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BDO Fishing Guide (Black Desert Online 2018)

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BDO Player Fishing

Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Fishing Guide in "Eminent’s Life Skill Guide". This well-received, 260 page guide has been added to and edited by me. It's now kept current on GrumpyG, with Eminent's permission. Thanks Eminent! ! I will update this Fishing Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)

Eminent's BDO Fishing Guide

Introduction

Fishing can either be a semi-active activity, or one of the most afk Life Skills in the game. Fishing is popular among new players because of how easy it is to get into, but late game it can also be one of your biggest money makers. Fishing is an extremely relaxing activity, but it is also one of the most difficult Life Skills to get on the Leader Boards.

General Characteristics of Fish

Throughout the world there are “sea regions” and there are “fish tables” and they’re not the same thing.

BDO Sea Regions

If you check the “sea regions” box on SomethingLovely you should see something similar to the above image. The sea region is displayed on your minimap, so you always know where you are.

Some sea regions have several origin nodes (which will determine distance bonus when you sell your fish), and some have several fish tables.

A “fish table” just refers to what fish you can catch in any particular area, as well as the % chance of getting each kind of fish.

It’s important to think of fish tables and sea regions separately because even though they are usually very similar, sometimes there’s a bit of overlap.

BDO Juur Sea with N Margoria Fish Table

What I mean by this is, let’s say you’re fishing in Juur sea -- if you get close enough to North Margoria, you’ll actually get the North Margoria fish table while still being in the Juur Sea. This means you can get better fish tables and better distance bonus’ if you position your boat correctly.

As for freshwater, each region has 1 fish table. This means if you’re fishing in Serendia, it doesn’t matter what river you fish in, you’ll get the same stuff. Balenos has it’s own freshwater fish table, and so does Calpheon, etc.

The one exception to this is the Kamasylvia region which has 8 fish tables.

Fish themselves are categorized in a certain way (albeit, not a very good way).

Every fish has a “tag” which can be:

What Fishing Rod Is Best?

Many people have struggled with deciding which fishing rod they should be using. Fishing rods can be a large investment of of silver (and a Brand stone), so it’s best if you get it right on your first try.

It’s also important to understand that the “best” rod will differ depending on your own circumstances, and how you want to fish. Hopefully this section will give you an understanding of fishing rods that will let you make a more educated decision in the future.

In reality, even though some people might claim otherwise, no one actually knows what rod is best. There is simply not enough data on the subject to say for sure. On top of that, the effects of each rod act differently (and sometimes strangely) depending on the fish table you’re on.

Because of the lack of data, I decided to take it upon myself to figure it out. Thus, I spent months working on my fishing rod comparison spreadsheet.

I strongly suggest that you spend some time familiarizing yourself with that document and interpreting the data.

I should make it clear that the spreadsheet isn’t finished, and possibly never will be. It is a much larger project than this entire Life Skill guide. The goal is to get 10,000 sample size for every rod, but it’s looking like I would hit guru 20 fishing before hitting that kind of sample size.

While the sample size is low you should take it with a grain of salt, but I still think it’s worthwhile to look through.

Fishing rods can be split into 2 categories: repairable, and nonrepairable. At first glance it may seem that repairable rods are far better, but they actually both have their place.

BDO Fishing Rods List

The possible fishing rods you can use are:

