There aren’t many advantages of having a high Fishing level within Oldschool RuneScape, the main benefits are that it unlocks various Quest and Achievement Diary tasks that you’d otherwise be unable to complete. One ‘perk’ of the Fishing skill could be due to the fact that it is reasonably ‘AFK’, in that it is quite chilled out and click intensity levels are quite low. Additionally, the hourly XP rates aren’t bad, therefore Fishing could be seen as an easy way to achieve some easy additional total levels, total XP and hiscore ranks.
There are a few quests with Fishing level requirements which may act as incentives to partially level up the skill. The level requirements for these quests are as follows: Level 5 - Tai Bwo Wannai Trio Level 10 - Fishing Contest Level 50 - Rum Deal Level 53 - Heroes' Quest Level 62 - Swan Song
Alongside the quest requirements, there are also various Achievement Diary requirements for Fishing. Achievement diaries in OSRS contain many highly desirable rewards, especially the Elite diaries. As such, this may provide a large incentive to train Fishing, particularly towards the high levels.
To some extent, there is a profitability incentive for achieving high level Fishing. Some Fishing methods do yield profit, most notably Sharks (via Minnows), Infernal Eels and Monkfish. The rates are not exceptional, in that they are much lower than some skilling money-making methods, and far lower than money-making via PvM. However, for players with low wealth or for those that want to gain some passive profit whilst training an AFK skill, these methods could be worth considering.
Some Good-To-Know’s Fishing is a great way of bypassing the early levels of Agility and Strength. This is done by using the Barbarian Fishing method (Level 58 Fishing recommended) which will be discussed later in this guide. However, it’s useful to note that Agility and Strength XP will be earnt at a ratio of approximately 1:10 against Fishing. This means that whilst achieving Level 99 in Fishing (13M XP), you can expect to achieve approximately 1.3M XP in both Strength and Agility! For reference, this would take your Agility to Level 75 if starting from Level 30. Quite exceptional.
Bypass Level 1 - 24
To quickly gain levels 1-24, complete the Sea Slug quest. The only requirement for this quest is 30 Firemaking and can be completed fairly quickly. This is a much faster route for early Fishing training than catching fish.
Level 1 - 20: Shrimp and Anchovies
If you don’t want to, or are unable to, complete the Sea Slug quest, you’ll want to get through Level 1 - 20 by fishing Shrimp and Anchovies. To do this, you’ll need a Small Fishing Net, and then travel to an appropriate fishing location. The easiest location to access is just South of the Draynor Bank, whereby you’ll find plenty of net spots. At Level 15, you’ll start to fish Anchovies as well as Shrimp, from the same fishing spot. You’ll need to catch 447 Shrimps to achieve enough XP for Level 20. At this point, you’ll move on to Fly Fishing. Completing Sea Slug instead, will grant 7,175 XP, taking you straight to Level 24, hence it’s highly recommended.
Level 20 - 58: Trout and Salmon
You can now Fly Fish trout (and Salmon, from Level 30. You’ll need a Fly Fishing Rod, plus 1 Feather per fish caught, therefore it’s recommended to stock up on a few thousand feathers before beginning. The most popular spot for Fly Fishing is in Barbarian Village, just North-East, on the West side of the riverbank. XP Rates for this method vary between 20-45K per hour. Choosing to drop the fish instead of banking them at Edgeville bank will increase XP rates, and is recommended due to the low value of both Trout and Salmon. As a tip, you can enable an option in the Settings menu which will allow you to hold down shift to ‘drop’ an item instead of ‘use’ it. This makes dropping a full inventory much faster, and will save you time and improve XP gains. For Level 58, you’ll need 224,466 XP meaning that you’ll need to catch approximately 3,667 fish (trout/salmon combined),
Level 58 - 99: Barbarian Fishing
You’ll need 30 Strength and 30 Agility before starting this portion of the training. You’ll then be able to complete a small miniquest at Otto’s Grotto, which is slightly south of the Barbarian Outpost (accessed via Games Necklace). Once completed, you’ll be given a Barbarian Rod, which will allow you to train via Barbarian Fishing. As with Fly Fishing, Barbarian Fishing requires 1 Feather per fish caught, so make sure to replenish your supplies before heading here. At levels below 70 you will receive around 35,000 - 40,000 experience per hour, while at levels 70 or above you will receive around 50,000 - 60,000 experience per hour. By level 99 you can reach around 60k xp/hr. You can get even higher rates of fishing xp through 3-tick Barbarian Fishing (up to 110k xp/hr at level 99). This is considered the fastest and most efficient method for training fishing, however some people will find it particularly tedious as there is no profit earned using this method, and furthermore you are required to drop each fish as there is no bank located nearby. If you can tolerate the tedium, it is recommend to stick with this method until Level 99, as the methods that involve banking and profit are particularly inefficient, and the profit itself is pretty bad in the grand scheme of things. However, if you’re the kind of player that prefers to have OSRS open whilst chilling, perhaps watching a movie, these alternative methods might be for you.
