This guide is intended to give you simple step-by-step directions to get your level 40+ Alliance character from zero to 300 in both cooking and fishing at the same time. It is not the only way to skill-up these professions, but it is a very easy way that requires a minimum of travel and keeps you in relatively safe areas. I created this guide because the only fishing/cooking combination guides I could find were written for horde characters. I used bits of this guide as a starting point and filled it out with specifics for us good guys. All drop percentages and location details were borrowed from Thottbot and Allakhazam.
A note on fishing: Fishing levels up at the same rate no matter where you fish. It is entirely possible to go from 1 to 300 skill points without ever leaving a newbie zone (except for training and the artisan quest, obviously). This would be incredibly boring and you wouldn’t get all the useful / lucrative fish (not to mention not being able to skill-up cooking at the same time), but it will take no longer than if you fish in level-appropriate areas.
Apprentice fishing and cooking (1-75)
- Get apprentice Cooking from Gremlock Pilsnor in Kharanos, Daryl Riknussun in Ironforge, or Stephen Ryback in Old Town, Stormwind.
- Get apprentice Fishing from Arnold Leland in Stormwind. He on a small dock in the canals in the NW corner of the trade district.
- Buy a fishing pole from Catherine Leland, who should be near Arnold. You should also get a couple Shiny Baubles and the recipe for Brilliant Smallfish while you’re there.
- Go to any body of water in Elwynn Forrest and start fishing! Northshire will be easiest until you get to 20 or so. You should get Brilliant Smallfish 60% of the time.
- When you’ve got an assload of Brilliant Smallfish, find a cooking fire (or make one yourself) and cook up your fish.
- Repeat until you have between 50 and 75 skill points in both cooking and fishing.
Journeyman Fishing and Cooking (50-150)
- Hit up Tharynn Bouden in goldshire for the recipe for Longjaw Mud Snapper
- Go back to Stephen Ryback in Stormwind for Journeyman Cooking
- Find Arnold Leland again for Journeyman Fishing, and get some Nightcrawlers from his wife too.
- Start fishing right there on the dock. You mostly want Longjaw Mud Snappers – their drop rate is about 65%. You will also get some Bristle Whisker Catfish here. Keep them for later.
- Reel in the Longjaw Mud Snappers and cook them until your fishing skill is up to 100.
- Return to Catherine Leland and buy the recipe for Bristle Whisker Catfish and a bunch of Bright Baubles.
- Head to Redridge and start fishing Lake Everstill for Bristle Whisker Catfish. You should get around a 60% drop rate.
- Fish and cook away until your fishing and cooking are between 125 and 150
Expert Fishing and Cooking (125-225)
- For expert fishing, get the book Expert Fishing – The Bass and You from Old Man Hemming in Booty Bay. He’s in a little house on the docks with a fishhook sign out front.
- You need to get the book Expert Cooking from Shandrina in Ashenvale. This book will teach you Expert Cooking. She is on the northern shore of Mystral Lake.
- After you get the cooking book, head north to Astranaar and start fishing for more Bristle Whisker Catfish. It will get your cooking up to 175, but it turns green at 160 so you’ll have to make a bunch. Your fishing won’t level very fast either after 140 or so. You just have to keep at it.
- When you’ve gotten your cooking up to 175, head to Menethil Harbor and buy the recipe for Rockscale Cod from Stuart Fleming on the docks.
- Take the boat to Theremore and start fishing for Rockscale Cod.
- You’ll probably need Bright Baubles to catch anything here at this point, and you can get them from Helenia Olden in town if you don’t have any on you. She is in the 1st big house on the left as you enter Theremore from the docks, just behind the griffon master. She also sells other recipes you might be interested in.
- Catch and cook all the Rockscale Cod you can – They drop nearly 60% here. You will sometimes catch Spotted Yellowtail also. Hold on to them for later
- This is where you’ll start to really notice the difference in skill-up speed between fishing and cooking. You’ll max out your cooking in no time, but your fishing skill will still be well under 200. You can stay here if you want, but once you get to 200 you’ll get better fish if you move on to Feralas (see below). Save any Zesty Clam Meat and Spotted Yellowtail you catch while there.