Icon Fishing Rod Level Requirement Effect Durability Repair/
Enhance
Obtained By
Old Fishing Rod Beginner 0 10 No
1x Log
Quest: Basic Fishing - A Fishing Rod
Apprentice Fisher Reward
BDO Fishing Rod Fishing Rod Beginner 0 30 No
Fishing Vendors for 500 silver
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Ash Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Ash Tree
BDO Triple-Float Fishing Rod Triple-Float Fishing Rod Skilled Lv. 5 Multiple Fish Per Catch 30 No
BDO Thick Fishing Rod Thick Fishing Rod Beginner Lv.10 Fishing Speed +1 Lv. 40 No
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Ash Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Ash Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 Worker Nodes:
(search for Copper ore at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (pickaxe)
Copper Gatherable
and 40% from sandstone, mudstone, bloodstone, andesite, etc.
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Mediah Fishing Rod Mediah Fishing Rod Artisan Lv.1 Chance to Catch Rare Fish Up 50 Yes
2 Worker Nodes:
(search for White Cedar Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
White Cedar Trees
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Heating
Alchemy Tool » Apprentice 1
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
4x Rough Stone
2x Trace of Savagery
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for zinc ore at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (pickaxe)
Zinc Gatherable
and 40% from sandstone, mudstone, bloodstone,andesite
3 Worker Nodes:
(search for Monk's Branch at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
3% drop chance from any Tree Gatherable (maple, cedar pine, etc.)
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Balenos Fishing Rod Balenos Fishing Rod Beginner 0 Auto-fishing Time -10%
(Auto-fishing Time -25% and 100 durability with +10 enhance)
50 Yes
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Ash Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Ash Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Heating
Alchemy Tool » Apprentice 1
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
4x Rough Stone
2x Trace of Savagery
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 Worker Nodes:
(search for Copper ore at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (pickaxe)
Copper Gatherable
and 40% from sandstone, mudstone, bloodstone, andesite, etc.
3 Worker Nodes:
(search for Monk's Branch at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
3% drop chance from any Tree Gatherable (maple, cedar pine, etc.)
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Epheria Fishing Rod Epheria Fishing Rod Beginner 0 Durability 150 with +10 enhance 50 Yes
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Birch Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Birch Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Heating
Alchemy Tool » Apprentice 1
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
4x Rough Stone
2x Trace of Savagery
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
3 Worker Nodes:
(search for Monk's Branch at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
3% drop chance from any Tree Gatherable (maple, cedar pine, etc.)
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Calpheon Fishing Rod Calpheon Fishing Rod Professional 1 Chance to Catch Big Fish Up
(for knowledge ranking)
50 Yes
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Fir Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Fir Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Heating
Alchemy Tool » Apprentice 1
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
4x Rough Stone
2x Trace of Savagery
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
3 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for lead ore at somethinglovely.net)
3 Worker Nodes:
(search for Monk's Branch at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
3% drop chance from any Tree Gatherable (maple, cedar pine, etc.)
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Steel Fishing Rod Steel Fishing Rod Skilled Lv.5 Fishing Speed +2Lv. 65 No
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Ash Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Ash Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Golden Fishing Rod Golden Fishing Rod Professional 5 Fishing Speed +3 Lvl. 100 No
4 Worker Nodes:
(search for Ash Timber at somethinglovely.net)
OR Gathering (axe)
Ash Tree
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
10 worker nodes and also gatherable (search for iron ore at somethinglovely.net)
5x Coal
Processing » Heating
Processing » Heating
Gathering (pickaxe) Skilled 5
Gold Gatherable
and 4% from sandstone, mudstone, bloodstone, andesite, etc.

OR...

Processing » Heating
Processing (filtering)
Bottle of River Water obtained by Gathering with an empty bottle at a river
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
BDO Terrmian Fishing Rod Terrmian Fishing Rod Beginner 0 Fishing Level +5
Chance of getting rare and big fish dramatically increases.
150 No occasionally from Attendance Reward

Before we move on to which rods are worth using, it’s important to understand what some of these item effects actually mean.

Fishing Rod Durability & Fishing Time
First I want to talk about durability, because I think that is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a fishing rod.

Durability is NOT consumed as 1 cast = 1 durability. Rather, there is a chance that your rod will use durability. The higher your fishing level is the less chance there is to use durability. This means high level fishermen can fish much much longer than beginners.

BDO Fishing Rod Durability

"Durability use on fishing rods is determined as 90 - (0,5 * fishing level) = % chance to decrease durability on use” -- Thanks to Knowledge (bondenn#2446) and Moonraker (Moonraker#2967) for this information

While the game files might suggest that is how durability loss works, it hasn’t been tested and proven in game (and it probably never will be). Therefore, it’s important to understand that the above formula is speculative, and possibly untrue.

If you care about speculation, I’ve found that formula to line up pretty close to my own experience, so I believe it’s likely accurate.

