Black Desert Online: A Complete Guide to Fishing

Fishing serves several purposes in Black Desert Online. We’ve all heard the “If you teach a man to fish…” proverb. But outside of feeding yourself for life, you can also use various fish in alchemy formulas and trade if you’ve hooked a rare enough species. As with life skills such as bartering, it’s possible to make a fair living wage as a fisherman as well.

Fishing Equipment

Obtaining A Fishing Rod

You can obtain a fishing rod by earning, buying, or building one. Buy fishing rods from fisher merchants. Many of the Otters near the shorelines will sell fishing gear. You can also check at markets and with material merchants. You can also earn them as quest rewards or have your workers build one in a tool workshop.

Other Equipment

Floats provide additional aid in securing big and rare catches. They are classified as a secondary weapon, as far as equipping is concerned, and come in two varieties:

  1. Ash Tree Float, with an extra 1% chance to reel in big fish catches, requires a Professional level 1 to equip.
  2. Maple Tree Float, with an extra 1% chance to reel in rare catches, requires Artisan level 1 to equip.

Proper fishing attire can protect against monster attacks while wading in the water and, as they say, dress for success. Wearing the appropriate outfit will also help you level up your fishing skill.

Boats are the next step when you’re ready to take your fishing off of the shoreline. Boats allow you to traverse into the open waters rather than sticking to coastal locations. Additionally, they expand your inventory for longer fishing expeditions and can be rigged with additional gear to encourage certain species to bite.

Harpoons are needed to catch certain (usually rarer) species of fish. They can be obtained through leveling your fishing skill or crafted at Tool Workshops in port towns or seaside lodgings.

Teach A Man To Fish

Finding A Fishing Spot

Equipping a fishing rod while encroaching on an adequate fishing spot (all save the shallows) will show you the fish population in that body of water. Sometimes this will be displayed graphically, too, through schools of fish appearing in the water. But, conversely, the pop-up may tell you the population has been exhausted, in which case fat chance you’ll catch anything more than a manky old boot.

Active Fishing

To cast your line, settle up to the water’s edge and press the space bar. Once you’ve baited a fish onto the hook, you’ll need to press the space bar when the meter is in the blue zone to hook the fish. You’ll then mimic some sequence of WASD as it appears on the screen within a limited time in order to reel in the catch.

Auto-Fishing

Auto-fishing begins automatically when you snag something but do not begin to reel it in manually. This function allows you to go AFK while still grinding for some extra coin. If you plan to be away for an extended amount of time, you should mark the “Throw away useless items while auto-fishing” checkbox. This will automatically clear out any scraps and debris you reel in, saving room for more fish.

Catch O’ The Day

Ironically, Black Desert is teeming with a slew of fish species. You’re sure to hook something if you cast your line into any body of water by chance. But if you’re looking to snag a certain, more elusive species, check the lists below to scout out the best fishing hole for your purposes.

Freshwater

Common

  • Barbel Steed – Serendia
  • Bitterling – Serendia
  • Bleeker – Mediah, Valencia
  • Bluegill – Balenos
  • Bubble Eye Serendia
  • Catfish – Balenos, Valencia
  • Crawfish –  Mediah, Valencia
  • Crucian Carp – Balenos
  • Dace – Calpheon
  • Goby Minnow Mediah, Valencia
  • Grayling – Serendia
  • Kuhlia Marginata – Mediah, Valencia
  • Mudfish – Calpheon
  • Notch Jaw – Calpheon
  • Perch –  Mediah, Valencia
  • Rosy Bitterling – Balenos
  • Roundtail Paradisefish – Calpheon
  • Salmon – Calpheon
  • Smelt –  Calpheon
  • Soho Bitterling – Balenos
  • Sweetfish – Mediah, Serendia
  • Terrapin – Serendia
  • Yellowfin Sculpin – Serendia

Big

  • Arowana – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Carp – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Cherry Salmon – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Freshwater Eel – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Lenok – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Striped Shiner – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia
  • Yellow-Head Catfish – Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, Serendia, Valencia

Rare

  • Leather Carp – Mediah, Serendia
  • Mandarin Fish – Serendia
  • Pacu – Balenos, Valencia
  • Piranha – Mediah
  • Snakehead – Calpheon

Kamasylvia

Located south of Calpheon, this territory hosts a variety of species pools unique to each of its fresh bodies of water. While each location may play home to different common and rare fish species, they all share a common species pool of big fish. The only exception to this is the inland coastal waters which have only a small pool of common species they share with Atanis Pond.

