Fishing Guide – Catching stonescale eels

This topic answers the question, where is the best place to catch a Stonescale Eel? The Stonescale Eel is highly prized by alchemists, and in my experience the most consistently valuable fish at the Auction House. On this page:

Time of Day

In the Variation by Time topic, we showed how the percentage of all catches that are Stonescale Eels varies by time of day. The graph below shows the percentage of catches that were Stonescale Eels by hour at Feathermoon Stronghold, in Feralas.

Percentage of all catches that are Stonescale Eel, by Hour at Feathermoon Stronghold
Graph: Percentage of all catches that are Stonescale Eel, by Hour at Feathermoon Stronghold.

The best catch rate at Feathermoon Stronghold is after midnight. Unfortunately, we also showed that in some cases, the “best time” varies by location. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the proportion of Stonescale Eels caught is always highest between 00:00 and 06:00. I have assumed this time for the comparison of locations.

Variation by time means that data from sources such as Thott is misleading: We do not know what time of day catches were recorded.

Open Sea Fishing

Five locations have been selected, covering all the zones where Stonescale Eels can be caught from the open sea:

  • Azshara – Bay of Storms (not typical of coastal parts of Azshara)
  • Feralas – Feathermoon Stronghold
  • The Hinterlands – Overlook Cliffs
  • Stranglethorn Vale – Jaguero Isle (not typical of the rest of Stranglethorn Vale)
  • Tanaris – Southbreak Shore.

At each location, I fished for about three hours or more (quite a lot more in the case of Azshara), over the period 00:00-04:00. This was done over several days. The results are summarised in the table below.

Percentage of All Fish Caught by Type (00:00-04:00)
FishAzsharaFeralasThe HinterlandsStranglethorn ValeTanaris
Big-mouth Clam10%
Darkclaw Lobster34%
Firefin Snapper11%11%11%8%
Glossy Mightfish18%19%17%17%
Large Mightfish15%
Rockscale Cod12%10%9%10%
Spotted Yellowtail5%41%42%48%47%
Stonescale Eel23%18%17%14%17%
Summer Bass10%
Other2%1%1%1%0%
Total Catches1,466416424423670
Minutes Fished655170175175290

“Other” includes boxes and heavy fish.

We can be fairly confident that the best catch rate is in the Bay of Storms area of Azshara, at about 23%. It is harder to conclude any differences between the other locations. It is likely that the rate at Jaguero Isle is lower than elsewhere. Allowing time to lure the line, fishing the Bay of Storms after midnight will yield just over one Stonescale Eel every two minutes. At least 30 fish an hour on average.

Pool Fishing

The appearance of pools containing Stonescale Eels along the coast of Tanaris, Feralas and Azshara, provides an alternative means of fishing.

Based on fishing 42 Stonescale Eel pools over the three locations they are found, an average of 3.2 fish were caught from each pool. This is described in the Pools and Wreckage chapter.

In the Pool Appearance topic we found no evidence to suggest any bias towards Stonescale Eel pools forming instead of other types in Feralas. Since they are always found alongside three other types of pool, assume a quarter (25%) of pools will be Stonescale Eel. We showed that “cherry picking” – fishing just one types of pool – results in fewer and fewer pools, so the only way to “sustainably” fish Stonescale Eel pools is to fish every pool found in the area.

The number of pools that can be fished per hour varies with circumstances. I think up to 20 pools per hour is a reasonable expectation if there isn’t anyone else actively fishing pools. So on average, we might fish five Stonescale Eel pools an hour: A catch of 16 Stonescale Eels each hour.

We can catch five fish every two minutes in open water – 150 an hour. If 23% of the catch in the Bay of Storms are Stonescale Eels, we should get 30-35 eels each hour – double the rate from pools.

So… Where is Best?

The effective catch rate for Stonescale Eels in the Bay of Storms is twice that of pools. And there is no competition for open water. So why fish pools?

As always, the answer is not that simple:

  1. Fishing for Stonescale Eels in pools may be more effective if you are unable to fish in the period after midnight. In Feralas, we saw that the catch rate for Stonescale Eels in open water during the morning and afternoon was less than half the rate after midnight.
  2. Fishing for Stonescale Eels in pools may be worth considering for those without adequate experience. If the most difficult water you can fish in is that around Stranglethorn Vale, pools become quite a viable source of eels.
  3. We have not considered what else, if anything, you want to catch. Rewards from recovering trunks from pools, or a steady supply of Mightfish Steak, may influence the decision to fish in pools or open water.
  4. We assumed that pools had to be fished in a sustainable way – fishing every type of pool to ensure enough Stonescale Eel pools appear. However, if you only want 5 or 10 Stonescale Eels you can safely “cherry pick”. Take a quick ride along the coast and see if you can spot any Stonescale Eels pools to fish, ignoring all the other. If you are lucky, this will be far faster than fishing in open water. I check for pools before starting to fish in open water.

Further Reading