Hey there Angler! So here's the whole scoop on the sunday fishing contest, fishing in general, and Mr. Pinchy.
The 5 W's
What: The Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Tournament
When: Every Sunday at 14:00 (2:00 PM) local server time
Where: Stranglethorn Vale
Why: For kicks, some decent prizes, and because it's something other than grinding.
All you need to get started is a fishing pole and a decent level of fishing skill. You will need about 200 base fishing level to minimize or eliminate "Your fish got way!" messages. Do NOT use lures in the contest as any time not having a bobber in the water or going to the next hole after one despawns to get your bobber back into action is time wasted.
Note that there are a few vendors that sell a (limited Quantity)Strong Fishing Pole (+5 Fishing Skill). Every little bit helps, so you should always be using this instead of the regular fishing pole (Also, you can get the Big Iron Fishing Pole, with a whopping +20 to fishing, instead... it's a rare drop from Shellfish Crates that are part of a Horde quest line in Desolace Also the best pole the Alliance can get without winning the contest. Seth's graphite fishing pole from Shattrath's "I'd Rather be Fishing" quest is also +20, but not as easily/quickly attained, and also requires you to have the expansion and be high enough lvl to get and complete the quest).
Horde characters can get Nat Pagle's Extreme Angler FC-5000 via the Snapjaws Mon! quest in the hinterlands, which gives +25 to fishing and is therefore the best possible pole (aside form the one you can win in this tournament) to fish with.
Also, you can pick up a +2 to Fishing Skill enchant on your gloves if you're able to find an enchanter able to do it.
While you can theoretically win the contest as a level 10 character, the reality of it is that you'll probably want to be at least level 40 before you attempt this, for two reasons: First, you'll want a mount for the speed increase (see below); second, the area you'll be running around in is quite full of mobs between levels 35 and 45. If you are in combat, you aren't fishing - so you'll need to avoid constantly getting aggro'd by everything around you.
You'll also want to have something to drastically increase your speed, as you'll need to travel to new fishing nodes/holes that are several yards away, every 2-3 minutes. The faster the better. In order of preference:
A. Epic mount
B. Regular mount
C. Mount Speed Increase items like a riding crop, crusader aura, carrot on a stick, mithril spurs, riding skill enchant on gloves.
D. Sprint/Dash/Aspect of the Cheetah/etc (+~40-50% speed increase)
E. Azure Silk Belt (increases swim speed by 15%)
F. Swimspeed Potions
G. Druid Aqatic form
H. Hook of the Master Angler (choosable reward from winning the contest)
Make certain that you set your Hearthstone to Booty Bay, and that you do not use your Hearthstone after about 13:15 (1:15pm) local server time. If you want to win you want to minimize wasted time as much as possible, and that is the fastest way to get back to booty bay after you get your 40 fish.
Last but not least, you will want a decent amount of empty inventory slots free. I would recomend at least 8 free inventory slots in your bags or more.. You may want to have a little extra space just in case. Most fish (including the Tastyfish) stack in lots of 20, so you probably wont need it, but just so you're aware...
At approximately 30 seconds after the server clock hits 14:00 (2:00 PM), a /yell will be sent to all of Stranglethorn Vale indicating that the Fishing Tournament has begun. Another yell will be sent when the contest has been won, A third and final yell will be sent at 16:00 (4pm) letting you know that the fish are gone and that you have one more hour to turn in fish.
Goal #1: The main goal of the tournament is to be the first to catch 40 Tastyfish and to return them to the goblin contest master Riggle Bassbait in Booty Bay. Riggle stands on the dock just outside of the Inn. Along with the man in charge of the contest, there is Fishbot 5000 and another goblin who give out consolation prizes...
(can be won multiple times, but only one winner per server, per week)
Goal #2: (Consolation Prize) Every 5 Tastyfish you turn into to the female goblin next to riggle bassbait will give you 23 silver
(repeatable, can only be turned in from 14:00-17:00 (2-5pm) on sunday's).
Goal #3: (Consolation Prize) Bring a rare fish to the Fishbot 5000 to receive "Rare Nat Pagle fishing accessories". There are three types of rare fish to be found, and yes, rare means rare, I have caught the 3 rare fish on 5 occasions in the last 6 months, so you can catch a rare fish more than once.
(repeatable, can only be turned in from 14:00-17:00 (2-5pm) on sunday's).
Rewards from doing the Fishing contest/Fishing Extravaganza
First Prize (winning the contest):
Arcanite Fishing Pole (Requires Fishing 300)
A fishing pole (used by Nat Pagle himself!) that gives +35 to fishing.
Hook of the Master Angler (Requires level 60)
Trinket, increases your swim speed by 25%, Gives UNLIMITED water breathing, and turns you into a "frenzy" fish/shark. Cooldown is only 5 seconds, can be used in combat. DOES NOT STACK with Azure Silk Belt, but DOES STACK with Swim Speed Potions...134% speed swimming for 15 secs!
Rare Fish #1 (Dezian Queenfish):
High Test Eternium Fishing Line (Requires Fishing 150/Level 10)
Use to replace the line on a fishing pole, permanently adding +5 to Fishing Skill to the item.
