Would Final Fantasy XIV truly be an MMORPG if it didn’t have fishing? Thankfully, we don’t have to entertain that thought, as FFXIV boasts an incredibly robust fishing minigame with an entire job dedicated to the art of (virtual) angling. Grab your rod and make for the nearest body of water, as this FFXIV fishing guide will teach you everything you need to know about leveling up and mastering hte fisher job!
How to Unlock Fisher
First, we’ll need to unlock the fisher job. Head on over to Limsa Lomina’s Lower Decks and speak to N’nmulika (x7.9, y14.2) to accept the quest “Way of the Fisher” to get started. You’ll need to have at least one combat job at Level 10 in order to become a fisher. If you picked a starting city other than Limsa Lominsa, you’ll also need to work your way through the Main Scenario Quest until you can travel to other cities.
There are a couple different dimensions to fishing that are important to note. At different points throughout your leveling journey, you become able to fish in different areas:
- You unlock Dunefishing at Level 35, allowing you to fish in sandy/desert areas.
- You unlock Skyfishing at Level 45, allowing you to fish in the clouds.
- You unlock Cloudfishing at Level 53, allowing you to fish from floating islands (yes, this is a different trait for some reason).
- You unlock Hellfishing at Level 55, allowing you to fish in magma.
- You unlock Aetherfishing at Level 58, allowing you to fish in aetherochemical pools.
- You unlock Saltfishing at Level 68, allowing you to fish in saltwater bodies.
- You unlock Starfishing at Level 89, allowing you to fish in space.
Additionally, at Level 61 you can speak to Sumitsubo in The Ruby Sea (x28.9, y15.9) to unlock spearfishing. We’ll cover this in detail in its own section, as it is a distinct minigame from the typical fishing experience.
How to Fish
If you’ve leveled botanist or miner prior to fisher, the stats involved will be familiar, but the mechanics are quite different. Fisher is distinct from the two other gathering jobs in FFXIV, with its own special set of abilities and mechanics.
In the following sections, we’re going to cover all of the fisher skills (except for spearfishing) from Level 1 to 90. Don’t panic! We’ll break them down into a few different sections, starting with the basics!
Basic Fishing Skills
In this section, we’re going to talk about the very basic mechanics of the fisher jobs. Most of these skills will be available to you at Level 1, but some will come later down the line.
The Bait skill allows you to open your tackle box and select the type of bait you want to use. There are tons of different types of bait in the game. The type of bait you use will vary based on the area you’re fishing in and the fish you’re trying to catch. Cat became hungry is a great tool for researching bait types (and a lot of other fishing data). We’ll talk a little more about what bait to buy later in the guide when we discuss leveling methods.
Cast and Hook are as simple as they sound! The former will cast your line at a fishing hole, and you can use the latter to reel in your catch when you get a bite. You’ll know something is biting on your line when an exclamation point appears over your character’s head. The bite strength of a fish is shown in the number of exclamation points that appear. Quit allows you to stop fishing.
Cast Light will put a little light on the end of your rod. That’s it. No, we’re not messing with you—it truly just puts a little glowing orb on your fishing rod. Just for fun!
Sneak will be familiar to those who have leveled gatherers before. With Sneak enabled, you can avoid enemies up to four levels above your own. Make sure to turn this on if you’re out fishing in areas with roaming mobs.
Release and Release List won’t come until Level 22, but these are pretty simple to use, so we’ve included them here. Release will simply release a fish you’ve caught if you don’t want to keep it. Release List allows you to automatically release select fish if they are caught. Your Release List will reset when you put your rod away.
And that’s the basics! These are all the abilities you need to know to start fishing in Final Fantasy XIV. Everything from here on out will be used to increase your chances of catching more—or better—fish.
Intermediate Fishing Skills
Let’s start with Thaliak’s Favor, which will restore 150 GP (gathering points) at the cost of three stacks of Angler’s Art. You earn stacks of Angler’s Art by catching large fish. This is a great way to replenish GP after you’ve used some of the following skills.
Chum will reduce the amount of time until the next fish bites.
