I love to fish. Perhaps not as much as Keredria — who has successfully made it a source of livelihood for her character — but I definitely enjoy sitting down with a good book and listening for splashy sounds. Oh, and occasionally the "AHH!! EEE!!" of a monster requesting that I /flex the 14 "randomly chosen" Balance talent points I have. Because of my love for fishing, I have tried to win the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza on a few occasions. "Tried" being the operative word. I haven’t had much success and took a hiatus from attempts after I had to hold myself back from letting loose a stream of expletives at Trolls and Orcs putting their bobbers in my Tastyfish nodes! Really, I think if you say a bunch of stuff either in caps or with exclamation points at the end, it should at least appear as "Phaelia jumps up and down and flaps her arms angrily at you" to the opposite faction.
Being Easter Sunday, I thought I might have a better than normal chance of winning the fishing contest, so I made the trek out to Booty Bay, set my hearthstone to the inn there, and alt-tabbed out to read two recently published — and bookmarked — articles: Keredria’s Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza and The Game Dame’s How I Won the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Both contained some helpful information, including a tip from Keredria about ensuring that your bobber lands squarely within the pool. I’d like to share a little bit of what else I learned, though obviously I didn’t win so you may want to take my advice with a grain of (sea) salt.
- (No) more dots! Until Patch 2.4, Fish tracking won’t work for pools of Tastyfish, so don’t make the mistake of riding along the shore on your epic mount, distressed at a lack of yellow dots. You’ll actually have to look for Tastyfish pools by panning your camera out as you travel. Because these pools don’t show up on your map, it can be really helpful to use an addon like Cartographer: Fishing that automatically adds the locations of previously-fished pools to your map. I also recommend FishingAce for fast, right click casting.
BringSet up a cooler. Keep your Tastyfish from turning into Smellyfish while easily keeping track of your current count by setting up a macro like this one:
#showtooltip Speckled Tastyfish
This will create a button with a picture of the Speckled Tastyfish and a count of how many you have in your inventory. No more time wasted opening your inventory and "fishing around" to get an idea of how you’re doing!
- Dress appropriately. It’s very hot in Stranglethorn Vale, so I advise against wearing heavy plate armor. (baked Gnome Warrior, anyone?) At the same time, the vegetation along the shore is pretty sparse so plan to cover up. This is especially important for preserving a delicate Night Elf complexion. I personally opted for a well-made [Crochet Hat], a pair of [Knitted Sandals], and a locality-appropriate [Sundress]. You might have mistaken me for a native if not for the pale, pink skin and the fact that all my teeth are inside my mouth.
- Drink lots of fluids. Along the same lines, be sure to stay hydrated. I prefer something with fruit juice and Rumsey Rum Black Label, electrolytes be damned!
- Remember Nagle’s Law. If anything can aggro, it will aggro. Don’t waste precious time crossing your fingers that something won’t attack you before you’re able to completely fish out a pool. Kill it with a Moonfire and a Wrath, and you won’t have to worry about it. The mobs are only level 40 and take minimal time to dispatch.
- Use Aquatic Form. There are several stretches of shore where an inlet makes for an inconvenient and time-consuming trek around to continue looking for pools. Don’t be shy about riding right into the water, shapeshifting into Aquatic Form, and swimming across to the other side as a shortcut.
- Don’t rile the natives. At least not the guards of Grom’gol. You can travel along the shore between the water and spiked, wooden fence looking for pools, but don’t try peeking inside. Stick close to the shore or you’ll find yourself pursued by a "welcoming committee" of level 65 Orcs who very much do not observe the peace of Moonglade.
I actually got very close to winning this time, having collected thirty-seven fish by the time the winner was announced. Despite this, I’m not sure if I’m going to keep trying. The level of competition is really high, and people aren’t shy about stepping on each other’s toes (this hurts when you’re wearing sandals) — even when they’re the same faction. And unfortunately, the rewards for rare catches are pretty meager, each affording +5 to Fishing skill. I think I’d be better off fishing for fun and profit in Terokkar, Nagrand, or Zangarmarsh.
For more exciting fishing goodness than you can shake a (fish)stick at, be sure to check out the compilation of 2.4 changes over at El’s Extreme Anglin’! And if you’re a sad Night Elf at missing out on the fishing fun but find the idea of levelling the skill too daunting, read Amanna’s in-depth Alliance Fishing/Cooking levelling guide!
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