It is, however, agreed upon that higher Fishing Skill level = less durability used, so it’s always better to have a higher skill level.

Fishing Speed & Fishing Enhancement Level
Next we need to talk about fishing speed. This is one of the effects of using the Thick/Steel/Golden/Terrmian Fishing Rods.

Fishing Speed Enhancement Level

When we talk about fishing speed we’re talking about the enhancement in your information window (P).

This will decrease your bite time (how long it takes to hook a fish), which makes it an incredibly important stat. However, it can only go up to a max of +5, and anything beyond that is useless.

Silver Embroidered Fisher's Clothes

Fishing Clothes
+5 fishing speed is extremely easy to get. Most guilds have +3 fishing, so just being in a guild will get you halfway there. +2 Silver Embroidered Fisher's Clothes will also give you +2 fishing speed, and are extremely easy to make.

With just these 2 simple things you’re already maxed on fishing speed. Therefore, getting the stat from your fishing rod is actually pretty useless because it just won’t do anything.

Silver Embroidered Fisher's Clothes Crafting Recipe

Rare Fish
Next we’ll talk about chance to catch rare fish, which is the enhancement ability of the Mediah Fishing Rod.

This rod is specifically talking about the “rare” fish tag. What’s interesting is that through testing the rod it hasn’t just impacted the rate of rare fish, but also the rate of large fish, which is sort of confusing.

Big Fish
The next stat is chance to catch Big Fish, which is the ability of the Calpheon Fishing Rod.

BDO Big Fish

Contrary to (popular?) belief, chance to catch Big Fish will not make the size of your fish bigger. It affects the “big/large’ fish tag. Similar to Rare Fish increase, it also affects rare fish rate, so it seems that there is some overlap.

That said, “big fish chance up” and “rare fish chance up” have very different results in terms of profit.

Extra Fish
The last stat we’ll talk about is chance to catch extra fish, which is the ability of the Triple-Float Fishing Rod.

In the case of the Triple-Float Fishing Rod, it has the chance of catching 0-3 extra fish. This means 1 base fish + 3 extra fish (triple float) + 1 extra fish (if you spend energy on your cast) = 5 fish as the theoretical max. Getting 5 is unlikely, since you only spend energy on your casts on coel hotspots, and getting 4 fish is also fairly rare.

You will get xp for every fish you catch (so if you catch 3 fish you’ll get xp for all 3), which makes the Triple-Float Fishing Rod extremely good for power leveling your Fishing Skill.

The Triple-Float Fishing Rod does affect relic shards. This means you could potentially catch 4 relics with one cast. That’s a lot of money.

Now that we have all of that information, we can try to come to a conclusion on which rod(s) are best to use. It’s important to also consider that the effects/durability of the rods aren’t the only thing to consider, we also have to think about our own play style.

Once you pick a main repairable rod, you should use an Item Brand Spell Stone on it.

BDO Item Brand Spell Stone

Halving your durability consumption is an extremely significant effect, and it will make your rod much more useful. Brand Stones cost 400 Pearls in the Pearl Shop.

Efficient Fishing

When I started this game, I was immediately drawn to fishing. I thought it was an extremely fun activity, and that’s what I spent all my time doing.

Then, after about a week of playing, I learned that there were boats in the game. I immediately got myself a fishing boat and never looked back. I fished in the ocean outside of Epheria for a full month, using my time on the Olvia servers for nothing but fishing, until I finally hit master 1.

Those were fond memories where I was ignorant to all of the features of the game and just enjoyed the freedom of the ocean.

Looking back on it, the way that I fished back then was some of the most inefficient fishing possible. (little trade skill, slow boats, no fishing gear, etc.) After my month of active fishing, I probably only made 100-200m silver.

Fishing is an extremely easy skill to get into. You can buy a cheap rod for almost nothing and then run to any body of water to start. There are, however, many things that make fishing better, and it takes a lot of work to get all of them and be fishing most efficiently.

Things you need to be an optimal fisher are:

Not all of these things are absolutely required to fish, but it’ll help a lot the more of them you have.