Patience increases your chances of landing a large fish by 50% for 60s, but it reduces your hook efficiency by 40%. Thankfully, you have Powerful Hookset and Precision Hookset to compensate for this. The first skill is used on fish with strong bites (more than one exclamation point) and the second is used for fish with weak bites (a single exclamation point). Later on, Patience II will upgrade the buff to 80% and debuff to 75% while also increasing the chance to catch an average-sized fish of great length.
Double Hook allows you to catch two or more fish on a single cast, though some fish cannot be double hooked. Triple Hook takes this up to three or more fish in a single cast.
Mooch allows you to use a large fish you’ve caught as bait to attract a bigger, badder fish. Makeshift Bait allows you to mooch with an average-sized fish, but it costs five stacks of Angler’s Art. Mooch II has the same effect, but it costs 100 GP instead. Whichever you use will depend on your available resources.
Advanced Fishing Skills
Lastly, here are some skills that will help you fine tune your fishing experience. Snagging adds an extra hook to your line, allowing you to fish up things that would normally be uncatchable. This allows you to fish for maps and other rare fish (and items).
Fish Eyes will allow you to catch certain fish regardless of their time of day requirements. However, this does not negate weather requirements! It also doesn’t work on legendary fish and fishing holes from current or immediately previous expansions. It also doesn’t work during ocean fishing.
Surface Slap prevents you from catching the same fish you just caught again. The effect ends when you catch another fish. Identical Cast does the opposite, allowing you to catch the fish you just caught again (unless it was mooched). Prize Catch guarantees that the next fish you catch will be a large fish. Like the previous skills mentioned, its effect ends when you hook your next fish.
FFXIV Fishing Leveling Methods
The intermediate and advanced skills are not necessarily essential to understand for the leveling process. As long as you have the basics mechanics down, you’ll breeze through the levels. That being said, knowing how to use the intermediate skills will help!
Ocean Fishing in FFXIV
The number one method for leveling fisher in Final Fantasy XIV is ocean fishing, but, as we will cover, it is best supplemented by other methods.
You get access to ocean fishing as soon as you unlock the fisher job. Speak to Fhilsnoe in the Lower Decks of Limsa Lominsa (x7.8, y14.5) to pick up the quest “All the Fish in the Sea”. He’ll also gift you with 10 Versatile Lures, which is a great catch-all lure to use before you learn about different types of bait.
Here’s the catch: ocean fishing is only available every two hours in real time, and each trip only accommodates 24 players. There’s a 15 minute window to sign up by speaking to Dryskthota at the docks in Limsa (x3, y12.7). When the boat is full, it departs. You can use this nifty tool to see when boats are departing, where they’re going, and what you can catch.
Each ocean fishing trip consists of seven-minute stops at three different locations. Each location offers different fish and has different ideal baits to use. There are usually experienced players on board for these trips that will call out the best bait to use at each stop. However, if you wind up with a silent group, here are the best baits to use in each ocean fishing location:
- Bloodbrine Sea: Krill
- The Cieldalaes: Ragworm
- Galadion Bay: Plump Worm
- Rhotano Sea: Plump Worm
- Rothlyt Sound: Plump Worm
- Northern Strait of Merlthor: Ragworm
- Southern Strait of Merlthor: Krill
Keep in mind that these are the best general use baits for these spots. There are specific types of bait that are better for catching certain kinds of fish at different times of day. There are also Spectral Currents that can be triggered that allow you to catch more fish. These currents are a great time to use Patience.
You will also have three bonus missions to complete while ocean fishing. Nothing happens if you aren’t able to finish them, but they can result in extra awards if you do. Knowledge of proper bait usage and mastery of all your skills will be necessary.
Players in the level range of 1-49 will earn EXP from ocean fishing. At levels 50-79, players will earn EXP and scrips, and max level fishers will only earn scrips. Due to the sheer amount of fish you can catch during ocean fishing, you will likely level up multiple times in a single trip—especially at lower levels. If you’re trying to max out your fisher as fast as possible, spend a day squeezing in as many ocean fishing trips as you can.