Kamasylvia Big Fish Species

  • Arowana
  • Cherry Salmon
  • Diamond Minnow
  • Lenok
  • Striped Shiner
  • Yellow-head Catfish

Atanis Pond

  • Amur Minnow (Common)
  • Bass (Common)
  • Mandarin Fish (Rare)
  • Spotted Barbel (Rare)
  • Yellowfin Sculpin (Common)

Grána

  • Granges D’or (Rare)
  • Miho Spine Loach (Rare)
  • Spotted Barbel (Rare)

(Grána, Lake Flondor, and the Navarn Steppe all share the same common species pool.)

  • Goby Minnow (Common)
  • Stumpy Bullhead (Common)
  • Sweetfish (Common)

Lake Flondor & Navarn Steppe

  • Pacu (Rare)
  • Swiri (Rare)

Okiara River

  • Bleeker (Common)
  • Common Minnow (Common)
  • Grayling (Common)
  • Leather Carp (Rare)
  • Miho Spine Loach (Rare)

Sea Water

Balenos, Calpheon, Mediah, and Valencia all have saltwater access and therefore have a separate pool of native seawater species. Additionally, if you ever see a flock of seagulls gathering around a certain point, that is known as a ‘hotspot’ and indicates the appearance of a rare fish species in the vicinity.

Balenos

Common

  • Ray (Harpoon exclusive) – Arsha Sea, Eltro Islands, Nox Islands

These common Seawater species can be found across the entire Balenos region.

  • Bluefish
  • Butterflyfish
  • Clownfish
  • Dolphinfish
  • Filefish
  • Flatfish
  • Saurel
  • Skipjack
  • Squid
  • Striped Catfish
  • Surfperch

These common species can be caught along the primary sea channel in the Balenos region.

  • Beltfish
  • Mackerel
  • Mudskipper
  • Rock Hind
  • Sandeel
  • Sandfish
  • Trout

Big

  • Angler – Nox Islands
  • Checkerboard Wrasse – Arsha Sea, Olvia Sea (Harpoon only)
  • Golden-Thread – Arsha Sea
  • Maomao (Harpoon Exclusive) – Cron Islands
  • Marlin – Eltro Islands
  • Octopus – Eltro Islands
  • Pomfret – Arsha Sea, Balenos Islands (Harpoon only)
  • Siganid – Balenos Islands (Harpoon only), Eltro Islands, Nox Islands
  • Swellfish (Harpoon Exclusive) – Cron Islands
  • Swordfish – Arsha Sea, Olvia Sea (Harpoon only)
  • Tapertail Anchovy – Eltro Islands, Olvia Sea (Harpoon only)
  • Yellow Swordfish – Nox Islands

Rare

  • Albacore (Harpoon Exclusive) – Nox Islands
  • Bigeye Tuna (Harpoon Exclusive) – Cron Islands
  • Bluefin Tuna (Harpoon Exclusive) – Eltro Islands
  • Grunt – Balenos Islands, Cron Islands
  • Killer Whale (Harpoon exclusive) – All seaways of the Balenos region.
  • Moray – Balenos Islands, Cron Islands
  • Nibbler – Balenos Islands, Cron Islands
  • Smokey Chromis – Olvia Sea
  • Yellowfin Tuna (Harpoon exclusive) – Arsha Sea

Calpheon

Common

  • Amberjack (Harpoon Exclusive) Banto Sea
  • Beltfish (Harpoon Exclusive) – Zenato Sea
  • Flounder (Harpoon Exclusive) Peyon Sea
  • Gurnard – Peyon Sea
  • Ray – Ahrmo Sea

These common Seawater species are available throughout the Calpheon region.

  • Bigeye
  • Dolphinfish
  • Flying Fish
  • Fourfinger Threadfin
  • Mackerel Pike
  • Mullet
  • Pintado
  • Saurel
  • Surfperch

Big

  • Atka Mackerel – Peyon Sea
  • Black Marlin –  Zenato Sea
  • Cero – Peyon Sea, Zenato Sea
  • Herring – Banto Sea
  • John Dory (Harpoon Exclusive) – Epheria Sea
  • Maomao – Epheria Sea
  • Sailfish – Banto Sea
  • Swellfish – Ahrmo Sea

Rare

  • Galeocerdo Cuvier (Harpoon Exclusive) – Ahrmo Sea, Banto Sea
  • Hammerhead (Harpoon Exclusive) – Peyon Sea
  • Nibbler – Peyon Sea,
  • Porcupine Fish – Ahrmo Sea
  • Porgy – Epheria Sea
  • Saw Shark (Harpoon Exclusive) – Epheria Sea
  • Sea Bass – Ahrmo Sea
  • Smokey Chromis – Epheria Sea
  • Tuna – Epheria Sea
  • Whale Shark (Harpoon Exclusive) – Available by harpoon in all of Calpheon’s regional seas.
  • White Shark (Harpoon Exclusive) – Zenato Sea

Mediah

Common

  • Croaker (Harpoon Exclusive) – Mediah Sea
  • Flyingfish (Harpoon Exclusive) – Altinova Sea
  • Ray (Harpoon Exclusive) – Sausan Islands

These common species are available across the entire Mediah region.