(Must Be lvl 45 to loot, can be caught/completed after the winner is announced, but can only be turned in from 14:00-17:00 (2pm-5pm) on sunday's)
Rare Fish #2 (Keefer's Angelfish):
Lucky Fishing Hat (Requires Fishing 1/Level 5)
Gives +5 to Fishing Skill.
(Must be lvl 45 to loot, can be caught/completed after the winner is anounced, but can only be turned in from 14:00-17:00 (2pm-5pm) on sunday's)
Rare Fish #3 (Brownell's Blue Striped Racer):
Nat Pagle's Extreme Anglin' Boots Boots (Requires Fishing 1/Level 5)
Gives +5 to Fishing Skill.
(Must be lvl 45 to loot, can be caught/completed after the winner is announced, but can only be turned in from 14:00-17:00 (2pm-5pm) on sunday's)
Let the Tournament Begin!
Schools of Tastyfish:
As soon as the tournament begins, "School of Tastyfish" nodes will spawn all along the coast of Stranglethorn Vale. Yes, the entire coast is in-play with the exception of booty bay itself and Juergo isle (the large one on the east side of STV). The nodes look like small whirlpools, 2-3 yards in diameter, complete with silvery fish flickering in and out. They are visible from a good distance as a shimmering spot in the water.
The locations of the nodes are fixed. That is, a node is either there or not there, but the locations do not change. You'll find that there is a spawn location approximately every 100-200 yards or so along the coast, so there are many pools forming constantly. The best way to learn them is to participate in the tournament - you'll be lost the first time, but you'll learn them more as you continue to participate each week.
How to Catch the Elusive Tastyfish:
In order to catch Tastyfish, you must cast your bobber inside one of the fishing nodes. To be on the safe side, ensure that your bobber is at least partially touching the edge of the swirling waters. Ideally, cast it right into the center so you don't have to worry. If you miss, re-cast again. There is no way to guarantee that your bobber will land in the right place. Learn how far back to stand so that the average-distance cast will at least have a chance to intersect the pool itself (stand too close and you'll always overcast; stand too far and your bobber will never make it out to the pool).
Once your bobber lands in a good position, just wait and fish as normal. You'll reel in either some Stranglekelp, a Tastyfish, very occasionally a rare fish (very rare) or something else (anything you could normally catch in these waters goes here).
It seems that the nodes are quantity based, similar to other resource nodes. There are approximately 2 to 6 Tastyfish per node. Once they've all been caught, the node will disappear.
Multiple people can and will fish in a single node. Multiple bobbers will clutter the whirlpool and make it hard to click and mean that the hole will be fished out and dissapear that much faster. Generally, that means that you want to skip that hole and find an empty one...I only fish in holes that other people are in if I am certain or at least very sure they just got there, and then I wont get more than 1-2 fish before i mount up and find the next one to stay ahead of the competion thats fishing that node.
As soon as a node despawns, immediately mount (or hit your speed boost) and proceed to the next most probable location for a spawn. This is something you will learn from experience. If you know a nearby pool despawned 5-10 minutes ago, head there now, as this seems to be the approximate time between respawns.
(don't swim unless its unavoidable, you have azure silk belt, swimspeed pots, aquatic form, or already have the hook of the master angler).
Things to Watch Out for:
There are quite a few nasties along the STV coast if you are around the lvl 40 area. On the southwest side are the highest level mobs in the area, namely varieties of Naga. These are particularly annoying because they wander far (even into the ocean) and have a large aggro radius, are social, and like to net you.
The rest of the west coast is (for the most part) inhabited by Crocolisks and Raptors, of which the Crocolisks are by far the worst since they (like the Naga) will sometimes enter the water where you are.
The east coast of Stranglethorn, by comparison, is great. The ruins can be a problem if you are below level 40; levels 40 and up will generally be able to walk past without a problem. The one thing you must watch out for, regardless of your level, is the unique level 47+ Elite Giant Gorlash. He roams the shore slowly and is easily avoided, but there are always a disturbing number of skeletons near him when you pass by.
And last but not least, if you are on a PvP server, watch out for the enemy. you will hate your life as this event is commonly referred to on PvP servers as the "Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Gankfest".
The Tournament Completed
How Long This Takes:
Normally the Winner for the week has caught and turned in their fish in less than 30 minutes...about the longest I have seen the contest go before a winner is about 42 minutes. the last two times i won in 24 and 29 minutes.
I have won 6 times total now over 4 characters (3 of which no longer exist/belong to me) The second you hit 40, hearth back to Booty Bay, use your speed boost if you've got it, and talk to Riggle Bassbait to win the tournament. You do not actually win until you select your reward and hit complete, so do this fast as there is more than likely going to be someone else with 40 fish already as well trying to turn them in and win. A /yell will be sent to all of STV informing the zone that you are the victor of the contest for the week. W00t for j00, Master Angler!
