To fish, you only need a fishing rod. You can get your first fishing rod of the market or as a quest reward at the harbor in Velia. To start fishing you just need to equip your rod, stand near open water or a river and press space. This starts the fishing timer and when you catch a fish you need to press space again to reel it in. At this point a mini-game starts, where you need to press the WASD buttons in a correct order to get the fish. If you auto-fish you skip this step but need to wait for up to 3 extra minutes.
Despite the simplicity of basic fishing, there are many more things to consider to maximize profit from fishing. In this guide, I will address those things to help you in your career as a fisherman.
The Fishing Rods
The first thing you need to be familiar with are the different fishing rods. Below is a list showing the rods, the required skill levels and the bonuses from each rod.
The artisan rods on that list are special in the sense that they are repairable, and can be enhanced using black stones. The highest enhancement level it +10, but that level is hard to reach. You can fail at each step of the road and to top that, a failure when enhancing above +7 means that it drops down one level. For example, if you fail with a +9 rod it becomes a +8 rod again.
TIPS: If you are starting out, I would recommend getting the Epheria rod as fast as you can, enhance it to +3 if you can and restore durability. You can then later work on getting it to +7. After you reach fishing skill artisan 1 you should consider switching to the Mediah rod.
The Triple Float Fishing Rod.
I want to discuss the use of this rod specifically as is has a unique ability and is non-repairable. A recent study showed that using this rod was not worth it for general fishing. However, if you used it exclusively on gold spots or Coelacanth spawns then it resulted in a greater profit.
Effect of Skills and Ranks
The ability scores that affect fishing are two, your fishing skill, which goes from beginner to guru and your fishing rank which goes from 0 to 5.
The Fishing Skill
The effect of the fishing skill is somewhat unclear. There are however two things that are believed to be affected by the fishing skill. Firstly, a higher fishing skill seems to increase the ratio of rare fish you catch. Secondly, it is theorized that a high fishing skill also reduces the number of buttons which appear during the mini-game. The first point is most likely correct, while the second point is more contested. The fishing skill does not appear to affect the time from throw to bite.
The Fishing Rank.
Your fishing rank ranges from 0 to 5 and its sole purpose is to reduce the average time spent from throwing the line until a fish bites. I believe the time reduction is around 7% per level for a max of about 35% at fishing rank 5. What makes this hard to pin down is the fact that there seems to be a system in place that depends on time brackets. For example, at rank 0 the time from throw to bite might never be lower than 40 and never higher than 80. This is due to what I call a timescale bracket.
What happens as you gain rank is that you move to a faster timescale bracket. So at rank 5, you might have a timescale ranging from 24 to 47 seconds. Now what is interesting about that is that there are at least three sets of time brackets. For example, at fishing rank 3, Randis sea node has a bracket ranging from 29 to 57 seconds. The same rank at the Coastal Caves and Epheria has a timescale bracket ranging from 21 to 39 seconds (later number might be a little higher) and Tarif (inland) has a bracket from about 41 to 63 seconds.
Finally, you will not gain anything from a higher fishing rank, in fact, it seems there is a bug which increases your fishing time if you go over fishing rank 5 (still being tested, will update).
How to Increase the Fishing Rank
The easiest way to increase your fishing rank is to join a guild that has invested in the fishing skill line. This can increase your fishing rank by +3.
Next, you can invest in silver embroidered fishing clothes. You should be able to get these clothes to a +2 enhancement with relative ease and even +3 with a little luck. +2 is enough if you are in a guild that has a +3 fishing rank bonus.
You can also use the steel rod, but you really should only use an artisan rod as soon as you have the silver to buy one.
Finally, there are foods and drinks that can increase your fishing rank. I would recommend Balenos Special as it gives a +2 to fishing rank over 90 minutes.
Remember that you only get benefits for up to 5 ranks in fishing, so any combination that gets you there is enough.
The main fishing clothes you should get is the silver embroidered fishing clothes. These clothes give you a boost to movement speed, increase your fishing rank and when enhanced, give extra experience to your fishing skill. Basic fishing clothes give you a +1 to the fishing rank and +1 to movement speed. A +2 silver embroidered fisher’s clothes (which every fisherman should have) give you +2 to your fishing rank, +2 to movement speed and +10% to fishing experience earned.
You can also choose to buy a fishing costume from the pearl store. This is the Splat Fisher’s Clothes set. It increases your fishing rank by +1, increases your swim speed and reduces endurance cost while swimming.
Finally, there is the professional fisher uniform you get as a reward when you hit fishing skill artisan 1. This set of clothes is worse than the silver embroidered ones as it cannot be enhanced. However, with an equipment tailoring coupon, you can change it into an outfit and wear it as well as the silver embroidered clothes.
