1. Any class, profession, or race can fish.
2. If you plan on cooking (which I highly recommend), cooking the fish you catch is the quickest way to level cooking.
3. You can make gold. You can sell your unwanted fish to vendors for gold. You can also fish schools (more on fish schools later). Schooling fish not only give you fish but chests and other goodies. These can also be sold for gold if you, yourself, cannot use them.
4. If you are a hunter, you have access to free food for many of the available pets.
5. It is a great way to pass the time while waiting for those boats to come.
6. At the later stages, you can fish for materials needed for many items (like ??? and crystallized water). Use them or sell them for gold. (I paid for ½ my epic mount training by selling waters I fished.)
7. It will allow you complete certain achievements.
8. You can enter the fishing tournament in Booty Bay (once you reach level ???), which is held every Sunday 2 PM server time. Not only are there some nice prizes, you can also catch special gear, like a fishing hat (the only head gear for low levels besides engineers) and even if you do not get anything, you can sell the fish for gold.
9. You can do fishing dailies in Outlands which gives you prizes (like a special pet) and gold.
10. Currently there are at least five special vanity pets you can only get through fishing, 3 from fishing daily and 2 from fishing special areas.
Are you hooked on fishing yet? If so, great. Get ready to get smelly.
So you are ready to start. First thing is to get training and equipment. I would recommend doing this by level 10. Here is a list of starter fishing trainers near major cities (complete list http://www.wowwiki.com/Fishing_trainer):
Now that you have training, let’s buy a pole and let’s fish. WAIT. Did you get any lures?
Lures will make leveling fishing much easier. Even with fishing at Level 450 and special fishing enhancements on gear, I still find myself using lures. If a vendor offers them, buy them. Everything from shiny babbles to worms to special lures for special achievements. Put one on and fishing becomes easier. The less fish lost, the quicker your fishing level goes up. To equip the lure, click on the lure in your bag then click on your pole and away you go. Lures are a timed item so if you suddenly start to lose fish, check to see if your lure’s time has expired.
First, let’s get the pole equipped. You do this by clicking on the pole, just like any other weapon. Fishing poles are two-handed items so you will either be able to hold your weapon(s) or your fishing pole.
TIP #1: To easily equip the fishing pole, please the fishing pole icon on the right-hand utility bar for easy access. It saves you from having to look through your bags for it.
FISHING MISTAKE #1: Trying to cast by clicking on your fishing pole. This will equip it but not cast.
FISHING MISTAKE #2: Trying to cast using the wrong icon from your spell boot. To cast you must open your spell book and look under the General tab. There will be TWO symbols for fishing, one showing a pole and one showing a worm. YOU CANNOT CAST using the pole icon (this is the biggest mistake is made by first time fisher-people). You must click on the worm icon to cast.
TIP #2: I put the casting (worm) icon on the right-hand utility bar, directly under the fishing pole icon, for easy access.
Casting is random. I say that because no matter how high your skill is, no matter where you look, the bobber seems to land where it wants. There is a random pattern that does happen that will help you align your character so your cast hits that school.
FISHING MISTAKE #3: Forgetting to equip your main weapon after you are done fishing. I have seen level 80’s beating on mobs with their fishing poles and you can almost see the question mark above their heads wondering why the mob is not going down in health.
TIP #3: I put the icon of my current main weapon icon under the casting icon on the right-hand utility bar. This way if I need to equip my weapon fast when I am fishing, all I have to do is click on the icon. Saves time looking through your bag.
You will most likely start by fishing in water. Most lakes, streams and oceans are fishable. Later on, you may find lava pools, slim pools and other places to fish.
TIP #4: If you happen to be by water, drop in a line and spend 10 minutes fishing (10 minutes is the average time a lure lasts). By doing this, you will level your fishing and not get bored doing it.
Many people ask where is the best place to level fishing. I have found that if you keep your fishing leveled as you are leveling your character, fishing the level you are in works best. If you can cast, you can fish. If the fishing level for the area is too high for your skill, you will not be able to fish. Now, just because you can fish in an area does not mean you can catch fish. I have fished many areas where I was able to cast but could not hook a thing. If this is the case, go back to the last area you could fish and fish some more to get your skill up. Also, make sure that you have the best lure on available to you.