Gone fishing...

ESO Fishing Guide

After reading the Guide to Fishing Tamriel, I found the content lacking sufficient details to satisfy my scholarly curiosity.  I wanted more details and it set out to answer my many unanswered questions.

Summary

Boat with fish under it.
The fish do you no good in the water.

This guide covers fishing in a very comprehensive and organized manner.  Fishing results in special achievements (including one of the rarest titles in the game), crafting raw material (including the legendary ingredient for crafting experience potions), and rare sellable fish. The legendary ingredient, Perfect Roe, is currently fetching a high price and harvesting it is a lucrative activity. There are four types of water fish can be found and particular bait must be used at the right location to obtain the best results.   Fishing parties looking for rare fish should limit their group to 4 or 5 people. The table below lists the water types and their respective baits.  Several tools have been created to make fishing a lot easier.

Water Type Bait
Foul / Oily Fish Crawlers. Fish Roe
Lake Guts, Minnow
Ocean Worms, Chum
River Insect Parts, Shad

Contents

  1. Why Fishing
  2. How to Fish
  3. Where to Fish
  4. Where to Get Bait
  5. How to Improve Your Chances of a Rare Fish
  6. How to Fish Efficiently
  7. What to Do with Fish and Other Treasures
  8. Popular Fish Recipes
  9. Housing Decorations

Why Fishing?

For those who have the patience, fishing can be quite rewarding.  It can bring you fortune. The legendary “Perfect Roe” can only be obtained by skinning fish caught and with the demand for experience potions high, they fetch high prices (approximately 12,000g at the time of print).  For the completionist and dare I say masochist, the title of “Master Angler” can be yours by seeking out all of the uncommon and rare fish in each region of Tamriel.  Futhermore, the Master Angler, also rewards you with a pink dye: Slaughterfish Flesh Pink.  Other benefits are free provisioning and crafting material (provisioning, enchanting, etc.) and aquatic-themed housing decorations.

With the addition of Summerset, new incentives fish were introduced.

Fisherfolk across Summerset have started reporting unusual bottles showing up in their catch. These bottles are of Pyandonean origin, and appear to contain crafting materials intended for Maormer agents in Summerset.

Preliminary reports of their contents include:

  • Chapters describing the Pyandonean style in detail
  • Sea Serpent Hide, used for crafting in the Pyandonean style
  • Clam Gall and Powdered Mother of Pearl
  • Miscellaneous other crafting materials, including Runestones and improvement materials

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How to Fish?

Strange fish
Know the water type and the right bait.

The act of fishing is fairly straightforward with a little bit of knowledge and the right bait. No additional equipment is needed to fish.

Just find a fishing hole (splashing water with fish seen just under the surface), place your bait on your hook (Hold down the Interact with Environment Keybind – Default is ‘E’), and then cast your line (Interact with Environment Keybind). When your line is pulled into the water, reel in your line (Interact with Environment Keybind).

Note: If you are finding "Used Bait", you are using the wrong bait for the fishing hole

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Where to Fish?

Foul Waters / Oily Fish (Clockwork City)

In any other circumstance, the typical fisherperson would rather not be in or around sewers or bodies of water where decomposing bodies float or litter the shores of.

Common Fish:  Slaughterfish, Trodh / Clockerfish, Typical Barb

Preferred bait:  Crawlers. Fish Roe

Lakes

Lakes (defined as a large body of water surrounded by land) are found inland and their often still water are home to Silverside Perch and Spadetails.

Common Fish:  Silverside Perch, Spadetail

Preferred bait:  Guts, Minnow

Oceans

These fishing spots are typically found on the sandy shores of Tamriel. The largest species of fish, Dhufish and Longfin, call the oceans their home.

Common Fish: Dhufish, Longfin

Preferred bait:  Worms, Chum

Rivers

Rivers (defined as a large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another such stream) are found inland and their calmer waters are home to Silverside Perch and Spadetails.

Common Fish:  River Betty, Salmon

Preferred bait:  Insect Parts, Shad

Note: it is generally intuitive to guess a water type by characteristics like motion, calm waters, or nearby corpses. However, the transition areas can be a bit trickier. The indicator that the wrong bait is being use is the looting of used bait.

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Where to Get Bait?

There are generally to sources of bait: Other players or harvest them yourself. A few NPC vendors will sell a simple bait, but I discourage buying from them as fishing can be time consuming and not worth risking getting “used bait”.

Tip: In Shimmer's youtube guide, she provides a decent locations to farm bait in each faction.

If the guild traders are bait stocks are out of stock, bait can be found from the following sources.

Harvesting serfs
While others pay top dollar for bait, others find their own for free.

Alchemy and Clothing Plants: Worms, Crawlers

Examples: Bugloss, Columbine, Ladysmock, Jute, Cotton, Flax, etc.

Fishing:  Chub, Minnow, Shad, Fish Roe

NOTE: The bait caught will not work in the water source it was obtained.

Flying Insects: Insect parts

Examples:  Butterflies, Torchbugs, Wasps

Crawling Insects and Arachnids: Crawlers

Examples: Centipedes, Crawlers, Spiders

Small creatures: Guts

Examples: Chicken, Guar, Frogs, Guar, Monkeys, Squirrels, Rabbits, Rats,  etc.

Small creatures: Shad

Examples, Mud Hopper (Summerset)

Undead:  Worms

Examples: Skeletons, Zombies, Draughr, “Flesh Heaps” in Coldharbour near the vile laboratory.