In general, I think that ocean fishing is far better than freshwater/coastal fishing. That said, if you have low inventory slots, low trade, and no epheria ship, it’s probably better for you to fish in kama than try to go out to sea.

If you don’t have Artisan 2 trade, it’s probably best for you to try to sell to the imperial fish trader. He’ll buy your fish at 250% price regardless of distance and fish freshness (unless they’re at 0%). You can get really good value from this, and the seals are valuable as well. If the imperial guy is sold out then just sell to the regular trade manager.

As you get more and more of those “requirements” you can begin to alter the way you fish to be more and more efficient.

Hotspot Fishing

BDO Fishing Hotspot with Seagulls

When you’re out on the ocean you’ll sometimes sea a group of seagulls hovering around a single spot in the water. This is a hotspot, and here you can only catch yellow rarity fish.

Each hotspot will only give one kind of fish, even if that region has multiple kinds of yellow rarity fish.

Hotspots have specific locations where they might spawn. You’ll generally base your fishing location on areas that have lots of potential hotspot spawns, or areas that have a specific kind of fish hotspot.

Hotspots are also server-specific. This means if there are no hotspots around you, you can hop servers and there might be some there.

BDO Coelacanth

There is also a special kind of hotspot -- the Coelacanth hotspot. These only last for 1 cast, but they give Coelacanths which have a 200k base price. For these it’s best to use a Triple-Float Fishing Rod and spend 10 energy for a cast so that you have a chance of getting up to 5 at once.

With this information we can make a gameplan for active fishing.

  1. Look for Coelacanth hotspots
  2. If there are none, continue on a path that has the most possible hotspots
  3. If there are none, just fish in open water
  4. Wait for your server hop cooldown to be over, switch servers, and start over

This will maximize the value of your inventory. Once you finish you hop on a horse, run to the desert, and sell it all in Valencia with the Artisan 2 trade buff. This will give you an extremely valuable inventory, earning you around 10m silver an hour.

If you don’t have Artisan 2 trade and you still want to active hotspot fish, you should cut the Coelacanth hotspots entirely. Coelacanths can’t be sold to the imperial fish trader, which means the value you get for them probably won’t be worth the effort of hunting them down on every server.

Instead, you would want to find the location with the most dense cluster of possible hotspot spawns and fish there, hopping servers when needed. This should give you fish you can sell to imperial for the most value.

To find potential hotspot locations, you’ll want to take advantage of the map on SomethingLovely.

BDO Show Hotspots

On the sidebar on the left make sure you select the fishing hotspots checkbox. This will populate the map with the locations for potential hotspot spawns.

It doesn’t have every single spawn, but it is very accurate with the ones it does have.

BDO Show Hotspots

Hovering or clicking on one of the hotspot icons will tell you what kind of hotspot it is.

Coelacanth Hotspot

In general, Coelacanths are right next to the shore. If you want to catch those, you’ll probably do it around Epheria or Velia. However, Epheria has a much greater distance bonus to the desert, so it’s more common to catch them there.

Wherever you decide to active fish, make sure that the nodes are connected so you get the most value.

Margoria Fishing

Margoria is the best fishing location in the game. The bite time is the shortest of anywhere, which means you can catch several fish in Margoria in the time you could catch 1 anywhere else.

The Ancient Relic Crystal Shard drop rate is extremely good, netting around 10 from an afk inventory (192 slot), and up to 24+ for an active inventory.

Ancient Relic Crystal Shards from Fishing

On top of that, it has a really good fish table. There are lots of yellows, and the yellows are often the most valuable kinds.

Margoria fishing can be easily paired with Port Ratt imperial trading, which results in trips worth 100m+.

The icing on the cake is that there is a huge distance bonus to Valencia (up to 150%), which makes for incredible profit. This is especially true if you are fishing in northwest Margoria.

This all sounds great, but Margoria fishing is definitely not a low level activity. You need several requirements to make it work.