  • Blue Tang
  • Clownfish
  • Flatfish
  • Rockfish
  • Round Herring
  • Sandeel
  • Starfish
  • Surfperch
  • Whiting

Big

Sea Eel (Harpoon Exclusive) –  Altinova Sea, Mediah Sea

Rare

  • Giant Grouper – Altinova Sea (Harpoon only), Mediah Sea
  • Grouper (Harpoon Exclusive) – Mediah Sea
  • Grunt – Sausan Islands
  • Hammer Whale (Harpoon Exclusive) –  Altinova Sea
  • Humpback Whale (Harpoon Exclusive) – Mediah Sea
  • Moray – Mediah Sea
  • Porcupine Fish – Altinova Sea
  • Tilefish – Altinova Sea

Valencia

Valencia has a regional species pool where all fish can be caught throughout Valencia in Al Halam and the Valencia sea.

Common

  • Cuttlefish
  • Flounder
  • Gurnard
  • Ray
  • Rock Hind
  • Rosefish
  • Sandeel
  • Seahorse
  • Surfperch

Big

  • Black Marlin
  • John Dory
  • Maomao
  • Marlin
  • Sea Eel

Rare

These rare species can be hunted throughout the Valencia region exclusively with a harpoon.

  • Beluga Whale
  • Bottlenosed Dolphin
  • Narwhale

These species can be found in both Valencian seas on rare occasions.

  • Porcupine Fish
  • Tilefish

Margoria Ocean

The Margoria Ocean is split into regions of its own, each with its own species pool. However, the rare species throughout the Margoria ocean are unanimous throughout every region.

Rare Margorian Species

  • Blackfin Sea Perch
  • Cuvier
  • Goliath Grouper
  • Greater Amberjack
  • Nibbler
  • Porgy
  • Sea Bass
  • Skate
  • Smokey Chromis
  • Striped Bonito
  • Striped Jewfish
  • Sunfish
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna

Juur Sea

  • Beltfish (Common)
  • Dolphinfish (Common)
  • Mackerel Pike (Common)
  • Sailfish (Big)
  • Striped Catfish (Common)
  • Surfperch (Common)
  • Swordfish (Big)

Harpoon Exclusive

  • Bluefin Tuna (Rare)
  • Sturgeon (Rare)
  • Cuttlefish (Common)

Margoria (Central)

  • Butterflyfish (Common)
  • Filefish (Common)
  • Mackerel (Common)
  • Marlin (Big)
  • Sailfish (Big)
  • Seahorse (Common)
  • Surfperch (Common)

(Harpoon Exclusive)

  • Cuttlefish (Common)
  • Killer Whale (Rare)
  • Yellowfin Tuna (Rare)

Margoria (North)

  • Black Marlin (Big)
  • Flounder (Common)
  • Sailfish (Big)
  • Scorpion Fish (Common)
  • Squid (Common)
  • Surfperch (Commmon)
  • Tongue Sole (Common)

(Harpoon Exclusive)

  • Albacore (Rare)
  • Cuttlefish (Common)
  • Hammer Whale (Rare)

Margoria (South)

  • Jellyfish (Common)
  • Marlin  (Big)
  • Rock Hind (Common)
  • Rockfish (Common)
  • Sandeel (Common)
  • Yellow Swordfish (Big)

(Harpoon Exclusive)

  • Bigeye Tune (Rare)
  • Humpback Whale (Rare)

Ross Sea

  • Cuttlefish (Common)
  • Mudskipper (Common)
  • Sandeel (Common)
  • Saurel (Common)
  • Squid (Common)
  • Swordfish (Big)
  • Yellow Swordfish (Big)

(Harpoon Exclusive)

  • Mackerel Tuna (Rare)
  • Minke Whale (Rare)

Vadabin Sea

  • Flying Fish (Common) – Open waters, coast
  • Marlin (Big) – Open waters
  • Rosefish (Common) – Open waters, coast
  • Sandeel (Common) – Open waters
  • Shellfish (Common) – Open waters, coast
  • Starfish (Common) – Open waters, coast
  • Swordfish (Big) – Open waters

Harpoon Exclusive

  • Cuttlefish (Common)
  • Beluga Whale (Rare)
  • Giant Grouper (Rare)

Ports

Ancado Inner Harbor and Arehaza ports share the same species pool.