Random Containers near docks and fishing huts: Guts, Shad, Fish Roe

Examples: Barrels, Crates, Sacks in Dock areas by the water.

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How to Improve the Chances of a Rare Fish?

According to various sources,  it is believed that there is a 5% chance for one person, 10% with two, 15% with three, and 25% with four or more people fishing the hole. Suggested rare fish fishing parties limit their groups to 4 or 5.  Finally, several sources suggest that the fished bait (Chum, Fish Roe, Minnow, , Shad)

Comments: I have caught several blue fish using regular bait. While soloing fishing, I haven't observed a noticeable bonuses using the special bait over the other bait with respect to time or chance of catching a rarer fish. However, it may be worthwhile to save this bait for the zone with a ridiculously few fishing holes of a given time. (eg. Rivers in The Rift).

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How to Fish Efficiently?

A few heroes have come forth to make the fisherpersons life a lot easier.

For those pursuing the Master Angler Title, Rare Fish Tracker is quintessential addon for PC / Mac users. It conveniently tracks all of your rare fish finds and shows how many are left.

Tip: Don't have access to add-ons?  Check out ESO Uncommon and Rare Fish Guide for Master Angler Wannabes for detailed zone fishing information.
Victim tortured on the rack.
Fishing doesn’t have to be torture.

Often fishing is done while doing something else, Voltan’s Fisherman is great tool for notifying when it is time to reel in the fish. An audible alert is available in the setting but is not enabled by default. This tool was also useful for mapping out all of the watering holes, identifying the type when a common fish is caught, and reminds of the water type on future casts. Finally, it also has a setting to switch to the right bait for the fishing hole if the type is know.

Other notable mentions are Destinations and HarvestMap. The former show popular spots for finding fish for the Master Angler title and later tracks all the harvesting nodes, chests, water sources, and fishing spots by placing markers on the map.

Tip: Having trouble identifying water types or seeing the fishing holes in Coldharbour? Use a Hissmir Fish-Eye Rye drink to light up the fishing holes and identify the water type for you.

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What to do with the Fish and Other Treasures?

Fisherman holds fish
Congratulations on catching a fish. Now what?

When the fishing line is successfully reeled in, the fisher will obtain a common fish, a uncommon fish, a rare fish, or Wet Gunny Sack.  Common fish can be “used” to fillet the fish. This generally results in the provisioning item, you guessed it, Fish. However, the more fortunate are rewarded with a Perfect Roe.  To celebrate this glorious gift from the gods, your character with bestowed with a bright yellow halo burst to celebrate the occasion. Once caught the uncommon and rare fish automatically update your fishing achievements and can be sold or destroyed. The uncommon fish (green) have a vendor price of 36g and the rare fish (blue) a price of 110g.  The Wet Gunny Sacks are found quite frequently and hold similar treasures as the Heavy Sacks found on land: uncommon runes, trait material, etc.

Once you collected stacks of fish,  Voltan’s Fish Fillet Addon will fillet all fishes in your inventory.

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Popular Fish Recipes

  • Savouries (Health / Magicka)
    • Apple Baked Fish (15)
    • Argonian Pumpking Stew (20)
    • Baked Sole with Bananas (25)
    • Cloudy Dregs Inn Bouillabaisse (CP50)
    • Oyster Tomato Orzo (45)
    • Parmesan Eels in Watermelon (30)
    • Seared Slaughterfish with Mammoth Cheese (CP10)
    • Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup (CP150)
  • Ragout (Health / Stamina)
    • Garlic Cod with Potato Crust (CP150)
    • Mudcrab Corn Fritters (35)
    • Rumare Slaughterfish Pie (40)
    • Salmon with Radish Slaw (10)
    • Silverside Perch Pudding (CP100)
  • Gourmet (Health / Magicka / Stamina)
    • Gold Coast Mudcrab Fries (40)
    • Longfin Pasty with Melon Sauce (CP150)
    • Planked Abecean Longfin (CP10)
    • Potentate’s Supreme Cioppino (CP100)
    • Salmon Steak Supreme (CP50)
  • Delicacies
    • Spring-Loaded Infusion (Scales to Level)
      Health / Magicka / Stamina (Clockwork City)
    • Deregulated Mushroom Stew (Scales to Level)
      Health Recovery / Magicka Recovery (Clockwork City)

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Housing Decorations

Update 2.7.x introduced the ability to obtain aquatic-themed furnishings from fishing activities. I'll add more info as I learn more.

Foul

  • Fish, Large (Blue)
  • Fish, Medium (Blue)
  • Fish, Small (Blue)

Lake

  • Fish, Bass (Purple)
  • Fish, Trout (Purple)
  • Fish, Medium
  • Kelp, Green Pile

Ocean

  • Coral, Sun (Yellow)
  • Kelp, Small Pile
  • Sea Sponge (Green)
  • Seashell, Sandcake
  • Seashell, Starfish

River

  • Fish, Salmon (Purple)
  • Fish, Trout (Purple)

Unclassified

I have seen these on Traders and in Zone chat but was unable to obtain water type info.
  • Fish, Large (Blue)
  • Seashell, Sandcake (Blue)
  • Seashell, White Scallop (Blue)
  • Seashell, Starfish (Blue)

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Related

References

  1. ESO Fishing Guide“, Shimmer (Includes console information)
  2. ESO Fishing Guide“, MissBizz
  3. ESO Fishing Guide“, Deltia’s Gaming