Level 62 - 99: Monkfish
One of the aforementioned slower methods with banking and a small amount of profit is catching Monkfish. You’ll need to complete the Swan Song quest before you can catch Monkfish, which you’ll be doing in Piscatoris. The XP per hour for this method ranges from approximately 30K at Level 70, and closer to 40K per hour at higher levels. This method would be recommended if you do not want to do Barbarian Fishing, as Monkfish provide higher XP per hour than Sharks even after Level 99. Catching Sharks via the traditional method is not recommended for players of any kind. Catching Monkfish to Level 99 would required 105,839 fish to be caught, ‘netting’ a profit of just over 40M. Not bad, but also not great considering the time required to achieve 99. However, if you are reluctant to use the Barbarian Fishing drop method, this could be a good afk/relaxed alternative.
Level 82 - 99: Minnow
At Level 82 Fishing, you can catch Minnows, which are located at Kylie Minnow’s Fishing Platform within the Fishing Guild. You will need the full Angler Outfit, obtained from the Fishing Trawler minigame to catch Minnows.
This method is relaxed in that there is no banking or dropping involved at all, as Minnows can be stacked to an unlimited amount within your inventory. However, the Minnow fishing spots are unique in that they move one square every 15 seconds, meaning that the player will need to be reasonably attentive in order to achieve the advertised XP rates. Additionally, Minnow spots have a chance of a flying fish appearing, which will eat Minnows from the players inventory whilst they are fishing that particular spot. Therefore, players will also need to be attentive of flying fish spawns, to ensure that they are not losing any Minnows (instead of gaining them). Some players may find these mechanics to be annoying, which is a deterrent against fishing Minnows. However, they are one of the most effective ways of profiting from the Fishing skill, so the choices available to you here aren’t huge.
Level 80 - 99: Infernal Eels
At Level 80 Fishing, and with an Oily Fishing Rod and bait, you can catch Infernal Eels. Ice Gloves are also required to be equipped, and a hammer needs to be in your inventory. With a hammer, these eels can be cracked open to extract ten to twenty Tokkul, one onyx bolt tip, or one to five lava scale shards. This method is very chilled out and can be considered very low intensity. It is highly recommended to fish infernal eels in the south-easternmost area of the city, as the other two areas may have their fishing spots disappear more often. Fishing infernal eels gives the player around 35,000 Fishing experience per hour. When compared to monkfish, the advantage of infernal eels is that no banking is required, it requires less attention and can provide greater profit than Monkfish. This is probably the recommended method for players who wish to train Fishing as an ‘AFK’ skill rather than an intensive one.
Level 65 - 99: Karambwans
At level 65 Fishing and after completion of Tai Bwo Wannai Trio, you can start catching karambwans. For karambwan fishing you will need a karambwan vessel and raw karambwanji for bait. Raw karambwanji can be caught north-east of the fairy ring CKR. The best spot to catch karambwans is just north of the fairy ring dkp. Therefore having a quick access to a fairy ring (such as the quest point cape, Slayer rings or a fairy ring in your house) is strongly recommended for this method. Players can bank the fish at Castle Wars using a ring of dueling, Edgeville using an amulet of glory or Shilo Village Underground Mine using Karamja gloves 3 or 4. The downside to this method is that you’ll need to spend time either catching or purchasing Raw Karambwanji (bait) from the shop on Karamja. This will reduce the time spent actually catching Karambwan, and makes it attribute XP and GP rates to this method. It is however generally agreed that Karambwans are better to catch than their competitor, Monkfish.