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Pools of Fish

Pools (or schools) of fish are swarms that contain a limited number of fish. Once these fish have been caught, the pool will disappear. The angler must continually move between different locations to continue fishing. Fishing pools (schools, shoals, circles, holes, swirls) is similar to other "node-based" resource gathering, such as mining ore veins.

Pools appear on the water's surface. They look like swirling patches of water, clearly visible from nearby land. Pools are fished just like open water, except that the bobber must land visually on or within the surface circle of the pool (highlighted yellow on the picture, left). There is no way to control precisely where the bobber lands, so you might need to cast several times. Pools cannot be found in all waters.

Pools can always be seen from nearby land. There are generally two types of pools.

  • School of Fish: Shimmering circle on the water's surface, with many fish swimming about below. Moving the cursor over the pool will tell you what the pool contains - for example "Firefin Snapper School" mostly contain Firefin Snapper.
  • Pool of Wreckage: Boxes, barrels and crates clustered together, within a faint shimmering circle on the water's surface. These pools are called names like "Floating Wreckage".

Why fish from pools?

Pool fishing is harder than open water fishing because the angler has to move: That both wastes time and risks having to fight creatures to clear a path to each pool. But there are advantages to fishing from pools:

  • Catch rates from pools are normally better than open water: The majority of fish caught from a pool will be one type, which is rarely the case for open water fishing. Pools give a higher proportion of valuable catches, such as trunks.
  • Catching fish from pools also avoids changes in open water catch rates by time of day: Pools always give the same proportions of fish, regardless of the time.
  • A few fish can only be caught from pools.

However, not every fish can be caught from a pool. And there are cases when open-water fishing is most effective.

A good example of the complex pros and cons of fishing pools vs open water is contained in the analysis of the best method of catching Stonescale Eel: Open water is more effective, but only at certain times of day, in certain places, and only for sustained fishing.

No pools until patch 1.9

Pools were not available until patch 1.9. So if you're playing Classic, you may not see any pools if your server hasn't progressed to patch 1.9.