An important note: make sure to clear out some inventory space before you go ocean fishing! You can release all of your catches to avoid filling up your bag, but if you want to keep your spoils, make sure you have the space. There is a Merchant & Mender on board the ship, so you can sell excess fish to them if needed. They also sell bait if you find yourself running low.
As ocean fishing is only available every 2 hours, you’ll need something else to do while you wait on those boats. There are a few different activities you can use to fill this time.
If you simply enjoy fishing, you can cruise around the realm of Eorzea and cast your line to your heart’s content. It’s not optimal, but fishing wherever you like (in level appropriate areas) can be a fun and relaxing way to gain a little EXP. There are far too many fishing locations for us to list out every single fishing hole and its level, so we recommend looking at this wiki to find the best spots for your level.
It’s a great idea to do your fisher job quests as you get them, as they’ll unlock the different types of fishing we mentioned earlier, as well as more advanced skills. Of course, they’ll also net you some EXP and better gear!
You can fish in the Diadem, but you will need both skyfishing and cloudfishing unlocked to take full advantage of it. Because of this, you may be better off waiting until you’re past level 53 to use this method. Levequests are also a good option, but mostly for higher levels. Additionally, you can do Crystarium and Studium deliveries when you reach level 70 and 80 respectively.
Though these methods are best used later in the leveling process, the EXP gain from ocean fishing is so busted that you’ll be hitting those upper levels in no time.
Spearfishing in FFXIV
Spearfishing got a rework in 6.0 that gave it a new minigame. It takes place in underwater locales at special gathering nodes. Once you unlock spearfishing and equip the “gig” sidearm, you can use the skill Fathom to find spearfishing spots. When you activate a node, a minigame will begin that requires you to use the action Gig to catch fish when they cross the screen.
Shark Eye and Shark Eye II allow you to locate the nearest and highest level nodes. Truth of the Oceans lets you find Swimming Shadows, special nodes that appear once you’ve caught a certain amount of fish.
There are a few other skills that you can use during spearfishing. Veteran Trade acts similarly to Surface Slap, allowing you to remove a fish from the catch pool. It will last for the duration of the node. Salvage lets you find maps. Nature’s Bounty increases the chance of catching large fish. Vital Sight makes fish easier to target, but costs two Angler’s Art. Baited Breath will reduce the wariness of nearby fish. Electric Current catches all of the fish in your field of vision, but it increases the wariness of other nearby fish and can only be used once you’ve already caught ten. You can only use it once per node.
Spearfishing will net you some EXP, but it’s not necessarily the best way to go about leveling, especially as it only unlocks at Level 61. It can add some variety to the mix if you get tired of regular fishing.
Fishing for Collectables
Just like botanist and miner, fisher has its own collectable mechanic, though it is vastly simpler. Use the Collect action to turn your next catch into a collectable—that’s it! You can turn in collectable fish for a reward of EXP and scrips based on their size.
Max Level Fishing
Once you hit max level, it’s time to get familiar with those advanced skills. You also might want to work on getting BiS fishing gear or pursue a relic tool just for the flex.
Now, unlike botanist and miner, fisher doesn’t directly contribute a lot of materials to crafters. Some fish are useful for Culiniarians, and desynthesizing them can result in some crafting materials (or other special rewards). You can also use fish for aquariums or paintings for player housing. Of course, you can also acquire maps from fishing as well, and that treasure maps can be quite lucrative.
You may be catching onto the fact that fishing isn’t a particularly lucrative activity in FFXIV. Why bother, then? What’s the endgame here?
Fishing appeals to collectors and completionists for its exclusive rewards and achievements. Achieving and acquiring some of these require you to be max level and have a mastery of all the necessary skills.
While fishing certainly appeals to the highly motivated, it’s also a favored activity of the incredibly relaxed. Fishing is a historic staple of the MMORPG genre, and it’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the level grind. Kick back, cast your line, and catch a few fish. Not everything needs to be about making gil or defeating tough raid bosses—sometimes its good to do something just for fun.
Join the High Ground
Whether you’re chasing achievement highs or dodging your responsibilities for some quiet time on Eorzea’s sunny shores, we hope this fishing guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the fisher job in Final Fantasy XIV! For more FFXIV tips and tricks, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.