  • Black Marlin (Big)
  • Cuttlefish (Common)
  • Flounder (Common)
  • Gurnard (Common)
  • John Dory (Big)
  • MaoMao (Big)
  • Marlin (Big)
  • Porcupine Fish (Rare)
  • Ray (Common)
  • Rock Hind (Common)
  • Rosefish (Common)
  • Sandeel (Common)
  • Seahorse (Common)
  • Sea Eel (Big)
  • Surfperch (Common)
  • Tilefish (Rare)

At the Ancado Inner Harbor port, these species can be caught only with a harpoon

  • Beluga Whale (Rare)
  • Black Marlin (Big)
  • Bottlenose Dolphin (Rare)
  • Marlin (Big)
  • Narwhale (Rare)

This variety of species can be caught at the Altinova port.

  • Blue Tang (Common)
  • Clownfish (Common)
  • Flatfish (Common)
  • Porcupine Fish (Rare)
  • Rockfish (Common)
  • Round Herring (Common)
  • Sandeel (Common)
  • Starfish (Common)
  • Surfperch (Common)
  • Tilefish (Rare)
  • Whiting (Common)

These select species can be caught at the Altinova port only when using a harpoon.

  • Flying Fish (Common)
  • Giant Grouper (Rare)
  • Hammer Whale (Rare)
  • Sea Eel (Big)

Fish for these common species in Port Epheria.

  • Bigeye
  • Dolphinfish
  • Flying Fish
  • Fourfinger Threadfin
  • Mackerel Pike
  • Mullet
  • Pintado
  • Saurel
  • Surfperch

These common species can be caught in the Velia and Velia Beach ports.

  • Beltfish
  • Mackerel
  • Mudskipper
  • Rock Hind
  • Sandeel
  • Sandfish
  • Trout

Additionally, these species can be caught in the Velia Beach port.

  • Grunt (Rare)
  • Herring (Big)
  • Moray (Rare)
  • Nibbler (Rare)
  • Sea Eel (Big)

You won’t always snag a fish, but rather junk, sellable loot, or on occasion, valuable items such as crystal shards and keys for unlocking treasure chests.

Fresh Vs. Drying

There are benefits and drawbacks to both variations of fish. Fresh fish spoils and loses its value gradually right up until it expires. However, the freshest of catches sells at a higher value. Fresh fish is also profitable.

Dried fish can stack in your inventory, whereas each fresh fish takes a single inventory slot to store. Dried fish fetches a lower value when trying to sell, but they don’t spoil, ensuring some profit. The stackability of dried fish makes it a profitable trade good, and as a cooking ingredient, 1 fresh fish is equivalent to 2 dried fish. Drying fish manually is largely regarded as grunt work. So instead, send workers to Fish Drying Yards and collect their yields when they return.

A Fisherman’s Earnings

Some of these castaway items are necessary for various fishing quests. Baggio, Holio, Jiro, and the NPC around the West Guard Camp bridge are the quest givers of these tasks involving catches such as tattered boots or broken hooks. However, there are several other uses for the more pertinent catches outside of questing.

Perhaps the most obvious use for fishing is for cooking. Fish can be salted and preserved in several ways through the culinary arts or cooked up fresh in a variety of dishes. Various species are also required ingredients in some alchemy formulas. Stacks of dried fish can be bundled into trade goods when using a fisherman’s workbench, and there are two options for selling your catches as well.

  1. Trade Managers pay coin for fresh fish.
  2. Imperial Fishing Delivery NPCs buy fresh fish as well, and for a higher value. They only accept a certain number of each species they’re looking for, though. Luckily there is delivery NPC for every region (7 in total), so if one has met their quota, simply offer your wares elsewhere. You can also wait for the imperial trade to reset, or if you’re really impatient, do some channel hopping.

Imperial Fishing Delivery NPCs

  • Balleo – Valencia City, Valencia (Find them outside the castle in the east.)
  • Dius – Port Epheria, Calpheon (The docks.)
  • Falleve – Grána, Kamasylvia (In the same vicinity as the Storage Keeper.)
  • Hirio – Splashing Point, Mediah (Check the incoming road to the town entrance.)
  • Karon – Velia, Balenos ((The docks.)
  • Kubo – Duvencrune, Dreighan (Scan the main drag in the city center.)
  • Rai – Glish, Serendia (In the same vicinity as the Trade Manager.)

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