  1. Artisan 2 trade for desert buff (and m1 trade to start Port Ratt trade, if you’re doing that)
  2. An Epheria ship, because you’re not crossing the ocean on a fishing boat
  3. Skilled 1 sailing will save a significant amount of time spent sailing
  4. Triple-Float Fishing Rods
  5. Max inventory slots

Here's an example of the Margoria distance bonus buff applied to a single yellow grade Sunfish.

BDO Margoria Fish Trading with Distance Bonus

This image is taken from Somethinglovely. To view other Margoria trade profit possibilites, visit Famme's awesome Trade Calculator. All fish are listed under Trade Crates. You can view all of the Margoria nodes and what % distance bonus each gives.

Once you get every fishing buff, slots, etc, you can make 10m+ silver an hour (more if you’re combining it with Imperial Ratt trade.)

While it might seem like this is similar profit to Coelacanth hotspot fishing with higher requirements, there’s something extremely important to consider: effort. For Coelacanths you have to sail around, keeping a keen eye out for seagulls, server hop, etc. And it’s actually a pretty active effort. On the other hand, in Margoria all you really have to do is fish. It’s straightforward, semi-afk, and easy.

On top of that, Margoria is far more reliable than hotspot fishing. With hotspots, you are completely relying on your luck that a hotspot will be spawned (and that you get good rng on your triple float). Additionally, Coelacanth hotspots only exist for 1 cast. That means if anyone else got to that server before you there won’t be a hotspot.

Margoria fishing has no competition, no reliance on luck for your profit, and there’s hardly any effort involved in it.

10m+/h for something so reliable and easy? That sounds like a good deal to me.

As for how to actually do Margoria fishing, it’s pretty simple.

  1. Start on the far west side of north or middle Margoria. I like to do it right past the border of the Juur sea.
  2. Using your repairable fishing rod (eph, bal, etc.) fish half an inventory. Only keep the yellow fish.
  3. Once you’re half filled, switch to Triple-Float Fishing Rods to finish the inventory, only keeping the yellows
  4. Sail to mainland, grab the desert buff and sell in Valencia

The reason we fish with a regular rod for the first half (rather than a triple float) is because Triple-Float Fishing Rods are expensive, and using them too much will cut into your profits.

The reason we switch to triple floats for the second half is because if we take too long fishing with a regular rod our early fish will begin to expire and not sell for as much. Switching halfway will let us finish an inventory before our fish expire.

Yellow Grade Rare Fish

Obtaining Fishing Skill XP

Fishing purely for Fishing Skill xp is a pretty ambitious goal. You’ll be eating away at your profits, and you’ll be competing with fish bots and players who have been afk fishing for years. Fishing is one of the most difficult skills to get top 5 in, so it’ll be a pretty long grind. That said, if you’re a laurel hunter and fishing is fun to you, we can make it happen.

Fishing for xp is very similar to fishing for money, but there are a few adjustments you need to make to your game plan in order to make it work.

  1. Minimize bite time
  2. Minimize travel time
  3. Use triple floats exclusively
BDO Fishing with Elephant

Really, all of this just boils down to one thing: catch the most fish per hour.

Although Coelacanths are good money, bite time in the ocean (non Margoria) is really slow, which means you’re going to get about half the xp you would fishing in Margoria.

Although Margoria fishing is good money, it takes a long time to sail across the entire ocean and then run across the desert to sell your fish.

Although using a repairable fishing rod is more cost-efficient, Triple-Float Fishing Rods will more than double your xp rate.

With this in mind, the best xp you can pull from fishing is triple floating North Margoria/Juur, and then selling your fish in Port Ratt.

With this method, you will make almost no money, but you’ll be getting the best Fishing Skill xp possible.

Would I recommend this method? No.

Does it work? Yes.

Final Thoughts on Fishing

Fishing is an excellent afk activity, but even when active it can be lots of fun.

Lots of people have used afk fishing as their primary overnight activity, and have leveled to high-master that way.

Many others love the relaxing feeling of active fishing and have made billions that way.

As for me, fishing is one of my favorite things to do in the game, and I’m content fishing just for the sake of fishing.



Contact Me
Thanks for reading Eminent's BDO fishing guide! If you would like to contact GrumpyG, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on Reddit.com. If you have any questions, please ask!

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