To catch fish, you need a fishing rod and some bait. There are many different types of rods and bait, with each combination meaning something slightly different. This section will help you understand what fishing rod goes best with what bait, when you are aiming for a certain fish.
There are two different types of fishing rods: wooden and synthetic. The rods are listed below (in ascending order of strength ?Willow is the weakest) along with what type of fish they are best at targeting. Lastly, a durability rating has been given to the rods as well (1 being lowest, 10 being highest):
The way fish are classified is quite interesting. It was noted that there are small and large fish. In most cases, small fish are stackable and large fish are not. However, this is not true in all cases. There are some large fish that are stackable, like Shall Shell and Crescent Fish. The truly large fish are not stackable and have a weight/size marker on the fish. You will find this in the bottom right of the fish’s information. It is listed as: <### [Im] / ### [Pz]>, where Im is the length (size) of the fish, and Pz is the weight of the fish. Especially since I am a Tarutaru, I would love to know how much I weigh and how tall I am, so that I could compare myself to some of the bigger fish I have caught.
The items from Rusty Cap and below are rarer items not found in most low level fishing areas. All items from Rusty Leggings to Rusty Subligar are fairly common in these areas and can break a lot of rods. This is why, in my opinion, once you know you want to fish, you should invest in a Mithran Fishing Rod or Halcyon Rod. These will not break in most town areas. Of course, I still recommend starting out with a Yew Fishing Rod or something similar because it is very easy to replace when broken.
Besides gil, all of the items you catch can be use in synthesis or desynthesis recipes, or in quests. That makes certain items very valuable to some people. Check the market and see if it is worth crafting these items, selling them on the Auction House, or just selling them to an NPC.
Beginner quests are for the early fishing levels as well as early character levels. The one that I did most was turning in Rusty Buckets. You will find, when you start out fishing, that you will get a LOT of Rusty Buckets. There is a quest in Bastok Markets where you can turn 5 of them in and get 300 gil: Buckets of Gold. There is another quest in Port Windurst where you can turn in a Bastore Sardine and receive 70 gil: Something Fishy.
Once you have been able to make it out to Selbina, you should go and find Zaldon in the Fishing Guild. Zaldon starts off a sequence of quests that take place between Selbina and Mhaura. The first quest in this line is Under The Sea. Explore Selbina, Mhaura and The Ferry and you will be able to find out more about these quests.
Most fish have some sort of quest associated with them. Before ever throwing away a fish, consider looking up how you can use it, whether it be in a quest, in crafting, or just in selling it on the Auction House or an NPC for gil.
As most of us will agree, fishing and cooking go very well together (not only in the Final Fantasy world). This is why the majority of the fish you catch can be used in Cooking recipes. A few of them are: Salmon Sub, Roast Pipira, and Smoked Salmon. Midway through the Cooking ranks you will be able to start making the good stuff, like Fish Mithkabob, Eel Kabob, and Carp Sushi.
Not only can you cook food, but you can make bait and lures as well. Consult Fishing 110: Rods and Bait for a list of bait and lures, and from there you can find out how to make them if you wish.
Lastly, most fishing rods can be crafted. This can be very helpful if you cannot find one anywhere. Once again, consult Fishing 110: Rods and Bait for a list of rods, and from there you can find out how to make them.
Outside of cooking and making your own bait, lure or rod, there are some other things that you can make using fish.
Alchemy has quite a few recipes that include fish. For instance, in the low Alchemy levels, you can make Black Ink, Silencing Potions, Mercury, and Poison Potions.
If you have the ability to catch very high fish, you can use Bonecraft to reduce them to their Scales and Bones. For instance, you can make Fish Scales, or Titanictus Shells.
Almost every fish is associated with a craft, so it would be best to check on what you can do with a fish when you catch it. Most of these crafts have to do with Cooking because cooking and fishing go very well together.
Each day will be a different fish from the "next" rank. For example, if a Crayfish (Amateur) fish is what I need to turn in today, tomorrow I would have to turn in a Recruit level fish. If you are a Novice and today's fish is of Novice rank, then the next day will cycle back down to Amateur. The harder a fish is to catch, the more points it is worth, and the more maximum points you are able to get.
The following are a list of items that you can purchase with your guild points, and how many points they cost:
First off, just as a guide, as a Veteran fisherman I can get about 25000 points every 7 Earth days. This means that it can take a very long time to get some of these items! Also, Frog Fishing is not worth it at the moment. So far I have found no practical use for it. Next, Serpent Rumors and Mooching are only necessary if you are trying to get the Ebisu Fishing Rod. Serpent Rumors is required to start the quest and Mooching extends the time you have to catch the fish (because they are that hard to catch!) If you want to do the quest, get both key items before you even start trying to catch the fish. Also, there is no point in getting Mooching before you get Serpent Rumors; Mooching does nothing without Serpent Rumors.
As for the armor, Waders are nice because they add +2 to your fishing skill, but fishing skill doesn't really mean that much, especially when you can catch fish 30 or 40 levels ahead of you, so they are not worth the time to obtain. A Fisherman's Apron does not add any skill, but it does reduce the chance of you catching items, which I have found to help me a LOT! As with the Waders, the Fishing Hole Map is pretty worthless since it only increases fishing skill (especially since this can be achieved with The Big One as well).
