewer relics found. There is also a hotspot on the beach near Velia, but I prefer to fish elsewhere as that spot is always crowded.

What is most important about fishing locations is wither they have abundant resources or if they are being overused and the resource level has dropped. As the time between each catch increases when the resource level drops this is important for both regular fishing and auto-fishing.

Fishing Clothes

Finally, there are the fishing clothes and outfits. The silver embroidered fisher’s clothes increase your fishing rank, movement speed and fishing experience depending on the level of enhancement, so you should try to get hold of the best possible fishing clothes for your auto fishing activities. The fishing rank reduces the time needed to hook a fish so a high fishing rank is very useful for fishing in general.

The fishing costume gives a +1 to the fishing level which is useful, increases swimming speed and reduces endurance loss while swimming, which is less useful. So while having a fishing outfit is fun, I would emphasis on getting the best fishing clothes first.


To sum it all up, get an artisan fishing rod, enhance it, get a penguin when you can, find an abundant fishing spot while wearing your best fishing clothes and start fishing those golden fish and ancient relic crystal shards. Now if you liked this black desert online auto fishing guide then be sure to share it with your friends and allies and feel free to check out my other Black Desert Online guides.

Link to Black Desert Online Boat guide Link to Black Desert Online Fishing Guide

9 thoughts on “How to Efficiently Auto Fish in Black Desert Online”

  1. Thanks for an in-depth guide. I play BDO in SEA server which was released on 17th of January, 2018. AFAIK, our server doesn’t have all of the features like from other servers, badly there is no official documentation of this features and ETA. So I’m a bit confused reading tutorials now, im not even sure if those rods are available in our server, if hotspots are there, the prices of relics, rods and outfits are same, that it would be profitable in my server.

  2. Hey, first off a big thank you for the guide. I am only a day into the game and wasn’t aware of the Balenos rod with its decrease of auto-fishing time. This is a great feature and I am keen to try it out instead of my current Epheria rod as soon as I can find one on the market. Without owning any cash-shop inventory extensions (yet), there’s probably limited reason to use or upgrade the Epheria rod to have even more durability.

    I do have a few questions however, hope you’ll be so kind to answer them.

    1) What’s the difference between abundant and exhausted resources in terms of game mechanics? Is it the wait time only, or does it also have an impact on the quality of the find? I’m interested in this, because ancient relic crystal shards have been the biggest part of my afk fishing income in the first levels (Beginner 10 now) but I don’t know if this will keep up later. I see so many people standing around in exhausted areas and there has to be a reason why they’re not spread out further.
    2) Maybe it is hotspots? I have watched a few Youtube videos about fishing and some of them mentioned hotspots. What do they do and how exactly do they work? By that I mean, can I get the advantage of a hotspot merely by being in the same zone but standing some distance away? Or do I need to be physically close to the graphical representation of it, like a net on the beach that has been pointed out in one video, trading the benefit of a hotspot with the almost guaranteed exhausted area?
    3) You speak of fishing clothes and fishing outfits separately. What’s the difference? I bought Silver Embroidered Fisher’s Clothes +1 on the market, which gives a nice +1 level and +10% exp. What’s my next step in terms of boosts and how much will it cost?


    • 1) The only difference between abundant and exhausted is the time between throw and bite. The reason people hang together in some spots is either because it’s a blue hotspot (just outside Velia) or it is in a safe zone (No-PvP)

      2) Usually hotspots only appear out in the sea (Velia spot is an exception) they are non-static and you can see them by the seaguls and jumping fish. You need to be on top of the spot to gain the benefit of it.

      3) You can wear both clothes and outfits at the same time. If you have a silver embroidered +2 and are in a guild with a +3 bonus to fishing you are getting the maximum advantage you can get. So get a silver embroidered +2 (2-3 mill cost roughly). If your guild does not have a +3 bonus you can see about using food to buff your rank, Balenos special gives you a +2 fishing rank for 110 min. There is also the splat fishing outfit from the pearl store if you got pearls to burn.

      Hope this helps.

  3. Hello,

    I wanted to point out an update to the following:
    “Finally, there is a special item that reduces the durability loss of items by 50% called a brand spell stone, the downsize is that after branding the item becomes bound to you and cannot be sold in the marketplace. The brand spell stone can be acquired through events so that’s something to keep an eye out for or purchased in the Pearl store.”

    This is no longer true. I had 3 rods all with a Item Brand Spell Stone, and from the guides it said character bound, but when I looked at the actual rod, that was not true. I didn’t need the third one and was able to sell it back on the Marketplace.

  4. Thank you for this guide. I am a returning player and this has been extremely useful. Keep them coming 🙂

    • Essentially it is the same. The bonuses, equipment and such don’t change if you are on a boat. Biggest difference lies in the fact that you don’t get junk out at sea, you usually have an abundant source and you can park your boat over a gold spot.

      I might at a later date make a complete fishing guide, but I feel that there are already a few good ones out there.

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