Most likely you will not win, there is alot of competition, and there is only one winner each week per server. If this is the case, you can stop fishing when you see the /yell, or you can continue to fish the nodes. The mechanics stay the same if you keep going. You can continue to catch Tastyfish and even rare fish for as long as the tournament continues. Once the contest is over and the nodes despawn for the week at 16:00 (4:00pm local server time) , you should return to Booty Bay and turn in what you've got for what prizes you can. The NPC's in booty bay associated with this will stay for one more hour til 17:00 (5pm) to turn in any of the tastyfish or rarefish that you caught (This means you can actually fish the full two hours until the yell says the tastyfish have left for the week and not have to stop early to turn in)
Sorry, No Cheating:
Blizzard has it covered when it comes to the various shady tactics that we all, of course, immediately think of and wish we could explot:
1. Tastyfish are eternally Soulbound, so you cannot trade them.
2. They are limited duration items (duration 4 hours). No saving them to turn in first thing next week
So now you know all you need to know to win the Weekly Sunday Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Extravaganza fishing torunament.
Fishing in General.
At Fishing Lvl 525 or higher, you will stop seeing "your fish got away!" messages no matter where you go, including the 3 fly-to only lakes in Terrokar Forest which have the highest fishing requirement and best fished items in the game.
427 is the highest fishing skill you can have unlured (same as above, but with the +2 fishing skill to glove enchant as well), which makes the in-game cap for fishing 527 with an aquadynamic fish attractor.
How to get 527 Fishing
375 Base Fishing Skill
+40 Arcanite Fishing Pole (+35 from the pole, +5 from putting the High Test Eternium Fishing Line on it for total of +40)
+5 Lucky Fishing Hat
+5 Nat Pagle's Extreme Anglin' Boots
+2 Fishing Skill Enchant to gloves
+100 Aquadynamic Fish Attractor (lure)
Fishing in even the lowest lvl water can and will lvl you fishing, and even in the lowest of waters like the pond in org, it wil take no more than 14 successful casts to gain a skill lvl.
Fishing 1-75 - Learned from trainer.
Fishing 75-150 - Learned from trainer
Fishing 150-225 - You will need to get and read the Expert Fishing Book that you can buy from Old Man Hemming in Booty Bay on the Lowest level of the town.
Fishing 225-300 - At lvl 225 you will Have to go to the islands in Dustwallow Marsh and Find Nat Pagle to get a quest from him to catch 4 rare fish, one for The savage coast in STV, one from the Verdantis River in Feralas, one from the norther Sartheris Strand in Desolace (there are actually two stretches of coast labled as Sartheris strand, you need the northern one that is near the sunken boats), and one from the coastline in Swamp of Sorrows. Upon Completion of this quest, Nat Pagle will give you Master Fishing skill raising your cap to 300
Fishing 300-375 - You will need to go get your hands on the Artisan Fishing Book which is obtained from the fisherman at the Cenarion Expedition in Zangarmarsh in the Outlands, just on the bank of the lake.
In the 3 fly-to only lakes in Terrokar Forest, there are a total of 17 Highland Mixed School fishing nodes (3 in Lake Jorune above Stonebreaker Point, 4 in Lake Ere'Noru above Allerian Stronghold, and 10 in the Blackwind Lake/Skettis area.) You will need to have about 480 or more fishing to reliably catch the fish in these lakes...being Furious Crawdads, Goldenscale Vendorfish (that vendor for 6g per! ), Golden Darters, crates, scrollcases, and possibly Mr. Pinchy.
(As a side note, Furious crawdads only come from those Highland Mixed Schools, which are used in cooking Spicy crawdad, Which gives you 30 stam and 20 spirit for 30 minutes if you spend at least 10 seconds eating)
Just like there the rare fish in STV during the contest, there is a very small chance that you can catch Mr. Pinchy, a rare Crawdad that will have 3 wishes (charges) that give a random effect/item with a 48 hour cooldown from those Highland mixed pools. Mr. Pinchy's drop rate is approximatly 0.2% which averages to about 1 in 500 successful casts. So be prepared to spend alot of time trying to get h im.
If/When you get Mr. Pinchy there are 5 effects of the wishes. These are:
-Mr. Pinchy's Gift, A gift wraped package that will have 4-5 Super Healing, and 4-5 Super Mana potions in it. (seems to be the most common result of the wishes)
-Summon Furious Mr. Pinchy, lvl 70 Non-elite that will attack you and party.
-Benevolent Mr. Pinchy, Summons a lvl 70 guardian to assist you in combat.
-Mr. Pinchy's Blessing, a 2 HOUR +1200hp buff that lasts even through death.
-Magical Crawdad Box, The only permanent, non-consumable reward, a uber-rare non-combat pet (normal white quality, but uber rare because you have to catch Mr. Pinchy in the first place to get it, and then be lucky enough to get him to give you the pet after that.
After using the 3rd Charge/wish Mr. Pinchy will dissapear from you inventory having been consumed. You will have to catch Mr. Pinchy again in order to get another 3 wishes/chances to get what you are looking for, which for most people is the Magical Crawdad Box.
So you are all set to go win the tournament. By far the hardest parts are memorizing where the nodes spawn and learning where to stand so that your bobber has the best chance to land in the swirling Tastyfish whirlpool. Watch out for aggro, run swiftly, fish deeply.