So unless you are planning on going for Ebisu, the only guild points item that is worth it is the Apron. The others are just nice to have.
There are several quests in Norg that require an item that can be fished up in hunting down and finding old Ninjutsu scrolls. Some of these quests are Like a Shining Subligar, Like Shining Leggings, and Secret of the Damp Scroll.
Zaldon has already been mention in Fishing 210: Beginner Quests as the starter of a set of semi-fishing related quests. The final quest in this line (which is repeatable) is Inside the Belly where you can trade fish in for gil and the chance at getting an item. See the quest info for details on which fish are accepted, and what you can get for them. Keep in mind though, some of those items are very, very rare.
Lu Shang’s Fishing Rod
This quest is either called The Rivalry or The Competition, depending on who you start the quest with. If you take this quest, you will be sacrificing gil for each Moat Carp that you turn in, instead of selling it on the Auction House. Therefore, if you want to make money when just starting fishing, don't start the quest. The sooner you start the quest the better, however, because it requires 10,000 Moat Carp, which is 833 1/3 stacks. Assuming you catch 5 stacks of Moat Carp a day (on the safe side), that's around 166 days (or 5 1/2 months) of fishing for carps every day. Also remember, you have a higher chance at catching a fish the higher your level. Therefore, you will catch more Moat Carp when you reach higher levels. So it may be more worth it for you to fish for skillups at low levels than to fish solely for Moat Carp.
Ebisu Fishing Rod
The quest for Ebitsu is even longer and harder than that of Lu and will probably be the hardest and longest quest you undertake as a fisherman. It requires more time, more patience, and more skill. This quest is called Indomitable Spirit. For more information on it, see Indomitable Spirit or Fishing 701: Ebitsu.
The fatigue system is a lot more advanced now, but still has not done much to stop bot fishers. Why? Because if you are AFK fishing, even if you catch one fish, its one more fish than you would have caught in that time. Therefore, this has only really hurt real fishers (but at least its dramatically decreases the amount of fish these bots fish up and sell). It seems that this new system takes much longer to kick in than the old system did, and it is more gradual as well. Fatigue is not really noticed by small fish fishers until you become so fatigued that it effects your recast timer and you start seeing a lot more "You didn't catch anything" messages. It seems that this takes 3 or 4 real life hours to kick in, depending on what you are fishing and when you are fishing The gradual shift is much more easily seen when battling larger fish, especially legendaries. I have noticed, even after just an hour or two of fishing for legendaries that it becomes a little harder to decrease the stamina of a fish. Well, this makes sense since your character is getting a little more tied. As you continue to fish, you begin to hook more items and more monsters until finally your recast time becomes longer and longer. At this point, it is definitely time to quit fishing for a day or so.
There are a couple of different theories surrounding the "gaining" of fatigue. One is that you have a limit on the number of fish that you can catch in a day (most say this is around 200), and once you hit this, fatigue kicks in. I think this is somewhat true, but more advanced. I think that there might be a cap, but each fish is weighted differently (legendaries bring you closer to cap quicker than carp). I also think that fatigue doesn't kick in, but builds up, making it harder and harder to catch fish. Either way, there seems to be some sort of cap.
My one last theory surrounding fatigue is that your character can build up its own stamina for fighting fish. This comes from the numerous breaks that I have taken from fishing, and the numerous fishing sprees that I have gone on. A while back I was fishing pretty much every day, fighting legendaries and getting guild points to build up to do my Ebisu Fishing Rod quest. I could fish for some of these legendaries for a while without noticeing much happening. The I started catching Lik and Gugrusaurus and got a little discouraged at the work it took to catch these fish and the lack of results I was getting. So, I took a break. Now, I've picked up fishing again and it seems like my character gets more tired easier than it ever used to. As I've fished more, it seems like I can go a little longer without the gradual fatigue kicking in. But its just a thought. I'd suggest once you start fishing, keep it going!
No one is really sure how fatigue is reset. I believe it is a gradual resetting that happens over time. Others think that at midnight Tokyo time it gets reset. One thing I do know is that zoning hardly ever helps anymore. Once you hit fatigue, take a break from fishing!
Although this fatigue system does hinder us fishers, it more accurately represents real life. You do get tired after fishing for a while. You do lose your stamina when you don't do something for an extended period of time. And, the less people are able to fish up, the less the markets get flooded. So this does, in a way, make our fishing time more valuable to us.
A fisherman's instinct is something that is "developed" over time (or as your fishing skill gets higher). In terms of the messages that you initially get, they are hardly ever correct. Unfortunately, my fisherman's instinct was great when this was introduced with the new fishing system, so I have not had any experience with the instinct at lower levels. However, from what I hear, you need not pay any attention to it while you are a young fisher. The messages that you get are almost always wrong and you don't need to bother paying any attention to them. As you grow in skill, the messages will begin to have a higher percentage of being correct. By the time that you reach veteran status, you instinct will be correct all of the time, however, you need to learn how to read the instinct for it to be deemed correct. The fact that "You have a good feeling about this one!!!" does not necessarily mean that you have a fish on the line. Here are some tips to reading the fishing instinct messages: