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How to win the STV- Fishing Extravaganza

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The Tribe Guide to Fishing the Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Extravaganza

As a (current) three-time winner of the STVFE, I feel that I have established a set of best practices for success in this tournament, and wanted to build an authoritative guide for the guild so that others can achieve the same level of success and reap the same rewards. The guide is broken out thusly:

1. Requirements and Recommendations
2. The Rules and The Realities
3. Best Practices
4. Rewards
5. Post tournament rewards

Requirements and Recommendations


It is a common misconception that this tournament can only be won by a level 60 player. Well I am here to tell you that this is most certainly NOT the case. The tournament is held in STV with good reason: the only requirement to compete in the tournament is that you are able to fish in the STV zone, which means that you must have a Fishing skill of no less than 150, making it possible for anyone able to survive the STV zone to have access to the tournament. However, the rewards of the initial competition do require higher levels of achievement (see the Rewards section for more details).

That stated, it is recommended that anyone entering the tournament to win be at least level 50 so as to not aggro the mobs that roam the coastline, and have a Fishing skill in the 225+ range to avoid the need for lures (lure application slows your cast rate). As a Horde player, we are also blessed with a distinct advantage in fishing pole selection, so it is wholeheartedly recommended that you complete the quest in the Hinterlands to get Nat Pagle’s Extreme Angler FC-5000, which gives a +25 to your Fishing skill. I also have a fishing enchant on a ratty pair of gloves, which gives an additional +2 to your skill. It may seem insignificant, but it could be the difference between a catch and a “Fish got away!”

Finally, and I cannot state this strenuously enough, you need a good fishing mod. There are two available out there right now, FishEase and TackleBox, and I personally prefer the latter. TackleBox has a very simple interface and includes the ability to turn on and off self-luring of your pole. It also adds an interface for swapping between your tackle (pole, glove, etc.) and your normal gear, which is pretty swank. Finally, TB is compatible with the Nat Pagle pole, whereas the last release of FishEase that I used was not. Essentially what that means is that, with a fishing pole equipped, you only have to right-click to cast out rather than setting a hotkey, which is a MAJOR plus. Spend a little time pre-tournament fishing with this mod to familiarize yourself with the options available, notably FastCast and EasyCast. You will always want those two on, and they make a huge difference when you see your cast rate versus someone else in the tournament. If you have a high enough skill, leave EasyLure off, as it will just take time away from efficient casting.

The Rules and The Realities

The STVFE occurs every Sunday from 2pm – 4pm server time. At 2pm a yell will emanate from BB that the fishing tournament has begun, and swirl spawns will appear in the water, designated as “School of Tastyfish”. The locations of these spawns are static, but the spawns themselves will disappear after a designated number of fish caught, forcing contestants to not only be able to fish well, but be quick on their feet/horse. The object of the main tournament is to catch 40 Speckled Tastyfish from these pools and return them to Riggle Bassbait just outside of the inn in Booty Bay as quickly as possible. Be on the coast, at your fishing spot, with your pole in hand at 2pm or be prepared for a long uphill fight.

The realities of this tournament are thus: The main tournament will end no later than 40 minutes into the 2 hour fishing window. I have finished the tournament in times of roughly 37, 32, and 29 minutes each, and the Alliance players that have won in the past have typically done so in the 35-40 minute range. It is essential that you focus all of your energies on catching fish and being aware of where you are, how many fish you’ve caught from a pool, and where you will be going next. Having a fast horse and carrot really helps, and if you have a high enough skill in Fishing and have a pair of gloves with riding enchant on them, I recommend using them instead. If you are catching 1 or more fish per minute, you’re going to be competitive, and time between fishing holes increases as your mount speed decreases.

Best Practices

These are things that I have found to be successful guidelines when fishing the tourney, in no particular order.

1. Ancient Chinese Secret – Start the tournament on the east coast of STV, around location 41,58. There is a spot there where two tastyfish spawns appear within 30 yards of each other, and they usually spawn up simultaneously when the tournament begins. If no one else is around that’s a surefire way to get WAY ahead of the competition. In some cases you may even be able to fish the first spawn, move to the next, and by the time you’re done with the second the first pool will have respawned, making for Super-Happy-Fishing. There are a total of 5 spawn points right there on the coast, around the hill and in the ruins in the water. Make sure you scout the area a couple of days before the tournament begins, to ensure that you don’t give the spot away to someone else out there. As the tournament progresses, you’ll slowly shift south down the coast to the areas where the pirates are, but make sure you work yourself both north and south from time to time, and try to run counter to the herd. If everyone is going north, go south and vice-versa. And if you have someone tailing you all the time, skip a pool and hit the next one, so that when you finish it before they do, you can get 1-2 fish up on the next pool down the coast before they get to it.

2. One is the loneliest (and happiest) number – The tastyfish spawns that appear along the coastline only contain about 4-5 drops each, and despawn once they have reached their limit, similar to mining nodes. If you are fishing a pool and have caught a few fish already when someone else shows up, finish your catch and move on to the next spawn. You only have a 50-50 chance to catch the last fish in the pool, and it’s up to 30 seconds wasted if you don’t. As a general rule, don’t fish pools that someone else is already at, as they could have fished it close to dry already; instead, find a fresh pool to hit and get maximum potential from each spawn. If you’re running behind and have to share a pool, do so with no more than 1 other person. Otherwise the spawn will go down quickly and you’ll still be left scrambling to make up time.

3. Good angles make good anglers – Many of the spawns that appear along the coastline are in shallow waters, some in cramped quarters along the shoreline that make casting difficult. I can’t count the number of “Your cast did not land in fishable water” messages that I’ve gotten when attempting to fish these wedge spots, and I find that many people just give up on them. The key is to position yourself so that you have the maximum amount of water in front of you as possible. Your cast will land in a cone roughly 35 degrees either way of plumb center of your character’s facing position, and outward roughly 30 yards. The spawns don’t go out that far, so as long as you have enough water on either side of you to cover those 70 degrees of cast angle, you should be fine. In some cases, though, even that isn’t enough to keep the error from appearing, and in those cases I recommend standing in the water itself, which in most cases will get you good casts. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t code the fishing program, I just bend it to my will.

4. Keep your enemies closer, but keep the fishing spawn away – Some of the fishing spawns on the coast are really close to the shore, while some others are somewhat far out in the water. Position yourself about 10-15 yards away from the spawn to get maximum cast potential, as your bobber has to land within the spawn to catch tastyfish. Given that the cast range of the pole is 30 yards, and the spawn is roughly 5 yards wide, putting the spawn in the center of that distribution will maximize the number of casts that land inside the pool. This advice runs counter in some instances to the advice given in item 3, but use your best judgment to decide which is going to be more advantageous in the given scenario.

5. Alignment is key to good posture and Feng Shui – I have been witness to many people who run up to a fishing spawn and, rather than take the time to line up directly with the spawn facing straight out, haphazardly line up at an angle to the beach and just start casting. This causes two problems: first, their angle sometimes lends to getting miscasts that land on the beach, which impacts their catch rate. Second, they increase their distance from the spawn versus someone aligned plumb, which puts the spawn outside of the sweet-spot. I have consistently beaten them in fish count in these pools, and it’s because I get better casts off. When you align yourself correctly with the pool, you can get much more consistent distance control before you cast out, you increase your cast angle probabilities, and you put yourself in better position for when the pool despawns to go in either direction.

6. If at first you don’t succeed, cast, cast again – This is where TackleBox comes into play. In order to catch tastyfish, your bobber has to land within the swirl of the spawn. Judge by the distance and angle of the line whether your bobber is going to be in that spot, and if not, just right-click again to recast. Keep doing this as quickly and efficiently as possible to maximize catch rate. Another thing to do to verify that you’re inside the swirl is to angle your camera top-down, which I’m sure most people know how to do by heart. The ability to win this tournament is far and away dictated by who can hit the swirl most effectively, and knowing your camera angles and understanding the distances and angles of your fishing line will greatly help you in that department.

7. Booty Bay may be a stone’s throw away, but set your stone for it anyway (hey, that rhymes) – It may seem insignificant, but running all the way through BB to get to Riggle may be just enough time for someone else to catch their 40 and stone back to the inn and beat you to him. Be absolutely sure your hearthstone is set for BB before you set out for your fishing spot, as it could be the difference between a good day and a really frustrating one.

8. Fish for rizzeal hizzere, fish for rizzares thizzeres – Once the tournament has concluded, don’t continue to fish the east coast. Inevitably some Alliance punk is going to show up to grief you (usually about 15 seconds after you win on the dock in BB), and you don’t want to give up any trade secrets, lest the detestable Alliance learn2fish more. Once the tournament is over most of the people who are just there to win the trinket will disappear, which will make the spawn availability much greater. Head over to the west coast and fish all the way from BB to Grom’Gol, although I don’t recommend going any further north than the river mouth to the south of GG. There’s a set of small island-ish rocks at one point along the way, and there are a couple of spawns that appear out near those rocks, so grab them if they’re up.

Rewards

The rewards for winning the tournament are thus:

Arcanite Fishing Pole – Requirement: Fishing (300)
So you don’t have to be level 60 to use it, but you do have to have your fishing skill maxed.

Hook of the Master Angler – Requirement: Level 60
While you don’t have to be level 60 to compete in this tournament, you do have to be level 60 to use this baby. I’ve heard that it’s slower than Druid seal-form, but faster than the swim speed glove enchant. It’s not bad. I use it on long swims, but not for any quick jaunts across a river. The cooldown is pretty quick too.

Post tournament rewards

There are a few other rewards not mentioned above, both for competing in the tournament and for catching special “rare” fish. These rewards are not linked to the main event tournament, and you can continue to fish the coasts of STV until 4pm even after the main event has concluded. At 4pm another yell will sound out from BB signaling the end of the tournament, at which time the tastyfish spawns will disappear.

At any time you can turn your tastyfish haul in to the goblin next to Riggle Bassbait for monetary compensation, at the rate of 23 silver per 5 tastyfish. It’s one of those repeatable things, so you just have to keep clicking on her to get more money until you’re out of fish. If you have extras just toss em, since they’re soulbound and will just stink up your bags while they rot in there. They only have a lifespan of 4 hours, so you can’t save them for the next tournament (that wouldn’t be fair).

Also, there are special rare fish to be caught in the pools, which can be turned in to Fishbot 5000 next to Riggle for special fishing gear. The fish below can be turned in for the gear next to it:

Dezian Queenfish – High Test Eternium Fishing Line
Brownell's Blue Striped Racer – Nat Pagle’s Extreme Anglin’ Boots
Keefer's Angelfish – Lucky Fishing Hat

Each of these items adds an additional +5 to your Fishing skill. In all, with these items, the Arcanite Fishing Pole, and a pair of enchanted fishing gloves, you can achieve a Fishing skill of 352 without a lure! Put another way, you can fish the Plaguelands without a lure, which is just ludicrous.

I have reaped almost all of the rewards of this tournament, and I want to pass this information on to you. That sounded corny but w/e :P. Enjoy

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