Foods and Drinks That Buff Fishing Ability
As mentioned, there are several foods and drinks that can buff your fishing ability by increasing your fishing rank or reducing the auto fishing time. Below is a table that shows these items, their bonuses and effect duration. Of these, the Special Balenos Meal is the best for fishing rank and the Arehaza special is best for auto fishing.
There are also a couple of elixirs that increase your fishing rank. These are called Fisher’s Elixir and Skilled Fisher’s Elixir. The increase fishing rank by +2 and 3 respectively but only last 5 and 8 minutes.
There are two versions of bait in the game. Paste bait and high-quality paste bait. Both increase fishing rank, with the regular paste increasing it by +2 and the high-quality one increasing it by +3. You can get fish bait from the market, by completing quests from otter fishers or by exchanging them for fishing tokens. You can use bait at the same time as food.
There are two types of floats that you can equip on your offhand while fishing. The Ash float increases your chance of getting bigger fish and the maple float increases your chance of getting rare fish. Floats can be enhanced by using black stones, increasing their benefits. You can use the Ash float as you reach professional 1 fisher skill, but the maple float requires artisan 1 skill.
Where is the Best Place to Fish?
This is a hard question as there are so many variables that matter. But I can give you a few tips.
A good place to active fish when you are beginning is located just outside Velia, seen in the image below. Just go west from Velia and find the crowd of fishers. This is a static blue spot which means you have a high chance of getting blue quality fish. The offset to this spot is that it is always crowded, meaning that much more time passes between a throw and a haul.
Secondly, you must have the node connected to the area you are fishing in connected all the way to a town with an imperial fish trader to maximize your fishing profit. So, if you are sea fishing you must invest in the nodes where you fish.
Thirdly, you should keep in mind the different time brackets between, sea, coast and inland.
Active Fishing on Sea versus Land
Personally, I would recommend sea fishing over land fishing if you are active fishing. At sea, you have a far better chance to get gold and blue fish than you have on land. You can also search for gold spots (seagulls and jumping fish) where you get a gold fish every catch. In the video below I show you how to find and spot the location of golden fishing spots. Sea fishing is also on average faster than inland fishing. That being said, it appears that coastal fishing might be fastest such as at the Coastal Caves, but you still get a lot of white fish and junk.
Now, some will say that you get fewer ancient crystal shads out in the sea than on land. Personally, I don’t think there is a difference on a per throw basis. What happens is that when auto fishing on land (which is, in my opinion, better for auto fishing) players normally select to throw away junk. Now since there is no junk out at sea and you get fewer white fish, you end up with fewer crystal shards, more high-quality fish in your full inventory and less durability lost on your rod when auto fishing on the sea rather than on land.
To get into the sea you need a raft or a boat. If you are just starting you can follow a quest line at the harbor in Velia which rewards you in the end with a raft. You can also read my boat guide on the different boats in Black Desert Online.
Where to Sell your Fish?
First, you must have the node where you are fishing connected to a node with a trader, preferably a node that also has an imperial fish trader. The imperial fish trader is great as they give you a fixed 250% price on the fish they buy, which are most golden and blue fish. If you don’t have the nodes connected you will only get 30% of the base price of the fish. You can however always sell the fish for full price at the same node you caught it if it has a trader (e. Velia).
You also might want to have some distance between the node you sell your fish and the node you catch your fish as you get a distance bonus from the traders, both the regular one and the imperial one.
Harpoon Fishing in Black Desert Online
Harpoon fishing is a subset of fishing that can only be performed at sea. To do so you need a boat and a harpoon, both of which you can buy from the market or build yourself. To read about the different boats you can use check out my Black Desert boat guide.
The harpoons available are thin harpoons and thick harpoons. The thin harpoon has a durability of 30 and no skill requirement. The thick harpoon has a durability of 40 and you need fishing skill at professional 5 to use it.
When you have a harpoon and a boat you need to sail to a sea location which you have a node connected. When you have a spot, equip the harpoon and press space. You then need to wait a bit before detecting a fish. When you have detected the fish, you need to press space again and complete the mini-game. If you win the mini-game you get a fish. You can also watch the video on the side to see how to harpoon fish and win the mini-game.
The benefits of harpoon fishing are that you can get fish that have a high base value. However, they are not tradeable at an imperial fish trader. If you have master 2 trading and can transport them quickly to the desert from Epheria, then harpoon fishing is probably the most profitable available.
Now if you liked this guide then be sure to share it with your friends and allies and feel free to check out my other Black Desert Online guides.