Artisan Fishing and Cooking (225-300)
- Unlike the other skill levels, you need to be maxed out (225) at expert to get the artisan quests for fishing and cooking. The quests will not be available to you until you’re at least level 35 and have 225 skill points.
- The artisan cooking quest is Clamlette Surprise. You will probably be ready for this quest long before your fishing is up to 225, but that’s ok. Head to Gagetzan in Tanaris and talk to Dirge Quikcleave in the Inn to get the quest.
- One of the requirements for the quest is 10 pieces of Zesty Clam Meat. The easiest way to get zesty clam meat is fishing off the dock in Feralas, as you should have been doing for the last 20 skill points or so. They don’t drop often, but all this extra fishing will help you get the skill caught up with cooking.
- The other two quest items are Giant Eggs and Alterac Swiss. The eggs drop from the Rocs in tanaris, as well as owlbeasts in the hinterlands. The swiss is sold by innkeepers in several towns. Check here for the full list. Return to Dirge Quikcleave in Gadgetzan when you have all the items, turn in the quest, and you’ll be an artisan cook.
- Remember that Spotted Yellowtail I told you to save? Now you can cook it up all tasty-like after you get the recipe from Gikkix in Steamwheedle Port, Tanaris. Gikkix also sells the recipe for Poached Sunscale Salmon, which you can use at cooking level 250. Your best bet is to get them both now so you don’t have to come back later.
- To receive artisan fishing, you have to do a quest called Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme. Nat is on one of the small islands due west of Theremore. The coordinates (for those that can use them) are 58,60.
- The quest requires you to get one each of 4 rare fish. I suggest you read the comments on Thottbot and Allakhazam to find out exactly where you need to fish for them. I personally got 3 of the fish in 10 casts or less, while the 4th took over 45 min. Anecdotal evidence suggests these fish may be timed drops. If somebody else just caught one, it might be a while until another drops. Take this into consideration if it seems like it’s taking forever to get one of the fish.
- Once you’ve caught them all, head back to Nat and complete the quest to become an artisan fisherman.
- To max out both fishing and cooking, head on back to Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas. You will probably need bright baubles to catch anything here, but it’s worth it. In addition to lots of spotted yellowtail, you’ll sometimes catch valuable fish like Firefin Snapper and Stoneskin Eel (which go for 50s each in the auction house).
- Fishing in this area will also occasionally yield Glossy Mightfish. The recipe for cooked Glossy Mightfish is in limited supply, but might be worth it for the +10 stamina bonus you get for eating it. You’ll have a pile of these by the time you’re done.
- Continue to catch and cook Spotted Yellowtail until you either top out at 300 or fall asleep from boredom. Cooking will go quickly with the Spotted Yellowtail recipe staying orange until 260 and remaining point-worthy all the way to 300. Fishing however slows to a crawl. You’ll only be getting about 1 point per 5 or 6 fish at 240, and it’s down to 1 in 10 by 280.
- If you feel so inclined, you can pound out the last 10-15 points or so of fishing in Zul’Gurub. You will need to be in a raid group to get inside the instance (you can disband as soon as you get in), as well as being at least level 55. I’m not sure what the exact level requirement is to fish here, but you will definately need an Aquadynamic Fish Attractor and possibly a Big Iron Fishing Pole as well. The good news is that the Lightning Eel and Plated Armorfish you catch will make it worth the price of admission. As soon as you enter ZG, jump off the stairs to the right and you can fish off the platform without aggroing any mobs.
- Remember, once you’ve maxed out cooking, you can work on fishing anywhere and it will continue to skill up at the same rate. Instead of grinding away at it all at once, you’re better off using it as something constructive to do while you’re waiting around for something else.
Good luck, happy fishing, and bon apetit!